How Dads can make time to work out

How Dads can make time to work out

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Are you a professional athlete? Bodybuilder? Olympian? Then you can skip this blog. Are you a regular dad who wants to find time to keep himself in shape without sacrificing time with the family? Read on.

Forget what you see on Instagram. You don’t need to spend hours a day, seven days a week, in the gym to get results, feel better, and take good care of yourself. Here are four tips to get you in the gym, out and on your way home in 45 minutes or less.

  • Plan ahead and communicate – Know at least a day in advance when you want to hit the gym, and let everyone know. If you tell Mom the day before you’re working out at 5:00 p.m. the next day, not only does it force you to stick to that schedule, it also allows her to plan her day around that time.
  • Simplify – Now is not the time to set a squat PR, take up distance running, learn gymnastics and compete in Crossfit. Find one goal–”Get stronger,” “run faster,” “lose the fat around my waist”–and tailor everything you do to that goal.
  • Use a timer – Put 45 minutes on the clock. Hit start. When the timer runs out, leave. Even if you didn’t finish everything you planned to do. That forces you to increase the pace of your workout, which in turn makes it even more beneficial, and it keeps you accountable to the time you told everyone you would be gone.
  • Don’t touch your phone until you’re done – this is almost a subsection of the last one. Once you get your music going and hit “start” on that timer, do not pick up your phone again until you’re done. Work, rest just enough, and work again.

Here’s an example of a workout you can do in 45 minutes, including warm-up time:

Minute 0-2: Stationary bike, medium intensity. Just enough to get your heart pumping and a little sweat going.

Minute 2-5: Three sets of 10 bodyweight squats and five pushups. Do 10 squats, immediately do five pushups, rest the bare minimum, and do that two more times.

Minute 5-20: Barbell squat, 3 sets of 5 reps. Start with the empty barbell and work up to a set of five that felt like you had 2-3 reps left “in the tank.” When you hit that weight, that’s your first set. Do two more sets of five.

Minute 20-30: Dumbbell bench press, 3 sets of 10, alternating with 3 box jumps (or high jumps if you don’t have a box). Do a set of 10 bench press, immediately do 3 box jumps, rest. Repeat two more times.

Minute 30-40: Pull ups, 3 sets of 5, alternating with dumbbell curls, 8 reps each arm.

Minute 40-45: Cool down. Walk on the treadmill/track/sidewalk at a leisurely pace to let your heart rate go down.

If you’re struggling to find the motivation to work out:

  • Think about your family. They need you around as long as possible. Do it for them.
  • If you ever need to physically defend your family, this will make sure you’re able.
  • Make a playlist of songs that make you want to run through a brick wall and vanquish your enemies. Listen to it on the way to the gym and during your workout.

Oh, and one more thing? Please stretch. You’re old. You need it.

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