Great Workouts For Busy Dad's - Dean McMenamin

Great Workouts For Busy Dad’s

Last week I wrote about my client, Adam.

How he went from having belly, feeling out of place in a gym, to seeing his abs, with a bigger chest and arms, right in time for his first abroad holiday since pre Covid.

And, younger guys in the gym complimenting his strength. 

All at the young age of 47.

And on just 3 simple workouts per week over the past 2 years.

An email reader asked me to share his workouts.

And although I’m happy to do that, you need to know the workouts he does now aren’t where he started.

In fact, if I started him on his current workouts, I doubt he’d still be ‘on the wagon’. 

And that’s not discredit to Adam.

You can’t recover from advanced workouts in the beginning.

You need to build yourself up slowly and gradually.

So instead of sharing his workouts, I’ll share my ‘template’ for a ‘great workout’ in your first 6-12 months. (and tbh, you may never need more depending on your goal). 

It’s my 3 step template for making you more mobile whilst increasing strength and muscle.

(Side note: fat loss all comes from your diet, the workouts for fat loss or muscle building are no different). 

Step 1: Mobility training (this is your warm up)

Spend 10 minutes doing joint mobility exercises for some of your biggest problem areas.

I.e., hips, shoulders, spine, etc.

Step 2: Push, Pull, Legs.

Pick 3 compound movements covering an upper body push, upper body pull, and legs.

I.e: dumbbell bench press, 1 arm dumbbell row, dumbbell Romanian deadlift.

Do 3 hard sets of each, 6-12 reps, resting 90-180 seconds between sets (bigger the rest, stronger you get).

If you’re strapped for time you can call it a day there.

But if you have the luxury, add in…

Step 3: Accessory work or carry.

You can throw in a couple sets of either hamstring curls, calf work, arm work, or a weighted carry.

Here’s what a weeks worth of workouts might look like training at home with minimal equipment …

Day 1: (Monday)

1) Mobility work.

2a) Dumbbell bench press 3 x 6-12 x 90 sec

(Or press up/weighted press up)

2b) Single arm dumbbell row 3 x 6-12 x 90 sec 

(Or inverted row variation)

2c) Dumbbell goblet squat 3 x 8-15 x 90 sec

(Or max effort bw squats or lunges)

If you have time …

3) Dumbbell farmers carry 2 x 60-120 seconds x 90 sec

Day 2: (Wednesday)

1) Mobility work ( shoulders and upper back focus today)

2a) Single arm standing military press or seated incline Arnold press 3 x 6-12 x 90 sec 

(Or press up variation)

2b) Chest supported 30 degree incline dumbbell row 3 x 6-12 x 90 sec 

(Or inverted row variation) 

2c) Dumbbell Romanian deadlift 3 x 6-12 x 90 sec

(Or bridge/bw hip thrust variation)

If you have time …

3) Swiss ball bridge & hamstring curl 2 x 8-15 x 90 sec

Day 3: Friday 

1) Mobility work.

2a) Pull ups or inverted row 3 x 5-10 x 90 sec

2b) Press up variation 3 x max effort x 90 sec

2c) Dumbbell or bodyweight split squat 3 x 8-15 x 90 sec

If you have time …

3a) Dumbbell curls 2 x 8-12 x 90 sec

3b) Dumbbell triceps extensions 2 x 8-12 x 90 sec

Point to note: If going only body weight I’d add in a weighted vest eventually.

Increasing your strength is massively beneficial for your physique.

That’s plenty if you’re starting out, or training already but with no structure or direction.

The important thing here is PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD. 

What does that mean?


Second, whatever numbers you’re lifting on week one, you want to be lifting WAY MORE 6 months later and beyond. 

So each workout, push for 1 more rep than last time.

And when you reach the top of a prescribed rep range, increase the weight and drop the reps back to the lowest number.

Rinse and repeat.

Of course, as always, your nutrition, sleep quality, and stress management will reflect the results you get from any program.

But that’s for another email.

Any questions on it give me a shout.


PS – if you don’t any equipment yet for training at home? here’s the companies I recommend to all my clients:



About the Author Dean McMenamin

Dean McMenamin is an Army veteran, father, dog-lover and body transformation coach to every day men all over the UK & Ireland. He's also a big eater of ice-cream.

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