There’s a new trend sweeping the nation, known as the dad bod.
Have you heard?
The dad bod lovingly describes a man who became a father and then also gained a beer-belly (or worse).
In other words, it’s to celebrate looking like poop after becoming a parent. But this doesn’t stop with dads!
From Mackenzie Pearson of The Odyssey Online:
In case you haven’t noticed lately, girls are all about that dad bod. Girls have been dealing with body image issues since the beginning of time until recent (for those of you who consider yourselves to be “Thick thin”) I hadn’t heard about this body type until my roommate mentioned it. She used to be crazy over guys she claimed had the dad bod. After observing the guys she found attractive, I came to understand this body type well and was able to identify it. The dad bod is a nice balance between a beer gut and working out. The dad bod says, “I go to the gym occasionally, but I also drink heavily on the weekends and enjoy eating eight slices of pizza at a time.” It’s not an overweight guy, but it isn’t one with washboard abs, either.
The dad bod is a new trend and fraternity boys everywhere seem to be rejoicing. Turns out skipping the gym for a few brews last Thursday after class turned out to be in their favor. While we all love a sculpted guy, there is just something about the dad bod that makes boys seem more human, natural, and attractive. Here are a few reasons that girls are crazy about the dad bod…
She goes on to rationalize the dad bod, although her reasoning seems to be hinged on her insecurities.
What do you think?
Should you let your body go to crap to make someone else feel better?
Does being a dad make you “too busy” to stay in shape?
Friend, let me tell you…
Dads can (and should!) have strong, fit bodies
Perhaps you already have a family or plan to start one in the future. Maybe you’ve put on a few pounds since college and aren’t too happy about it.
Managing a career, raising a family AND being fit – all at the same time – can be tough.
But you may be surprised to know that you absolutely can have a great body, without having to use up all of your spare time and energy.
Well friend, that’s what I’m going to share with you today. I will give you actionable advice on how to build a respectable dad bod, including helpful food suggestions that fuel strength, power and vitality.
But first, and most important of all, I want you to consider the impression your body gives your family.
“The leader sets the pace.”
Have you ever heard that old saying?
You are the leader, you set the standards, and your family will be following in your footsteps. And on top of this, your body has tremendous effect on your happiness and confidence.
So let’s talk about that “dad bod,” and how you can radically redefine it into something to be proud of.
Redefining the dad bod
In early 2017, I became a father. Will I use this as an excuse to comfortably slide into obesity and misery?
If anything, I have been furiously working far in the other direction.
Being a father inspires me to do more, not less. To be in greater shape, not worse. And this isn’t just about looking good but also being healthy. Resilient. Powerful. Rarely getting sick. Always having sustained energy. And being physically able to defend your family.
I also think of my son, young and impressionable, watching me go about my day.
Will he see me as the lazy couch-potato, who lives on junk food?
Or will he see me working in the yard, lifting weights, and eating real food, like steak ‘n eggs?
Whether you have a family yet or not, think about the impression you will be setting for your kids. They’re going to soak it up like a sponge. It’ll mold their entire world.
Obesity for instance can often be traced back to childhood. The patterns are set at an early age and have lifelong consequences.
Ultimately this is about you. No matter where you start, you have the opportunity to improve. You have the chance to be outstanding.
Or, at the least, healthy and happy!
This isn’t about looking like a plastic supermodel or a jacked-up he-man like Schwarzenegger – just looking like a healthy man. And having the energy, endurance, strength and sex drive that go with it.
The dad bod should be a sign of strength and honor, not laziness and poor health!
How far we’ve drifted from the ideal
According to The Washington Post,
The average American woman weighs 166.2 pounds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As reddit recently pointed out, that’s almost exactly as much as the average American man weighed in the early 1960s.
Men, you’re not looking too hot in this scenario either. Over the same time period you gained nearly 30 pounds, from 166.3 in the 60s to 195.5 today. [emphasis mine – Derek]
Overall, America has simply fallen out of shape. Men used to be lean, strong, aggressive, and this has been replaced by the Deep Soy State.
