workout of the week

Go Back and Ask

"God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites. I AM has sent me to you." --Exodus 3:14

I AM your solutionRead: Exodus 3

When Moses needed a name, he got one. "Tell them I AM sent you." Before Moses became one of the greatest leaders the world ever knew, he needed guidance. The leader needed leading. So he went back and asked for it. Not the run-of-the-mill, garden-variety, Twitter-savvy kind of guidance, but he needed what only God could give; Himself.

Imagine if that were our first thought as we begin the week. Is your plate full? Big tests coming up? Maybe the boss has loaded you up with more than you think you can handle, or you just can't quite find the strength to sure up healthier habits. Whatever this new week stacks against us, make sure you remind yourself of Who lives in your heart.

If you notice, Moses didn't gather his wits, self-confidence or assurance. He didn't look in the mirror or take a selfie and repeat to himself, "You're Moses, you're strong, talented, you're handsome and happy. You GOT THIS!" No, Moses knew what was up. And he wasn't up for the task without the Lord. Who are we to think otherwise? Truth is, our week is no match for the One who sends us, and we're nothing for the week if we don't go back and ask.

--Jimmy Peña

Workout of the Week: Build & Burn

This start-of-the-week workout will have you building strength and burning fat in only a few intense minutes per session. Grab some open space and some dumbbells or heavy soup cans if you have them. After a 5-minute warm-up, you'll get to work with this total-body blast, starting with legs. You then move to back, shoulders and arms and finish the circuit on the floor with push-ups and planks to failure. If you have time or the energy, take a couple minutes to rest and repeat the cycle. The jump squats will be brutal but you should expect to achieve around 15-20 reps each round. Rest only as long as necessary before beginning the next exercise.

Welcome to Monday!

Bodyweight Squats for 1 min. Jump Squats to failure Dumbbell Deadlifts for 1 min. Jump Squats to failure Dumbbell Bent-Over Row for 1 min. Jump Squats to failure Dumbbell Overhead Press for 1 min. Jump Squats to failure Biceps Curl for 1 min. Jump Squats to failure Triceps Kickbacks for 1 min. Jump Squats to failure Bodyweight Push-Up to failure Jump Squats to failure Plank to failure Repeat the cycle

>> Click here for exercise videos and descriptions!

>> If you're looking for a more comprehensive, daily program to help you reach your fitness goals, try one of our at-home workout DVDs by clicking here.

"That's How Winning Is Done"

"These trials will show that your faith is genuine." --1 Peter 1:7

Read: 1 Peter 1

In 2006, I fulfilled one of my childhood dreams by sitting down for an exclusive one-on-one conversation with Sylvester Stallone. He was promoting a new product, and so my editor-in-chief -- knowing just how special the moment would be -- sent me to chat with him. The interview was scheduled just a few months before Rocky Balboa would hit theaters.

Walking into the host hotel, I remember Loretta straightening my tie before I headed up to the suite to conduct my interview. It was a moment I'd never forget. I even carried my master's thesis with me so Stallone could sign it where I had given Rocky praise nearly a decade earlier. Sitting there, just the two of us, was both surreal and motivating, to say the least. I remember wishing that I could convey just how much of an influence he had been on my life. But before I could, he said something that I repeat to myself to this day. In fact, you've likely heard it repeated in commercials or motivational videos. But to one of my questions, he said:

"Jimmy, in my next film, I wrote that the world ain't all sunshine and rainbows, and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much can you take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done. But you gotta...take...the hits."

Faith. That fireproof, battle-tested, unquenchable reservoir. It's why we take the hits, amen? It's how we move forward. It's not only the means we need to get back to our feet, it's the reason we try. Mustard-seed small, mountain-moving faith. Faith in Jesus. He's the reward of trust. It's our theme for the week. I hope you don't miss a day.

--Jimmy Peña

P.S. He signed my book. Neat moment. He wrote, "Thanks Jimmy. Keep punchin." I am, Sly. I am buddy.

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: Lunge for Better, Stronger Legs Walking is a fantastic exercise that can provide a strong base of cardiovascular fitness, particularly when you push yourself to walk faster and farther each time. But those who can do more should in order to achieve higher levels of fitness and to force the body to continue changing. So this week, we’re adding a tougher twist to your normally casual stroll through the neighborhood.

>> Click here for the workout

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Click here to explore the newly updated PrayFit store!

Here I Am To Worship

"I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart." --Psalm 138:1

Read: Psalm 138

Here I am to worship. If it's been a while since you've been to the gym, whisper it to the Lord as you open that door. If you're starting to walk after work with your spouse, pray it together as you take that step. Maybe you're about to take a swim, go for a jog or start your at-home DVD. Whatever the case, say it: Here I am to worship.

