“Physical strength is the most important thing in life. This is true whether we want it to be or not…”
“…A weak man is not as happy as that same man would be if he were strong. This reality is offensive to some people who would like the intellectual or spiritual to take precedence. It is instructive to see what happens to these very people as their squat strength goes up.”
On Father’s day, Brittany brought Bear to a powerlifting meet to watch me compete. Seeing him in the crowd was awesome. I took second place in the 181 pound weight class and hit a personal record deadlift, pulling 507 pounds.
The experience was deeply fulfilling. I can’t wait until Bear is old enough to train with me; maybe we can even compete together one day.
When Brit was 6 months pregnant I started powerlifting to manage my anxiety. I’m a powerlifter because of my son. Someday, he might be a powerlifter because of me.
Powerlifting is the best sport for busy Dads
It’s simple, inexpensive and convenient. It’s great for stress management, mobility and hormones. It requires minimal time and equipment and can be done alone. It’s safe, prevents injury and improves health and longevity.
Powerlifting develops work-ethic, patience and confidence…key attributes for fatherhood. Becoming a powerlifter makes all other fatherly responsibilities easier or unnecessary. It makes a man more useful as a Dad and more desirable to Mom.
To become a powerlifter is to learn the invaluable skill of strength development. Passing the skill of strength to your kid is honorable as fuck.
I can’t think of a more convenient sport that produces nearly as much usable fitness.
Equipment: Every gym has the basic piece of equipment needed for powerlifting…the barbell. With one barbell, some weights and a little time, any man can become really (relatively) strong.
You can buy a used barbell for less than $100 if you don’t like gyms. It takes up about as much space as a broom stick.
Shoes aren’t even necessary.
Time: It doesn’t take much time to build significant strength...usable strength.
In 15 minutes, a few times a week, a novice lifter can make big gains. How much time would you have to spend jogging to see big gains?
15 minute powerlifting workout: Deadlift - Load the bar with a weight you can lift about 10-12 times. Perform 10 sets of 6 repetitions with one minute rest between sets. This is a worthy workout.
One basic piece of equipment and 45 minutes a week is convenience a Dad can work with.
Strong Dad, Happy Dad, Good Dad
Increasing muscle mass and strength is the most important thing for health. Muscles and strength happen to be very protective against death. The stronger you are the less likely you are to die. It’s hard to be a good Dad when you’re dead.
The stronger you are, the healthier you are. The healthier you are the better you will be at Dad-life. The better you are at doing Dad things, the happier you will be. Happy men make better dads..
The more health you can accumulate in your younger years, the longer your health-span will be. As men reach middle-age we begin to lose muscle mass. Eventually we become weak, frail and we die. The more strength and muscle mass we accumulate before we’re old, the longer it will take to waste away. That’s called sarcopenia and it’s the reason a lot of dudes kick the bucket.
Powerlifting is investing in our grandpa years with strength and muscle mass.
Dad’s needed for building stuff, lifting stuff, loading stuff…this is all very important stuff and Mom expects you to handle it.
Holding my son Bear is a workout in and of itself. When Moms puny arms get tired, Dad needs to be ready to take over. Even if that means 4 hours straight because the little guy has decided he's not walking.
Pushing him in the stroller on a hike is an endurance event. Bear is a massive baby, but I have massive guns...No problem.
“Fly Bed” is a game which involves throwing Bear onto a mountain of pillows. It’s a hybrid of an overhead press and deadlift. Bear will play for hours. Dad can do this because Dad isn’t weak. Bear likes that Dad isn’t weak. Bear likes Dad. #Winning.
Injury Prevention: Being strongAF makes these tasks fun. Being weakAF makes these tasks dangerous. Here’s the thing, few people injure themselves powerlifting because Powerlifting is a very safe and controlled movement.
Injuries happen when Dad is loading the child seat into the truck. It’s not that the child seat is unusually heavy, it’s not that bending 90 degrees at the waist is inherently dangerous, it’s because Dads low back and abs are under developed from not powerlifting.
Now Dad is no longer useful. Now Dad can’t play fly bed. Bear doesn’t like this.
Protection: When you’re jacked, you’re harder to kill. Being not dead is important for protecting your family. Also, bad guys are less inclined to mess with the family if Dads pipes are swoll. This is a basic visual deterrent.
As a Dad you are a protector. You can protect things better when you’re strong and scary like a bull.
Powerlifters are sexy
Powerlifting and good nutrition improve body composition. Packing on muscle makes you look sexy; watching TV and eating soy doesn't. Take your shirt off and go be useful in front of Mom by lifting some heavy shit.
Deadlifts boost testosterone to teenager levels and this makes a man feel great. When your testosterone is flowing (as it should be), your body releases pheromones that make the special lady in your life attracted to you.
It’s good when Mom wants to bang Dad. It brings good vibes and harmony to the household.
Be a powerlifter and have more sex...it's good for you.
The skill of strength: Bonding, a shared interest, useful for sport.
I'm a new Dad but I think fatherhood is about being present with our kids. Spending time connecting, playing, teaching and learning. Powerlifting is a wonderful medium to do this.
Giving our kids the gift of strength is a huge advantage in sports. General strength developed through the squat, bench press and deadlift will translate well into whatever sport my son chooses to play.
Powerlifting is about working hard to achieve something you couldn’t do before. It’s about starting something and finishing it, despite the discomfort. It shows us, and our kids, that our limits are seldom where we think they are.
If you're looking for a way to improve your health and manage the crazy responsibilities that come with being a dad, I urge you to become a powerlifter.
You don't need any prior experience in strength sports to begin your powerlifting adventure. You don't even need to be strong.
If you already go to the gym and lift weights regularly, why not become part of something that has history and meaning. Why not learn a sport?
When I committed to my first powerlifting competition, something clicked in my brain. My attitude changed and I felt the power of this awesome sport drive me to be better. Competing is the singe best motivator for fitness. Take the next step.
Thanks for reading,
ps - if you're looking for coaching to help you get started email me - Gabe@ancientgains.com