June 14, 2010Read: Proverbs 3

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." -- Proverbs 3:5-6

This may come as no big surprise, but...I hate asking for directions. Whenever my wife and I are looking for a place we can't find, I would rather recklessly continue the search than to stop and ask someone who knows the way. I will do that thing where I turn down the radio, expecting that the silence may somehow reveal the address I'm looking for. If I'm the one in the passenger seat -- as is often the case when my wife are road-tripping together -- I will even become rude or indignant, passing the blame onto her, even as I hold the map in my hand. In this sense, I suppose, I am very much a man. And somehow, I rationalize, stopping for directions will make me less of one.

This prideful devotion to my inner alpha male has, more often than not, resulted in me losing more time and getting more lost. Worse, it's often made it more difficult for me to find my way back to the freeway -- my only point of reference on a map that I should have been paying more attention to in the first place!

The problem with free will is our natural tendency to depend on ourselves. We like to try to figure things out on our own -- this is not a male-only inclination. Getting where we want to go will then somehow carry with it some kind of honor or prestige. It's a control issue.

But as I've found over the years, the times when I've tried to plot my own course -- the times when I've tried to find my way without listening to the Lord's directions, without seeing the path He's plotted out for me -- are the times when I've ended up the farthest from where I was supposed to be, when finding my way back to my only reference point seemed too overwhelming to even try. Perhaps you've done the same. Maybe you've continued going the wrong way for so long, you wonder if you'll ever find your way back. But here's the beauty of it: no matter how wayward you are on your journey, if you just stop and ask Him for directions, you can be back on the right path in no time.


TABATA: A CLOSER LOOK Learn more about the benefits of this challenging training routine

Tabata is a great, time-efficient way to build muscle and burn fat. This interval-themed protocol involves selecting a weight you can handle for 15-20 reps and performing reps for eight mini "segments" of 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest.

Like it's cardio cousin, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), tabata's main benefit comes through excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC. This means that tabata has you burning more calories long after the workout ends, even at rest. This helps you to burn more fat throughout your workout week. During the workout, the volume of work you do increases blood flow, thereby feeding your muscles with more oxygen, nutrients and fat-blasting and muscle-building hormones.

Click here for a Tabata-themed, PrayFit Workout of the Week, then read below for tips to get the most out of it.

1 Weight selection: You'll want to choose a weight that allows you to complete as many as 20 reps in your first set, ideally closer to 15. That may sound light but the short rest periods will naturally slow your pace each segment.

2 Rest: Your rest periods are set at 10 seconds and for this training protocol to be effective, you need to stay true to that. This will become difficult as the work segments drag on. You will likely be huffing and puffing, as tabata impacts your aerobic and anaerobic systems, but getting back to work on time will help you to absorb tabata's full array of benefits.

3 Progression: If you are completing more than 10 reps on your eighth segment of any exercise, bravo -- but it's time to increase the weight or make the move more difficult. Even those who are incredibly proficient at push-ups may find it difficult to surpass 6-7 good reps by the eighth segment.

>> TOUGHEST WORKOUT EVER: Do you remember your toughest workout ever? A workout that you didn't think you would make it through? Share yours on the PrayFit forums.

Originally posted 2/9/2010.