You Need To See These 10 Dad Workouts

Illustrated by Ted Parker.
So far this year, we’ve already taken a few fashion cues from our dads, so why shouldn’t we copy their workout routines, too? Sure, you may know a dad who dabbles in contemporary workouts like SoulCycle, but that’s not what we’re here for today. In honor of Father's Day, we’re here to learn about dad workouts.

Like dad jokes, dad workouts are character-building. A real dad workout follows a very specific routine and is probably inherently funny to said dad's children, though (unlike with a dad joke) Dad likely sees nothing humorous about it.

Let’s hear it for all the fit dads out there. From the home-gym-dads to the only-take-the-stairs-dads to the exclusively-works-out-in-jeans-dads (shoutout to my own father for this sartorial choice). Today, we raise our sweatbands and hand weights to you.

Ahead, we had 10 people share how their dads approach exercise. You might not have asked for their advice, but, in true dad form, you got it anyway.
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1 of 10
He set up an appointment with a trainer and said, "I will never cancel on you."
"My dad is a health nut. My mom has had to learn how to space out when he describes his weight-lifting routine. His resting heart rate is under 50 beats a minute! I wish I could channel his stick-to-it-iveness, but basically his success is all about routine. He turned 50 and was in pretty good cardio shape but not happy with his weight, knees, etc., so he set up an appointment with a trainer and said, 'I will never cancel on you,' and he hasn't! Except once when he had diarrhea. He was committed — hard stop — and hasn't wavered."

- Marshall
2 of 10
Illustrated by Ted Parker.
He won’t travel anywhere unless they have a hotel gym.
"My dad is super into fitness. He won’t travel anywhere unless they have a hotel gym. At home he has a treadmill, bike, and elliptical in the garage and does weights in the family room. He gets up at 5 a.m. to work out before anyone else is up."

- Natasha
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3 of 10
Illustrated by Ted Parker.
He'll walk laps around the mall.
"He runs (and tells me every day) four miles on the treadmill at 1% incline (that is the most important point for him to get across) and then swims about 40 laps. He uses an iPod shuffle and will not skip over any songs, ever — so it's always a surprise. 'Walk everywhere' is also his mantra; if there's a blizzard and he can't walk outside, then he'll walk laps around the mall.

"And duh, walking the golf course, because carts are reserved for 'people who don't understand the true value of the game.'"

- Alexandra
4 of 10
Illustrated by Ted Parker.
"Going down the stairs is hard on your knees!"
"My dad loves stairs! I grew up about a block away from a huge hill with a staircase that led all the way up to our local college, and my dad's main workout was taking those stairs extremely rapidly, two at a time, then walking back down, and doing it again. When my parents moved to a high-rise apartment in a different city, he started doing his workout on their apartment-building stairs — he'd walk all the way up to the 23rd floor, then take the elevator down ('Going down the stairs is hard on your knees!' #truth) and repeat the whole thing. Basically, my dad was doing HIIT before it was cool."

- Anna
5 of 10
Illustrated by Ted Parker.
It's all loud stomping and explosions coming from that room.
"My dad walks on the treadmill and watches deep-dive action movies on Netflix, no matter how bad! It's all loud stomping and explosions coming from that room of the house, usually for an hour or more."

- Naveen
6 of 10
Illustrated by Ted Parker.
He works out to enjoy a cosmopolitan on the weekends.
"Peter takes his workouts very seriously. He is sure to be efficient with his time by doing workouts that are 'full-body' with strength and cardio packed all in one group of exercises. Today, his workout included TRX, super-setting some upper- and lower-body exercises (push-ups, squats, etc.), and finishing off with core. He then repeats it again about three to five times. As his daughter and a physical therapist, I am proud of his determination, but he has had his fair share of injuries. Peter works out like he is still training for college sports.

"In Peter’s workout wardrobe, he sports Kohl's and Sports Authority wear, but he always makes sure to wear an absorbent shirt underneath his workout T-shirt so he doesn’t sweat 'all over the place.' He is sure to finish is workouts with protein, specifically a shake.

"Peter works out to maintain good health, and to enjoy a cosmopolitan on the weekends."

- Erin
7 of 10
Illustrated by Ted Parker.
"Simple misery."
"When asked about his workout routine, my dad tells me, 'No fun stories. Simple misery. Just trying to keep moving one box car away from the engine that goes over the cliff on your 50th birthday.'"

- Caroline
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8 of 10
Illustrated by Ted Parker.
He just says, "Play squash."
"My dad is part of a competitive squash league and plays the game every other day. Whenever I tell him I feel out of shape, he just says, 'play squash.' He's obsessed (which is awesome). He also says 'swimming would be just as good.'"

- Mi-Anne
9 of 10
Illustrated by Ted Parker.
"Try to bang your mom at least once a week."
"Here's what my dad recommends: 'Start the day Spinning on RevMaster Sport in the garage for 20 minutes. End the day sweating with Bikram yoga three to four times a week. Run kettle-bell routine every couple of days for strength, and try to bang your mom at least once a week to stay motivated.'

"Leave it to my dad to be wildly inappropriate."

- Amanda
10 of 10
Illustrated by Ted Parker.
He's like a walking, talking, nonstop workout video.
"My dad has advice on all manner of physical activity... I think it might actually be one of his favorite things to talk about, and he loves to talk when the topic strikes!

"I once brought up the idea of optimal running stride, and the end result was a full-on, annotated physical demonstration of the toe-to-heel method, which, at the time, was all the rage. Sounds quick, but that demo lasted at least 15 minutes. Lots of detail to dissect.

"Complaints around my lower-back pain led to my receipt of Foundation Training in the mail and a full-on explanation on how everybody has been overlooking the importance of back strength in favor of core strength... 'We're all fools' was the message there, more or less.

"My sisters and I have also stood witness to his breathing and posture 'exercises,' which can be witnessed just by being around him on a Saturday afternoon while he stands in the kitchen with feet shoulder-width apart, slightly bent, pelvis tucked, chest puffed, etc., and breathing deeply, to no end.

"He's like a walking, talking, nonstop workout video, and I love him very much for it."

- Anne
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