Strength Training and Fatherhood 

Key principles in both:
Patience: the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious
Perseverance: persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success
Persistence: the fact of continuing in an opinion or course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition

I am 36 soon to 37 in a few months and I have been involved in physical training since I was, 6 or 7 when I remember my own father doing some form training and around the same time he took to be watch Way of the Dragon. Not sure you can get away with taking your son to watch an 18cert movie  these days but this was a small hill station in Nagaland, East India. That was it, with the help of my dad and Bruce Lee, I just wanted to be as strong and skilled as them. So 30 years later I am still training. in some capacity, be it martial arts or swinging kettlebells of shifting my own bodyweight  in different planes. I also thank god for letting me stay fairly intact after having suffered so
So last year my wife and I became parents for the first time. Its coming up to a year since the birth of our beautiful daughter. Year goes by fast when you are living on very little sleep and it seems at times the fast forward button on life remote is stuck. As all parents are quite aware and more qualified than I in that raising a child, know that it requires patience, perseverance, and good old fashioned persistence. Since my training started all those years back my mentors and teachers along the way thankfully have all had the old school mentality which consisted the 3 Ps. It was drummed into me from very young that if I want to follow in my idols footsteps I have to hours of training in to it and:

Always be patient with oneself cause it takes time, small steps taken daily in order to get your destination
Always persevere and at times when it seems like the highest mountain or a brick wall is placed in front of you, you have to adapt both physically and mentally
Always remain persistent as defeat is ever present but when you hit the floor pick yourself up and march on. Having said that you also need to learn when to stay down in order to fight another day. There is no shame in that. I have had to learn that the hard way at times when my ego over took my reasoning.

I have titled this article Strength Training and Fatherhood, and this is not to put down any other sports, but one thing that remains true in every sport is the strength to move forward, be it a, marathon runner, martial artist to a powerlifter. The strength comes in both physical and mental. Having raised a child, if only for one year may I add and again I am quiet aware of far more qualified mums and dads reading this, would agree that you have to be strong both physically and mentally not just for 1 year but for a lifetime. There are always set backs in training and in parenting. A particular technique that has served you well for your several weeks or months no longer seems be effective. What do you do? Do you simply give up? If training is your passion do you give up? Do you give you on your child? I know that some do. But that isn’t me. Nor is it you. Otherwise you would still not reading this.

My take on being a daddy is that I have to remain strong for my sake and more importantly for the sake of my family. I have to teach my daughter the 3 Ps principles by continuing to follow my passion in strength training and other worldly matters like having fun and being cheeky. Taking small steps for the destination which in never ending. The journey so far as a dad and 30 years for physical hard graft is one that I wish to continue along side my daughter and any future offspring.

So to conclude and not to keep you any longer from either your training session or having fun with your bundle of joy, here is the last thought:
In order to you achieve your fitness goals or simply being the strong person that you can be; When you are on daddy day care or evening care duty while your wife is out for a cocktail night and your baby is crying and you are at a lost; When you plateau in your training or those days when the baby is not eating; Days when all you want to do is cry cause you are exhausted and your baby just wants to play; The moment that you sit down with your wife about to have dinner and you hear the cry on the baby monitor; For all these moments have patience, be persistent and keep persevering. She will stop crying, you will get stronger day by day, you will just need to adapt and over come those plateaus and hurdles that you face, she will start eating its just a passing phase or that she is teething, and her smile is all that you need to forget about your tiredness and be filled with joy. As for a quiet romantic dinner with your wife forget about it. There is simply too much do, you have to fit training in, clean the high chair, the walls and the floor for the third time today. But I wouldn’t change a thing.

When it comes to training keep it simple, short and do little and often if time is an issue. Here are some workout ideas that I incorporate on a daily basis.

Workout 1
5 Pull-ups/Chin-ups
10 Press-ups
20 Squats

Workout 2
20 Press-ups
30 seconds Plank Hold
40 Lunges
30seconds Jump Squats

Workout 3
10 Burpees
20 Mountain Climbers
10 Burps (aka Thrusters basically half a burpee with out standing up)

Workout 4
10 Bent Over Rows – using a kettlebell, dumbbell, barbell, sandbag, or any other heavish odd object
10 Press-ups
10 Burpees

Workout 5
A little more advanced for people with fluent kettlebell experience
5 Single Arm Swings
5 Cleans
5 Squats
5 Push Press
5 Snatches
Then swap hand and the same on the other side

Workout 6
Another advanced one and for people with fluent kettlebell experience (can also use a single heavy dumbbell)
20 Double handed Kettlebell Swings
20 Jumping Jacks
20 Alternating Kettlebell Swings
20 Jump Squats

All of the above workouts aim for 3/5 sets/rounds. Ensure that you rest well between exercises and each set. As your fitness and strength levels improve you can reduce your rest periods, increase the weight that you lift, and/or increase your reps range.

Remember to be patient with yourself especially if you are new to training in this way, but always persevere to do the best of your ability that is what I always ask of myself and my clients. As for persistence well there will be days that you get up and do not feel like doing a session remember then you have push yourself though these hard times and just get something done, be it running up and down a flight of stairs ten times.

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