A Bodybuilder Shares How He Balances His Gains With Being a Dad

·2 min read
Photo credit: Buff Dudes - YouTube
Photo credit: Buff Dudes - YouTube

Hudson White isn't just one half of YouTube's bodybuilding duo the Buff Dudes, he's also a father. And when his kids were born, he quickly found that his previous lifestyle and approach to fitness was simply no longer feasible.

"I got that dad bod overnight, I really don't know how it happened," he says. "So I had to reevaluate a little bit, start back from square one."

White recalls the culture shock he first felt after getting married and starting a family after living as a bachelor, and the adjustment period that it took for him to get used to a shared life where he is responsible for others. And while his day is certainly busier these days because of it, one promise he made to himself is that he wouldn't use his kids as an excuse not to work out—he just had to rethink his schedule.

"It's not an excuse, it's a challenge," he says. "I very quickly realised that most of the time I was now working within my children's time... They're an alarm clock you can't turn off... I had to learn how to get up early, there was a time I was even getting up at 4:30 to do some swimming and get my workouts in. It seems obnoxiously early, and it really is... I like to get up before the sun has risen, because it feels like you're beating the day... You're not just getting exercise, you're game-planning as well."

He also quickly learned to optimize the time that he did have when working out, either through supersets, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), or doing sessions that engage the whole body rather than specific parts. "You can get in all that you need in a very limited amount of time," he says. "With the small amount of time you have, maximize it to its full potential."

Something which helped him make the most of this time was adopting a new philosophy: "If it's not fun working out, don't do it." White says that 45 minutes doing slow, steady-state cardio on a treadmill started to be boring and time-consuming, but there are plenty of other more enjoyable ways that he gets his cardio in, such as through VR workouts.

His other top practical tips for getting in better shape? Calorie tracking, because "you have to have an idea of where you're going," and meal prep. "Just setting aside a little bit of time really gives you more time in the long run," he says. "Think of it as an investment."

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