Training Secrets

The Pros and Cons of Morning/Evening Workouts

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For the serious lifter sometimes there is just not enough time in a week to put the work in you want. As science haspros and cons of morning/evening workouts shown us that 45 minutes is the optimum maximum for a weight workout, what happens if you aren’t done training when time is up? Some people are going back to the AM/PM workouts that Arnold and many other bodybuilders made very popular back in the 1970’s.

The idea back then was that you would workout, go to work all day, then come home and hit the gym again. This split allowed for recovery during the day as well as a chance to mentally refocus. Sometimes it would be a split weight workout while other times it would be cardio and abs for one session and weights on the other. You could also do specialized splits with low-rep heavy compound exercises in the morning and high-rep isolation exercises in the evening.

So let’s compare and see if a one-a-day workout or twice-a-day workout is better.

Pros and Cons

Specialization – With two training sessions in a day instead of one you have an easier time focusing on each group properly. For example, if you normally do Back/Biceps/Forearms in a session the biceps and forearms typically get less focus because you have drained yourself with a tough back workout. But instead if you worked just your back in the morning and then just the biceps and forearms at night there would be renewed focus and energy to attack the arms with.

Shorter Workouts – Ideally when working twice in a day you should be having brief workouts in the 30-45 minute range. If you were unable to complete a full workout in less than 45 minutes a split can get you there, which is important from a muscle gaining aspect.

Easier Schedules – Let’s say you normally work upper body on one day and lower body on the next and then take two days off before working out again. Now while you would have a very tough day with upper body in the morning and lower body at night (when doing them on the same day), but you get 3 full days off between workouts. This can be a great schedule for people with a lot of time commitments for work, family, or sports.

Hormone Boost – A second workout in a day will spur a second release point after the workout. The only downside would be training too many times in a week that could cause overtraining which would offset this natural hormonal boost.

Tired/Rest – Your body will be stressed more by this type of workout and the night following any two-a-day needs to be very restful. Plus while your body adapts there will be a hangover effect the next day from being sluggish and the body recovering.

Nutrition – You must be on the ball for nutrition habits. First, you need to have two post-workout meals ready to help recovery. But you also now need two pre-workout meals plus good fuel during the day. You cannot slack off on diet when doing a two-a-day.

Missing Workouts – It can throw off your routine a bit more if you have something come up that causes you to miss the night schedule. If you have a rest day scheduled then it is easy to make up but otherwise you have thrown a bit of a wrench into things because that night workout is impossible to fit into the next day’s two-a-day


There are good points and bad for doing two-a-days. If you find the positives outweigh the negatives for your specific situation then by all means you should give a split program a try.

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