Dad's, usually associated with questionable fashion choices and bad jokes, but not this Father's Day. We got a chance to chat with JUNK athlete Sam Dancer, who also happens to be a totally kickass dad. He's here to break the "dad bod" stigma and share some of his tips on how to stay fitness forward while living the dad lifestyle.
Sam Dancer, a legally blind former ceramics artist, turned CrossFit athlete, took a step into an all-new arena in October of 2020 when wife Jenn gave birth to their first child, daughter Star. Now, Sam is totally owning this whole fatherhood thing while making time for fitness to fight off the dreaded "dad bod" that can sometimes follow along with becoming a new father. See below what it means to Sam to be dad strong.
An active lifestyle can reap physical benefits, such as increased strength and flexibility. Do you think it offers something beyond the physical, which might be beneficial to dads specifically?
Absolutely, there is mental and emotional fortification as well. Which are crucial aspects to navigating parenthood. If you don’t have the physical, emotional and mental endurance, being a parent would be very overwhelming and stressful. My active lifestyle and relationship with my wife has been the greatest preparation For being a father.
With a baby or kids added to the mix of everyday life, it can be easy to lean into the "dad bod", and shy away from physical activity. When you live such a fitness-forward life how do you handle that on top of the stress of being a new dad? What are your thoughts on this?
Without a doubt I don't have the same amount of time to train as before. Mostly by choice. I choose to spend most of my time with Jenn and Star. As for the stress, stress is the inability to make energy for the mind to perceive it’s environment thus you react poorly to it. So I have shifted a lot of my focus on nutrition to make sure I’m suppling myself the the nutrients to fuel my body and give it the energy it needs so that I cant react appropriately and gracefully to my environment.
What advice would you give to a busy dad who cares about his health but has yet to take the plunge into fitness? How does he begin?
Dial in your nutrition. Fitness starts there. Prep your food and have it ready so that you are fed. Once you are confident about your ability to meal prep and eat a minimum of 3 meals a day start doing things like a 10-20min stretch, walk, run, air squat, push up sit up circuit or join a gym!
When you have a tough day where you don't feel like working out, what inspires you to go out there and do it?
Community, I have a group of maybe 12 people that I workout with everyday. They keep me motivated to participate when I’m not feeling it. Even if I just kinda go through the motions, I’m there and I’m doing something.
When you don't have much time, what is the most effective workout to get in?
Breath work is an easy one to fit in. The book oxygen advantage is a great read on that. I’m a big fan of keeping things simple. Some hill runs/walks, lots of air squats/step ups, push ups and sit ups. You don’t need special equipment to get a great workout it. So here it’s is.
800m run, 5 - 10 rounds of 15 sit ups, 12 air squats and 9 push ups then finish with 800m run.
Suggestions on how to fit exercise or a good workout in on a busy day?
Time management. Everyone says they are busy but they spend hours on Instagram and Netflix. Start with 5min of work. Maybe it’s 5min of air squats. Or 5min of push ups or sit ups. There is time in the day you just have to manage it better.
What's the best way or your favorite way of exercising that gets your little one involved?
Walks and Carries. I do Maybe 1-3 10 min walks a day with Jenn and Star. Carrying a baby for 10 min gets pretty tough haha.