Praise in Pictures

firstdaybackRather than write you a novel describing my joy, I thought I'd let a few pictures do the talking. Given my permission to engage in more activity, last Saturday I reached for dumbbells. (Five pound dumbbells may as well have been a ton.) And I worked virtually every upper body muscle using these dumbbells and a bench. Nearly 1.5 years since being able to train, I can't...quite...describe. (I'll let you know when I graduate to ten pounds.) PreachercurlThe next picture shows me getting creative. I can't sit and lean over on a preacher bench, so I kneel on the floor and stabilize myself with my non-working hand on the wall, then I sit back and straight, and then use the bench as my platform. Fun stuff.

The final pic shows me at the exact moment I failed on my plank. You can't see my face, but I'm smiling because I'm actually able to fail again. Anyone want to take a stab at how thankful I am? failing

And as the Lord is seeing me out of this valley, I hope this pic is a helpful reminder of my perspective, both from a spiritual and physical one. In a word, grace.


--Jimmy Peña

FOR DISCUSSION: What praises do YOU have to share? I don't want to do all the talking and sharing. Let us know so we can celebrate with you.

MY WORKOUT: Seeing as I used weights and actually targeted body parts, in case any of you were curious what the moves work, the first exercise you see is a chest-supported dumbbell row. I can't bend over with weight just yet, but as long as I am supported, it's ALL mine. For this move, I like to primarily use a wide rowing motion, with what's called a pronated (palms-down) grip. The wide grip (as if I had a bar in my hands) helps target the highest part of the lats (upper lats) as well as the rhomboids and the middle traps. Had I used a neutral grip (palms-toward my body) and pulled the dumbbells up and toward my hips, I'd be hitting primarily the lower lats with little middle back involvement.

The preacher curl, of course, is a biceps exercise which targets the short, inner head of the biceps. Although, I can't quite see mine anymore!

The plank you see me failing on hits the core, specifically the transverse abdominis which is one of the most important muscles we have to help protect the spine. Trust me on that one.

NOT SHOWN: I also hit chest, shoulders and triceps. Next week I'll show you those exercises. You guys want to see my workouts? This is me doing a poll. Also checking who actually read this far down the page!