Being fit as a new father is not a matter of course. Because even those who had a handsome washboard stomach before giving birth tend to lose their shape during their partner’s pregnancy. As a study by the St. George’s University in London found out, men gain an average of 4 kilos during their partner’s pregnancy – the phenomenon even has a name: Couvade Syndrome. When the offspring finally sees the light of day, things don’t get much better. Finding time for sports in addition to diaper changes, household chores and a job is a real challenge. The result is usually the infamous “Dad Bod”.
What is a Dad Bod?
Dad Bod stands for Dad Body – a term that emerged in the USA and describes the slightly muscular but above all chubby stature typical of fathers. A popular example is actor Leonardo di Caprio, who proudly showed his Dad Bod on the beach. But even if you would like to look like a movie star: Unfortunately, this is not healthy.
That’s why we went on a search and found fit Instagram dads who could serve as role models instead. They told us their secret to staying fit despite active fatherhood.
Bye bye dad bod – get fit again in just 8 weeks
1. Daddy Cool: I set up my own workout room
“Every (new) dad will confirm that his own needs suddenly take a back seat as soon as a child enters his previously self-determined life. That is normal and good. With time, bit by bit, you find your way back to the person for whom you have been responsible even longer than for your children: yourself. And no, to be and stay fit, you don’t necessarily have to prove yourself among all the tough guys in the gym. My training buddies today are called Miki and Noah and are 6 and 3.
Create a workout room at home
I have created a workout room at home. What more do I need than a bench, a pair of dumbbells and a barbell to refresh muscle memory? I don’t need fixed workout times. I can always find a time slot, even if it’s only half an hour. Which can be very effective. Because let’s be honest: How much time do we spend in the gym talking shop or looking at our own or the opposite sex, instead of strengthening the body? Fitness is not a question of how much time you have, but a question of how much time you take! And only in a fit body is a father who successfully masters the best “job” of his life!”
2. fit_trotz_family: A mini workout of 15 minutes gives a good basic fitness
Sebastian (39) from Cologne is a full-time online editor and father of a daughter (5). About the topic “Fit despite family” he writes on his Blog. How to keep it fit:
“I have two basic rules for staying fit: fit as much exercise as possible into your daily routine and do mini-workouts in between. It’s important to me that I don’t miss my family. So I try to pack the fitness phases into time slots when I wouldn’t be available anyway: For example, I use the commute to work or the early morning hours. In concrete terms, this looks like this for me: Building block 1 is exercise. I walk to work and back almost every day (one way is just under 5 kilometers). This is good for me. The XL walk reduces stress, I get fresh air, light and exercise in the morning. At least 10.000 steps per day is my goal (pedometer helps). Also means: stairs instead of elevator.
Division of labor frees up time for the gym
Building block 2: Mini workouts. When it comes to training, I like it simple. I try to get through 100 pushups or 100 squats a day. This takes just under 15 minutes and gives a good basic fitness level. In addition, my wife and I have agreed on a division of labor: One day I put little daughter Lene to bed, the next day my wife does. So theoretically I can go to the gym around the corner every other day. There I train a maximum of 30 minutes with supersets sometimes the upper body sometimes the lower body (4 exercises). What many do not know by the way: There are various gyms with child care. That already solves some parent problems. It is important that the studio is just around the corner or on the way to work. Otherwise you do not pack it to go regularly.”
3. hefti_family: I include my children in my workouts
Jerome (37) from Hamburg is a father of two (2 and 4 years old), is just expecting his third child and is self-employed.
“My secret is to get my kids involved in my workouts. I therefore try to train with them at home as much as possible. Otherwise, I also like to go running, for example, with my son accompanying me on the bike. This way we train together and also spend time together. I also often do pull-ups with my daughter in the carrier. However, it is not so easy to do the exercise cleanly and not to get into a hollow back. That’s why I use a stretch band – it helps to stabilize me.”
4. x.t.o.p.h.My children are not an obstacle for me, they are my motivation
Christoph comes from Lustadt, is a development engineer in the automotive industry, owner of a company and father of two children (6 and 8 years old).
“Of course children need our attention and time, but why does that end for so many parents at the fitness? For example, I take my kids to sports, show them what I enjoy and how I motivate myself. In addition, I involve them in my training and give them the feeling of belonging to it. I inspire them with all my strength and they are as enthusiastic as I am. So I don’t use my kids as an excuse not to go to the gym, they participate in it. When I go running, they ride their bikes. In the gym they write my training diary and prepare the equipment for me – of course with my support. My children are not an obstacle for me, they are my motivation, in every situation of life. Give your kids the chance to become as strong and fit as mom and dad. They will love it. Because you are the great role model.”
5. mr.father: I do fitness together with my family
Steven (33) from Ubstadt-Weiher has a 4-year-old son and is an electric motor switch full-time.
