Thursday, June 16, 2011

Two-A-Day Talk Part 1, Work-out Times Pros & Cons

So a few of you have asked in comments and sent emails about my two-a-days. Why do you do those? How often do you do it? Aren't you tired? Etc. Here are some of my thoughts on two-a-days:
  • I do them as often as I need to. What does this mean? I like to get in 4-5 workouts a week. If i'm traveling, have work lunches, or obligations after work this is a great way to fit in the workouts!
  • I mix it up. For instance, I'll do a mini sweat-inducing workout in the a.m. (say run 2 miles, take a spin class, do the stair climber), then at lunch or after work i'll do light, minimal cardio (say walk 2 miles) combined with strength training. This way I only really SWEAT once a day, when I do two-a-days.
  • As far as feeling tired, I only feel tired due to workouts when I burn too much and don't eat enough to make up for it. I don't want this to happen - i'd rather burn the right amount and eat the right amount. So doing say 45 minutes of sweaty cardio once a day combined with the light cardio/ST is fine - but if I did 2 45-minute sweaty cardio sessions I can imagine I would be ravenous and eat more/too much= no good. Honestly, for a while I was doing the 60-minute spin + a 1-2 mile run in the a.m. and I found myself much more hungry. And tired.
  • If you think about it - my two-a-days are really 2 mini meals as opposed to one big meal. I've just found that it's easier for me to get in 30 minutes here and 40 minutes there as opposed to a full 1-hour+ block of time each day. If any of you can get it all in in one work-out sesh - props! I just found that my body responded better as far as my energy level if I could give it my all twice a day instead of, for me, the inevitable dwindle at the end of a long workout.
I think it all boils down to what is most important to you:
  • Nightowls? Look to lunch or p.m. workouts.
  • Hate packed gyms? Look to lunch or a.m. workouts.
  • Want major sweat sessions? Look to a.m. or p.m. workouts.
  • More time at home with your family? Look to lunch workouts. (or a.m. for me as we're grouchy morning people so If I miss anything it's a snarky comment hehe)
  • Hate getting ready at a gym? Look to p.m. workouts.
  • Want to reduce crappy commutes? Look to a.m. or p.m. workouts.
Here's a look at each gym slot, morning, lunch and after work and the pros & cons of each for me!
Pros: no traffic on the way in, can sweat until my heart's content as I shower afterwards, less busy gym/more spots in classes/no waiting
Cons: you have to haul all of your workout stuff + get ready stuff + outfit for the day to the gym, have to go to bed earlier (I'm a night owl), you might be hungry, you may not have motivation

Verdict: I LOVE having no traffic, being able to get ready so close to my office and I love having equipment to myself (no line for the stair climber!). I'm a pre-planner anyway, so having my workout bag, towels, work outfit, etc. in the car the night before isn't an issue for me. I usually eat a banana on the way in so i'm not hungry, and i'm motivated because I go to a crowded gym. Yes, no lines, but still tons of opportunity for people watching. The main hurdle for me is going to bed on time.
Pros: Keeps me from going out to eat/making bad choices; i'm at work and so is the gym = no excuses; great opportunity to work out with co-workers; improves my mood throughout the day - I did something for me; doesn't take time away from my family
Cons: Keeps me from using my lunch break to get out of the office, meet people, see family, run errands; can't sweat a lot - no time to work out and get ready;

Verdict: I couldn't think of any other cons. I mean, if you didnt' have a gym nearby or if your office was sticklers about your lunch hour or if your lunch hour isn't an hour, but is shorter, then those would be major roadblocks. For me, I love bringing my own food, visiting with Stacy or reading a book while walking/doing ST so I don't sweat much. I really do feel better when I get back and the day is half done! Sometimes it doesn't workout - I want to see a friend, have a working lunch, etc., and when it does I can just do an a.m. or p.m. workout - or both to do 2-a-days! The main hurdle for me is not being able to do intense/sweaty cardio during lunch - have to do it at another time. Now I know people who work it out with their bosses to take classes during lunch and get ready - but it's just not for me.
Pros: no traffic on the way home, can sweat until my heart's content as I shower afterwards when I get home, don't have to haul my stuff in to get ready, can stay up later at night as it doesn't impact this
Cons: the gym is packed/less spots in classes/waiting; you might be hungry, you may not have motivation; you get home to your family later

Verdict: P.m. workouts used to be my go-to. It was the end all be all for me. Then lunch workouts became very appealing - I could get in more miles (when I was going for my 1,000 miles a year) and it was nice to get that ST out of the way. Now this year has introduced the a.m. workout and it makes me feel like the opportunities to work out are endless and the only thing stopping me is me. With p.m. workouts I just really hate getting home so late to my family. If I leave work at 5, I can usually get home by 5:30. If I leave the gym at 6 or 6:30, I don't get home until 7 = no fun. I also hate the crowds so for me, p.m. is now my least favorite. Except for Fridays - it's not crowded and traffic isn't bad on Friday so there you go! :)

Now of course, other factors that impact all of this:
  • I don't get a lunch break/gym isn't nearby. Then of course a.m. or p.m. is it for you. boo.
  • My friend can only workout with me after work. If your workout buddy is the difference between you working out or not, then p.m. is it for you.
  • My child goes to bed at 6 p.m. Then a.m. or lunch for you!
Obviously - each person's situations are their own. What works for one person may not work for another. Some people have a hectic work schedule or lots of kids. Some people travel a lot for work and/or don't have gym access. I can say my week is different each time. I look at my personal calendar (for nighttime activities or lunches with friends or travel on weekends) and my work calendar (for working lunches; nighttime activities for work or travel for work). Then I make my schedule. Sometimes it's:

Monday: a.m. spin/stair climber; lunch ST
Tuesday: a.m. run; lunch ST/walk
Wednesday: lunch walk/ST; p.m. spin
Thursday: lunch ST
Friday: lunch ST/walk; p.m. spin/stairclimber
Saturday & Sunday: Off

Other times it's

Monday: lunch ST; p.m. run
Tuesday: a.m. run/stairclimber
Wednesday: a.m. spin; lunch ST
Thursday: Off
Friday: lunch ST/walk
Saturday: spin/stairclimber
Sunday: Off

For me, it's knowing what I want to accomplish each week (say 2 spin classes, 2 2-mile runs, 30 minutes on stair climber, 3 ST sessions and 10 miles walking) then figuring out how to divvy it up based on my schedule.

Q: Which is your favorite: a.m., lunch or p.m.? or is there a category i'm missing?! Obvi weekend workouts but for me those are awesome and flexible - anything goes!

Q: Do you like two-a-days? Why or why not?

Q: What is most important to you when it comes to deciding when to work out?

No comments: