By Kate Harrold


THIS DAD isn’t letting a PANDEMIC stop him or his KIDS from getting their daily workout.

Fat-loss coach, Zach Pello (35) from Carmel, Indiana, USA, has always lead an active lifestyle and gravitated quite naturally to a career in personal training. Zach has been working as a personal trainer since 2003 and enjoys not only the physical results he sees in his clients, but also the personal growth they experience.

Zach’s active lifestyle is something that spills over into his family life. The healthy dad has always encouraged his children to try different sports to find out what they enjoy – not just what they’re good at. Zach believes that the most important thing you can do as a parent is to lead by example.

Zach photographed with his wife. MDWfeatures / @pellofitness

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, gyms and public spaces across the world are shutting down and it’s getting harder to find somewhere to exercise. Zach was finding that his at-home workouts were being interrupted by his equally house-bound children.  Realising that they too needed exercise, Zach cleverly incorporated his children into his workouts – something that he’s shared on Instagram in a series of family-friendly workout tutorials.

Zach has several handy tips. He recommends swapping weights for a couple of tin-cans or a backpack full of books. Washcloths can be used as sliders and towels that can be attached to doors to help you perform assisted chin-ups. If you want to get your children involved, 10 minutes of these core moves is what Zach recommends: squats, lunges, stretches, crunches, and step-ups.

The best way to get active is by using the four-by-four technique. This consists of doing four exercises, four times a week. Zach is a firm believer in if you’re short on time, this is the best way to build a new healthy habit.

Zach photographed with two of his children. MDWfeatures / @pellofitness

“I was heavily involved in sports whilst growing up and weight-lifting became a natural progression,” Zach said.

“I learned that there was a ton of value in participating in something that allows people to see personal growth. That is exactly why I love personal training.

“I believe that the moment we stop taking steps forward is the moment we cease to live life.

Zach photographed with his wife and two of their children. MDWfeatures / @pellofitness

“Before the pandemic, I encouraged activity primarily by encouraging my children to try different sports. It is important to see what they excel in, but also what they enjoy. If they enjoy it, they will continue it.

“As a parent it is crucial that we show a good example. If we don’t exercise or eat healthy, our kids will likely follow in our steps. So, it isn’t always about what you have them do, it is also about what we do as parents.

“Since the outbreak, my workouts have changed. As soon as I started working out from home, I realised that I was going to get interrupted during my workouts. In fact, that is one of the biggest complaints I get with my clients who work out from home.

Zach practising some leg lifts with one of his sons. MDWfeatures / @pellofitness

“My solution was to include my kids in my workouts as much as possible. This has allowed them to interact with me without interrupting the workout. It is a great balance.”

Zach has some handy tips including what household items you can use to maximise your workout.

“Young kids want to do what you are doing. They don’t care what it is. You including them in what you are doing is what they love,” Zach said.

Andrew photographed playing with two of his children. MDWfeatures / @pellofitness

“Since kids will only last about ten minutes before they run off to play, it is important to put the easier exercises early on. Squats, planks, step-ups, lunges, crunches, and stretching are great exercises to start with. Usually, kids have enough co-ordination and strength for these.

“People can use backpacks filled with books for squats, rows, lunges, step-ups, presses, etc. Cans of food are suitable for lateral raises, bicep curls, and tricep kickbacks. There are ways you can attach a towel on a door to do assisted chin-ups. Washcloths on a hard surface can be used as sliders for leg curls, mountain-climb sliders, etc.

“The best exercise is the one you are willing to do. Find what works for you. For many of my clients, I find that shorter workouts do better.

Zach completing some goblet squats with two of his children to keep fit during the pandemic. MDWfeatures / @pellofitness

“That is where the four-by-four method comes into play. Do four exercises, four times per week. Short and sweet. I would structure it in a way where you are doing two leg exercises, one upper body push and one upper body pull.

“Just like anything, exercise is a habit you have to intentionally implement. You need to be specific in making sure you know when you will exercise, how long you will exercise, and how often you will exercise.

“Start with less and then add to that over time. Remember that some workouts won’t be great and that is okay. Since there is no finish line, you will just have to keep pushing through.”

For more, please visit Zach’s Instagram page.