Here's what really changes when you work out twice a day

While working out twice a day is usually a routine for professional athletes or anyone training for a competition, there are some health benefits even if you're not a pro athlete. However, you need to make sure you choose the right schedule. Twice-daily workout advantages include reduced sedentary time, increased training, faster muscle growth, and performance gains. A couple of drawbacks are an increased risk of injury and overtraining (via Verywell Fit).

A 2017 study published in the International Journal of Obesity shows an increased risk of coronary heart disease and a larger waist circumference when there's more time being sedentary. Working out twice a day decreases that time spent not moving, which is a clear advantage.

Brandon Mentore, a strength and conditioning coach and sports nutritionist, tells Verywell Fit that the benefits of working out twice a day can improve overall performance, improve strength, and speed up muscle growth. Mentore explains you can increase protein synthesis, anabolic output, and metabolic capacity, all making it possible for you to reach your fitness goals faster.

Downsides of twice-daily workouts

According to a 2015 article published in ACSM's Health and Fitness Journal, a twice-daily workout can put you at risk for overtraining. Overtraining can cause a wide array of symptoms, with the most common being persistent sore, stiff or heavy muscles, fatigue, decreased performance, increase in headaches, colds, and infections, chronic injuries, restlessness, decreased concentration, sleep disturbances, depression, irritability, loss of appetite, tachycardia, weight loss, no menstruation, and changes in bowel movements. 

A balance is essential in fitness, so don't push yourself too much. Working out regularly has its benefits, but your body also needs time to rest and recover. If you're doing two moderate-intensity workouts a day, you'll need to space them out at least six hours apart. Keep your longer or more intense workouts early in the day and less taxing workouts for later. Eat to fuel your workouts and stay hydrated throughout the day. 

Also, don't start with twice-daily workouts right away. Instead, work your way up to it and avoid two days in a row of twice-daily workouts. Keep at least one day in between for rest and recovery. Allow time for your mind and body to get used to the new activity.