A Dads Fitness Journey 2024

I’ve been into fitness since 2012 when I wanted to get into shape for my wedding. Since then my journey has been a relatively consistent one with a few rocks in the road along the way.

2015 was my peak fitness year. My wife was pregnant with our now 8-year-old, I was getting my education business off the ground and we spent most of our time together. Weights and fitness took the place of nights out and I grew a small, slender but lean and strong physique.

Me 2015. Not such a spring chicken now!

Life has changed a little more since then. An 8-year-old and a 3-year-old in tow, two house moves, a pandemic, school runs, a business sale and a new love of family cycling (hence the blog) means the fitness picture looks slightly different. Weights have been replaced by resistance bands and the goal is to become more of a ‘hybrid’ athlete.

I’ve spent the past couple of years with this approach and largely I’ve kept in ‘ok’ shape but my progress has plateaued a little. I used walking to school and a weekly bike ride as my cardiovascular fitness but I felt as though this wasn’t moving the needle. I think the Great British winter and unfavourable weather conditions mean it’s difficult to get out on the bike every day. Couple that with other commitments the cardio fitness would fall by the wayside.

I’m a big fan of the Prime Cuts Newsletter and it was one of his posts which sparked more of a concentrated effort in fitness/health. It’s suggested your waists should be the same or less than half of your height. My waist/stomach area has always been a problem area for me and this didn’t quite stack up. It nudged me into gear though as I had a measurement to work with! 

So I’ve decided to measure my waist/stomach area once a month and place effort on diet and fitness. My word for 2024 is health. With a raging obesity crisis in the UK and heart disease hitting a 14-year high I want to create a body which is strong, lean and healthy with strong cardiovascular fitness as well as strength.

August 2023

As a snapshot, here are some of the key metrics for the type of fitness I am trying to do:

  • Accessible fitness with no restrains: We spend the Summer travelling Europe so resistance training needs to be portable. There needs to be next to no friction to make it sustainable.
  • Inexpensive with no recurring monthly costs: I’m not a huge fan of gyms and recurring payments. 
  • Efficient: Predominantly home-based or accessible from my front door (walks, bike rides). I think gyms are expensive and inefficient (unless you have one within walking distance).
  • Longevity-focused: I am looking to build a physique which is something I can sustain into my 40s/50s/60s. This is where the hybrid approach comes in. For more on this, I recommend the book ‘Outlive’ by Peter Attia. 
  • Avoiding injuries: Spin bike & resistance bands have less impact than other activities and my aim is consistency (habit building) and avoiding injuries.

I started to log my progress on the 8th of January when the kids went back to school. My goal is consistency without suffering burnout. I am in a fortunate position that i can tailor my work around my fitness/family so if I want it to be my priority it can be. I plan to log a weekly progress chart however for the first four weeks they will all be within this blog post.

