How to Upgrade Fitness… After Becoming a Parent
The following 5 points are not absolute rules. These are unusual things I’ve done over the past few years to make my body more athletic and resilient while being more efficient than in my previous lifestyle:
1. Get 7–9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night… HAH! Yea, right! The only thing that’s worked for me is leaving my phone out of the bedroom. This means as soon as the kids are ready for bed, my phone goes OFF and doesn’t turn back on till the morning.
Shutting my phone off around 7 p.m. took discipline to get used to, but the mental freshness I get from the extra sleep has given me exponential returns in business effectiveness during the day. Less time on social. More energy to master my craft. More biz talk with wifey. More testosterone!
2. Backward! From my cardio to my strength training, I place great focus on training in REVERSE of the traumas of life…
Backward walking has proven effective to prevent elderly folks from falling down stairs. Backward running in youth has increased their forward sprint times more than forward running did!
Training the reverse of overused human actions and exercises seems to be a fountain of youth, and I apply this concept not just to my knees but also to my back and shoulders — all with affordable HOME equipment which makes this especially effective for me as a parent.
Slowly progressing exercises like Reverse Step Ups with a wedge — from assisted to unassisted to loaded — now has me dunking a basketball in my 30s despite reaching my 20s having never grabbed the rim.
3. Training bodyweight strength — and not just push-ups and pull-ups. When tibialis raises and Nordic hamstring curls feel as easy as push-ups and pull-ups, you’re moving toward world-class athleticism and resilience for your age!
4. Training strength THROUGH length. For my kids’ sake, I feel like I need to be healthy 365 days a year, and nothing has delivered injury-proofing results for me like training my strength and flexibility in harmony.
Kids are so flexible they rarely have non-contact injuries, but they’re weak so the world around them is a consistent source of pain. As we age we lose BOTH flexibility and strength. Working on them in harmony may be one of the keys to preventing injuries, especially as we age.
5. Since Jan. 1, 2021, I haven’t had any junk food. Maybe that would drive some people mad. I totally get it. I don’t restrict what my wife and kids eat. It’s a duty for me to set an example, and they end up eating more real food because of it.
Prior to having kids, 80 days was the longest I went without any junk food. Now I’m on Day 678, and I have so much more joy in my daily life because of my kids than I ever did from fake food. There’s no doubt this has helped my fitness results, too.
One Tip: I’ve never had a problem eating healthy during the day, but once nighttime comes, so do the cravings. I handled this by keeping fresh, in-season fruit in the house. Maybe I shouldn’t be having carbs and sugars at night, but swapping fruit for fake food was a win for me.
All-in-all, I’m spending less time and money while having the best all-around fitness of my life. I didn’t expect better results to be even simpler, but that’s been the case. I hope something from these 5 points is of use in improving your own life.
The tools shown are at atgequipment.com, and the exercises are 4 of 28 areas I train in my Standards Program, which has the goal of no weak or tight links. Each area has a measurable target but also scales to virtually any starting level: atgonlinecoaching.com
Yours in Solutions,