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Viking Dad Bod 2023: Week 4

Alright, freaks – we’ve made it to the end of the first month of Viking Dad Bod 2023! It’s been an interesting journey thus far, forcing me to learn some stuff and take a hard look at my processes. As I enter this second month of programming, there will be many things changing just to see what happens. Overall I’m still pretty happy, all things considered. My monthly readings are off a little because I changed my metrics, my goals and my measuring devices. So in many ways this second month is almost like month one all over again.

Anyway, more on the details in a minute but before we get into it, I want to talk to you about something I’ve been thinking a lot about this week.

Thoughts on Motivation:

As many of you know, I’ve been an early bird for the last decade of my life. I’ve consistently gotten up before 5 a.m. at least three days a week for the last ten years and for the last year I’ve gotten up around 4 a.m. all five weekdays. Currently I have a 4 a.m. alarm set for MWF, a 4:45 a.m. alarm set for TTr and a 6 a.m. alarm for Saturdays. I’ve found that I’m more likely to skip my workouts if I put them off until the afternoon or evening, so it’s best if I get up, get moving and get that shit over with ASAP.

But let me just tell you – it’s never been easy.


In fact, there are many times I fight myself SO HARD while I’m cuddled under my warm blankets beside my gorgeous wife and cuddly pom-chi. Why on earth would I get out of this situation so I can go put myself through hell in the weight room or pound the pavement in the park? One such instance was just this past Tuesday. I wanted to stay in bed so bad I couldn’t stand it. I reasoned in my mind that nobody is holding a gun to my head here – nobody is going to come get me if I don’t run today – ultimately nobody cares. I could get a couple more hours rest and just pick back up on Wednesday.

In that moment, I lacked all motivation to go for my run.

Motivation is a word that has permeated not only this industry but any industry that requires hard work. There are playlists on Spotify designed to motivate you, speakers who make millions motivating you with their words, books-upon-books about how to self-motivate, blog posts with endless lists of motivational life hacks, Pinterest is packed with motivational quotes we mindlessly pin to our vision boards … Yet what’s one of the biggest reasons people give for not following through with their fitness, career, relationship or financial goals?

They don’t have the motivation.


Well, I’ve put a lot of thought into it, dug deep within myself to find the answers, researched every dark corner of knowledge I could find and compared the findings of every self-help book I’ve ever read and I’ve discovered the golden ticket – the key to unlocking an unlimited supply of motivation.

And that’s recognizing that motivation is bullshit.

Motivation doesn’t help you reach your goals. Motivation doesn’t get you to the gym at 5 a.m. on a Wednesday. It doesn’t get you to the park at 5:30 a.m. on a Tuesday. It doesn’t finish writing that manuscript for you and it doesn’t track your calories for you. Motivation doesn’t help you climb the corporate ladder and it doesn’t help you start your own business. To reiterate: motivation is bullshit.

So if motivation doesn’t get you off your ass and help you slay your goals, what does? Discipline. Motivation may spark new ideas but discipline will make them a reality. Motivation may make you join a gym but discipline gets you in there week-in and week-out. Motivation makes you buy healthy groceries but discipline keeps you out of the drive-thru on stressful days.

When I got out of bed on Tuesday, laced up my shoes and hit the trail for my two-mile run, it wasn’t because I was motivated to run – I was anything but motivated. No, I got in my morning run that day because I am disciplined and dedicated to my cause. Motivation fades, discipline makes waves.

Keep that in mind the next time you’re thinking about flaking on your goals. Do you actually need motivation, or do you simply lack discipline?

Anyway, let’s talk about this week –

Some Things I’ve Learned / Observations From Week 4:

  • This week on the running program I’ve finally gotten to the part where my run intervals are longer than my walk intervals. My pace is still the same, though, so that’s cool.

  • I’m feeling much stronger and have been putting up more weight across the board.

  • My blood pressure went back up this week but I think it’s because my stress level was higher than usual. I also forgot to measure it on Tuesday so I only took one reading. Too bad it wasn’t a good one.

Some Things I’m Changing Moving Forward:

  • I realized last week that for some reason I had programmed everything correctly – hitting each muscle group twice with one time being 4x6 heavy and one time being 2x12 not-so-heavy – except triceps! I don’t know why but both my Rope Pushdowns and Assisted Dips were programmed as 2x12 so I’ve officially switched my Rope Pushdowns (Mondays) to 4x6.

  • This week I traded in T-Bar Rows for Horizontal Cable Rows (Underhand Grip). I like them better but I’m currently unsure how comparable they are.

  • Beginning on Monday I will be doing a daily-average weight where I track my weight each morning and report the weekly average. This is a new-ish approach that I’ve learned more about in the last year and I like the idea that it’s a more accurate depiction of your actual weight since everyone’s body weight fluctuates for a variety of reasons.

  • I’m unhappy with my bathroom scale and I’m considering getting a new one. The Renpho app is great but I think there’s something out there that’s better for tracking other metrics aside from body weight.

Highlights of the Week:

  • Remember last week when I talked about We Weak? I was able to push that heavy weight on bench for all four sets this week! WIN!

  • Like I said above, I’ve entered the first phase of my running program where my running intervals are longer than my walking intervals. I’m happy with how I fared!

  • I took some progress photos and compared them to my Jan 6 starter shots. My waist has gone down about 3/4-inch (noticeable in the photos but also confirmed by tape measurement) and my chest is noticeably bigger (I'm not tracking its measurement)!

  • It was a bad-ass week for food at the Simpson household, busting out new recipes like this healthier Benihana Steak and Fried Rice dish by Remington James – (I made mine slightly different by using venison instead of beef skirt steak, adding steamed broccoli as a side and including peas in the rice), and this Popeye’s-inspired chicken sandwich by Ice.Karimcooks!

Monthly Stats:

Weight: 234.8 Pounds (0.6 pounds lost from last week, 0.2 pounds lost total; no weight loss goal)

Blood Pressure as of February 3, 2023: 176/127 Stage 2 Hypertension (Up from 167/115 last week, still down from 180/117 at the start)

BF: 19.7%*

Waist Measurement: 40.25” (down from 41”)

*Before I shut ‘er down for the weekend, I wanted to say that my body fat appears to have gone up but it hasn’t, really. My initial reading was done on my less-than-accurate bathroom scale that doesn’t take many things into consideration, including my height and body type. I got this new reading via a more-accurate Omron Handheld Body Fat Loss Monitor and will be measuring with that moving forward.

Ever onward and let's see what this next phase holds!

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