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Getting Ready for Summer: Can You Hang with Two-a-Days?

Stew Smith, CSCS

If you have been dedicated to your exercise routine and results have started to taper, it may be time to pump up your workout by adding something new – maybe even another workout in a day. Yes – good ole two a days! They worked back in high school preparing for sports. But, can you fit two workouts into your day and will it hurt you to do too much, too soon, too fast?

I would only recommend a two-a-day fitness routine to someone who ALREADY has a one-a-day fitness routine going for several months. However, it is possible to break a workout into two parts to better fit your schedule as most of us have a difficult time fitting in a continuous 90 minutes of training into a day. Yes, you can overdo this type of training if you continue this for months and if you try to double your current fitness routine overnight. So, here are some ideas for you to get off the training plateau EVEN with a busy schedule:

One of the split programs I like to do when my days are 12-18 hours long is to break my cardio and calisthenics / weights into two workouts:

Workout #1 – Wake up with cardio. Usually a steady run, bike ride, or a challenging swim is a great wake-up call and will prepare you for your job or shift work. I would do this type of workout for 30-45 minutes before going to work. You can break it up with shorter interval workouts of fast bursts for 2-3 minutes followed by an equal or double rest of easy pace or walking. Then again, if you do not want to think the first thing after waking up – just go for a steady 30-45 minutes of exercise – even if that exercise is just a walk.

Workout #2 – After work or during a lunch or dinner break, get another quick workout in. Usually a fast paced circuit or superset workout will do the trick and you can use weights or just focus on calisthenics such as push ups, pull-ups, dips, variety of abs. This will get the metabolism going again and help you stay awake for another 4-5 hours. I do not recommend getting a workout and trying to go to sleep shortly after as it will interfere with the quality of sleep you have that night. AND, if you are busting out two workouts a day for a few or more days a week – you will need quality sleep.

Some quick routines:

Repeat 10 times
Jumping Jacks – 10
Pushups – 10 (on leg days do squats in place of pushups)
Abs of choice – 20

This “warmup” routine takes about 10 minutes if you move through it with little resting – in fact just rest with your abs. Resting in between any set during a workout with a 20-30 reps set of stomach exercises is a great way to fit more into a short period of time.

After your warmup, hit a circuit:

Mix in pull-ups or pulldowns on a lat machine, pushups or bench press with weights or dumbbells, followed by a Multi-Joint Dumbbell set that mixes in several exercises into one movement.

On leg days, you can actually mix into your bike or run workout a few sets of body weight squats, lunges, or calf raises to work the legs. See the Run and Leg PT article for a killer leg and cardio workout mixed. Here is one example:

Run ¼ mile at goal 1.5 -2 mile pace (usually 90-100 seconds)
Squats – 20
Lunges – 10/leg
Heel raises – 20
Repeat above 4-5 times for a 20-30 minutes workout plan that gets both cardio and legs pumped up.

These are just some of the many ideas you can try when mixing in multiple disciplines into a workout day.

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