The split advantage
Jan 16 2014
Usually you do your cardio routine in the morning hours (ideally immediately post waking up) and your evening workout could be more strength or weight oriented. For example, if you are a busy person who doesn’t have much time, your morning cardio does not need to be longer than 20 minutes of high intensity training (HIT), which gives excellent results both in terms of inch loss and cardio vascular strength improvement. Follow it up with some stretches and your morning workout is complete in 30 minutes! In the evening, you would spend the same amount of time and do some push ups, pull ups and abs. On alternative days, you may do cardio in the morning and leg work out in the evening.
On the other hand, if time is not a constraint, your morning workout could stretch up to 45 minutes of cardio and stretches, and in the evening you may opt for weight training working alternative days between upper and lower body.
Having said that, there are a few pitfalls that you should be aware of, and guard against. The first and foremost is overtraining. Some people get too enthusiastic and push themselves beyond their capabilities. Since you are working your body out two times a day, you need to be careful to give your muscles enough resting time and recuperate failing which you may end up overstraining your body resulting in an injury. This means you should not do the same body part twice a day, or if you do that, make sure not to train that part of the body for the next two days.
The intensity is the second thing you should watch out for. Both workouts should be ideally medium intensity or one workout should be of high intensity and the other medium.
Last, but not the least, you have to pay particular attention to ‘fuelling’ your body with the right nutrition. Before the morning workout, you don’t need to eat much, if at all. But you should drink enough water. And once your workout is done, you could have either some fruit and yoghurt, or egg whites omelette, which would provide your body energy and protein. Before the evening workout, ideally you should consume fast releasing energy foods or ‘easily accessible energy sources’, which would provide energy for your body for the second workout. And you must have some protein rich foods after the workout to speed up the recovery and help build the muscles. Protein shakes are an excellent option for satisfying your protein requirements. Make sure to give your body one day of complete rest for optimal results.
(The author is a wellness expert and runs a fitness centre in New Delhi)