***This is DadLifts so I am going to focus on Dad. Moms I love each and every on of you, I am married to one, was born from one but please don’t think my lack of inclusion means anything other than this blog isn’t MomLifts.***


It’s sympathy weight…” The famous last words of Dads around the US.

Two people tango and make a little human and then they both gain weight, but the hubs is the only one that gets fat. The mom is busy building little baby parts so that weight has a purpose — making baby parts. The Dad however, well,  he just eats.

Now fast forward through the bleary eyed, zombie no sleeping days of baby-dom and lets move right to toddler time. Dad observes that he is winded when chasing this dynamo ball of energy around the yard.

Now add in the old chain that is a desk job or any job really where Dad is sedentary. Then add his favorite “Sons of Anarchy”, “Walking Dead” or “Monday Night Football” (not to mention Saturday College Game Day because he can’t miss the Badgers then NFL Sunday Ticket…).

We’ve got the recipe for fat bastard Dad.

I don’t mean that in the proverbial fatherless child way, which would be ironic on a DadLifts post BUT rather in what I call the “Don’t Be an Asshole Rule”.

Basic tenets are pretty eponymous, to include that imperative in relation to your body, your relationships, your work, hobbies and even pets.

So now what? What if we’ve violated that rule unknowingly and now have sort of, kind of been an asshole to our bodies?

All is not lost.

I have been there. Life got busy and I had a million reasons why I should do something else besides take care of what was left of the machine.


I stole three things that I use to this day; they aren’t of my own but save the day when Mr. Murphy hits (of Murphy’s Law):

1. Do one thing every day.

Even if it is fricking walking. Doesn’t sound like a macho testosterone laden, bro pump session? Well it ain’t. However, it is sneaky in the event that walking becomes, maybe I can throw some push-ups in at the stoplight up there, or maybe I will jump off that bench, sprint to the next light post. Whatever the point is once we start doing one thing, inertia takes over. Walk in the gym warm up a bit and grab steel and then magic happens. We start using it, because our bodies remember. Now I am not talking max out but just start moving it.

2. 20 minutes.

All you need is 20 minutes. I am not going to argue with you about energy pathways and research and “Well, I read on T-Nation…” Or your favorite strength training demi-god said something different.  Great. Do something so that you’re fatigued, sweaty and at some point needed to catch your breath.  For 20 mins.

3. Make a new goal.
“Notice I didn’t say goals. Keep it simple.”

Notice I didn’t say goals. Keep it simple.

I have wrestled in US Open as a no-longer-training-regularly-30+ year-old-man, just to see. Now did I make it the World Championships? Hell no. Did I get hurt? Nope.

HoustonHalfLeRoyBut I put my foot on the line and said, “Let’s go.” (Don’t know who else I was talking to, but whatever.” I have ran a half marathon, won’t ever do so again but I did it. I have competed in a Strongman competition. Did I win? Nope. Was it a blast? Yes.

The point is not to say look at all this cool shit I did. The opposite, I needed these things to keep me motivated to train. I had fun and learned a bit more about myself as a human. You may not need to do all these varied things, you may be able to walk in, do your workout and go home but I suspect that if you could do that, you’d not be reading my word vomit.

Lastly, you sort of have to make peace with that guy that you once were, bury that arrogant, testosterone fueled ass. He had a good run. You’re no longer him. You’ve got little tiny kid eyes looking at you now.

My final thought is this, as long as my son still thinks I am the strongest guy he knows, then I am doing okay.

I know the day is coming, probably has something to do with an age ending in the suffix -teen, whereby he will no longer even think I am cool; Big huge dork, maybe. But, I think my work to keep myself healthy and strong will have benefits that can out last teenager angst.

Special shout and consideration to Dan John for his training writings, Chris Moore for all his brain dumping on the interwebs and many others.



About The Author

LeRoy Gardner

A mid-westerner at heart but glad to be in Texas, spent many a formative year toiling away at various athletic pursuits but settled on wrestling. He concluded his career with national championships (team and individual) while wrestling for Wartburg College. He enjoyed the competition and the accountability that came along with wrestling. Educational background includes a Bachelors in Psychology (Wartburg College) and Masters in Business Administration (University of Rhode Island). Found Crossfit in 2006 while serving as Head Wrestling Coach at the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, RI. Prefers a great strength day to the metcon days or anything longer than 400m but did enjoy the Tough Mudder. Competes locally in USA Weightlifting, nationally in USA Wrestling, locally in North American Strongman competition, and local CrossFit competitions.