Double training days or a single session. What's better? - Mammal Strength

Double training days or a single session. What's better?

The big question that is asked among gym goers and the like? What is the best way to train for progress in the gym? Well there is actually no right answer, it depends on what works for you and your timetable.

A lot of people think that doing more sessions a week equates to faster progress, however this is not the case. Making progress in the gym relies on a number of factors: nutrition, session quality, recovery time and sleep.

Some people use double sessions to allow them to spread their workload out over 2 sessions. For example;a weightlifting double day may look like this: squats and pulls and accessories in the AM/ snatch, clean jerk in the PM. If the athlete has the time to do this kind of programme it allows them to recover after doing their strength work, ready for training again in the evening.

This method of training can be very beneficial to those who have the time to make it work, you can generally add an extra exercise in per training day as the volume is spread out and can give the perceived effect of feeling refreshed for the second session.

For most people who work full time, they tend to stick to the single session before or after work as it is more time efficient. In this instance the exercises that would normally be spread out over a double session would be done in succession. For example, olympic weightlifters training might look more like this: both strength and olympic lifts + accessories would be covered in the single period of training. This method of training can also be of great benefit, as it allows you more time in your day to catch up on recovery and chill out in the evening or have a longer lie-in the morning.

Pros and cons of each training style

Single Session



Less time travelling to and from the gym

Less accumulated workload can be done per training day

More time to spend on recovery, sleep, recreational activities

More tired at the end of a long session

Get everything done in one go

Each session tends to be a lot longer as you would need more rest in between sets

Double Session



You can accumulate more workload over the week as you can do more exercises per training day 

You have to travel to and from the gym twice

Each session tends to be short as you would only do 2-3 exercises per session 

You have less time in the day to do other recreational activities

You can spread the workload out over 2 sessions so you feel fresher for the second part of the programme

Difficult to fit round a full time job

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