Two Tributes

"Then he said to them all: 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.'" --Luke 9:23

Read: Luke 9

Undeniably effective for building strength and changing the way your body looks, feels and performs, the squat also happens to be remarkably humbling. As I was looking at today's scheduled workout, I started to look for excuses to avoid my date with the barbell, but then it hit me: I should be thankful I can squat at all.

You see, while I was here racking my head for reasons to avoid this workout, a close friend of mine was struggling with a physical ailment, longing for the day when he could once again test his mettle in the squat. He would do anything to get under that bar, to feel the weight pressing him into the floor, to tremble through that uncertain descent skilled squatters so willingly endure -- and to rise again.

This friend of mine who would give anything to trade places with me on my toughest training day of the week reminds me of another Who traded places with me for all my days to come -- of One who willingly carried the crushing weight of the cross and a certain descent into the tomb, only to rise again.

So today, tossing aside my fears and hesitations, I paid physical tribute to two friends. For one, I squatted. And for the other, I knelt.

--Eric Velazquez

Questions: Do you take your ability to exercise for granted? Do you think training can be a God-pleasing act? Do you have people in your life that are physically unable to workout? Does that change your perspective on utilizing your physical gifts or striving for better health?

EXERCISE IN FOCUS: BODYWEIGHT SQUAT You don't have to settle yourself under an Olympic barbell to reap the benefits of this exercise

Bodyweight Squat | Focus: Legs, glutes, hamstrings, lower back | (VIDEO)

Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, a light bend in your knees and your toes turned out slightly. Keeping your head neutral, abs tight and torso erect, bend at the knees and hips to slowly lower your body as if you were going to sit down in a chair. Pause when your legs reach a 90-degree angle, then forcefully drive through your heels, extending at your hips and knees until you arrive at the standing position.

50 - Percent greater calorie burn when performing the squat, as compared to the leg press.

4 - Percent greater strength when performing squats in a Smith machine apparatus, as opposed to a free standing squat.

1000 - Total, in pounds, of Robert Wilkerson's (UK) record-setting raw squat in 2011.