You can see this when you walk through the airport in a major city. It’s common for men to be overweight or obese, emasculated, depressed and miserable.
Why do you think that is? Genetics? Bad luck?
In my opinion, people eat too much and do too little.
And a lot of the food eaten today is garbage. In particular, the consumption of sugar and cheap carbohydrates has skyrocketed, while real food (beef, whole eggs, butter, chicken with skin, veggies, lard, wild game, organ meat) got kicked to the curb.
Stacked on top of this are the things we consider “modern comforts.”
Fast food and the Quick-E Mart make it very easy for us to overindulge on junk food. And with Netflix, we don’t even have to physically go to the video store before binge-watching TV.
BUT! my friend, I have good news…
You can turn things around, before it’s too late
The good news is that you can change course.
Have you heard the phrase genetic expression?
Genetic expression describes the genetic switches in your body that are turned on (or off) by your diet and lifestyle. Healthy living activates good things, while poor a diet and lifestyle activates bad things.
The key to genetic expression is that what you do is more important than genetic predisposition.
For instance, someone with a family history of obesity or heart disease may assume they inherited the same risk. However, genetic expression overpowers predisposition. Excusing extremely rare conditions, it is likely their family had a poor lifestyle that caused the obesity or heart disease.
They “inherited” the poor lifestyle habits, which then triggered disease.
This tells us at least two things:
- No matter where you start, no matter your family history, all of us can make improvement.
- Your kids will inherit your genes, but also your LIFESTYLE.
If you want your kids to be great, you must first be great yourself. Then you show them the way.
Redefining the dad bod one day at a time
You may be surprised to learn that being healthy and fit can be easier than you think. The greatest challenge is to take action and get moving. Afterwards, it gets easier as you go.
It becomes part of a healthy lifestyle, eventually becoming as easy as brushing your teeth.
Fitness and bodybuilding gurus often take things to extremes or make things more confusing than they need to be.
This can be misleading and off-putting.
For example, you don’t have to count calories to be fit and strong. Or spend 2 hours lifting weights at the gym. Or run endlessly on the treadmill like a mouse. Or only eat bland foods like egg whites, boiled chicken and salad.
First off, you can still eat real food that’s damn delicious. (Did you know that quality red meat is now recognized as health food? Butter too!)
And second, you can actually make great gains in the gym doing brief workouts.
Get this: I only spend about 30 minutes on each weightlifting session. And I’ve made greater gains, consistently, than when I worked out for an hour or more a day!
30 minutes. That’s it! About the same amount of time as the average TV show.
Even as a new father, working full-time and wrenching on our home and property, I still make it into the gym for these short workouts 3-to-4 days a week.
Think about it!
A stale, subversive TV show takes up half an hour of your life. A movie may run 2 hours. Watching sportsball may waste 3 hours per game.
Cutting back on these time-wasters gives you all the time you need for staying fit.
And let me clarify…
I don’t just mean “fit” as in not fat. I mean strong and powerful with the body to match.
Like a Spartan!
How I built my dad bod with Body of a Spartan
To build something great, you have to start with a great plan. A blueprint, if you will, to turn your vision into reality. Something to guide you straight while laying your foundation.
Whether you want to bulk up or trim down, having a solid workout plan will save you years of trial and error as you try to find out what works and what doesn’t.
But which workout plan is right for you?
I had worked out off-and-on before, but it felt like I was just spinning my wheels after awhile. I hit a plateau and couldn’t get bigger or stronger.
Deep down I knew that I needed to try something new.
And not just new, but something something harder, that would really kick-start the growth process again.
Body of a Spartan brought me back to the drawing board and showed me what I needed to do. Literally! The program comes with helpful pictures and explanations of the top exercises to build muscle.
The dad bod I envisioned was that of a Spartan. Like King Leonidas, or Hercules. Body of a Spartan gave me the blueprints to build it.
