He called him”‘the strongest baby in the world”.

Brian “Boom” Lumbus is the gym dad who came under fire for “forcing” his 4-year-old son to lift weights in the gym.

Lumbus, an online gym coach, dedicates his Instagram account to showcasing tips and tricks for others to try in the gym. However, when Lumbus first featured his now 4-year-old son lifting weights on his Instagram, people were outraged.

They Dad-Shamed Him — “You’re Stunting His Growth”

In the wake of Brian Lumbus’ decision to involve his son in weightlifting, the harsh criticism could have weighed heavy on his shoulders, but thankfully for this bodybuilder it was nothing he couldn’t handle!

Naysayers were quick to voice concerns about the potential harm to his child’s development. Accusations of “You’re stunting his growth” flooded his social media platforms, casting a shadow of doubt over Lumbus’ parenting choices.

Yet, in the face of skepticism and dad-shaming, Lumbus stuck to his guns. In his heart he knew that he was offering his son something far more valuable than “temporary comfort” — people just didn’t see it yet.

But the million dollar question may be…with such a strong backlash, how much weight was this toddler really lifting?

They Were Just Styrofoam Weights!

The most interesting part of this whole story is that everything was totally safe and kid-friendly. The barbell “weights” are made of styrofoam, and the “lifting bench” is brightly colored and built exclusively for kids.

As a body builder and dedicated parent, Lumbus was naturally educated on the subject and quick to clear up any misinformation.

Even then, his critics — most of whom were uneducated on the matter — were slow to believe Lumbus’ claims. So an expert “weighed” in and proved them all dead wrong.

According to an article published by Men’s Health, strength training is key to motor skill development and athleticism. ”Contrary to what some might have heard, introducing a strength protocol to young athletes will not stunt their growth”. The experts added that kids can usually begin resistance training around the same age they become interested in sports — which tends to be between 6- and 8-years-old. 

And if you still don’t believe him—see for yourself.

Watch Brian “Boom” Lumbus’ Video:

The Secret Lesson Revealed: He’s “Building” His Son’s Character

little boy lifting weights
@boomlumbus/ Instagram

In a lot of ways, these styrofoam weights may seem like any other kind of toy a toddler his age may like to play with — but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The meaning behind how this young boy interacts with this object makes all the difference.

For Lumbus, the act of introducing his son to “weightlifting” at such a young age wasn’t so much about building his physical strength; it was about instilling values of discipline, perseverance, and determination from a young age.

Think of it like learning a new language. The older you get, the more difficult it becomes to learn that language. Children who are born in bilingual homes still must do the work to learn a new language, but they have a huge leg up because they are learning linguistics while their brain and motor functions are still forming.

However, most importantly, Lumbus isn’t just preaching his beliefs — he’s living them out loud. By sharing his fitness journey with his 481K followers and showcasing his son’s involvement, he’s not only encouraging and inspiring other parents to follow suit but also providing practical resources!

This gym dad turned into an entrepreneur when he launched his website and began selling his very own brand of weightlifting “equipment” (toys) for children. His biggest priority is to make all his knowledge accessible for those eager to start their own family journey of when it comes to this more hands-on approach to parenting.

“Trust the Process” — Sometimes Lessons Aren’t Clear to Us at First

As a father and mentor, Lumbus understood the importance of leading by example and providing his son with the tools necessary to navigate life’s challenges with confidence and determination

In a world where instant gratification often takes precedence over hard work, Lumbus aims to impart a crucial life lesson to his son: success is earned through dedication and effort. By involving his son in his fitness journey, Lumbus is instilling the right values in his son — and it couldn’t be sweeter father-son bonding.

At the end of the day, family bonding looks different for everyone. What does it look like for you?