With a bewildering array of fitness options out there, it’s easy to get confused. Especially if most of them cater to young, unencumbered 20 and 30-somethings. Increasingly training programs and modalities are focusing on functional movements and HIIT training which is really positive development.
But, even so, sometimes Super Fit Dads (and Mums, for that matter) simply don’t have the time to duck out to a 1 hour class that’s a 15 minute drive away from home. If that’s the case we need fallback workouts that can be done quickly, either in the gym or at home. After all, Super Fitness is all about efficiency.
The four sessions outlined below are all that you need to achieve Super Fitness in around 3 hours a week.
If you can do more, lucky you – do more! But these are our minimum requirements to keep moving the dial forward.
1. 2-3 Strength Sessions Per Week (barbell / kettlebells)
These sessions should be the meat and potatoes of your weekly training. The reason? It’s all about ROI, baby.
Pound-for-pound these sessions will give you the most bang-for-your-buck, all day long. A 20 minute kettlebell workout will build your shoulders, develop your engine and improve mobility without you having to leave the house.
The same applies to a barbell complex in the gym: you can be in and out of there in 40 minutes, including a 10 minute warm-up.
2. 1 Sprint Session Per Week
Sprint sessions are tailor-made for aspiring Super Fit Dads. Why so? Because after a 5 minute warm-up, you can spend 10 minutes sprinting intervals and then cool down, safe in the knowledge that you’ll be torching fat for hours to come and building muscle as opposed to catabolically breaking it down.
I like to sprint at the park whilst “walking” the dog. The dog seems to like it, too.
Using the width of a football pitch, sprint from one side to the other. This should take around 10-15 seconds. Rest for whatever is left out of 30 seconds. And go again. Repeat 10 of these sprints and I guarantee you’ll be gassed by the last one.
Please warm-up thoroughly before you start sprinting at full speed.
3. 1 Remedial Session Per Week (yoga, pilates, mobility, stretch class)
Apple CEO Tim Cook recently described sitting at a desk all day as “the new cancer”. A little dramatic, perhaps, but probably true. Yoga and other remedial classes are a great way to combat this.
Make a weekly session something that you never skip. If you simply can’t get away for an hour, spend 10 minutes a night stretching before bed. You hips, back, shoulders, knees and ankles will thank you for it, now and in 20 years.
4. 1 Bodyweight / Calisthenics session per week
A great supplementary session that can be easily wrapped up in 20 minutes or less and combined with a run or sprints – perfect for lunchtimes or walking the dog.
And that’s it.
4 workouts spread across 5-6 exercise sessions per week for a total of 3 hours, with the aim not just to maintain but to actually improve your fitness.
The keys are intensity and ruthless efficiency.
And whilst it might feel selfish sneaking off to workout, the benefits will be felt by you and the rest of your family.
Have I missed anything? Let me know in comments what gives you the best return on your exercise time.
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