Time is the pestering constant that no living organism has ever overcome. In modern society it’s also part of a more common gripe: I don’t have enough time.
You know how it goes. No time to finish that dodgy retaining wall. No time to catchup with friends you never actually liked. No time to attend your kid’s first stage show playing a tumbleweed. All are important aspects in a man’s life, but none more so than his own health and fitness which will see him well into the future.
Neglect that and it’s all down hill from there, partner. That’s why we’ve hit up Sam Wood, one of Australia’s busiest dads with a killer physique to find out exactly how he does it in the face of countless commitments. He also used to be on some television show about a Bachelor too, but we digress.
Time-poor purveyors, it’s time to meet your new friends abs, guns and the brand new definition of dad-bod.
Overtraining Is Overrated
Sam Wood has been in the personal training business for seventeen years but he’s still a firm believer in the fact that you don’t need to train for extreme amounts of time to build the body he has.
“Variety, intensity and consistency will always beat volume,” he says. The only time this rule doesn’t apply is if you’re training for a specific event or endurance marathons. Most of his clients at 28 By Sam Wood are just after the more immediate goals of getting stronger, fitter and leaner.
So the three key points to take away from this isn’t that training is bad, but it involves focusing on three specific areas:
- Quality of training
The latter is one of the most important and it’s imperative not to neglect that. “You can never out train nutrition,” adds Wood.
Maintain Your Daily Discipline
Whilst some may argue that it’s easy to get ripped if your day job involves being a personal trainer, this is certainly not the case for Wood.
Back in the early days when he pulled 60 – 70 workout appointments per week he’d be at the gym everyday, but these days he has a young family to look after and most of his working hours are dedicated to his online business. That means sitting down in front of a computer like most of us.
Here are his tips to ensure your discipline towards staying fit wins every time.
- Put workout times in a calendar as a proper appointment like you would a work meeting that you can’t miss. This will make it a priority you can’t miss
- Treat your fitness program as a “I’ll do it only if the time permits” activity. If a gap opens up, log it in.
According to Wood, 30 effective minutes a day is all it takes. Do sports and fitness activities you enjoy and the job’s half done for you so long as the endorphins are firing.
Once the self discipline is there, change it up and keep your body guessing by training with a friend who can push you and vice versa.
Food Prep & Intake
Sam Wood’s own personal diet is simpler than most would assume. More importantly it’s super easy to follow and revolves around a ‘real food philosophy’.
- Consume as little processed foods and sugars as possible
- Consume slightly higher protein than most people. A high good fat and low-carb diet works well, but there’s no need to cut out carbs from your life entirely
- Eating this way will ensure you burn fat efficiently, you’re fuller for longer and you’re not filling your body with empty calories
Calories & Food Portions
- There’s no need to count calories in Wood’s diet
- He doesn’t portion his food too specifically
- Three quality meals a day is a must to ensure he has the right balance
“If I have a higher protein breakfast like an omelette then there’s no worries having a steak sandwich or rice or pasta for dinner,” he says.
“Whereas if I had oats or fruit for breakfast, I might have a higher protein vegetable dinner. I just look at my balance throughout the day and make sure there’s a good macro balance of good fats, good carbs and protein across the day.”
Foods He Won’t Touch
- Sugar is the biggest culprit
- Foods with refined sugars and processed carbs
These normally come in the form of instant noodles, pasta, white bread and general stuff you can find in the junk food aisles.
“These foods do nothing good for your body. People need to stop thinking of food as a number and more as a nutritional value.”
“Ask yourself why you are eating that? Are you eating it because good carbs give you energy and protein rebuilds the muscle? Or are you eating it because you’re hungry and it fills you up for an hour?”
Wood is no food Nazi though.
“When you think about food differently, you’ll automatically start cutting out the crap. But everything in moderation is my rule. Have a burger, a beer and chocolate as sometimes foods”.
Building The Ultimate Dad-bod
Despite being a family man and in his mid-30s, Sam Wood still finds time to look the way he does even though it’s not his intention.
“The older I get the more I train to function well and feel good. Looking good is just a nice byproduct.”
This is what his conditioning phase in the gym looks like:
- 10 minutes of stretching, activating and mobilising
“Band exercises, ball release stuff, foam roller stuff. Dynamic stretching to ensure my quality of movements is better, I avoid injuries and enhance performance.”
- 30 minutes of body conditioning in the gym which includes weights, lifting kettle bells and functional strength training like TRX
“I’ll try to hit the gym 4 times per week alongside a combination of pilates, swimming and running; something that breaks it up from the other gym days. Just a walk with the family can tick that box.”
- Work out in 28 day blocks and know what you’re training for
“Variety is key but I still write a plan down. I don’t go to the gym and make it up on the spot. It might be strength focus, endurance focused, or for an event.”
- Customise your training to achieve the desired outcome. You can plateau and not get anywhere if you don’t have a plan
“I have to do strength workouts or I’ll get too skinny. I have an ectomorph body. I’m 6’3 and 97kg now. When I was in the 12th grade I was 6’3 and 67kg. I was the skinniest kid with braces and elbows and I had to work hard to put a bit of meat on the bones.”
What If You’re A Dad With Little Time & Energy?
We get it. Being a family man is a big commitment with endless strain on your time and energy. Hitting the gym? That’s the last thing on your mind.
But there’s a way around it according to Sam Wood.
“I have two coffees a day and I find that when I eat real food with a lot less processed stuff, my energy levels are much better.”
“And when it comes to sleep in an ideal world, the magic number is 7 hours.”
Wood’s top energy reviving tips:
- When you exercise regularly, you tend to sleep better
- Eat real food as mentioned and know that it’s ok to have one or two coffees a day
- Keep and eye on the milk and sugar – they’re extra calories you don’t need to be consuming