A Word About Exercise
This may seem like a strange topic for this blog but I feel that I need to say something about it. In 1 Timothy 4:8 we read “for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” The background for this passage is Corinth, home of the Isthmian Games. These games were held the year before and the year after the Olympic Games and many people idolized the athletes for their physical features.
This is an obvious issue. But many Christians interpret it to mean that we aren’t supposed to exercise at all. When you suggest the need for a little exercise they point to their bellies and say “you know I’m on the level because my bubble is in the middle.” What a poor excuse to let the temple of the Holy Spirit fall apart. Now the point I’m trying to make is that physical exercise is important…not as important as godliness of course but it has its place in life. The problem arises when Christians are consumed with their physical appearance to the point of obsession. I was one of these people. I began reading Bodybuilding magazines when I was about 13 and in no time I began picturing myself with big muscles and all the nonsense that goes with the bodybuilding lifestyle.
Sadly, it wasn’t till just a few months ago that I realized that I was still ‘visualising’ in this manner. But God, by His grace jerked a knot in my tail and made me understand what I was doing…coveting! Consider this: When you look at a picture of someone and say “I want to look like that” you are coveting. And coveting has nothing to do with godliness does it. Consider Colossians 3:5 which says “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” I don’t know of any real Christian which would knowingly engage in idolatry.
Interestingly enough the person whom God used to make me aware of my sin was a gentleman by the name of Arthur Jones. Here was a godless man who had the sense enough to see the stupidity of trying to build someone elses muscles on your body. So praise God for opening my eyes to my sin.
Does this mean that I have stopped exercising? Not at all. There is a definite benefit to the body. But I no longer ‘imagine’ myself with someone elses muscles. I now exercise for health pure and simple. My goal is to be as healthy as the Lord will allow me to be, for His glory. I now engage in exercise and then go on about my life without thinking about my physical appearance every waking moment like I used to do.
Bodily exercise profits a little and therefore should be engaged in for as little a time as possible. Therefore I have taken much time to examine my training methods and of course the main question has to be: what is the best type of exercise?
Answer, brief and intense.
To do this you need information…information is king and there is a great deal of false information, propaganda and marketing going on which can confuse you into thinking that this or that suppliment or this or that workout is best. These profiteers usually have a muscular model or two, complete with shredded abs and such to ‘prove’ that their methods and suppliments are the best.
So where should you turn for information? This is a good question. Having studied intensively since I was 13 I have amassed a great deal of ‘knowledge’ from many sources including men like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Larry Scott, his teacher Vince Gironda, Mike Mentzer and Robert Kennedy just to name a few. I even belonged to Pat Neve’s Gym in Phoenix for a while (Pat was Mr. USA) and learned a great deal about exercise…or so I thought.
With the exception of Mike Mentzer, all these people advocate 2 to 3 hour workouts at least. That is a lot. They also advocate hours of cardio per week. To quote Bill Phillips; “I want to be in shape but still have a life.”
I purchased a Bowflex (made by the Nautilus Company) because I knew it to be a good machine and even followed the directions given in their handbook for a while. But again it was still the same characteristic volume training which takes way too long and results in overtraining and mimimal results. (Interestingly the founder of the Nautilus company would never have included volume training in any form) As I said, I had worked out for years and read extensively concerning the methods of the ‘champions.’ But I noticed that a name kept coming up. That name is Arthur Jones.
I want to state unequivocally that Mr. Jones is THE authority on exercise not due to his gigantic physique but his gigantic intellect. One of his associates, Mr Ellington Darden doesn’t even come close and I’m not belittling Mr. Darden’s accomplishments. You can check out his book at http://www.amazon.com/New-High-Intensity-Training-Muscle-Building/dp/1594860009/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_2 but I wouldn’t recommend it. Mr Darden has written many books on the subject of exercise but you cannot improve on Arthur Jones. In fact, when you want the best information don’t you want to go to the source. I believe Mr. Jones is THE source in this case. He has clearly articulated the hows and the whys and the wherefores of exercise and has literally left no stone unturned. His scientific research (50 + years) is impeccable and I dare say irrefutable. So if you are interested in an exercise approach that works with a minimal time drain, you will find this at the link I provided. You can read his own words at this link. http://www.arthurjonesexercise.com/Photos/Photos29.html
Understand that this is required reading. Don’t say “I don’t have time.” If you are serious about being in shape you need to educate yourself and Mr. Jones has provided all the material you need. There is a lot of information there but think of the health benefits you will gain and the time you will save (10 to 20 minute workouts twice per week) The level of fitness you will achieve and the injuries you will avoid are well worth the effort. And remember this: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1cor 10:31
Have a nice day