Training Advice or Alterations for New Fathers Training Advice or Alterations for New Fathers

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Thread: Training Advice or Alterations for New Fathers

  1. #1
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    Apr 2021
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    Default Training Advice or Alterations for New Fathers

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    Happy Easter,

    I am a new father and wanted to see if anyone had any advice on how to adjust programming for strength training. My daughter is approaching 4 months old and sleep has been very hard to come by. In addition, scheduling workouts has become much more difficult as I usually train in the evening after work. While she is definitely my priority, I also definitely want to keep getting stronger as it makes me a better father and human being. My wife and I are both back at work full time. I'm just looking for advice on how other guys have approached this - dealing with (hopefully temporary) outside stressors (hellish work, lack of sleep, baby) as they pertain to training.

    When she was born I was maybe near the end of my LP if I had eaten more:
    5'8" 175 lb (underweight)
    S: 320 x 5
    B: 230 x 5
    P: 175 x 1 (performed 1RM at online Strengthlifting competition)
    DL: 455 x 1 (performed 1RM at online Strengthlifting competition)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    As a new father myself, I too struggled with this. You feel torn between your needs and that of your wife and kiddo. You didn't indicate if you train at home or at an outside gym. I am fortunate and train at home but still took into the consideration of the family. What I did was determine how much time away from the family my training was going to take and figured out what days and times we could consistently work. Key word is consistently. This meant that I train Saturday, Monday, and Wednesday. Saturday after family is up for the day, Monday after getting wife and kiddo out the door (I work 11 to 8 instead of my normal 7 to 4) and Wednesday is at 3:30 am. I had to shift my focus on being optimal to being consistent. There is some days, mainly Wednesdays, when I don't get all my prescribed reps and that is ok because consistently is the main goal.

    Find out what you can consistently do and plan for that. BTW, my daughter just turned 5 months so I'm still in the same boat.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue1979 View Post
    As a new father myself, I too struggled with this. You feel torn between your needs and that of your wife and kiddo. You didn't indicate if you train at home or at an outside gym. I am fortunate and train at home but still took into the consideration of the family. What I did was determine how much time away from the family my training was going to take and figured out what days and times we could consistently work. Key word is consistently. This meant that I train Saturday, Monday, and Wednesday. Saturday after family is up for the day, Monday after getting wife and kiddo out the door (I work 11 to 8 instead of my normal 7 to 4) and Wednesday is at 3:30 am. I had to shift my focus on being optimal to being consistent. There is some days, mainly Wednesdays, when I don't get all my prescribed reps and that is ok because consistently is the main goal.

    Find out what you can consistently do and plan for that. BTW, my daughter just turned 5 months so I'm still in the same boat.
    I also have a home gym fortunately.
    I like the “consistent” versus “optimal” bit.

    I don’t know how the heck you train at 3:30 am. I am very stiff and by back feels like crap in the morning. I have thought about switching to early AM workouts for the sake of consistency so you give me hope.

  4. #4
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    Waffle, do not post, wait two minutes, post, wait a minute, post, again. One and stop.

  5. #5
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    Apologies. New (obviously)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waffle Socks View Post
    I also have a home gym fortunately.
    I like the “consistent” versus “optimal” bit.

    I don’t know how the heck you train at 3:30 am. I am very stiff and by back feels like crap in the morning. I have thought about switching to early AM workouts for the sake of consistency so you give me hope.
    Trust me, if there was another way for me, I'd be doing that. 3:30 is when I get up. A quick hot shower helps me loosen up a bit. Plus lots of coffee and extra warm up sets with the empty bar.

    I tried to train after work but started to miss sessions from being fatigued with less sleep and stress from work plus wanting to spend as much time with the baby as possible.

    Find that hour to hour and half 3 to 4 days a week and make that a priority. Even if you train 1 1/2 hours four days a week, that is only 6 hours out of 168 hours per week. Go get it done.

  7. #7
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    Feb 2021
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    First of all, congratulations. Savor these days, they will pass far too quickly.

    I’m not a new father, but an old one, and I have zero qualifications to give any athletic advice.

    Still I’d offer that you can only do your best... my days are nothing like yours I’m sure. But I eat a bowl of rice with a couple eggs the night before workout day. That way I can get my squats early before breakfast. My press or bench may not be until after work, and deadlift before bed.
    Basically I sometimes just have to be opportunistic, sudden free 45 min, drink an orange juice and knock out one movement.
    If I can’t do my Monday, I push it to Tuesday and so on.
    Basically just hold your own, and do what you can.
    Oh and try to catch a nap any chance you get.

  8. #8
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    Congratulations and happy Easter, mr. Waffle.

    Make coffee, wash your face. Don't suddenly start drinking an excess amount of coffee, you'll get a headache.

    If there's anything you can do (and need to anyway) before working out, I recommended you start your day with that.

    Some easily digestible food (like a banana) can help once you get going.

    You won't get used to it, it'll always suck. Just remember why you're doing it. Nothing makes a child happier than a healthy parent!

  9. #9
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    Apr 2021
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ham View Post
    Congratulations and happy Easter, mr. Waffle.

    Make coffee, wash your face. Don't suddenly start drinking an excess amount of coffee, you'll get a headache.

    If there's anything you can do (and need to anyway) before working out, I recommended you start your day with that.

    Some easily digestible food (like a banana) can help once you get going.

    You won't get used to it, it'll always suck. Just remember why you're doing it. Nothing makes a child happier than a healthy parent!


    Very true. Trying to stay healthy, strong, and sane.
    She has some cleft surgery coming up this week and sometimes I'm finding what sanity I can from training, even if it's not optimal.

  10. #10
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    Sep 2018
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    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by Waffle Socks View Post
    Happy Easter,

    I am a new father and wanted to see if anyone had any advice on how to adjust programming for strength training. My daughter is approaching 4 months old and sleep has been very hard to come by. In addition, scheduling workouts has become much more difficult as I usually train in the evening after work. While she is definitely my priority, I also definitely want to keep getting stronger as it makes me a better father and human being. My wife and I are both back at work full time. I'm just looking for advice on how other guys have approached this - dealing with (hopefully temporary) outside stressors (hellish work, lack of sleep, baby) as they pertain to training.

    When she was born I was maybe near the end of my LP if I had eaten more:
    5'8" 175 lb (underweight)
    S: 320 x 5
    B: 230 x 5
    P: 175 x 1 (performed 1RM at online Strengthlifting competition)
    DL: 455 x 1 (performed 1RM at online Strengthlifting competition)
    Is your baby on a sleep schedule? At 5 mos, the baby should be sleeping through the night 12+ hours.

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