Ah, parenting. The joys of being responsible for the wellbeing and development of a young life. While fun, challenging and exciting, it is also draining, time consuming and stressful. With all of the responsibilities that come with parenting, how are you supposed to find time to train or exercise so that you can stay in shape for either yourself or for your next competition? Before I get into it, let’s be clear here. I am a father of one little girl who’s not even a year old yet. I can only speak from a pretty limited window of experience, but I will share with you what I have learned so far. For those of you who already have multiple kids and have them in school, I have no advice. I haven’t gotten that far in life, so feel free to send me some tips. This is going to be aimed towards people who are first time parents like myself, particularly the dads. I hope anyone with kids can find this useful, but my perspective is pretty limited.
Time management is going to be your biggest challenge. On top of your training you have a job, a home with responsibilities, a wife that needs support and a child that needs attention from their dad. If you are truly dedicated to physical development and competition, this is where your free time will be spent. I understand that this is not doable for everyone, but if you can, I highly recommend training first thing in the morning. And I mean first thing in the morning. For the most part, no one should need anything to do with you before 7:00 a.m. My alarm clock on training days rings at 4:30 a.m., and I’m usually warming up by 5:00. Yes, this can be tough, and there are a lot of days where I would rather die than train, but I do it anyway, because it is the time that I can consistently train without interruption. The key to training is consistency. It is imperative to find a time in which you can train without interruption. If necessary, you can train some days in the evening and some days in the morning, but I do not recommend training in the evening, then train in the morning the very next day. I would give yourself a day in between to recover. Whichever way you can, be consistent.
Meal prepping is your new best friend. Not only will this keep you track with your nutrition goals, it will also save you time during the week. Take the time to prepare and plan your meals for the week as much as possible. If you have weekends off, take some time to go to the store and do what you need to to make sure that you will have the food you need not only for yourself, but your family, too. The more preparation you put into meals, the less pressure is going to be on mom and the more you’ll be able to break away and go train. Keep things simple. Protein, carbs, fats and vegetables. It’s very easy to prepare simple and tasty meals that the whole family can enjoy. The more complicated your meals, the more time it takes to prepare them. Save the sauce piquantes and coubions for the weekends.
Get as much sleep as you can. I get it, sometimes the little one doesn’t want to go down for bed, or you just have to catch up with things around the house. However, when it’s time to sleep, go to sleep. Don’t stay up all night looking at the newest glutey booty whooty workout routine on TikTok. That also means not behaving like a frat boy on the weekends and staying out until 3:00 a.m. Get as much sleep as you can. Sleep means your body is recovering. Recovery means you can train hard again and take care of your responsibilities.
When it comes to programming, it is imperative that you prioritize your sessions. You will have a finite amount of time to train. Unless you are someone who is going to be all in as a competitor, which is not going to be very many, you are not going to be able to spend four or five hours in the gym every day. You need to structure your sessions in a way that gets the necessary work done and gets you out of the door. I get it, gym therapy is the best therapy, and you want to spend all of your free time hitting the weights. However, those days are not going to happen very often. Hit your lifts, do the necessary accessories and conditioning and leave. I also find that timing your rest periods help keep you on schedule. You can also time your warm ups and cool downs, too. Putting time constraints on things like that will help you stay on schedule.
Being a parent and finding the time to train can be difficult, but if you are committed to the gym, you will find a way to make it work. There will be times when you just don’t want to stay disciplined and do what you need to, but if you stick to the plan and adjust only as much as necessary, you will find yourself much better off in the long run. Take the time to plan and stick to the plan. Before you get nervous and stress over a schedule, just understand that this takes time. You will adjust and adapt to what will work best for you. The key to success is to be on track as close to 100% as possible. The reality is that you will probably be on track 85% to 90% of the time. You’re going to hit some bumps in the road, and may need to pivot here and there. That’s okay. Just get back on track and keep pushing forward.
If you are within driving distance of Baton Rouge and need a place to train for your next strongman competition, powerlifting meet or weightlifting meet, check out the Atlas Strength Shop for all of your training needs. Send an email to email@example.com for your next visit. You can also check out our apparel line and programming options on our website. Be sure to like our Facebook page, here, and follow us on Instagram, here. Do you need a high quality energy supplement that won’t leave you with that crashing feeling? Check out veteran owned strikeforceenergy.com and use promo code ATLASSTRENGTH at checkout to get 20% off of your order. If you’re like me, and you like to bite down while lifting, you need to protect your teeth. Check out Impact Mouthguards and their custom molded mouth guards. Use promo code ATLASSTRENGTH at checkout to get 10% off of your order.
“When you reach for the sun, they will learn to do the same.”