Between all of the important things in life: catching up on Game of Thrones, getting the chili ready for the second-half kickoff, answering a few of those emails from work … and yeah, I guess I’ll toss in the diaper changes, too – we’re busy dudes.

Once the little one decides to make that grand entrance and the journey of fatherhood begins, our most important, precious and limited resource is time. Our whole concept of time is flipped over on its ugly head. Hell, I’ll still trying to find a way to finally a 60-minute episode of “Ray Donovan” in less than two hours. It’s a struggle.

And then these high and mighty assholes here at DaddyMindTricks want to get on their pedestal and tell you that you should probably have a modicum of health and fitness in addition to just trying to get through the day-to-day rigors of life as a dad? Yeah, I know your response is something like, “Fuck outta here.”

But like we mention in the The New Dad Order: The 10 NEW Rules to Modern and Successful (and generally awesome) Fatherhood, it’s up to us to “Set the example for your kids. Spend at least 90 minutes per week by picking up some heavy stuff and putting it down or running like you’re being chased.

Of course the problem with this philosophy is that pesky concept of time. No one has any. Especially not busy, working dads trying to level up to Jedi Master status of awesome. But if we can apply a method of training that focuses on efficiency, think quality over quantity, we can still have our cake and eat it, too. Bad analogy. Don’t eat the cake. Have a protein shake instead … that’s way more brosome, bruh.

Enter the concept of Metabolic Resistance Training or MRT. For those new to this type of training, first of all: welcome back from your cave … you made it! Second of all: welcome to the revolutionary formula that will get you back in shape, or help you avoid the round shape of the Dadbod.

MRT is a principal that takes advantage of compound movements with little to no rest in between the exercises. The short rest periods maximize calorie burn and boost metabolic rate, both during and after the workout. This period of recovery is just enough to allow for as close to maximum performance in that next period of intense work. And that is what we should all be aiming for: maximum performance.

So basically Metabolic Resistance Training is like this glorious recipe that combines the holy grail of fitness into an effective muscle-building, fat-shredding sandwich.

We do this through a variety of ways that challenges the body through a combination of compound movements to work the entire body. And the entire body will be worked with exercises that require minimum equipment or no equipment at all. That’s right, we’ll make use perhaps the best piece of fitness gear money can buy: your own bodyweight.

Sure, you can burn X amount of calories by performing 45 minutes of long, slow, boring cardio on the dreadmill or the stair-master or whatever, but the key to long-term and effective fat burning lies in a more efficient approach that sufficiently taxes your muscles.

A 2007 study by the University of New South Wales in Australia found that interval training has been linked to an increase of adrenaline (or epinephrine as it is referred to in the science world). Without getting all sciency and stuff, one of the factors that adrenaline brings to the table is the breaking down of fat stores and burning of fat. Another added benefit is that adrenaline helps reduce appetite. Sounds like a win-win to me.

This type of training has also been widely considered as a boost to calorie burning throughout the remainder of the day. In other words, a 20-minute MRT session may only burn 300 calories on the surface, but it keeps the body in a fat-burning state through the rest of the day, whereas steady-state cardio does not. That’s an additional 23 hours of fat burning potential that we are now tapping into here.

This is called Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC), some call it Afterburn.

MRT-style programming is designed to capitalize on the Afterburn effect by building some muscle, burning some fat and then maximizing the marriage of both to lead to real results in less time than it takes to jog on the treadmill.

To maximize time, space and provide most peeps with a chance to just get back in shape from home, we’re going to focus on training with dumbbells.

Why dumbbells?

Look, not everyone has the benefit of a full-blown home gym fresh with barbells and benches and power racks. If we all did have that option, we wouldn’t need a gym membership to begin with.

The following workouts are designed to get you back in shape, or keep you looking your sexy self, without stepping foot in the gym. To do this, we need to make best with the resources we have. Our garage. Our living room. Our extra bedroom. Hell, grab a pair of dumbbells and knock out some lunges in the bathroom.

A good set of adjustable dumbbells or power blocks are the perfect companion to this program. They allow for progression and are light on space without having to set up an entire rack of weights.

For our friends used to working exclusively with barbells, the different stresses that the dumbbells present will likely provide a nice little shock to the system.

Dumbbell training is great for:

  • Better range of motion – Dumbbells will allow you to really play around with some of your favorite movements and stress your muscles at all sort of new and lovely angles. Look no further than an incline bicep curl. It’s impossible to perform this move with a barbell.
  • Beginners who are just getting starting lifting and are learning the bigger lifts – for instance, instead of starting off on a barbell front squat, the early lifters may want to use progressions to get to that point, which starts with the dumbbell goblet squat
  • Spotting yourself – Trying to lift a little too much on those dumbbell incline presses? Simply drop the weights to your sides if you are struggling and don’t have a spotter. Trying to lift too much on that barbell incline press without a spotter? Good luck.
  • Change in stress – Put everything together and we get a new stress to the system. New stressors to the system makes for sexy muscles. Sexy muscles make for a happy trainee.

