Twice-daily training for hypertrophy and strength
April 14, 2020 at 2:53 pm #618
I’m interested in the programming side of twice daily training for both hypertrophy and strength.
I’ve read the available articles that I can find that Charles wrote about the topic, but one area I think I’m not understanding/couldn’t find is the set volume we should be shooting for in both the morning and evening sessions for both strength qualities.
Thanks in advance for any enlightenment you can offer! So thankful for the Dojo and this forum!
CameronApril 17, 2020 at 2:54 am #626Ryan FaehnleParticipant
The set volume is going to be dependent on the individual's work capacity, so it's impossible to give a specific number of sets. I will say this about twice per day training ------ err on the side of too little rather than too much, and make sure to de-load every third week with once-per-day training that week!
As a general rule, you want higher CNS stress in the A.M. session and more metabolic stress in the P.M. Session. This is on a continuum, so here are two examples for quadriceps:
For maximal strength :
A. Back Squats - 10x1-3 @ 30X0 / 4 min rest
A. Front Squats - 5x3-5 @ 40X0 / 4 min rest
A. Back Squats - 4x6-8 @ 40X0 / 4 min rest
B. Front Barbell Split Squats - 3x8-10 @ 31X0 / 3 min rest
A. Leg Press - 4x8-10 @ 4020 / 90 sec rest
B. Heels Elevated DB Squat - 3x15-20 @ 3020 / 60 sec rest
C. Leg Extension - 3x20-25 @ 2011 / 60 sec rest
As you can see, intensity is relative based on what strength quality you are trying to target. Many tools you can use with these as well, eccentrics, tri-sets, 1 and 1/4, rest-pause, giant sets, etc. Just make sure to make each set count and don't load in a bunch of volume just for the sake of volume. Done properly, this is VERY taxing and best reserved for advanced trainees, and for a small part of the annual plan. Don't blow your wad on twice per day training if you still have a lot of experience to gain and can milk less intense methods for a longer time.
Hope that helps.
RyanApril 17, 2020 at 3:53 pm #637
Thanks for the reply. This certainly clears up a lot of confusion!
I didn't realize that twice per day training could produce superior results using similar set counts of 15-20 sets/day. Is this because one is stimulating protein synthesis via training twice in the same day vs only once? (This question is still bearing in mind that set volume is individualize based on the trainee)
Also, when you say this should be a small part of the annual plan for a trainee, how much of an advanced trainee's year would you say is appropriate and not risky for overtraining?
CameronApril 17, 2020 at 5:56 pm #639Ryan FaehnleParticipant
Impossible to say. If you look at the model of Bulgarian weightlifting, they were often training 3-5x per day most days per week! Of course, they also trained everyone to death and whoever survived was the Olympic champion, so take that with a grain of salt. It also depends on what makes up each session (i.e. plyometrics and sprinting in the morning and weights at night vs. two weights sessions vs. one weights session and one energy systems / cardio session) and if you are keeping relative volumes similar to 1x per day training, or if 2x per day training represents a large volume increase. Too many factors to give you a concrete answer unfortunately.
As for why it works, it's because it reinforces proper quality of each work set, even if the total set volume is the same due to greater recovery. Think of it like taking an EXTRA long break between sets. The 4-6 hours of rest allows for a little bit of glycogen re-synthesis if the diet is in check, and CNS restoration. It is also possible that more frequent spikes in muscle protein synthesis are responsible. MPS stays elevated for 24-36 hours following a resistance training session, so by adding a second session to a given day, you are lengthening this window.
I realize I'm opening another can of worms here, but I've seen great success training the same body part / movement pattern for 2-4 days in a row before taking an extended (3-5 day) break before hitting that cycle again. The theory here is that you are elevating MPS over several consecutive days in a row. Just some food for thought.
I will leave you with this.....these days I leave 2x per day training for strength and hypertrophy purposes as an "ace in the hole" for a spurt of fast progress or as a plateau buster. I'm talking 6-10 weeks per year, tops. I think the rest of the year you should be able to make great progress in strength and hypertrophy training 1x per day, 3-6x per week. I have done it for much longer. I once did 2x per day weight training for myself for nearly 2 whole years, and while I made progress, I make just as much progress now doing once-daily weight training sessions and saving twice per day for the occasional plateau buster as opposed to doing it year round. Use it wisely!April 18, 2020 at 9:39 pm #644
This is awesome. Thanks again Ryan!
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