This month’s Featured Fit Dad is Ben Barker, a father of two, a personal trainer, and operator of the website, The Dad Wod.
Ben is an upcoming guest on the Fit Dad Fitness Podcast, but I wanted to feature him because I appreciate his approach to being well-rounded when it comes to fitness. The Dad Wod regularly features mobility and flexibility movements, and Ben talks a lot of proper form and nutrition.
I’m a big fan of Ben’s outlook on how he wants to reach his kids through fitness — that doing it well is better than doing it fast. It speaks to the truth that fitness is a long-term play and not a short-term burst.
Here is Ben’s story:
When did you first get into fitness?
In the 7th grade we started lifting weights for football. I enjoyed the training more than football itself. I always wanted to squat heaviest, run the fastest, and do the most pull-ups. I’ve never looked back!
What activities do you do to keep fit and active?
I love CrossFit, specifically, the Olympic lifting and gymnastics portions. I also enjoy hiking with my family. Little Rock has some great trails and a small mountain we love to climb. Basically, anything outdoors!
What is your favorite fitness memory or achievement?
This is a tough one. Growing up I never thought I was very athletic and didn’t really bloom until my senior year in high school. At our first track meet I won the 100-meter dash and that was the first time I realized I was actually fast!
What is your favorite workout?
Probably “Fran!” — 21-15-9 of Thrusters (95#) and Pull-ups.
In what ways do you hope to influence your children through fitness?
This is something I think about a lot. I want to encourage them to move well. Not to necessarily have to be the best but to do things right. I don’t want to force them to be like me but for them to see fitness/health as a lifestyle.
What words of encouragement would you have for other dads out there who want to be healthy and fit?
Start. Pick a fitness regimen and commit. I see too many people switch after a few weeks. Really any program will work if you stick with it and eat with common sense. If you’re trying to lose weight all you have to do is be at a caloric deficit. (My Fitness Pal is where it’s at)