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The Single Dad Workout Regimen (No Gym Required!)

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Is your gym closed due to COVID-19? Can’t find a spare second to go for a run because of a hectic schedule? Don’t have a home gym?

Calling all single dads out there who are afraid of getting “dad bod” while in quarantine! I hear you! During my time writing Fit2Fat2Fit: The Unexpected Lessons from Gaining and Losing 75 lbs on Purpose, I became aware of just how hectic life can get. Fitness gets pushed out as a priority unless you make it your life. And right now, there’s a lot to be worried about outside of missing a few reps at the gym.

I’m here to give you a quarantine workout that’s quick, easy and effective. The best part is, it’s specially designed for single dads who don’t have a lot of their own time—especially right now. It’s straightforward and effective, great for helping you stay lean, build muscle and improve your stamina. Did I mention you don’t need a home gym?

Here’s a look at the plan. It’s a combination bodyweight training and high intensity interval training (HIIT) circuit. It takes between 30-45 minutes to complete, and at the end, I’ll provide a quick list of substitute options so you can mix up your workout on days when it feels stale. Here we go!

Warm up

The goal of a warm up is to get your blood flowing and shake the rust off your joints. I recommend a few toe touches and some yogic stretches to limber up. To get the blood flowing, do 20-30 jumping jacks, run to the end of the block and back or jump rope for a couple of 30-second intervals. That’s really all it takes!

Bodyweight exercises

You’re going to be baffled at how simple this workout is, but how effective it can be if you stick with it over a few weeks or a month. Here’s the base exercises, sets and reps—remember, there are some substitutions listed below as well, to mix things up.

  • Push-ups, 10 reps, 3 sets
  • Sit-ups, 10 reps, 3 sets
  • Chair dips, 10 reps, 3 sets
  • Crunches, 10 reps, 3 sets
  • Lying row, 10 reps, 3 sets
  • Bodyweight squats, 10 reps, 3 sets

Boom. That’s it. You’ll cover almost every major muscle group and put in solid reps, and you should feel the burn as you near the end of the workout. Now, there’s some wiggle room here. You can substitute in things like kettlebell squats and raises if you have the equipment, or do hanging knee-ups instead of crunches. Remember, this is a base workout that you can build on and customize for yourself!

HIIT intervals

Want to take your workout up a notch? Turn it into a HIIT workout! Take the list of exercises above do one set in sequence, giving yourself 30 seconds or so in between each exercise. When you get to the bottom of the workout, take two minutes off then start at the top again! Repeat three times for a nasty HIIT workout that’ll leave you sweaty and satisfied.

Whether you’re working out in your basement, your garage or your back patio, this regimen is fit for any single dad who’s just trying to stay fit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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