SPIRITUAL SIX-PACK

June 17, 2010Read: Luke 11

"Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it." -- Luke 11:28

I started reading fitness magazines in my sophomore year of college, when my coach told me I needed to add 10 pounds of muscle if I ever expected to hit the ball out of the infield. So, for the next few months, I read every issue of Muscle & Fitness cover to cover and made myself familiar with the squat, bench press, deadlift and power clean. I came back with those 10 pounds that next year and saw my batting average jump 90 points. Go figure.

Since then, I've been a sponge for all things fitness. These days, I experiment with things that I learn from the experts I interview, before you ever get to read it at your local newsstand. It's served me well, I think. Since college, I've added another good 20 pounds and have stretched the tape measure on my arms, chest and legs. But no matter how many times I interview people about how to get that lean, clean six-pack, I can't seem to make the requisite changes to my diet. And the bottom line is that without doing x, y and z with my nutrition, I'll always have that last vestige of fat around my lower abs.

I know, but I don't do. I know what I want, I know how to get it but I just can't put the pieces together. It's frustrating.

Similarly, there are those that carry a broad knowledge of the bible but they can't seem to connect with their faith. They want a deeper, more meaningful relationship with Jesus, but to them, He's still just the guy who's quoted in red letter text. They are vexed as to their inability to see His will for their life, wondering why they can't find that solid footing of faith that they so desire.

By coming to this site, it's obvious that you know what you want. The Good News is that the Lord authored the perfect program to get you there. You're reading it this morning and that's an important and necessary first step. But it's not just about retention -- it's about obedience. Knowing the Word is not a replacement for living it. And you might find that once you fully commit to the program, you'll be ready to unveil that final, polished spiritual six-pack.

--E.V.

PRAYFIT NUTRITION: THE RIGHT WHEY When you take your whey protein can make all the difference

Contrary to what Consumer Reports would have you believe, supplementing with protein is not only safe but it's extremely beneficial looking to build muscle and burn fat. Today, we will examine the importance of whey protein. This fast-digesting, muscle-building staple is vital to your efforts in the gym, but you have to observe dose and timing to get all its benefits.

Preworkout, the standard whey protein recommendation is roughly 20 grams, in most cases one scoop of powder mixed in water. This minimal dose helps to preserve muscle during your workout and help you get a jump start on the recovery process afterward. This dose should be taken a few minutes before your first set, but no earlier than 30 minutes preworkout.

Immediately after your workout, but no longer than 60 minutes after, you should take 40 grams of whey. More experienced trainers can take up to 60 grams, but 40 is plenty to maximize protein synthesis at a time when your muscles are craving the amino acids within the whey. And, the more efficient your body is at building muscle, the more efficient it becomes at burning calories, hence whey's underplayed reputation as a fat-burner. If you miss this muscle-building window, the whey is less effective at rebuilding broken down fibers and is more likely to just fall into the league of ordinary calories.

Originally posted 2/12/10.