“My strong wife always has my back, she makes it possible for me to go to the gym regularly. No matter if I go to the gym or am active in any other way. Most of the time I try to work out in the morning before I go to work, so that I have the afternoon free for the family. Of course, it’s just as important that I give my wife time to recharge her batteries.
Secondly, I try to spend as much time as possible actively with my family and organize joint excursions such as bicycle tours. These activities are important because they allow me to combine the beautiful with the useful. The whole thing works all year round, too: In spring you go for a walk, in summer you go swimming, in autumn you fly kites and in winter you put on your skates or do indoor activities from time to time – so the weather is not an excuse! But of course the diet is also important. By getting our son used to a balanced and healthy diet, I don’t need any extra healthy sausage when I eat out.”
6. Fitdad_hendrik: I work out when my kids are sleeping
Hendrik is 34 years old and lives in Mühlheim an der Ruhr, Germany. He is a Senior Developer of Business Applications full time and has 4 children (2, 2, 6 and 14 years old).
“The biggest problem the time! As an active family man you want to spend as much time as possible with your children. You like to tell yourself that you don’t have time to go training. My secret is to simply use the time when the children are asleep. Many studios now offer 24. I just get up an hour or two earlier and go to the gym before work. After a good workout and a refreshing shower, it’s the perfect start to the day. On days when there’s not enough time, great apps help you work out effectively at home without equipment. Every minute of training counts!”
7. Onebenshow: I restructured my day and suddenly have time for sports
Ben (40) from Stuttgart is a father of two children (4 months and 3 years old) and an Influencer.
“However, keeping up the fitness level was a real challenge. Work often got in the way, I felt tired, and in the evenings I preferred to sit in front of the TV and relax because I was exhausted. I overcame these excuses, from today’s point of view, by restructuring my day and managing my time better. Since then, I go to the studio in the morning before I start work or in the evening after we have put the kids to bed.
The TV is now only a decorative object and, lo and behold, I suddenly have time for family, work and even sports. At the same time, I pay attention to my diet. For this I have created a meal plan with proteins, healthy carbs, fiber and vitamins. The washboard stomach is still a long time coming but I feel much more awake and fit since the change – I can only recommend to take the time for it.”
8. olli.hashtag: My wife enables me to do my sport
Olli (40) from Munich is a father of a daughter (16 months) and a full-time personal trainer.
“You definitely need a wife who makes it possible for you to pursue your hobbies in addition to your family. I have that! And my big plus: Besides my househusband career and my blog I am fortunately also a personal trainer. And lately I don’t just stand by and make announcements to my clients, but swing the one or other dumbbell myself. So I can work on my form and my people have a second longer to catch their breath. Plus, they get a kick out of seeing me sweat for once too.”
9. Papalatics: If my son sleeps, I go to the sport
Eugen (32) from Öhringen works full-time in field service and has a two-year-old son.
“Like many fathers, I work full time from morning until late afternoon. Of course I want to spend as much time as possible with my child. I still go to the gym 5-6 times a week. My partner goes 3-4 times a week. We do it like this: When I come home from work, my wife goes to the gym. Then it’s daddy-son time. And as soon as our dwarf goes to bed (in summer, unfortunately, not until shortly before 10 p.m.), I go to the gym and do a 2-split with super sets. I usually need about 60-70 minutes for that. On weekends I also like to go training with my partner and the little one is with grandma and grandpa during that time. Once a week I also go to parent-child gymnastics with my son. This also keeps me a little fit!”
10. Fit_markus: 60 minutes of sport in the evening in the home gym is enough
Markus (33) from Salzburg is Head of Marketing and has two children (3 and 6 years old).
“The important thing is to keep at it. You don’t have to do a strength or endurance program for 1-2 hours every day. For me, training is an important part of my life – a balance to everyday life, to clear my head. A healthy balance of training and healthy nutrition is noticeable on the body after a short time. I prefer short training units of maximum 1 hour within my own 4 walls. I like to do them in the evening, when the children are in bed. Home is the best place for me to unwind and I also have my own little home gym in the basement.”
- 1 What is a Dad Bod?
- 2 1. Daddy Cool: I set up my own workout room
- 3 2. fit_trotz_family: A mini workout of 15 minutes gives a good basic fitness
- 4 3. hefti_family: I include my children in my workouts
- 5 4. x.t.o.p.h.My children are not an obstacle for me, they are my motivation
- 6 5. mr.father: I do fitness together with my family
- 7 6. Fitdad_hendrik: I work out when my kids are sleeping
- 8 7. Onebenshow: I restructured my day and suddenly have time for sports
- 9 8. olli.hashtag: My wife enables me to do my sport
- 10 9. Papalatics: If my son sleeps, I go to the sport
- 11 10. Fit_markus: 60 minutes of sport in the evening in the home gym is enough