Doubles Match

Do you ever do “doubles?” What I’m talking about is 2 workouts a day. They can be back to back, or once in the morning, and again in the evening. They can even be done at more than one location. Think it sounds a bit extreme, and that only athletes or swimsuit models do that? Think again!

Today’s New York Times Sunday Styles section documents the phenomenon, and it’s way more prevalent than you might think.

They talk about the 350-yard dash, from Barry’s Bootcamp in Chelsea, to Flywheel Sports located just across the street.  Or the run from Soul Cycle on the Upper West Side, to Pure Yoga next door, for a barre-method class.

The interesting fact is that most of these people are females who aren’t athletes or models. They are working professionals with fulltime jobs who just want to stay in shape and find the classes good stress busters.

These classes don’t come cheap. Most individual sessions run about $32 a piece, with a discount when purchased in bulk. Multiply that by 2 (sometimes 3!) per day, 6 days a week, and the cost is pretty hefty. And some of them maintain gym memberships as well.

Just as I was sitting there thinking that the women in the article were obsessive nuts, I glanced at the clock and realized that I was going to be late for my own Sunday morning “double.”

Although I am a long-term Equinox loyalist, I am guilty of doing doubles, when time permits. While I often mix weights and cardio into one workout for maximum efficiency, on Sunday, I do intervals in a circuit training class aptly called “Whipped,” followed by a spinning class. I too workout 6 days a week, but try to stagger my activities to work different body parts and intensities to avoid burnout or injuries.  I totally get what these women are doing, but I think it’s a bit extreme even by my standards.
It has been my experience, that once you start working out regularly and vigorously, your body stops responding the same way, and requires more intensity or frequency to get results. I don’t actually see the benefits of the 90 minutes or more of walking that I do for transportation purposes each day, but when I stop, I notice the difference in a negative way. These women (and I to a slightly lesser extent) are setting ourselves up for actually needing this much exercise, instead of just wanting it.

At what point does this morph from being calming and invigorating, to a dangerously unhealthy obsession?

photos: Glasshouse Images

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