The Fantastic Four Workout for the Busy Dad

Why the Number Four?

The program consists of four main exercises per day on four days per week.  Think of it as a family of four.  The main lift is the daddy lift.  It is a big compound exercise such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and overhead press.

The second lift is the mommy lift.  This lift is the yin to the yang of the daddy lift.  Romanian deadlifts after squats, lunges after deadlifts, rows after benching, and pullups after overheads.

Third comes the oldest child and we will call him “Son.”  This exercise is a growth exercise.  It should target a muscle you want to grow.  For example, on squat day you might day hamstring curls or glute-ham raises.  On bench day you might do incline db press.

The fourth and final exercise is the baby of the family and we will call her “Baby.”  This is where you can work some “beach muscles.”  Curls, forearms, and calves apply here.

The program is meant to last 4 weeks at a time.  Once you complete the fourth week it is time to rinse and repeat with a few changes each cycle.

What is Fantastic about it?

If you are a married father with two kids (or more) life can be a bit hectic.  You deal with stress from work, family, and life.  You don’t have the ability to recover from time-consuming and energy-zapping lifting sessions.  Yet, you still want to be strong and in shape.  You don’t want a DAD BOD…you want an “Oh Daddy Bod.”  This workout program allows you to be active without destroying yourself.

A Word on Progression

Any program worth the paper it is written on focuses on progression.  You should be striving for one more rep or a few more pounds each week.  The main (Daddy) lift is the one that matters most.  It works the most muscles and uses the most weight.  The progression for this lift is simple.  In week one you are going to work up to one hard set.  You are going to take that set for 10 reps.  You should have been able to get 12 on it, but stop at 10.  The next week you will increase the weight 5lbs and do 10 reps.  Do this for the first four weeks.

The Mommy, Son, and Baby lifts are going to be structured a little differently depending on the exercise choice.  You should do five sets per exercise with 5-10 reps per set.  See below for an example routine.

Example Program

Day 1: Monday

  1. Overhead Press- Work up to 10 Rep Set
  2. Weighted Pullups- 5×5 with same weight
  3. Dips-5×5 with same weight
  4. BB Curls-5×10 with same weight

Day 2:  Tuesday

  1. Squat- Work up to 10 Rep Set
  2. Romanian Deadlift-  5×8 weight same weight
  3. DB or KB Snatch- 5×5
  4. Ab Wheel- 5×10

Day 3:  Thursday

  1. Bench Press-  Work up to 10 Rep Set
  2. Db Row- 5×10 with same weight
  3. Incline Db Press- 5×10 with same weight
  4. Db Rear Delt Raises- 5 x10 with same weight

Day 4:  Friday

  1. Deadlift- Work up to 10 Rep Set
  2. Lunge- 5×10 with same weight
  3. Dragon Flag- 5×10
  4. Calf Raises- 5×10


This is a simple program for someone who wants results while balancing life.  You can get each of these workouts done in 30-45 minutes as long as you don’t mess around.  Outside of the gym go for a walk a few times a week, ride a bike, or play a sport with your kids for easy cardio.

After four weeks make some minor changes to the Mommy, Son, and Baby exercises to keep things interesting.  You can do similar exercises or you can change up rep schemes.  The point is to prevent boredome and continue progress.


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