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This week we have a guest post from Keegan Smith of the Real Movement Project. Keegan is well known for being a strength coach at the Sydney Roosters. He has an extremely forward-thinking approach to strength training and combines freakish gymnastic movements and strength with some very solid weightlifting skills.
He’s an absolute evangelist for a holistic, healthy lifestyle based around movement and has designed a lifestyle of his own choosing whilst charging forward in trying to create a better life for many others, now and in the future.
Over to Keegan.
All new Dads know the drill. Any would-be or wannabe Dads might as well get with the program, too, because it will creep up before you know what’s hit you.
I’m talking about the ‘Dad effect’, the gradual phenomenon that takes you from punchy to paunchy, from smooth to slovenly and from expectant to exasperated in the space of a few short months.
Its entirely natural given the accumulated lack of sleep and complete disruption to a lifestyle that previously seemed to footloose and fancy free. Your amazing little bundle of joy cares not for your training schedule, your early starts for work and the latest series on HBO.
As a consequence your waistline slowly expands, your jeans sink a little lower around your waist and your stubble starts to become more beard-like by the day.
It needn’t be like this, however. There are a number of small steps you can take to arrest this decline and get your mojo back post-baby.
Heck, if you can tick enough of these off, then you might even find yourself having sex again. Well, maybe.
Regardless of whether you view your mobile phone as the bane of your life or The Ring to your inner Gollum, it’s probably not going anywhere fast.
In fact, for the time being, until smart watches get smarter, you’re going to be stuck with it.
So how can time-poor Dads fight back against these time-sapping, attention-seeking and productivity-diminishing devices that have us walking the streets like zombies, necks crowed and eyes transfixed not on where we are going or the world around us but on a tiny 3″ screen?
Well, at the very least, we can take advantage of some of the health and fitness information and tools they are able to deliver.
That’s only fair, right?
Listed below are some of the best fitness apps for Dads I’ve found and currently use. It’s by no means an exhaustive list but it gives me a start on redressing the balance of power between me and the dreaded device.
For time-starved Dads (especially) – but, let’s face it, everybody is time-starved these days – staying the course with a training program or exercise regimen boils down largely to staying accountable.
Peter Drucker famously said, “if you can measure it, you can manage it.” When one of the gurus of modern business management drops an edict like this, it’s well worth paying attention.
This mantra can be readily transferred from the business world to pretty much any sphere but where it becomes especially applicable for Super Fit Dads is in health and fitness.
A wise man once told me that progress is not lineal. And so it has proved in Super Fit Dad-land as the burgeoning juggernaut of PBs, progress and self-satisfied improvement has careened off the road and screeched to an abrupt halt. The wheels, it seems, have well and truly fallen off the wagon.
What has happened to precipitate such an almighty decline in performance? And has it really been that bad? Let’s look at the symptoms for clues.
Assuming you have access to a barbell – in the garden, the garage or the gym – then barbell complexes will probably offer you the best fitness return on time invested that I can think of.
Their beauty, despite the name, lies in their simplicity and time-effectiveness. They are virtually idiot-proof and can have you in and out of the gym in half an hour which gives you plenty of time to swing by the shops on the way home to buy some nappies and a little treat for Tired Out Mum.
You pick up the barbell (or unrack it) and perform a set number of reps of multiple exercises without putting the bar down. Then repeat. For Super Fit Dads it’s the next step along from the trusty kettlebell, requiring just a little more space and a little more money to buy your barbell and weights.
#dadbods is trending hard right now; a strange phenomenon whereby, all of a sudden, portly is prized, podgy is pleasant and pot-bellied is perfect. I’m not buying it, however.
The kettlebell: much feared and with good reason. Well, sort of.
Introduced to the West by a pretty heavy Russian Spetznaz dude (Pavel Tsatsouline) and a whimsical, but ferociously strong, American guy who is older enough to be a grandpa but can still do one-handed pull-ups (Steve Maxwell) – so the story goes – the iron ball and handle is actually the perfect accoutrement for anyone wanting a super-quick, super-intense workout.
In short, this piece of kit was made for Super Fit Dads (and Mums).