Keeping Fit After Fatherhood: 6 Tricks to Ditch Your Dad Bod
Has becoming a dad brought with it a few extra pounds? Professional wrestler and “Dad Bod Destroyer” Robbie E reveals the secret to staying fit after fatherhood.
6 Fitness Tips from Robbie E, The Dad Bod Destroyer
Having spent half his life as a professional wrestler, the transition to fatherhood was no sweat for New Jersey native Robbie E (real name, Rob Strauss)—even if it meant having twins. “I decided that no matter what, I was going to make it work,” says the dad of two-year-old Cash and Carter, who’s recently taken that promise to the next level with his role as the “Dad Bod Destroyer” for Muscle & Fitness. The online video series stars Robbie E (as well as Cash and Carter) in a series of at-home workouts geared towards fathers who are finding it hard to find time for physical fitness. “A lot of dads end up making excuses,” Robbie E says. “The free time that they have, they want to dedicate to their children instead of working out. That’s why I’m combining the two.”
Here’s Robbie E’s best advice for new fathers who aren’t willing to settle for life with a “dad bod.”
Psst—here's the reason why your brain never wants you to exercise.
1. Don’t wait until the kids are asleep to work out
Instead of leaving your gym session for those precious few moments of “me-time” in the evening, how about incorporating your kids into your workout during the day? In his Dad Bod Destroyer videos, Robbie E combines heart-pumping physical activity with his duties as a father, keeping his 12-month-old twins engaged and entertained throughout his routine. “They can be playing with their toys while I’m doing pushups and making funny faces at them,” he says. The key to doing this successfully, he says, is to maintain constant interaction throughout the session, even if it’s just making eye contact and facial expressions.
2. Use the equipment you’ve got handy
No gym equipment lying around? No problem! New dads are often forced to master the art of improvisation, and Robbie E has become very creative in repurposing baby gear as free weights. “You can use car seats as dumb bells and do curls with them, or front raises for your shoulders,” he says. Here are seven more household items that are fitness equipment in disguise.
3. Go back to basics
If you’ve only got five minutes to workout, Robbie E recommends making the most of it with old-school calisthenics. “Run in place, do jumping jacks, squats or pushups,” he says. “Keep it very simple. You don’t need any equipment.” Here are more ways to work out when you have absolutely no time.
4. Make your own health a priority
Although there are plenty of reasons the “dad bod” is common in our culture, Robbie E says one of the key contributors to the condition is the complacency that comes with being “married with children.” “It’s not just about looking good, though—it’s about feeling good,” he says. Instead of working out with the end goal of a tight, toned body, focus instead on the many health benefits of regular physical activity, including cardiovascular and respiratory fitness. Here's what can happen to your body when you start walking 10,000 steps a day.
5. Plan your meals properly
Although physical activity goes a long way in banishing the dad bod, a healthy diet also plays a pivotal role. “We don’t always take the time to watch what we eat,” Robbie E says. When meals are rushed (as they often are for busy dads), he says there’s a tendency to reach for convenience foods with little regard for nutrition facts labels. (Here's how to read Canada's nutrition facts labels.) Note that this doesn’t necessarily mean following a strict diet, but rather, making informed decisions when it comes to dining out and cooking at home.
6. Make healthy choices a habit
When it comes to employing the Dad Bod Destroyer’s strategies, consistency is key. “A lot of people try a diet for two weeks, then take a month off before starting it up again,” Robbie E says. “You’ve got to stay consistent with what you do—with the way you eat, and the way you work out." Here's why low-carb diets aren't the answer, either.