OutsideSubmission-3 columnist

As I am writing this article, I am literally three days away from becoming a father to my second child. I have a beautiful three-year-old daughter and a son who is due any day now.

Before any children, I would spend an average of eight hours per week in the gym and wouldn’t think the least of it. However, once I found out I was going to be a dad, I knew early on that my gym time was going to be cut down substantially. The term “dad bod” was tossed my direction more often than I could count, and I was certain that I wasn’t going to fall into this physique and let my lifestyle slip because of any children.

Naturally, I convinced my wife to let me turn one of the bays in our garage into a gym. I asked for a $2,000 budget, thinking I could get everything I needed for this amount. After all, between the both of us, we were paying approximately $60 per month for our gym membership. My wife appreciates numbers, so I told her that if we gave up those memberships, we could have our gym paid for in less than three years, and we would be on the positive side of owning our own gym! She was sold, so the equipment hunt started.

As a full-time student finishing my undergraduate degree in psychology, a part-time employee working for a local supplement store, and a research assistant for my university, I was gearing up to tackle one of life’s greatest joys... becoming a father. In September 2016, I was officially a father and started the journey of keeping my promise to myself: NO dad bod. The garage was turning into my dream, with a modest budget and creative research skills, I put together a gym I was able to train effectively in and kept off (for the most part) any unnecessary dad bod weight.

While my current goal isn’t to achieve a beach bod because of my prep for my second powerlifting meet, I can assure you this spring, I will start my summer shred.

Here is a list of the top-5 items I would recommend any dad to order from elitefts to transform that dad bod into that beach bod.

1. elitefts R3 Rack with Standard Chin Bar

Having a quality rack is literally THE STAPLE in any home or garage setup. The versatility of a legitimate power rack is not only space-saving but also beneficial for a multitude of exercises. Obviously, you have your squats, but you can also utilize this for your bench press, rack pulls, overhead press, deadlift space, pull-ups, etc. Also, just because you’ll be wearing board shorts before long, this doesn’t give you the justification to skip leg day. We want your quads filling out those shorts — and maybe even give you the confidence to rock a speedo.

2. Spud Inc. Tricep, Lat, Low Pulley System

This system is a MUST. For something that takes up virtually no space and can be used on your R3 rack, I would highly recommend this Spud Inc. piece. When I was building out my gym, having a pulley system allowed me the ability to train my “show muscles,” aka biceps, triceps, and shoulders. There are so many variations of exercises you can do with this system that it’s way too much to type out. Just know your beach bod will be complete with the luxuries of pumping blood into your arms and delts to hit that V-taper.

3. elitefts Leg Extension/Leg Curl Machine

This piece is definitely a luxury but also a necessity to round out your leg training. While your squats and deadlifts are the most important for putting on some mass, the convenience of this combo piece allows you to work those accessories and shape your legs. For me, doing leg extensions until it feels like my skin is going to tear is one of the greatest feelings ever. Again, to rock a stellar beach bod, you need nice looking legs to balance out the six-pack.

4. elitefts Compact Dragging Sled

This piece is focused more on your conditioning and cardiovascular health. In order to burn off all those midnight snacks and overnight snacks (which you will definitely have because you’ll definitely be up at all hours of the day), you will need something to focus on burning calories. This piece is very affordable and very small, so it won’t take up much space, but it’s very impactful when you’re running with 100-plus pounds dragging from your back. Why run on a boring treadmill when you can look like a crazy person in front of all your neighbors dragging weight? You might even get hit on by the grandma next door (which may or may not have happened to me)!

5. elitefts Bar Selection

Well, last but not certainly least, I would encourage any dad out there trying to transform his physique to stock up on a quality Power Bar and then a few specialty bars to mess around with. The Olympic Style EZ Curl Bar, the American Gridiron Bar, and the Safety Squat Bar would make an excellent start to your never-ending desire to own every bar known to man. These bars will allow you to target every muscle needed with many variations. To polish off that beach bod, you will definitely want to invest in some quality bars to thicken up that back (American Gridiron Bar), grow your arms (EZ Curl Bar), and continue to blast your thighs (Safety Squat Bar).

Well, there you have it. By having these five things in your house, you will definitely prove to the world that you can be a dad AND have a beach bod. Also, you will notice I pushed heavy on the importance of training your legs. This is critical, as it not only provides a great foundation for a quality physique but will also help your body produce the necessary hormones to grow all over.

The convenience to train at home will be a great balance for you to spend more quality time at home with the family all the while transforming your dad bod into a beach bod.

Steve Rideout is a father to a three-year-old daughter and is expecting his son to arrive any day now. He is a family life educator who is currently working on his master’s degree in school counseling. He’ll be competing in his second powerlifting meet in March 2020. Steve has a HUGE passion for health and fitness and an amazing wife of seven years, who also supports his fitness lifestyle.

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