Fitness in Fatherhood

In Diversions, Fatherhood by The Unexpected Dad4 Comments

Is it possible to stay in shape, or even get in shape as the father of a newborn? Before my daughter was born, I was sure that I would be able to keep up with my regular workout routine, but alas, how naive I was. I have gone from working out 5 or 6 days a week, to working out 2 days a week if I am lucky. I am struggling to keep on track from a fitness perspective.

Throughout my 30’s and into my 40’s I was into fitness and worked out regularly. My wife was also into fitness and is an avid runner. After we got married, we went to the gym, hiked, biked and participated in various fitness activities together, which was awesome. My weekly workout routine consisted of something like this:

Monday – Weight Lifting (chest)
Tuesday – Weight Lifting (Shoulders and Back)
Wednesday – Cardio (Usually running)
Thursday – Weight Lifting (Legs)
Friday – Weight Lifting (Arms)
Saturday – Cardio (Either running or outdoor activity)
Sunday – Rest

This wasn’t exactly how it went every week, but you get the idea. The last couple of months, it has looked more like this:

Monday – Nothing
Tuesday – Weight Lifting (Various)
Wednesday – Nothing
Thursday – Cardio
Friday – Nothing
Saturday – Nothing
Sunday – Rest (Yes, I have to rest from nothing)

I would really like to start getting back into something that looks like my old workout routine. How do I do this? I’m not sure. I do think it is important to make an effort to work out on a regular basis, as I stated in my post about the Top 10 New Dad Essentials, but it is not as easy as it seems. After working all day while my wife takes care of the baby, it’s usually my turn to help out so she can have a break.

I am thinking about combining workouts so I can go to the gym less, but get all my workouts in. I think the main part here is to make exercising a priority again. I can watch the baby while my wife goes to the gym, then we switch off; she watches the baby while I go to the gym.

Potential Workout Schedule:

Monday – Weight Lifting (Chest)Dumbbell Incline PressFlat Barbell Bench PressCable Flies
Tuesday – Break
Wednesday – Weight Lifting (Shoulders and Back)Dumbbell Shoulder PressLateral RaiseDumbbell Shoulder ShrugSeated Row
Thursday – Weight Lifting/Cardio (Arms and Running)Skull CrushersClose-Grip PressDumbell CurlsHammer CurlsRunning
Friday – Break
Saturday – Weight Lifting/CardioVarious LegRunning
Sunday – Break

+12 Weeks

The Unexpected Dad

The Unexpected Dad

My name is Paul and I am The Unexpected Dad.My wife and I married late in life and we didn’t really expect to have children (thus the title of my blog). We weren’t opposed to the idea of having children, but just assumed that it was not in the cards for us.

I write about the rather unexpected journey of fatherhood, please join me!

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  1. Eric Nichols

    Same thing happened to me. Wife preg with #3 and our gym has an awesome babysitting area that will keep the domestic terrorists for up to 2 HOURS! I’ve lost 50+ pounds twice during the past 3.5 years of child raising. It’s tough at the beginning but babies don’t move from their carriers. Toddlerhood is when it completely changes and gets way harder to do. I work and with 2 DTs at home I also come home to give the wife a break. Now, when I pull in the driveway she usually has the kids in the car ready to head off to the gym. It’s a beautiful thing.

    1. The Unexpected Dad Author
      The Unexpected Dad

      Hey Eric,

      I agree, it’s been much more difficult now that my daughter is a toddler; it’s much more difficult to get to the gym. Congratulations on the weight loss, that’s awesome!


  2. Jamie

    I joke that my wife lost her pregnancy weight at childbirth, and somehow mine stuck around.

    I’m in the same boat and focused on getting back on a workout schedule. I’m lucky in that I inherited a nice weight set and also have an elliptical in our basement, so it’s just scheduling time to actually do the work.

    One quick hack that might help is an app I found called Streaks Workout. It came bundled with another app called Streaks that I am using to track a few habits I’m working on. The workouts don’t require any machinery and they really kick my ass. Worth a look.

    Thanks again for sharing. It’s good to know others are fighting the same fights.

    1. The Unexpected Dad Author
      The Unexpected Dad

      Hi Jamie,

      Thanks for the comments! I must admit, I haven’t been doing very well with working out, but I need to try and get back into it.

      I’ll take a look at the Streaks Workout, I’m willing to try just about anything at this point.


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