High Gear

"For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." --Ephesians 2:10

Read: Ephesians 2

On a recent Saturday afternoon, my husband came home beaming with excitement. He had the rare opportunity to view a friend’s personal collection of 50 vintage cars. Ferraris, Porsches, Lamborghinis, Model T’s, some first editions and even one-of-a-kind vehicles -- it was a car lover's dream. He went on and on about this car and that car and the rarity and value of some in the collection and I finally had to ask, “How in the world does he have time to drive them all?” I mean, 50? Really?!

“Oh, he never drives them,” my husband said, “They’re in storage, he doesn’t use them anymore.”

He doesn’t use them anymore?

My mind immediately went to the Faithful; countless believers, each one a unique, priceless, first edition that is now sidelined, unable to be used by God due to health issues. Like these cars, we were designed for high performance; our bodies are complex vehicles that carry our souls, minds...and potential. As the verse above states, each of us has good works that God prepared in advance for us to accomplish. It’s our purpose and why we were born. With our different upbringings, gifts, talents and personalities, there are things that only we can do. But we can’t do the things we are designed to do, nor be used by God to our fullest potential if we are sidelined by fatigue, addiction, and disease.

As PrayFit founder, Jimmy Pena says, “The goal is not a better pair of biceps, but a pursuit of the healthiest possible version of the body He gave us so that we can better fulfill our purpose, whatever the calling might be.” Friends, we have work to do, and we "live" in a showroom of divine craftsmanship. Let’s never again be content to sit idle.

--Catrina Vargas-Cormell

An entrepreneur, Catrina Vargas-Cormell, was one of the first five members of the PrayFit community. Catrina is now a PrayFit contributing writer and Prayfit group leader in El Paso, Texas. You can visit her at www.catrinaishungry.com, join the hundreds of others that are following her on her Facebook page HUNGRY! and check out her PrayFit workout journal by clicking here. You can also check her out on Pinterest and Twitter.


Many of the weight-based programs you read here at PrayFit are based upon your ability to estimate your one-rep max, or 1RM, the amount of weight you can lift on an exercise one time.

The reason is because certain muscle fibers respond to a certain rep range. Fast-twitch muscle fibers, the ones most responsible for tone and speed respond to a certain weight or percentage of rep max (RM), while the fibers most responsible for endurance (slow-twitch) respond to another percentage of one’s RM. It’s important for people to know what weight causes failure from 1-20 reps so that they can gauge what weight to choose for a particular exercise as they pursue a specific goal.

Someone who is wanting to gain strength wouldn’t necessarily reach for weight that would allow them to do 20 reps when they should be concentrating on sticking with weight that causes them to reach failure -- the point at which you can no longer complete reps with good form -- around six reps, since the strength fibers respond to weight that causes failure from 1-6. Here's the quick guide:

Strength: 1-6 reps Size: 6-12 reps Endurance: 12-20 reps

But research shows that if you don’t know your 1RM, you can still estimate it with accuracy as long as you can determine at least your 5RM. So we’ve provided an equation of determining your 1RM through your 5RM. Since many of you might train alone, and the ability to test your 1RM might prove difficult, this could be your best way to go. To test yourself, choose a weight with which you can do five reps to failure. Then plug that 5RM weight (in pounds) into the following equations.

Upper body: (5RM x 1.1307) 0.6998 = 1RM

Lower body: (5RM x 1.0970) 14.2546 = 1RM