T Nation

Question to Those with Children


We have a little girl due in Jan, and I'm curious as to how much time you guys had to train when you had your newborn. The wife gave me the OK to build a gym in our 1-car garage, so I've been spotting stuff on craigslist. I have a gym 10 minutes from our place, but if training times can come or go on the whim, I'd rather be able to go out in the garage and get it done.

Any words of wisdom?


First congratulations. I have two older boys 12 and 13. Both are active in sports during certain parts of the year. One piece of advice I might give is to have a stream line routine. One that focuses on the important stuff and doesn't have allot of fluff that you might not need. Because if you don't you'll end up pissed when you have to cut a session short or miss due to time restraints. Also be ready to train at very odd times since
you will have to adjust things around your new offspring.


I like Bulldog's advice about being flexible. You might need to go with more frequent but shorter sessions or double up on a particular day. Also, managing with one child (I assume it is your first) is pretty easy if you have an accommodating spouse. In my experience, 2 kids is 4 times the work.


Congratulations, my daughter just turned two years old and you are in for a lot of fun. I wish I had a garage gym to take advantage of a free hour, whatever the time. I've had to cut down to training twice a week, focusing on the big lifts, I squat every session, then bench, deadlift, or press depending on the time left. Good luck.


For reference I have a 5 year old, a 15 month old, and a 21 year old.

I have three different gyms I frequent: a private pl club an hour from the house, a public 'hardcore' gym 20 minutes away, and a membership to a large chain with multiple locations, including one across from my office and one ten minutes from home. I would like to have a set up in my garage as well, that will happen sometime in the next year or so.

The good thing about the public gym is after 3 months old the kids can go in the child center for two hours per day. This gets utilized heavily by my wife and sometimes myself. Yes, I have had to change a poopy diaper while covered in chalk in between deadlift sets.

How much time you miss is due to priorities. When the five year old was born I took a week off. Whith the newest one maybe three days? It helps a little that my wife is currently stay at home, but even when we were both working I managed to get all my sessions in. It's just a matter of time management, and support from the spouse.


Damn so me having 5 kids makes that .....fuck I do medicine not math. :slight_smile:

I get up at 4:15 to lift cause well there is no other time, been doing it for years.

Adapt and overcome that is what being an adult and parent means.


Thanks guys, exactly the input I was looking for. First child for us, so I'm both excited and scared shitless at the same time!


Don't be scared. I loved everything about it.


2 cent tips on a home gym, I have been committed to one for years. For flat barbell bench press, no spotter, what I do is I have a long bar that has very secure collars (in my case a 15lbs, 6ft York standard hole one with spin lock collars). I warmup, and have as the working weight 50lbs heavier, that is I keep the last 25lbs each side outside the collars and if/when I reach failure I dump them one by one onto a padding setup on the sides. I haven't buggered up my apartment with hardwood floors, so you could likely make it work in a garage.

Dips I do with a basic metal frame walker older people use.

I modified my pressing bench to also use as standards for squats, I just use household items as a fail safe in case of failure. It is rickety, but works.


I had twins and then another 3 years later. I took a couple of months off entirely, until we found our stride. After that, I went back to my usual routine except I went in the mornings before everyone woke up. That provided minimal disruption.

The bottom line is this: If you want it, you'll manage to cook up a solution. Have faith!


Our boy is 19 months old - I trained 3 or 4 days a week up til about 3 months old
then I took a few months off- coincidentally to heal up, move and do some child rearing
and managed with just BW training in that time

right now I try to get two days -in and more if I can manage
some mornings and some nights.
like people said its about flexibility in your training
Kids are the best thing ever


i am a single father and i usually hit my garage gym after my little one goes to bed. but i am lucky in that she has slept through the night since 6 months old and is a heavy sleeper. she goes down at 8pm and i am out back between 8:30-9pm.

now i was way more flexible till recently on my workouts. i had primary and secondary goals. i would at least do my primary goals which consisted of squats and pressing between 2 workouts and i would space those at least 2 days apart. sometimes it would be 4 or 5 days. the secondary stuff was if i had time, energy, etc. or to fill in between the primary days.

as long as you can reach your goals on a program where it can change week to week you should be good. in fact i felt it was easier to create a program that wasnt restricted to a week to week. i would either just say take off at least so many days after said workout or go on a 2 week cycle.

my daughter is now nearly 4 and i can have a structure again. i still only lift 3 days with an additional event day. which still has enough flexibility that i can change a day or 2 without any worry of messing things up.