When I began BOAS, I was nearly starting over from scratch.
I lifted weights on-and-off in my younger days, but was starting over again after a long break from heavy workouts. My most intense “workout” at this point consisted of kettlebell exercises at home.
A kettlebell workout gets the blood going but it’s not really on par with heavy lifting. Like squatting twice your body weight. So even though I easily threw around my 44 lb kettlebell at home, when I returned to the barbell, I was starting over again.
My squat, bench press and deadlift were done with 135 lbs for awhile. I picked up where I left off with my old gym routine (3 day split of push, legs, pull) and eventually I started to regain old strength.
Soon after, I stalled out and just couldn’t seem to get stronger. I wanted more and knew that what I was doing wasn’t going to get me there.
This is when I was (thankfully!) drawn to Body of a Spartan.
Using the experience and wisdom of Victor Pride, I was able to kick-start the growth process and never looked back.
And thanks to Vic’s program, I’ve set new records on all of my lifts while maintaining a fit, trim body.
Most of all, I hit a new personal record of 405 lbs on the barbell squat. This was an end-of-year goal that came early (10/17).
And here’s a rundown of the weight I’m currently using on several other lifts:
Bench press – 275 lbs
Push press – 185 lbs
Deadlift – 365 lbs
Bent rows – 205 lbs
Barbell curls – 135 lbs
Victor says that BOAS is for natural trainees (no steroids, TRT etc) and that he was natural while documenting his results on the program. To each their own, but I will say that I am still 100% natty-brah and have had great results.
In my experience, BOAS helped me find the right balance between volume, frequency and intensity. This in-turn works with the body’s regenerative ability and natural hormone production to get the strength, muscle and power I want.
For maintaining a respectable “dad bod,” I recommend Body of a Spartan.
How to build up your dad bod without even leaving home
I admit, it can be hard to get to the gym when you’re a busy, hard-working dad. Finding free time to do anything, let alone go to the gym, can be a challenge.
The good news for busy guys like us, is that it doesn’t take much equipment or time to stay fit.
And while you may have been given the impression that “you have to have a gym membership to stay fit,” that isn’t the case.
Consider how much time you can save by NOT driving back and forth to the gym. The time saved (30 minutes? 45? 60?) is enough to have a great workout. And if we have to choose between NO gym and HOME gym…
A man can do body-weight squats, pushups and pull-ups every day without leaving home. Invest in a few kettlebells (30 lbs, then 45 lbs) and now you’re going places.
And why limit yourself to doing cardio in the gym? Instead of running on the treadmill under fluorescent lights, like a mouse stuck on the wheel, go out into nature for your cardio. Get some fresh air, sunshine and rekindle your sense of adventure!
You may discover that a man finds happiness at 13,000 ft.
And when it comes to lifting weights, you can score used gym equipment on Craigslist. You can build a home gym in your garage or a spare bedroom.
The most important equipment is that which lets you safely do squats, bench presses, deadlifts and heavy rows. This means a squat rack (or power rack), bench press station, a standard 45 lb barbell, and plate weights.
Pull-ups and dips can initially be done anywhere with a little improvising. You can do pull-ups from strong tree branches or anything else you can grab onto. Similar with dips. Concrete block walls work great for this.
A home gym also means you can:
- listen to whatever music you want
- wear whatever clothes you want (have you ever considered lifting barefoot in your underwear??)
- grunt and shout as much as you want
all from the comfort of your own home or garage.
You can also lift weights outside, which is a huge boost that few people appreciate. The sunshine will give you extra vitamin D, helping to support your immune system, strength, recovery and vitality.
Although I now go to the public gym again, my workout still revolves around the power rack and pull-up/dip station, with the blueprints laid out in Body of a Spartan.
What to eat to build an impressive dad bod
When we think of being fit and strong, we often think of lifting weights, doing sit-ups and slamming protein shakes.
