Whenever I’m out in public, strangers always stop me and ask, “Wow, Bearman, you have the body of a greek god (like, one of the skinnier gods, I guess). How do you do it?” And I say, “Well, sir…
I’M A DAD!”
Of course, not all dads have the endurance of a wild stallion, the strength of five she-bears, or abs you could use to grate extra sharp cheddar. So, what makes me different? One word: DADFIT.
What is Dadfit? Dadfit is a totally real exercise program and not just something I made up*. Dadfit utilizes what you DO have (KIDS!) but doesn’t cost what you DON’T have (TIME)! If you’ve got a herd of children underfoot, you know you don’t really have the time to drive to the gym several times a week to spend hours away from home. But, guess what! You don’t need to go to the GYM to pick up heavy objects. You already have all the heavy things you need; your kids!
Here are some benefits to Dadfit:
1. No gym fees or time away from home.
2. Fun dad time for the kids!
2. Kids always move around which makes them better than weights because you have to use all kinds of stabilizing muscles.
4. Your weights will grow as your strength grows!
You will be limited by the size of your children but you can adjust your workout easily by changing the number of reps. Right now, I work out with a 45 pounder, a 25 pounder, and a 15 pounder. The 15 pounder is great for high rep curls and squats. The 45 pounder is perfect for a few sets of pushups or leg lifts. My 25 pounder is the most enthusiastic and versatile weight and always volunteers for workouts.
There are many different exercises in the Dadfit repertoire. Here are a few to get you started:
Overhead squat with child, aka “Air! Air! Air!”
This is the bread and butter of Dadfit! The weights love it and it really works your legs, back, and arms.
1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders. Your weight should stand in front of you, facing you.
2. Bend your knees and place your hands firmly beneath the weight’s arms.
3. Lift the weight up to your chest and, as you straighten your legs, continue lifting the weight into the air.
4. Lower the weight by bending your knees as you bring her down again. Exhale as you lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
5. Repeat as many times as you can.
Tips: The movement should be fluid and controlled. Keep your chin up.
Variants: “You have to toss me!” Speed up the movement and toss the weight into the air. This should only be done with smaller weights and only after you and the weight are both comfortable with the basic exercise. Also, don’t tell your wife how high you throw your kids into the air.
Pushups with child, aka “Dying pack mule”
1. Assume a pushup position and invite the desired weight to climb onto your back. The weight should lie down in the middle of your back and hold on tight.
2. Perform as many pushups as you can in proper form.
Tips: Proper form is key! Keep your back straight. It’s better to perform fewer reps with proper form than it is to force a few more with improper form.
This one can be difficult for smaller weights. Make sure your weight is old enough and is holding on tight.
Variants: “King of the mountain” While you do as many pushups as you can, let multiple children fight for position on your back as “King.”
1. Lie down on your back the floor. Bend your legs up to your chest so your shins are parallel to the floor. Place a weight on lower legs, facing you.
2. Hold onto the weight as you slowly extend your legs, lifting the weight upwards. Stop once your lower legs are at a 45 degree angle.
3. Slowly let your legs down again.
30 overhead squats with 15 lb weight
20 overhead squats with 25 lb weight
10 overhead squats with 45 lb weight
Max pushups with 45 lb weight
20 leg lifts with 25lb weight
20 leg lifts with 45 lb weight
King of the Mountain pushups with all weights
Max overhead squats with 15 lb weight
There are no off days with DadFit! Just keep picking up those kids!
*Obviously I just made up all of this. Please don’t take me seriously.