House Arrest Training: Training With Children

A good friend of my wife and I, asked me about putting together a program for them. I had a little fun with the name of the program, since this person is pretty much a super mom. She currently raises six kids, two dogs (mine is one of them since she watches him during the day) and one hermit crab. She not only keeps those kids from dying, but also home schools each of them. I’m forever impressed with the work that she is able to do. I don’t think in the entire time I have known her (for years) that we have had more than 5 conversations where she wasn’t holding a child or taking care of one of them actively.

So since time is definitely not something that she has a huge amount of and going to the gym is pretty much out of the question due to life responsibilities, this program is aimed to be able to be done with simply bodyweight or utilizing a child as weight (she has six weight options). Good news is they live on a small hill and have a basic pull up/dip station in their house.

The goal here is a simple two different workout split that she can do either once or twice per week. This means she can train either twice per week using this or do each workout twice for a grand total of 4 workouts in a week. Since currently the oldest is eight and the youngest is just about six months old a full night of sleep is never a given in their house, so if she isn’t recovered and is too tired she can just try and train again the next day. As always take some time to warm up (5-10 minutes) before working out, and the goal is quality repetitions not quantity of repetitions.

Day 1 2
Exercise A1 Goblet squat holding child Child deadlift
Exercise A2 Push up Child shoulder press
Exercise B1 Lunges holding child Pull up negative or band assisted pull up
Exercise B2 Row a child or body weight low row Hip thrust on floor (maybe add weight)
Exercise C1 Ab choice exercise Ab choice exercise
Exercise C2 Child curl Step up with child
Exercise C3 Close grip push up Row a child or body weight low row

The same idea for doing this as grouped supersets applies (do both “A” exercises together). Aiming for sets of ten repetitions each set and a total of 3-5 sets of each exercise. Week one just perform 3 work sets and then increase the sets accordingly to how you are recovering. Take a deload once every month or two (a week where you only do two or three work sets and take those easy). For the pull up negative aim for just getting in total quality reps, start with 5 for the first workout and then increase by 2 or 3 each one after until you max out at 20 and then focus on controlling down even slower, or stopping and holding yourself at different positions in the range of motion. For the body weight exercises like push ups, start with the easier version (on the knees) and when you can do a set of twenty then make it more difficult (leg straight, leg elevated on a chair, etc.).

Example of lunging with a child on your back. Ok, maybe more of an adult than a child here. 

For conditioning this is where we can have some fun. The goal is to get in three training days of this each week with more days or less being an option depending on what her schedule allows (at most 6). The goal is to do this cardio work for at least 20 minutes preferably for 30 minutes, and over time increasing this amount to an hour. Here are a list of ideas for this cardiovascular work:

Push the stroller with kids in it
Walk with child in a harness or piggy back ride
Bike Ride
Walk up the hill and back down (build up to run up and walk down)
Brisk walk
Jump rope or whatever you can come up with

The goal here is to make the cardio fun and either something she can typically do that still allows her to watch the kids, or something that she can do to get away. For the walk/jog, the goal is to walk for 50 yards then jog for 50 yards just going back and forth between the two. An easy way to pace this is to walk from one mail box to the next and then jog to the following and then walk again. Have fun, but keep your heart rate up and your breathing too.

The cool thing about this, is if she gets to the point where she can press her oldest and keeps doing this all the way until that kid is a teenager she is going to be strong as all get out. This is some solid Milos of Crete stuff. Though, this will hopefully be fun and allow her and the kids to play together while she is able to get in better shape. I hope you guys enjoyed reading this and I’m going to try doing one of those videos every other week, if you have something you want me to talk about please let me know and I’ll try to answer it through writing or video. Thanks again for taking the time to look at this.


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