As part of our Spartan Parents Father's Day coverage, read on for Spartan dad Justin Batt's secrets to building a successful business, raising four active children, crushing Spartan races — and doing it all without an owner's manual.
Name: Justin Batt Location: Charleston, SC Job: Founder and CEO, Daddy Saturday Family: He and his wife, Heather, have four kids, ages 5-11 First Spartan Event: Spartanburg Sprint, Spartanburg, SC, Nov. 2017
Justin Batt has spent more than a decade trying not only to figure out what kind of father he wants to be to his four kids, but also how to best help other dads looking for some guidance.
So the release of his first book — Daddy Saturday, which hit the shelves in May, just in time for Father’s Day — marks quite a career pinnacle for the South Carolina-based businessman, father and Spartan athlete. The book curates some of the best parenting advice and insight that Batt has accumulated over the years, and is named for his weekly ritual of hanging out with his young children on Saturdays while his wife runs the couple’s local bridal shop.
“There’s no manual for dads that says what you’re supposed to do with your kids to engage them and be intentional,” Batt says. “Even as a dad who was trying to take it to the next level and be engaged and be intentional, I was still struggling. I figured there had to be other dads out there like me going through the same thing, and I think I can help them.”
Batt is also a committed OCR athlete who adopted the Spartan lifestyle after a chance meeting in 2017 with Spartan founder Joe De Sena. The two were considering working together, but De Sena — who ultimately contributed a testimonial on the book jacket for Daddy Saturday — had a small request.
“He told me that if I wanted to work with him, I had to finish a Spartan race before he would consider it,” Batt says with a laugh. “For me, that was a challenge accepted, and I was hooked.”
Spartan Kids spoke with Batt shortly after Daddy Saturday was released for his best parenting advice, and how to raise active families well.
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Launch 🚀 week for the Daddy Saturday Book is complete and the crew decided to end the week in a special way and in honor of @spartan founder and CEO @realjoedesena who endorsed the book we completed @spartanrace and @spartankidsrace #daddysaturday #daddysaturdaybook #father #fatherhood #intentionalparenting #spartan #spartanrace #aroo #launchweek #bestseller #bestsellerbook
How Justin Batt Lives Out the Spartan Lifestyle With His Kids
Spartan Kids: How do you involve your kids in your Spartan lifestyle?
Justin Batt: I allow my kids to see me in both the success and the struggles when it comes to the Spartan lifestyle. My kids see me come back in the house every morning after I’ve finished my workout and they see me tired and sweaty, and they know what I’ve done every morning. And when they see me compete in a Spartan race, they know I didn’t just show up and finish the race. I put in all those hours of getting up early and finishing the workout. It’s not about teaching them the Spartan lifestyle — it’s about showing them and living it.
SK: What’s the hardest thing about living a Spartan lifestyle?
JB: Spartan has taught me about the importance of being uncomfortable, so I’m constantly looking for ways to make myself uncomfortable. And as a parent and as a Spartan you’re going to come up against a lot of obstacles that make you uncomfortable, and you have to push through them. I take a cold shower almost every day just because I want to force myself to do something uncomfortable, and a month ago I heard my middle son, Mason, screaming in the shower. We ran in there, and he was taking a cold shower! He was trying the same principles in his own life!
SK: What’s your favorite exercise when you’re crunched for time?
JB: It’s burpees. They’re the best way to engage your entire body, get your blood pumping and get your heart rate up. If I have only a few minutes and I can only do one thing, it’s burpees.
Parenting Advice From a Spartan: Workouts, Food + More
SK: What’s your go-to exercise for the kids?
JB: On a lot of Saturdays we’ll all get up and do Joe’s daily routine. We love pushups and squats, lunges, jumping jacks and burpees. And when I do my pushups sometimes one kid will jump on my back or I’ll be doing squats and there will be a kid hanging there, it’s just a little extra weight, right? We’ll put it to Rocky music and really get after it
SK: What’s the healthiest snack your family will eat, every time?
JB: My wife gets all the credit, because on the weekend she’ll make a huge tray of fresh, cut vegetables and fruits, and a charcuterie board with some meats and cheeses and nuts. And we leave that out on the counter and instead of grabbing bags of chips or popsicles out of the freezer, they just drift by the counter and they have all those healthy snacks. They love it, and by the end of the day they’ve destroyed the entire tray.
Top Piece of Parenting Advice for Active Families
SK: What’s one piece of advice you would give people trying to live active, healthy lives with their families?
JB: The principal of Daddy Saturdays is intentionality. To live an active, healthy lifestyle you have to have intentionality, which means getting up early, having good food in the house and taking every chance you have to be physical. If you use intentionality, you can raise good kids to become good adults.