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Why I’ve changed my approach to health & fitness since becoming a dad…

01/08/2017

Pure Joy…

Why I've changed my approach to health & fitness since becoming a dad...

Wowza! Little Noah’s just turned 12 weeks old! It’s crazy how much life has changed – certainly for the better! In fact it’s been absolutely frickin incredible and I love being a dad!

I’m not going to lie though it’s been a shock to the system, instead of getting up and doing exactly what you want when you want, all of a sudden you have this cheeky little monkey who needs your attention, pretty much 24hrs a day: one minute laughing, the next crying, and the next…needing a nappy change!

Luckily, I have the most amazing lover on Planet Earth… Sally!

family love ;)

To be honest i’ve had a pretty easy ride compared to Sally, who’s never been more than 10 meters away from Noah since he was born!

Since becoming a dad I’ve felt the need to change my approach to health and fitness and I’d like to share with you ‘WHY’ and ‘HOW’ i’ve done this…

A New Found Motivation…

Before Noah came along it was all about training to look and feel good but now I want to be healthy so that I can live longer and be alive for as long as possible. I want to live to be 100 years old!

I want to be able to run around with my grandchildren and lead a fit and healthy lifestyle. This has motivated far more than just pumping iron to look good on some beach!

I also realise that Noah will copy me, and I want him to lead a healthy and happy lifestyle too. In order for him to have a healthy life, I have to be lead by example… it’s like “Monkey see Monkey do”

monkey see monkey do

As a parent it’s far more important to walk the walk than it is to talk the talk – to lead by actions and not just words.

Spending Less Time In The Gym…

This time last year I was training every day, in fact I did some crazy stint where I did 70+ days of training in a row! Now I go to the gym 3x per week (4 at maximum!). I also spend far less time in the gym (30-60 minutes) compared to before 60-120 minutes!

At first I was worried that I would “lose all my gains” (as the bro’s say!) but I haven’t, i’ve stayed in good shape and I can actually push much harder and recover quicker because I’m doing less overall volume.

Instead, I now opt for full body workout where I train ever major muscle in the body each and every session. I’m a huge fan of full body workouts and would highly recommend them too anybody who’s wanting to lose fat or build muscle, especially for those who can only workout 3x per week.

Here’s how I break down the muscle groups I train:

  1. chest
  2. back
  3. shoulders
  4. biceps
  5. triceps
  6. abs
  7. lower back
  8. thighs
  9. hamstrings
  10. calfs

I’ll typically do 2 sets per muscle group and go as heavy as possible for 8-15 reps per exercise. An example workout would look like this…

  1. chest – flat bench press – 2 sets x 8-15 reps
  2. back – wide pull ups – 2 sets x 8-15 reps
  3. shoulders – barbell press – 2 sets x 8-15 reps
  4. biceps – DB curls – 2 sets x 8-15 reps
  5. triceps – dips – 2 sets x 8-15 reps
  6. abs – plank – 2 sets x 120s
  7. lower back – deadlifts – 2 sets x 8-15 reps
  8. thighs – squats – 2 sets x 8-15 reps
  9. hamstrings – lying leg curl – 2 sets x 8-15 reps
  10. calfs – standing or seated calf raise – 2 sets x 8-15 reps

I have 6 different workout programmes and I will alternate between them e.g.

WEEK 1

  • Monday – Workout 1
  • Tuesday – Rest
  • Wednesday – Workout 2
  • Thursday – Rest
  • Friday – Workout 3
  • Saturday – Rest
  • Sunday – Rest

WEEK 2

  • Monday – Workout 4
  • Tuesday – Rest
  • Wednesday – Workout 5
  • Thursday – Rest
  • Friday – Workout 6
  • Saturday – Rest
  • Sunday – Rest

So it takes me 2 weeks to complete my overall program. Then I’ll repeat week 1 again. This combination gives me plenty of variety (6 different sessions) but also some structure as well.

Changing How I Eat…

7 Healthy NutriBullet Recipes

Before Noah was born I’d spend a fair amount of time cooking in the kitchen, now though I try and pick quick, convenience foods that don’t take long to put together.

I’ll have stuff like protein shakes, smoothies, microwave veg, and ready made rice with tuna. I’m a big fan of using a nutribullet – check out the 7 recipes I regularly use by clicking here.

Somedays I’ll eat 1 meal a day, other days i’ll have 2-3. During the week when i’m busy I’ll typically eat less (1-3 meals a day) but at the weekends i’m far more relaxed and may eat 5-8x (greedy git!).

It’s finding what works best for you and what fits into your lifestyle. I still track calories and weigh myself everyday to ensure that I am either gaining weight (when trying to build muscle) or losing weight (when trying to lose body fat). I then tailor my food volume/calories depending on the goal.

At the moment I’m building muscle so I’m very relaxed with calories and i’m eating between 4,0000-6,000 calories per day – lots of peanut butter and bagels!

Finding the right balance…

personal trainer based in sheffield - lep fitness

I’d be lying if I said I had the perfect balance, I certainly don’t! but i’m trying my best. Sometimes I feel guilty for working long hours and the… “you should be spending more time with you son!” thought regularly pops up in my head! But I also realise that I love my work and want to provide the best life for my family.

I’m trying my best to run a business, be a dad, be a great partner to Sally, whilst at the same time still trying to have some sort of a social life and look after my own health and fitness!

I’ll admit that at times I feel like i’m juggling more balls than I can handle. It’s like I get to grips with juggling 5 balls…and… then someone throws in another couple of balls!

I believe it’s normal for things to go out of balance every once in a while but it’s about recognising when they do so you can put things right. It can be tough, but balance can be achieved with the right plan of action.

To those of you who are parents I take my hat off to you, from my experience it’s hugely rewarding but also challenging. I also want to reasure you that if you are serious about improving your health and fitness it can still be done regardless of how busy you are. You can get fit training 3-4x per week and eat healthy, nutritious meals that don’t require you to spend hrs and hrs in the kitchen.

If I can help or if you have any questions and would like some advice please drop me a  message – i’d love to hear from you!

As always much love, and thank you for reading!

sheffield fitness trainer LEP Fitness

Nick 🙂

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