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The genius of FitDad

In the vast expanse of the internet, three years ago my wife non-chalantly got me acquainted with the psychology and life of Sharny and Julius. The latter runs a programme called FitDad.

Now, I’m not sure if you’ve seen the trend in Hollywood over the “dad bod”… but it’s best described as “softly round”.

It’s built upon the theory that once a man has found a mate and fathered a child, he doesn’t need to worry about maintaining a sculpted physique. So if human bodies were cuts of meat, the dad bod would skew more marbled rib eye than filet mignon; or, if human bodies were sea mammals, dad bod would be more like a lazy walrus than a speedy dolphin. The dad bod is more mudslide than mountain, more soft serve than sorbet, more sad trombone than bright clarinet, more mashed potato than skinny fry. The dad bod is built for comfort.

Excuse the pun, but I’m not comfortable with this idea. And although she hasn’t said as much, I don’t think my wife is either.

But I am completely convinced that Julius Kieser is on to something with FitDad. He encorporates his kids into his workouts. They love it. He’s getting time with them AND a workout with them.

“I realised I wanted to be the best role model to my kids that I could be,” he said in an interview. “I guess having my dad die, especially so unexpectedly, I started questioning what would happen if I died like that? What would my kids remember about me? Would I have regrets if I was to die?”

He got his life on track, and the results were profound. Eating the right way, exercising enough to get his heart rate up, and spending time with his family in the process.

“I did some gym stuff, but mostly because I don’t have much time I was doing really fast workouts for ten minutes to half an hour to get my heart rate going. I did that every day. I also do exercises with the kids, so I didn’t have to go away and leave my wife with the kids — you can do it together and your wife can have a bit of a break, and your kids can see what exercise looks like. It’s very important to me that the kids get to see dad more.”

I like this. So a few years ago I enrolled in his programme and started learning about how to eat, how to train and how to incorporate your kids along for the [training] ride.

I’ve watched Julius’s journey over the years, which is just that: a journey. He’s lost weight, put on weight, lost it again, put it on again, and is currently losing it again. This is precisely why I like him, because its rooted in the realities of family and real life. Him and his wife Sharny explore not only the husband and wife mathematics and strategies of being healthy, but also take you through the head space of adapting and evolving into an active life, which is no mean feat with five babies.

These days, training in public gyms and the like are a bit of a health hazard… and that’s without Covid-19! But here in our local neighbourhood, training is well underway this year in the Calder household. My youngest daughter makes for a pretty good kettle bell weight, my son is a great running partner on the track and my oldest daughter also enjoys some of the workouts.

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