Try this DaddyMindTricks-approved Full-Body Workout on for size next time you feel like pumping some iron, but don’t have a whole lot of time:

The Dumbbell Full-Body Workout

1) DB Deadlift – 6-8 reps
– Rest 60 seconds and repeat 3 times for 4 total sets

2A) DB Push Press – 12 reps
– No rest
2B) DB Bulgarian Split Squat – 8 reps / side
– Rest 60 seconds and repeat 2 times for 3 total sets

3A) DB Step Up – 10 reps/side
– No rest
3B) Decline Pushup – AMRAP
– Rest 60 seconds and repeat 2 times for 3 total sets

4A) Lunge Jump – 30 seconds
– Rest 15 seconds
4B) Mountain Climber – 30 seconds
– Rest 15 seconds
4C) Jumping Jack – 30 seconds
– Rest 15 seconds
4A) Total Body Extension – 30 seconds

– Rest 15 seconds and repeat 2 times for 3 total circuits

A few notes:
Some of these workouts are based on Supersets. Supersets are pairs of exercises (i.e. 1A & 1B). In each superset, you’ll do exercise A followed by exercise B. Then you will rest up to 1 minute before repeating the superset 1-2 more times. Rest 60 seconds (1 minute) between each superset.

Taking it to the next level

In addition to the dumbbell workouts, we introduce the workout that will blast fat and create a pump like none other: The Dumbbell Complex.

You’ll grab two dumbbells, perform a handpicked series of compound movements strung together as one continuous set, without putting down the weights. There is no resting between the exercises as they all flow together nicely to create that huge afterburner effect we are looking for.

The benefits include:

  • improved cardio capacity … without actually doing cardio;
  • increased muscular endurance;
  • significant calorie burn;
  • a butt-kicking workout in a short amount of time, the DB Complex takes only 20 to complete and will have you feeling like you worked out twice as long.

I’m not saying dumbbells are superior to barbells by any means here. In fact, any comprehensive training regimen should include a variation of barbell movements, dumbbell movements, bodyweight-only exercises and even kettlebell techniques. But for the purposes of our 1-2 month hiatus to avoid the influx of noobs at our gym, these dumbbell workouts will do just fine.

The Dumbbell Complex

Perform the following complex of five (5) reps for each movement without resting the weights. You will flow from exercise to exercise without rest. After completing the first round, break for as long as needed, but perform as many rounds as as possible in 20 minutes. Select a load that’s challenging, but one that makes it possible to complete the complex.

1) DB Romanian Deadlift – 5 reps
– No rest
2) DB Bent-over Row – 5 reps
– No rest
3) DB Clean – 5 reps
– No rest
4) DB Front Squat – 5 reps
– No rest
5) DB Push Press – 5 reps
– Rest as needed before repeating the circuit as many times as possible in 20 minutes

No Equipment? No problem.

The beauty of the following program is the movements require only one piece of equipment: Your own bodyweight.

“Yeah, but, bro … I mean … I just don’t think I’ll really feel the burn from bodyweight-only movements like you can with weights?”


Try performing 20 seconds of bodyweight squats and then immediately hold the bottom position of a squat for 10 seconds. Do this for four minutes without rest, then come talk to me later about how your legs feel like Gumby.

The bodyweight workouts in this program are designed under the same metabolic resistance training principle. You’ll just be performing these MRT sessions without added weight. But, that’s okay. Bodyweight movements provide enough stimulus to get your muscles pumping, blood flowing and fat shredding away.

The No Equipment Needed Full-Body Workout

Perform the following circuit of ten (10) exercises for 30 seconds each movement. Rest 15 seconds between before advancing to the next exercise. After completing the first round, break for 75 seconds (1 minute and 15 seconds) before repeating the entire circuit 1-2 more times for 3-4 total rounds.

1) Push Up – 30 seconds
– Rest 15 seconds
2) Prisoner Squat – 30 seconds
– Rest 15 seconds
3) Cross-Body Mount Climber – 30 seconds
– Rest 15 seconds
4) Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift – 30 seconds (switch sides at 15 seconds)
– Rest 15 seconds
5) Walkout to Pushup – 30 seconds
– Rest 15 seconds
6) Prisoner Squat Hold & Lateral Walk – 30 seconds
– Rest 15 seconds
7) Plank to Elbow Row – 30 seconds
– Rest 15 seconds
8) One-leg Hip Extension – 30 seconds (switch sides at 15 seconds)
– Rest 15 seconds
9) Seal Jack – 30 seconds
– Rest 15 seconds
10) Jump Squat – 30 seconds
– Rest 75 seconds (1 minute and 15 seconds) & repeat the circuit 1-2 times for 3-4 total rounds

Three routines all designed to work the entire body through the duration of the session. Yes, that means the core and the legs and the chest and the arms and the back. All of it gets worked in each of the three training routines.

Now, go forth and prosper.

For even more MRT-style workouts designed to maximize time and efficiency while still delivering maximum results, be sure to download our 100% FREE eBook which includes a handful of muscle-pumping, fat-burning, generally badass workouts. And be sure to chime in below in the comments with your take on these workouts.