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Project Dad Strength

Here's a question for you: When was the last time your kids saw you really sweating from physical exertion?

So it's been a while since I posted, but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy. One of the things I've been looking at and it's one for the dads, young and older... including the "former athletes".

There’s no denying it, men as a whole are getting weaker, and to our detriment as a society, as a nation, and as a world, we are progressively getting more and more comfortable with our weakness. It has become habitual for us, and what is habitual becomes normal. But to be weak is not normal or natural and should never be accepted as such. We should always be challenging our limits, but the sad fact though is that it’s now considered almost abnormal to see a man in good physical condition over 40. Sometimes even over 30.

How did this happen?

When did this happen?

Why did we as a society allow this to happen?

We may be inclined to think that this is a fairly recent problem for modern man, but it’s been slowly creeping up on us for some time now. Bernarr Macfadden (1868 -1955), considered to be the father of physical culture, was once quoted as saying, “Weakness, is a crime.” And this was back in the early 1900’s! How much further into decline have we come over a century later?

This weakness is a very real and insidious threat that imperils our very nature as men. At no other time in history have we struggled with such a threat to our health, well being, and strength. As our lives have evolved to become more and more comfortable and convenient, and our jobs have become more and more sedentary, it’s evident that the critical time for us is right now.

Our physical power has dwindled.

Our once naturally strong, rugged muscular physiques have become flabby and weak.

So what are we going to do about it?

At the start of a new adventure I'm calling all dads out: who's looking for dad strength or real old man strength.

Come and join me on my Project Dad Strength journey.

I know you're already probably Superman to your kids but do you want to show them just how much superman you are?

Here are some exercises to help you get started on your journey. I've got two types of workouts for you to do depending on whether you're more comfortable in the gym or like me in the great outdoors doing the unconventional.


This is a pretty simple workout with one piece of equipment for strength and one for cardio.

Your barbell for strength and your rowing machine for cardio.

Strength: Here you have four exercises, 100 reps in total. Complete 25 reps for each move, then move on to the next without pausing.

Here are your exercises:

01 \Deadlift

02 \Bentover Row

03 \Shoulder Press

04 \Back Squat


Rowing machine:-For this we'll be doing high intensity interval training using the WATT units on the rower.

Here's how it works: you need to find a pace that you can maintain for 30 seconds. (Most gyms have a Concept2 Rower so that's what we'll base this on.) When you get started the wattage will appear very quickly, this number should not drop for the 30 second interval. That's round one, rest for 90 seconds then do it again. You have 10 rounds to do.

Outdoor/Unconventional - I really like this one!

Interval Sprints

Farmers walks

Loaded hikes


Rope Climbs

Loaded getups

Here's how:

Interval Sprints

This one is really easy to work out and will help you to develop explosive power and increase anaerobic thresholds:

Go outside, sprint from one lamp post to the next, walk to the next one and repeat. When the distance between lamp posts becomes too short, get your timer out, sprint for 10seconds, walk for 30seconds repeat. How many times? well that one's up to you, challenge yourself.

Farmers Walks or Loaded Carrys

From the beginning of time men have been the pack horses, carrying stuff. this one will take you back in time.

Pick up something (loaded suitcase, dumbbells, jerry cans, sandbags) which is about as heavy as you can manage and take it for a walk. This doesn't have to be far (literally only about 20 meters), swap hands and walk it back. Repeat 5 times. Eventually you'll be working up to carrying at least half your bodyweight in each hand. For bigger guys like me this will kick your butt.

Loaded hikes

Much the same as the loaded carry in as much as you're picking up something heavy. This time it's on your back. this one will take a bit of preparation, get an old but really strong rucksack (have a look in military surplus stores). Load it up with about 20-30% of your body weight to start off (play sand, rocks, anything really will work), and go for a walk....a long walk.

Rope Climbs

Nothing says strong like being able to pull your own body weight up a rope. This one caught me by surprise a few years ago. Don't sweat it though the grip strength you develop from the loaded carrys above will pay dividends here, but you may need to start by doing pullups. Important thing to do here first though is learn to climb a tree (you should find that your kids are pretty good at this already).


Progress with pushups will be fast! The beauty of pushups is that you don't need a lot of space and equipment and there are loads of variations. You can use your imagination here, but if you need help, check this out .

Loaded getups

Last but not least, remember that rucksack you got for your hike (or any of the equipment you used for the farmers walk), time to grab it. this one is really simple. Lay on the ground with the weight on your chest, then getup onto your feet. the movement doesn't stop there, get back down onto your back under control without losing the weight. Change sides and repeat.

So there it is guys, the most important thing with this project is that you keep moving, pushing, pulling, squatting, hinging, thrusting, pressing, and getting up.

Have fun with it!

Be sure to post your comments and feedback and progress!

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