So recently I have become a new father and it has really spun my world around. In preparation for the day my baby girl was born I made some decisive changes to my life. For starters I cancelled my gym membership and built a home gym in my basement. Now I can keep an eye on her or at least be around in case my wife needs me to jump in. I can always take a moment to step away from the power rack and hold the baby or change her or what ever. Of course I took about 2 weeks off from working out when she was born but now its GO TIME and I need to get on and stay on the ball.
I was warned by many that I will NEVER WORKOUT AGAIN, you’re gonna be TOO EXHAUSTED and here’s a good one , WORKING OUT WON’T BE IMPORTANT ANYMORE. I admit , it’s very hard to stay focused on training when your baby is looking at you with those pretty blues. Also , yes, I have been tired and not as motivated to train. But I am determined to shut those naysayers up. I will not find the next convenient excuse to not workout and to eat like shit. What kind of site would I be running here if I wasn’t going hard and training despite the new addition to the family? What’s so HARDCORE about a guy complaining that his little baby is kicking his ass? LOL
So I reached out to someone for a little guidance on the issue of staying fit with a newborn in the house. His name is Mike Corona and he runs Activate Fitness right here in New Jersey. I have never taken any of his classes because we live too far away from each other but I read his blog all the time. He writes well and he is a certified trainer who cuts through all the bull about health and fitness and more importantly he has a good grasp on life. I asked him if he could give me some advice on how to stay on mark with my fitness whilst I bounce a little baby on my knee. He is a father himself so he should have something good to use! I figured it would be really cool to have him on LHXC as a guest blogger with this one so I asked him to write a post here.
Hopefully we will hear more from Mike in the future and of course you can always follow his blog your own darn self (trust me you will want to) so without further delay…………
Here you go man!
How to Train When You Have a Newborn In The House
Bringing home a newborn baby is a total life changing experience and it will definitely put a roadblock in your training if you don’t plan for it. As a new father I was wondering what I would do when the time came and my daughter arrived. Would I find time to train? Would I be way too tired and ruin my progress if I didn’t train?
The first thing I did as soon as we brought our precious little girl home was took the week from training off and following any sort of planned diet was thrown out the window.
I wasn’t going to stress over any of that because that week is not about me.. it’s not about you. It’s about helping your wife or girlfriend and your newborn baby. Everything is thrown into chaos and our minds and bodies are not in the state needed to train properly and effectively.
Better yet.. take the second week off also.
If you have help with in laws or your parents, siblings, or friends and you can find time to sleep at least 6 hours you can always throw in a workout if you really want to. Taking a nice two week vacation from diet and exercise is exactly what your body will be craving for when the restless nights and hourly feedings begin.
Bonding with family during this time frame is more important than weight lifting, body weight workouts, and conditioning. Years of beating ourselves up with training takes it’s toll and two weeks is not a long time. Don’t sweat it. Just love the new change in your life.
Once everything seems to settle down and a routine of sorts is figured out you’re most likely going back to work. Our wives can’t. Not for about 6 to 8 weeks. This will be rough on them and we need to ask if it’s ok to leave for work earlier to get a workout in or to go to the gym right after work. If your wife needs help, family first.
The key here is to find 15 to 30 minutes during the day to crush a bodyweight workout.
Yes your deadlift and squat numbers will not go up and may in fact go down. That’s ok. Your life just changed. Training during the first month is going to take some proper planning, extra time warming up, and a lot of food. We are in a distressed state from our lack of sleep and constant attention to so many different things in our life. EAT.
You may gain some weight but again, who cares. Your life changed and it’s only a few months before things are back to a new normal.
A good idea to train is to plan on 3 body weight workouts a week for the first month, AFTER the 2 weeks you take off. As you go through the two weeks off you need to pay attention to your baby’s routine. Does he or she need to eat everyday at 5 and after he or she is done do they sleep for one or two hours? Yes? Crush your training right there.
Bodyweight workouts are great because we can do them anywhere and still keep a watchful eye on our little peanut. Doing something in a circuit fashion is an excellent idea to get the work in fast and furious. Below is a sample workout you can do in the living room or bedroom while your baby sleeps.
1) Squats 4 sets of 20-25
Rest 60 seconds
2A) Burpees x 10
2B) Lunges x 10 each leg
Rest 60 seconds
3A) Push Ups x 15-20
3B) Rows x 10-25— Get creative. If you don’t have a kettlebell, dumbbell or TRX find something around the house to row.
Rest 60 seconds
4A) Plank as long as possible
4B) Knee Tucks off Chair or Bench x 20-25
This quick workout will keep you training, it won’t beat you up during this rough time, and you can pretty much do it anywhere. The goal during this time isn’t to break records. It’s to keep the muscles in use, fresh and ready to go when the heavier work comes back.
If you’re training for an event during your wife’s pregnancy I hope you two are on the same page and she doesn’t mind letting you sleep, eat in a planned manner, and train like a boss. It’s tough for both the man and woman and it’s not about us.
During the 2 weeks if you have a “different” child and they sleep well right off the bat and you and your wife or girlfriend can juggle the training and eating I recommend still only keeping it minimal. Training twice a week is all you’ll need to still make progress on the big lifts while not destroying yourself. Skip the assistance if it feels like too much and focus on the big 4. I prefer to use 5/3/1 and during the first 2 months of my child’s life I trained two times a week using 5/3/1 and I did “Jack Shit” like this:
When I started the template at the “5’s” week I went back to the previous 4 weeks and redid the work. I did not push for extra reps as I was not trying to “kill it”. I just wanted to lift and get it over quickly. You’ll understand why.
So guys.. take the first 2 weeks off and recover. Foam Roll. Do mobility work. Love your new life and adjust to your energy levels and new sleep arrangements. Don’t stress over losing strength, muscle, or getting out of shape. It’s 2 weeks. Once you feel like you’re ready to go, choose a simple 2 times a week template and train to maintain. Cut back on the assistance and focus on recovery. Eat big to help your energy. Work with your wife or girlfriend on your schedule.
Enjoy the baby, the family, and use some down time to plan your training programs for the future and catch up on some reading. Slowly move forward when you feel ready and if you need to stop and cut back, don’t fight it and just man up and admit you need the rest.
Mike Corona is 30 years old and a new father to a beautiful little girl and is married to a great woman Jamie. He is a Strength Coach in Hackettstown, New Jersey and is the owner and founder of Activate Fitness which specializes in helping people find their fitness while becoming their best version of self. Mike is also an author, blogger, writer, life coach, and fitness consultant. He is a certified NASM CPT and a Level 2 Certified Underground Strength Coach.Mike can be reach at his website www.hackettstownfitness.com or his Fan Page at www.facebook.com/ActivateFit
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