So after having my second little boy I thought it would be a good time to give you all some pointers on how to structure and plan your training when your routine has been turned on its head thanks to a little baby. This period may last from 8 to 32 weeks depending on how good your new baby is so be ready to make some changes to your life and training.
1) First and foremost is KEEP IT SIMPLE – This is not a time to be trying out some crazy training template using all sorts of methods. Keeping it simple and as people have said before this is done by using the most bang for your buck exercises such as deadlifts, squats, bench, military, chins, rows, press ups and lunges.
2) Stop kidding yourself and making excuses for getting weaker, or telling yourself that it is ok to miss a set or two because you are tired. B******t. This is just as good as anytime to try and get stronger so keep this in your head. Stay positive!
3) Time is not your friend right now so make your sessions short and keep the intensity up.
4) Don’t feel like you need to follow a plan. When I say this it doesn’t mean you can go and do anything you want in each session as this then becomes a pointless journey. The goal for most of us is always to get stronger, so this is best done by using the key exercises or focus lifts such as the deadlift, squat, bench and military which you can monitor on a weekly and monthly basis. Keeping these or variations of these in your training program is a recipe for success whatever you goal is.
5) Use a total body training system. I believe this is not a time to be doing any form of splits. The main reason is you just don’t know what is going to happen at home, especially the night before your training session. Any parent will understand and appreciate this, plus after a long night, the thought of a monster leg session the following day may not be your cup of tea.
6) If you are tired then don’t beat yourself up. Remember getting stronger is not always about adding weight to the bar. Spending some time on simple soft tissue and GPP work can be much more rewarding than heavy deadlifts after a long night of crying. So autoregulating your training sessions should be done when needed. If you feel good then do more accessory work and add some extra volume, however if you don’t feel good then don’t be afraid to cut it short.
7) If you are tired but still want to go hard, then just hit your main lifts and leave it there.
8) Don’t stress about your food, eat when you can and if you miss a meal then so be it. This is not a time to be adding more stress to yourself through worrying about the macro nutrients of carbohydrates, fats and protein. However don’t jump the gun here and go eat all sorts of rubbish, as this can then have a negative effect on both your energy and concentration levels. So keep things in moderation.
9) If you can squeeze in a 10-20 minute nap throughout the day then jump on it. Get off your phone and get your head down. This will add kilo’s to your main lifts for sure.
10) MOST IMPORTANT. Help out your partner as much as you can, even if it means you getting less sleep and missing training, its not the end of the world. You will feel a great sense of reward by letting her get some extra sleep. Plus the time you get to spend with your newborn is priceless. Remember time is something you will never get back, whereas a training session you will.
Although this was written for new dads, I feel this can be applied to any busy or stressful situation in life. There are times in life where we sometimes need to take a step back and look at life.
One final point. Go out there and be the best DAD you can in all areas of life.
Thanks for reading