To all of my thousands of avid readers who have been dying for my next article (sarcasm), I do apologize for my absence. I can most certainly say that it was for very good reasons. Luckly, we didn’t suffer any damage from Hurricane Ida, but we were without power for a week. The biggest reason that I wasn’t able to write lately is because my wife gave birth to our beautiful daughter, Vivian Margaret. To say the least, it has been a challenge to stay on track with my training, continue to write articles and adjust to being a father simultaneously. So, it feels appropriate to talk to you soon to be fatherly meat heads about what you can expect in terms of your training and lifestyle. For any of you soon to be moms out there, sorry, but I can’t offer much advice for you. I can say that for at least the first six weeks after birth, you won’t be in the gym, per doctors’ orders.
What your training will look like
I can pretty much assure you that you will not be in the gym for the first week or so of your child’s life. Your partner will most certainly need your help. She will be recovering from the birth, and she will rely heavily on you for support. You will have to get up in the middle of the night multiple times to help feed and change the baby. There will be a severe lack of sleep, and your energy levels will plummet. Do yourself a favor, and take a couple of weeks off to help out. Mom will appreciate the help, and you’ll enjoy the time spent with the baby. The baby’s habits will generally dictate your schedule, and every baby is different. I was able to find my way back to the gym around week three, but it was difficult to be as consistent and stick to a schedule as I would have liked. Sometimes the baby would not want to settle down and sleep, or my wife would need me during the night for various reasons. The truth is, you get a workout when you can. If you have to get up at 4 a.m., then that’s what you need to do. If you have to wait until 10 p.m., then that’s what you need to do. You won’t be setting any new P.R.s for a little while. Focus on doing sessions that you can recover from. It’s probable that you’ll be up in the middle of the night to take care of the little one. Don’t do anything that could wreck you. Get in a few solid strength sets with two or three accessories and get out. Go on walks during the week and get some sleep. If you need to take a day off, then take it. The priority is taking care of your new child. If your workouts are so grueling that you can’t take care of him or her, then you’re failing at what’s really important. Don’t fret, however. As the baby gets older, the baby will start developing a sleep schedule and sleep longer hours. It will take some time, but you’ll be able to hit your programs hard again.
Sleep and Nutrition Should be Priority #1
As already stated, you’re going to be sleep deprived. Whenever you get a chance, get some sleep. Don’t stay up all night scrolling through Tik Toks and playing video games. When it’s time to put the baby down for the night, it’s time to get yourself in bed. The more sleep you squeeze in, the more likely you’ll be able to take care of the baby and get yourself into the gym. You’ll also be able to recover from workouts, go to work and take care of home while Mom has to tend to the baby’s every little need. It may be wise to reduce training days in order to get the sleep needed to stay functional. It is also important to make sure that you are eating properly. When dealing with a newborn and lack of sleep, it is easy to stray away from healthy foods and find yourself ordering pizza delivery. I get it. You’re tired and the last thing you want to do is cook food. However, the more you are able to maintain the discipline in your diet, the easier it will be to maintain your strength levels. Plan your meals in advance or meal prep to make things a little easier. Learn how to use a crock pot or a pressure cooker for easy one pot meals. There are even subscription services that can deliver nutritious meals to your door with very little leg work on your part. If you are lucky enough to have a support system like maw maws and paw paws, ask them to bring you some meals. Do whatever you can to eat whole, nutritious foods, and you’ll find yourself in a better position when you’re ready to hit the gym hard again.
Remember Why You Do What You Do
When your new baby comes into your life, your perspective and motivation changes a bit. Before the baby, you used to train to be strong, win competitions or look good naked. When the baby comes, all of those things might still be motivations, but they will not mean quite as much anymore. For me, I’m in the gym FOR my baby. This may sound sort of weird, but when I’m in the gym, this voice in my head keeps saying, “Vivian doesn't need a bitch for a dad.” Yeah, I want to win competitions and out lift all my friends, but the real reason, the drive that makes me fight, is her. If you think you were willing to do hard things for your wife or your parents or your siblings, wait until you hold your kid for the first time. The things you will be willing to do for that little creature might scare you. Everything you do for you, will also be for the child. You are the example. The way you train, the way you eat, the way you treat your wife, your family and other people in your life are some of the examples you’re going to set for your kid. Be the man you want your son to be one day, or be the man that you would want your daughter to marry. Set the example; it’s up to you.
If you need a place to train and push yourself, check out the Atlas Strength Shop. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your first visit. Be sure to like our Facebook page, here, and follow us on Instagram, here. If you need some high quality energy supplements, check out veteran owned strikeforceenergy.com and use promo code ATLASSTRENGTH at checkout for a 20% discount on your order.“Noble fathers have noble children.” -Euripides