Workout Tips

Double Trouble: How to Work Out Twice a Day

Split up your daily routine to see some serious muscle growth.


Man doing standing preacher curl

Ian Spanier

Splitting up your routine into two daily workouts was made famous by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1970s, as the Austrian Oak would hammer each body part three times per week, working calves and abs daily. Not splitting up the routine would result in a four-hour marathon workout. While you may not be prepping to hit the stage, following a double split similar to Schwarzenegger’s can help you optimize growth by increasing your frequency without overtraining your body. Don’t have much time to work out? Doubling up on workouts also ensures that you get the same amount of work done in half the time. It’s time to double down and head to the gym.

What it is

A method of training that allows a lifter to accumulate massive amounts of volume while allowing the body to still recover sufficiently. There are a few ways to split up your workouts, all outlined here.

Why it works

Volume-heavy workouts can take a toll on your body and your recovery. Splitting up your workouts into two-a-day sessions will maximize your efforts, so you can still accumulate multiple sessions per week of the same muscle without overly taxing your central nervous system.

Double-split basics

  • Perform double workouts when appropriate for up to six weeks.
  • To compartmentalize fat-burning and muscle-building, perform cardio shortly after waking and your weight training in the afternoon or evening.
  • Another way to double split is to perform a heavier daily workout in a gym and a second, lighter workout with the equipment you have at home.

Double-split tip sheet

  • You may want to double split only once or twice in your split. For example, on leg day do quads in the a.m. and hamstrings and calves in the p.m., but on other training days you’ll go to the gym just once.
  • Leave six hours between the first and second workout. If possible, eat a couple of meals and nap in between workouts.
  • Double splitting is also great for those with a busy schedule. If you can get to the gym only twice per week, you could still divide your body into four weekly workouts: two on one day and two on the other.