Last month I discussed how becoming a dad is absolutely incredible but that nothing can prepare you for it. It is a huge game changer. Being the father of a newborn is incredibly challenging. If you’re also trying to gain or maintain lean muscle and eat healthfully, it’s even more so—but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your own health and physique, You just need to meet the challenges head-on. I discussed sleep and stress, diet and focus. Now let’s look at the remaining challenges:
Challenge 4: Accountability. Needing and using accountability is nothing to be embarrassed about. Some people find they do better with accountability at all times. Others just need it during particularly challenging times. Your accountability may be something as small as having a buddy at the gym to check your progress or run sprints with you.
What I chose to do was hire renowned coach Ryan Faehnle to write my workouts and meal plans, eliminating all guesswork and giving me a structured, progressive program to follow.
Hiring a coach is one of the smartest things I’ve ever done—I’ve never believed in being your own coach. Anytime I’ve coached myself, I’ve gotten worse results. This way I not only benefit from Ryan’s incredible knowledge and unique techniques but also get to hand over the reins to someone else so that I can focus on other responsibilities. I still need to manage my business and a team of 10 people. I need to support and help my wife. But I also need to have definite goals to hit and a specific program to follow. By letting Ryan create my workouts and meal plans, I freed myself up to focus on those things.
I realize that not everyone can afford to hire a great coach, and I’m not saying you can’t get results on your own. I will say, though, that you’ll always get faster results if you can find someone to help you stay accountable to your workouts and meals. Join a community, either locally or virtually. Partner up with a friend who’s interested in working together. Enter a transformation contest with a deadline. Follow a program designed by someone you look up to. Spend a few bucks on a program so that you have some money at stake. Donate money to a charity you hate if you don’t achieve your goals by a certain deadline. There are many ways to hold yourself accountable.
Challenge 5: Time. You used to have a lot of it. Now you don’t. Even if your schedule was already jammed before the baby came, it’s completely covered up now. Aside from focusing on what’s important and creating a schedule, the best thing you can do for yourself and your family is to get some help. No matter how amazing your wife is, she’s not superwoman. Don’t expect her to be able to take care of the baby and everything having to do with your home life as well. She may have a job outside the home, just as you do. Do whatever you can to help each other, but don’t be afraid to get help from others.
Even if you can’t afford to pay for a cleaning service or gardener or whatever else, maybe you can barter for it. If you’re an accountant, perhaps you know someone who can maintain your yard in exchange for help with his taxes. Maybe your wife’s a hairstylist and knows someone who would gladly clean one morning a week in exchange for free haircuts or color. You get the idea. Let the in-laws and your parents or your friends help out when they offer. It’s temporary, and it’ll save your health and your sanity and keep your marriage healthy as well.
I leave you with one last tip that has become my mantra whenever the baby is pushing us to our limits: “This too shall pass, soon to be replaced by something else.” It’s one of my favorite quotes and is so appropriate to raising a newborn. Remember, it’s just for a short time—although I hear that the bigger the baby becomes, the bigger the problems become!
Take steps to make sure that you stay on track so that you don’t have to start from square one when it’s over, and remember to cherish every single moment with your newborn, as they are moments you’ll never get back.
Editor’s note: Vince Del Monte packed on an amazing 40 pounds of muscle in 24 weeks. He’s known as “the Skinny Guy Savior” and offers courses to help you go from twig to big, including No Nonsense Muscle Building. For more information or to sign up for his free-tips newsletter, visit www.VinceDelMonteFitness.com. IM