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Todd Abrams and Brandan Fokken have an issue with the term “dad bod.” These two fathers, fitness fanatics, and entrepreneurs work hard to maintain their strict diets and fitness regimens while being supportive partners to their wives and spending as much quality time as possible with their kids. With their new joint enterprise, DadBods Inc., they hope to transform what we think of when we hear “dad bod,” and hopefully inspire more busy fathers out there to stay accountable when it comes to maintaining their health and setting a good example for their families.
Abrams: I’ve been married for 21 years and have three kids—a 19-year-old, a 15-year-old, and a 3-year-old. My wife and I take turns going to hockey games, dance competitions, driving the kids to school. It works like any sports team. You’ve got a captain and an assistant captain—but my wife is the captain. Fitness has been a family lifestyle since we’ve been together. It’s been great for the kids. No one has to tell my oldest to go to the gym. His friends might be at a party, but he has a goal: He wants to play in the National Hockey League. Even my 3-year-old mimics me doing ab exercises.
Fokken: My wife, Amber, is also in the fitness industry, and that’s how we met. Now we have a 2-year-old son named Eastan. You have to communicate. We’re always asking, “Can I help you with this?” We’re very supportive of each other. My wife does more than I do, I admit, but I have my part. I make dinner 95% of the time. After dinner, it’s family time. It’s very Groundhog Day, very routine.
Abrams: It frustrates me sometimes because I see fathers who don’t take care of themselves. In my mind, they have a responsibility to their kids. I train every day at 3:30 in the morning—it doesn’t matter if I’m on the West Coast or East Coast. For me, the fitness side is a balance, and it makes me a better person, a better father, and a better husband.
Fokken: I don’t have time to eat six, seven meals a day, taking protein, and making shakes. I work with REAAL EEAs, and they’ve simplified things for me. I’ve been able to maintain muscle more easily on their product, whereas in the past everything was counting calories and macros, which is really inefficient. So that’s helped me in my home life.
Fokken: I called Todd six years ago because I wanted to work with him, and we hit it off right away. Our values are the same, and we have the same kind of energy, and we’ve been friends ever since. Last year, there was a big thing about “dad bods,” where women were attracted to guys who were out of shape. But what about the guys who want to teach their kids to go for more and work hard and keep fit? Basically, DadBod Inc. is about not settling for what people consider the quintessential dad bod. It’s more of a movement. We’ll have a website, online challenges and contests, a podcast [The DadBod Show], and other ways to showcase how we as healthy dads live our lives as a whole.
Abrams: DadBod Inc.’s tagline is “The business of being a dad,” because it’s really about responsibility and accountability. Our mission is to provide a solid foundation for fitness and fatherhood; it’s about making a commitment. This will probably piss off some people, but I ask guys, “Are you qualified for the job of being a dad?” I think that there are a lot of people who are probably unqualified for the job, and it’s not that they can’t be, but there has to be that mental shift.
Todd Abrams is the CEO and founder of Icon Meals. Brandan Fokken is an IFBB Pro League competitor and founder of Fokken Nuts. Their joint venture, DadBod Inc., aims to redefine the “dad bod” through fitness and nutrition plans, podcasts, coaching, and tips for fit dads.