But what you EAT is just as important as working out.
Modern man sets himself up for misery by living an unhealthy lifestyle. Sitting on the couch, watching sportsball while eating fried cheese, chicken wings and drinking his weight in light beer. (Did you know that beer promotes estrogen, the girly hormone?)
Men are genetically designed to be warriors, explorers and builders. Not couch potatoes.
What you eat will either bring you closer to that potential, or pull you away from it.
Here are a few key suggestions for using food to boost your health, strength and vitality:
- Steak’n eggs is one of the greatest meals for man. Be sure to include lots of fresh, leafy greens and veggies. Stay away from hi-carb, low fat foods and heavily processed foods.
- Healthy fats are especially important for healthy hormone levels. I recommend butter and meat from pastured cows, whole eggs, coconut oil, wild salmon, fish oils, and extra virgin olive oil.
- In between steak’n eggs and meat’n potato dishes, eat plenty of fresh fruit when in season. Eating fruit locally and seasonally gives your body the particular vitamins and minerals needed to support your immune system and overall health during that season. For instance, in my area the apples ripen in late summer/early fall, preparing us to beat the cold and flu season. This really applies to all food, not just fruit. Eating wild venison, elk, local salmon and pastured beef builds up the body to power through the frigid Rocky Mountain winter.
- What to do when fruit falls out of season? Do what our European ancestors did and feast on sauerkraut! Homemade sauerkraut is high in vitamin C and great replacement for fruit in the winter months. Learn how to make homemade sauerkraut here.)
- If you decide to go high-protein to pack on muscle, remember that this increases your body’s demand for vitamin A. Refer to Vitamin A: The Forgotten Bodybuilding Nutrient, by the Weston A. Price Foundation.
- Looking for a natural, whole-foods alternative to whey protein shakes? Try raw-egg smoothies! They are decadent and delicious.
- And remember to keep sweets in moderation. Raw, unfiltered honey and blackstrap molasses are healthful alternatives to refined table sugar.
Building the dad bod is as simple as 1-2-3-4
1 – Dads can and should have strong, fit, healthy bodies. You owe it to yourself and your family.
2 – You can redefine the dad bod one day at a time. Instead of getting upset about where you’re at today, focus on the vision you’re working towards. There is no magic pill and success is not an on/off switch. Think in terms of “consistent discipline.”
Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.
3 – The most reliable way to build something is to use proven blueprints. It’s not that people plan to fail, they fail to plan. My favorite blueprints for building a respectable dad bod are revealed in Body of a Spartan. This program works great for home gyms, too.
4 – And last but not least, remember to eat well. That means leave the fat-free-tofu wraps for the soyboys, because you ought to be eating steak ‘n eggs, cooked in full-fat butter, with potatoes and leafy greens. If you want to look like a man, you better eat like one. You have to give your body the fuel it needs to thrive, and the building blocks to build muscle and maintain hormones.
Now go and build that dad bod!
P.S. – Reaching for the upper echelons
Eating right, lifting heavy, getting juicy – these are all glorious things for you.
But it gets better, still. The journey doesn’t stop there.
Once you nail down the fundamentals, you can then do bigger and better things with your dad bod.
Your body is the vehicle to explore the world with. And if you dare to, the body and mind are worlds of their own, waiting to be explored.
Enter Wim Hof and his esoteric teachings. If you haven’t heard of him and the incredible things he’s done, enjoy this short video:
Biology books will be re-written in the wake of Wim Hof. This has already begun, in light of his work with the immune system.
In particular to the dad bod, the Wim Hof Method helps me recover from heavy, intense gym workouts. This is due to deep breathing, cold exposure, and other parts of his teachings. Wim also insists that his method helps with hormone balance, including growth hormone and sex hormones like testosterone, which I believe to be true from my own experience.
To learn more about Wim Hof, his method and how it can benefit you, enjoy my article, Wim Hof: a Modern-Day Nordic Shaman.