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The New York Times claimed dads were 10 pounds heavier than non-dads on average. That they had an extra 2 inches on their waist than non-dads and that they had an extra half-inch "sticking out" around their belly. But as a new dad, you're unlikely to have a lot of time to get to the gym.
You're likely sleep-deprived and eating whatever you have time to gulp down. A full 90-minute whole-body training session is probably the furthest thing from your mind. The reality is that at-home workouts can be a game-changer for dads' fitness. You don't need any expensive equipment, and you don't even need to dedicate that much time to it. Here we collected the top 5 ways for dads to workout at home and get rid of the dad-bod.
#1. The M100
M100 is a military-style whole body workout with cardio fitness and conditioning focus. Although extremely short, it packs a hell of a punch. The idea of M100 is to perform each exercise as fast as you can - while maintaining proper form.
It's a repetition-based workout - meaning you'll complete all the repetitions of one movement before moving on to the next exercise in the list. There are only 3 movements, but when performed quickly, your heart rate will shoot up! Once you've completed the three exercises, you go back to the start and repeat from the top. You'll do 3 rounds in total while trying to minimize rest between rounds - the goal is to get this done as quickly as possible. There's also a "buy out" of 10 burpees. That means at the end of the third set, you'll finish with 10 burpees to complete the 100th rep. That's where the name M100 comes from.
The workout, in its entirety, looks like this:
Speed and accuracy is the name of the game with M100. You can be sure that you will become a fit dad in no time. This also means, if you are a complete beginner, the M100 workout may not be for you.
#2. Yoga for Dads
If you're a first-time dad, you might not have connected that ache in your lower back with carrying your little bundle of joy around. Couple that with long periods of sitting at your desk at work, and there's almost certainly some tension in your back, traps around your neck and shoulders.
This 6-12 minute routine can be a relief for any tension in your body - particularly at the start or end of a long day. You could halve the duration of every movement and use it as a pre-run warm-up ritual. Core stability drills and mobility work elements benefit runners and help avoid tweaked muscles and injuries.
The workout looks like this.
If you're using this as a mobility drill or yoga workout in its own right, you might want to repeat these movements and go through everything twice. If you're using it as a warm-up for another exercise, such as before a run, once through is probably enough as a general preparation for movement.
If this is the first time being advised to do some yoga as a busy dad, consider this: Fitness for dads isn't just about beast mode all the time. You also want to stay mobile and injury-free when your kids are old enough to play soccer or baseball together. These recovery movements will only help with that.
#3. Moderately Tough: 20 Minutes, 350 Bodyweight Reps
This is a challenging workout, even though it only uses bodyweight. The reps are high, but you can split them up and partition them any way you choose. As long as you get the work done, it counts. If you want to make it extra hard? Do all the reps of one movement before moving on. But don't blame us if you're struggling to walk downstairs in the morning.
There are a total of 350 repetitions in this workout, and by the end, you'll have accumulated 5 minutes of planking. You are going to feel this one tomorrow (and the next day)! Over time, you'll get quicker and quicker at completing these movements, but to start with, aim to finish all your reps in under 20 minutes.
The workout looks like this:
If you're a beginner or haven't trained for some time, you might partition this as 20 dips, 20 squats, 20 push-ups, 10 pull-ups, 60-second plank, and repeat it 5 times. If you're looking to push yourself and feel the burn, you might opt for starting with a plank for 60 seconds - 100 dips - plank for 60 seconds - 100 squats - plank for 60 seconds - 100 push-ups - plank for 60 seconds - 50 pull-ups - plank for 60 seconds.
#4. Workout with Your Kid
One of the most significant barriers that can stop dads from working out is that they don't want to take time away from their child. Understandable - and entirely practical. But what if you involved them in the workout?
No, not as your spotter. Kids are rubbish at that. Nothing like strong enough. But what if you used them as your weight? Try 10 reps of each movement, and repeat the whole thing two or three times over.
Believe us; this workout won't only give you the fitness dad look you desire but also ensure your child has quality and fun bonding time with dad.
#5. Very Hard Hero Workout: Murph
This is a Crossfit workout. It's done in memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, killed while on active duty in Afghanistan on June 28th, 2005. When Lt. Murphy did this workout, he called it "Body Armor" but the Crossfit community renamed it in his honor and to also honor all the currently actively serving and military veterans.
You can do this workout partitioned however you need to. Typically, they're segmented into 10 series of 10-20-30 reps, but if you're a beginner, try 20 rounds of 5-10-15. The run is used to bookend the workout, and you're instructed to wear a 20lb weighted vest - your body armor - if you have one. If you can get this workout done in under an hour, that's a good time.
You love being a dad, but you're resisting the dad bod. We get it. The amount of time you can commit to your home workouts will be limited, and finding exercises that are time efficient will be critical. All the exercises listed here involve no equipment, and you can do pull-ups at the park on the monkey bars.
If you're getting back into working out after a time without training, we recommend starting with what feels manageable and building up to more challenging sessions. It can help to focus on building a consistent routine rather than doing one hard session a week (and then being unable to pick your kid up without wincing!) as home workouts for dads can be just as challenging as training hard at the gym, provided you move with good form and intensity.