Redefining the Dad Bod: 10 Rules of Middle-Age Fitness

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The natural phenomena almost every man goes through, whether they’re actual fathers or not. Some fear it, others embrace it. Some don’t care about it and see it as a part of aging. Others, however, are more conscious of it and will do everything in their power to avoid, or at least delay, the inevitable.

These once chiseled fine specimens of mankind are quite aware that things don’t stay up for long and eventually, those massive pecs will drop down to their bellies. But reality and gravity are no match for their willpower. They need to get back to the pinnacle of their physical excellence so they hit the gym, pump iron, and do whatever it takes to redeem and redefine the so-called dad bod.

The internet is chock-full of different lists of exercises for different types of people. There are lists of exercises for people suffering from scoliosis, lists for older adults, lists for beginners, and so on. And these lists are also divided into different focus areas such as back exercises, leg workouts, home workouts, free weights, HIITs, and a whole lot more. There’s practically an endless supply of exercise lists for everyone.

Here are some pieces of advice that you’ll need in your quest to give a new definition to the term ‘dad bod’:

Rule #1: Remember that you are no longer as young as you used to be

We understand you want to prove that you can still do it but keep in mind that what goes on inside your head might not always agree with your body. Set realistic fitness goals taking into consideration your present physical capabilities. If you’re not used to pressing 400 in your younger years, don’t even attempt to do  200 on your first day of getting back.  Keep it real.

Rule #2: Once you start, see it through

The thing about fitness is it should be consistent for results to show. You can’t expect to go to the gym today and be ripped like Arnie the following day. It takes time to make great things happen and unwavering dedication for them to stick. Get up and show up every day.

Rule #3: Work on your flexibility

Again, you’re not as young as you used to be. You may be flexible and agile in your 20s and even 30s but when you hit the big 4-0, things will start to change. Simple everyday stuff like putting on your socks and shoes or coughing hard can hurt your back and incapacitate you for days. Well, not really days but you get the idea. So more than being ripped or buff, work on your flexibility because that’s a lot more useful to have than just having bulging biceps.

Rule #4: When your body talks, listen to it

As mentioned earlier, one wrong or miscalculated move can break your body. Your body doesn’t work the way it used to. You become slower, weaker, and heavier and your body will not hesitate to remind you of your age. The sad thing is, it speaks to you through pain. So when you feel something wrong, like a pulled muscle, stop what you’re doing and have yourself checked. You can’t just brush it off like you used to. Pay attention to what your body is telling you. That is your defense against serious injuries.

Rule #5: Add versatility to your workout routine

We understand that you want the ladies to turn their heads when you walk by but don’t just focus on your physique. You need to include flexibility, agility, endurance, and stamina in your workouts. Ask a trainer to give you a holistic program for your age that will improve your overall health and not just your muscles. On that note, never skip leg day unless you’re going for a Johnny Bravo look.

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Rule #6: Compete only with yourself

Dude, you’re a bit more advanced in years compared to other guys in the gym and track. Even if you were a bodybuilding icon in your youth (more like in your mind), you don’t need to prove yourself to others. If you’re one of those competitive types, instead of pitting yourself up against other guys, compete with your version from the previous workout. You are your best competition.

Rule #7: Stop reliving the past

Sometimes the past is a great reminder of our potential. However, it can also be a bitter reminder of failures. Regardless, your past should not haunt and hinder you from achieving your fullest potential today. If you had a great past, do better this time. If it was bad, that’s alright. Now is the time to redeem yourself. Stop living in the bubble of your past glories and defeats. Live in the present.

Rule #8: Mind your business

Gym courtesy dictates that you should stop getting into other people’s workouts and just mind your own business. Keep in mind that each person has different fitness goals so your tips and advice might not align with what they’re trying to achieve. If they ask for your input, give them your thoughts. Focus on achieving your goals. That’s what you’re in the gym for in the first place.

Rule #9: Complement your workouts with the proper diet and supplementation

No amount of exercise will change your physique without proper diet, supplementation, and enough rest. As you age, your body’s needs will change so you need to adapt accordingly. If you’re not sure how to do it, talk to a fitness coach and ask for help.

Rule #10: Remember Rule #1

If you stay committed to your goals and you do things right, you will see great results pretty soon. As the six-pack starts coming out, as your delts and traps are more defined, as your overall demeanor improves, you will want to push yourself some more. That’s great but just keep in mind that you are not as young as you think you are.

For instance, if you want to lift heavier, do it incrementally and under the close supervision of a professional. Push yourself to your limits but don’t overdo it. You only have one body. If you break it, game over. There are no spare parts.

Even if you don’t achieve muscular perfection, the important thing is your overall health is improving. Redefining the Dad Bod is not just about having washboard abs and bulging muscles. It should do with the overall improvement of a man’s health.

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