Doubling up on your workouts with a morning and afternoon session can take results to the next level—if you use the right approach. Simply piling on another intense session after you leave the office when you did an equally challenging routine before work can lead to damaging amounts of muscle breakdown and other less-than-desirable results such as decreased metabolism and feeling totally depleted.
Done properly, however, “adding an extra workout can make all the difference in the world if you are just teetering on the edge of getting results, such as losing body fat,” says Andrew Wolf, exercise physiologist at Miraval Resort & Spa in Tucson, AZ. Keep these important guidelines in mind before upping the ante with a second round of exercise for the day.
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Exercise stresses the systems of the body, which then require recovery time to heal and become stronger than when you started, Wolf says. If you complete a tough a.m. workout and then hit it even harder in the evening, you will certainly wind up burned out—and possibly injured. And if you do cardio twice a day, you could break down muscle tissue, lowering your lean body mass and therefore your metabolism (read: calorie burn), says Stacy Adams, owner of Fitness Together in Central Georgetown, MD.
So if, for example, you took a strenuous spin class in the morning, your post-work workout should be at a much lower intensity, one that may even feel a tad wimpy, Wolf warns. [Tweet this tip!] “But keep in mind that injuring yourself means you’ll be doing no workouts per day instead of two a day.”