"Where is the one born King of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."— Matthew 2:2
Saturday night's lunar eclipse was as rare as it was spectacular. But if you're like me, you missed it. Chances are, we were all asleep, exhausted from work, school and some early Christmas shopping. It may have been a celestial phenomenon, but who has time for star gazing anyway?
It was 2000 years ago that God placed the star in the east to announce the birth of Jesus. But much like this weekend's early morning miracle, most everyone missed it. The calendar on Bethlehem's Blackberry was booked -- too busy, too stressed, too in control. Things had to get done and nobody else could do them. And yet, Jesus came to earth. Despite a limited live audience, life's main character was born.
Simply put, a lunar eclipse occurs when our world gets in the way of the sun.
Lord, may we never again let the same happen to us.
WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: Leg Day
The mark of a true gym warrior is the telltale hobble in the days that follow leg day. You see, as your calendar begins to crowd over the course of the week, the first thing to suffer is usually your workout schedule. And the first bodypart routine to get bumped is usually legs, due to the energy, focus and determination required to thoroughly and properly exhaust these large muscles.
Legs, however, offer you the best chance of the week to make a positive and drastic effect on your overall body composition. Because of the amount of muscle mass worked in a single, well-scripted leg routine -- like the one offered here -- you enjoy a greater caloric burn and hormonal response in the days that follow that workout. So do yourself a favor -- don't skip leg day. Ever. The long term benefits are too great to sacrifice for the sake of a few days of discomfort.
Perform these exercises in the order listed, allowing 90-120 seconds of rest between sets and exercises.
Leg Extension: 3 sets of 8-10 reps The leg extension is a single-joint move that targets the front of your legs without the assistance of other muscle groups.
Leg Curl: 3 sets of 8-10 reps The leg curl is an isolation move that zeros in on your hamstrings without any help from other muscles.
Leg Press: 4 sets of 12-15 reps The leg press is compound, multi-joint exercise that hits the quads, hams and glutes. Research shows that it is the best exercise to target the inner, tear drop muscle of the quad (vastus medialis). Despite what many trainers will tell you, no matter your foot placement, the leg press is not the best exercise for the glutes because you don't have full hip extension.
Smith Machine Lunge: 4 sets of 12 reps The lunge is a multi-joint move that works all major muscles of the leg while providing the added benefit of safety. And since the weight is locked in a predetermined range of motion, you don't have to worry about balance -- you can focus your efforts on simply pushing the weight.
Jump Squat: 4 sets to failure Capping off the workout is the jump squat. A plyometric move where you don't decelerate your momentum, but rather allow your feet to leave the ground on each rep. Plyometrics are an excellent "finisher" for this kind of workout as the jump squat will exhaust every last bit of fast-twitch fiber your legs have to offer.
FAST-TWITCH describes the muscle fibers most responsible for fast, powerful and explosive movements such as jumping or lifting weights. These fibers are also the ones most responsible for muscle tone.
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