Training as a parent is difficult. There really is no other way to explain it. Balancing parenting, a career, children, up time, down time, sports, caravans to the mall – your life can be a (will be) a circus to manage. Add in the challenge of building in your personal training schedule to maintain “you” – and ish gets real.
Enter Coach Collin. This is my story.
Like so many…
Like many fathers today I have a very active role in raising my children. My wife and I are lucky enough to have two beautiful children. A two-year-old boy and a 3-month-old girl. My wife works mornings and I work evenings, so we don’t have the huge expense of daycare.
To be honest I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I train with my little ones. I enjoy this time and if I am lucky my children will see me as a role model.
Finding the energy and time to train can be frustrating when you start a program and feel like you are failing because you “can’t” put the work in. Your program doesn’t know that your two-year-old decided he wasn’t going to go to sleep until 2am or that your 3-month-old was up with the distinctly fragrant yet undetectable smell of gas. This doesn’t mean, “There is no way you can do this”. It does mean you may have to adjust the way you where training before you became a parent, but I assure you it can be done.
Here are 4 ways that I’ve been able to master training as a parent:
Is this something you enjoy doing?
Let me blow your mind.
You are more likely to accomplish a task that you enjoy doing.
Brilliant, right? Yet when we look at our goals, we intimidate ourselves trying to beat perfection. Impress yourself, not your mom.
Here’s what I mean. Find an activity that challenges you within the scope of still liking what you are doing. I am not a fan of running but if you stick a pair of farmer handles in my hands and tell me to move 100 feet I’ll move as fast as I can. I soon came to realize that I don’t mind sprinting, even without farmer handles.
Manage your training time properly
6 minute breaks between sets are not very effective, at least not for me. Save the dissertation on the effects of climate change on the monarch butterfly for class and get back to it. Find your rest points and get back to work. I quickly found that my training session significantly improved and I saved a few hours. Less talking, more doing.
Be honest with yourself.
Can you modify an exercise in order to get more work done in a shorter amount of time?
My Squat Modification
I recently added front squats as an assistance to my squats. Instead of doing straight front squats I did 1 ½ rep squats. I’ve been able to kill more reps in a shorter amount of time.
Are you a runner?
If you are a bit confused and you enjoy running like a gazelle in the savannas of Africa, but don’t have time, do sprints.
10 to 20 minutes
Every minute on the minute
Sprint down and back.
A week is 7 days. Not Monday thru Friday
Don’t confine yourself to the “standard” week in your program. It’s not set in stone that you must start Monday and end on Friday. Consider thinking of each week in a program as a different phase. You must complete each training session in each phase before moving on to the next.
I used to train 4 days a week.
Meaning, in the past.
Now I may only get 3 days, sometimes less. If this happens I push that workout to the next week and keep moving forward.
The important thing is to keep moving forward. I try very hard not to have any more than two off days in between training days. Ideally being one day off then one day on which can be confusing but equals 4 days a week every other week.
Remember it’s okay to take care of yourself; so you can better take care of others. Parenting and training can be on equal levels.