DayDateFitness doneDurationKM or Sets
Monday8/1/2024Body weight30 mins9 sets
Monday8/1/2023Spin Bike21 mins7km
Tuesday9/1/2023Body weight30 mins9 sets
Tuesday9/1/2023Spin Bike25 mins 209km
Wednesday10/1/2023Body weight30 mins9 sets
Wednesday10/1/2023Spin Bike26 mins9km
Thursday11/1/2023Tennis35 mins
Thursday11/1/2023Resistance Bands30 minsNo legs
Friday11/1/2023Body weight30 mins9 sets
Friday11/1/2023Spin Bike21 mins7km
Saturday12/1/2023Spin Bike32mins11km
Sunday14/1/2024Weighted backpack30 mins9 sets
Sunday14/1/2024Spin Bike30 mins11
Monday15/1/2024Resistance Bands45 mins12 sets
Monday15/1/2024Spin Bike30 mins11
Tuesday16/1/2024Body weight35 mins12 sets
Tuesday16/1/2024Spin Bike30 mins11.1
Wednesday17/1/2024Body weight35 mins12 sets
Wednesday17/1/2024Spin Bike30 mins11.25
Thursday18/1/2024Resistance Bands30 mins10 sets
Thursday18/1/2024Football60 mins
Saturday20/1/2024Body weight25 mins9 sets
Saturday20/1/2024Spin Bike31 mins11
Sunday21/1/2024Weighted backpack30 mins9 sets
Sunday21/1/2024Spin Bike30 mins11km
Monday22/1/2024Body weight30 mins9 sets
Monday22/1/2024Spin Bike30 mins11km
Tuesday23/1/2024Resistance Bands30 mins10 sets
Tuesday23/1/2024Spin Bike40 mins14.8km
Wednesday24/1/2024Body weight35mins12 sets
Wednesday24/1/2024Spin Bike36mins13km
Thursday25/1/2024Football60 minsSteady away
Saturday27/1/2024Body weight25 mins9 sets
Saturday27/1/2024Spin Bike31 mins11.1km
Sunday28/1/2024Body weight30 mins9 sets
Monday29/1/2024Body weight25 mins9 sets
Monday29/1/2024Spin Bike40 mins14.7km
Tuesday30/1/2024Body weight (x2 press-up variation)30 mins10 sets
Tuesday30/1/2024Spin Bike40 mins14.5km
Wednesday31/1/2024Body weight (x2 press up variation)35 mins9 sets
Wednesday31/1/2024Spin Bike40 mins14.9km
Thursday1/2/2024Resistance Bands30 mins10 sets
Friday2/2/2024Body Weight (Press up bar)30 mins9 sets

Points thus far:

  • Football is something I have recently started with some parents from school. As a home worker, I am enjoying the social side of this however it’s not conducive to the fitness goals I am looking to achieve. I am continuing with this but having not played 5-a-side football for 10 years I could barely walk after the first few sessions which limited my overall goals. 😀 I am trying to balance this by taking it easy on the day of football. 
  • My VO2 max has improved considerably since starting the bike in just a few short weeks. What started as 20-minute sessions have now progressed to 30/40 minutes. 40 minutes is my peak as my goal is to maintain muscle composition so I will focus on increasing resistance on the bike while maintaining speed/time. 
  • I used Nutricheck to get an understanding of my diet, how much I am eating and where I need to be to lose weight. It’s fascinating to see how easy it is to eat your daily intake of calories. It’s no surprise we have an Obesity crisis. 
  • From a food perspective, I am still eating carbs. In the past, I had big success with going low carb (just vegetables) but I found it quite miserable and it impacted my sleep. I’m a light sleeper and a bowl of porridge makes a huge difference to me in the evening so I’ve maintained this. I’ve reduced my carb intake by having cauliflower rice instead of rice at lunch and an extra vegetable with my evening meal vs a more carbohydrate-dense food (pasta, potatoes, rice). 
  • I am more conscious of mid-afternoon snacks. I will have a protein-rich snack (tuna, cucumber, tomatoes, boiled egg and a bit of mayo) vs something else. 
  • I already feel lighter and much leaner around the ribs/stomach area.
Stomach Inches:Target: 89cm
LocationMiddle of belly button
LocationUnder belly button
As you can see from the table above I have already made progress with my waist area. I measure in two places as it can be difficult to get accuracy. I am still 7cm away from my target waist but lost a cm throughout January which I am pleased with. My goal is to hit my target waist size by the Summer.

The key is consistency and habit-building. There are days when we have had a disruptive night with the kids and the workout standard is poor but the key is to show up every day and do ‘something’. I am still walking my daughter to school ¾ times a week and don’t include this in the metrics as it’s a couple of miles a day. 

My plan moving forward is to write this recap weekly. It will evolve as I progress but I wanted to get something out there for accountability purposes. Should I include photos?, would you like to know any other details (weight perhaps?), challenges, upsides and downsides? Would including my weekly food intake help?

Let me know in the comments or via social media! 

Last Updated on February 2, 2024 by Ryan

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