And as you do, remember -- it's not about the mirror, or lower bodyfat, or the muscle. Those things may happen, they may not. If they do, consider them gifts of obedience and blessings of diligence. But we believe it warms God's heart when we take care of ours. So go ahead. Lift, run, walk, swim, stretch. Have church. After all, you are a temple.

--Jimmy Peña

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: Push-Up Practice The push-up is one of the most fundamental exercises you can build into your program for increasing upper body strength. But not everyone can hit the deck and give us 50. No matter where you are on the push-up power continuum, this scaled workout will allow you get better at

>> Click here for the workout.

Move With Your Life

"For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead." --James 2:26

Read: James 2

How many times have we asked God to move in our lives? I wonder if it even comes close to the number of times He's asked us to move with ours. Follow me through the day: The homeless beggar outside the supermarket; the lonely neighbor nobody ever seems to talk to; the teacher everybody gossips about. How many times a day does God ask us to move with our lives?

Same goes with our bodies. You may find yourself asking the Lord for the strength to stick with better food choices or for motivation to begin an exercise plan. But friends, if you know Him, He's made His move. The real question is whether the miracle He's done in your heart has reached your feet.

--Jimmy Peña

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: Fighter Conditioning

You may not have any interest in the Sweet Science, but the fact remains that boxers are some of the best conditioned athletes on the planet. They have to be. The whole-body demand of jabbing, slipping, bobbing and weaving for any length of time, over time, makes them stronger, leaner and tougher than those who practice other sports. PrayFit partner and endorser Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero boasts a physique that is equal parts form and function from all of his years spent in the gym. But if you don’t have the dough, or desire, to dive headlong into a franchise boxing gym membership, you can use this 12-minute, at-home solution to start building a pugilistic physique.


"Being a big believer in Jesus Christ, PrayFit gets me on track to start my day off in the right direction.  In boxing there is no room for error. You have to be not only be physically prepared but spiritually strong as well." — Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero, 6-Time Boxing World Champion

>> Be sure to watch Robert Guerrero take on pound-for-pound champion Floyd Mayweather on May 4! Keep visiting here for more information on the fight, or visit the official fight site here.

Opening Day

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." --Romans 8:1

Read: Romans 8

Yep, I'm too predictable aren't I? For me, today marks the beginning of the 2014 Major League Baseball season. Of course, many of you know we're thrilled that the Boys of Summer have taken the field. In fact, I'm not kidding when I say I've been whistling "Take me out to the ballgame" a lot lately. (And maybe now so are you.)

But as I'll watch my beloved Yankees take the field today, it occurs to me that Opening Day can teach us a lot about grace. Reason being, right before player steps into the batter's box, each person's average on the screen will be .000 -- a clean slate. Reverend Scotty Smith says, "Jesus didn't just die to give us a clean slate, but to give us His righteousness." Take a swing at that for a second.

You know, each morning you and I step up to the plate ready to swing away at whatever the day throws at us. Thankfully, no matter how many strikeouts we had yesterday, God's mercy is new with each plate appearance. And with Easter fast-approaching, it feels so appropriate, no? Jesus conquered death so we can have life; an abundant life with no record of wrongs. When Jesus rose from the grave, He gave us every reason we need to look alive. You know, I'm now whistling a medley. "Take me out to the ballgame"...because I know "He Lives".

--Jimmy Peña

FAREWELL to THE CAPTAIN Today will be my favorite athlete of all-time, Derek Jeter's, last first bat of the season. I won't try to explain what it means to me, but I will express this. Many of the things I'm doing at PrayFit may very well be my last. I'm not sure - neither are you - of how many at-bats we have left. And much like Jeter demonstrates in this picture, I thank the Lord everyday for inspiring PrayFit. Maybe you're saying the same thing about a dream you're living. If so, here's a virtual fist-bump from me to you. Here's to a new day, a new season, a new opportunity to swing away.

The Captain

It's No Wonder

"Know that the Lord is our God. It is he who made us and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture." --Psalm 100:3

Read: Psalm 100

toolsShe should have been a carpenter. If it had been a priceless work of art, she wouldn't have put any more effort into it. Sitting on the kitchen floor, Loretta (who is the handyman in the family), measured, marked and re-measured to make sure the new kitchen hardware was going to be centered perfectly. Of course, I "eyeballed it" and knew everything would be even, but that wasn't good enough. No sir. She even made me hold the tools as she steadied the level. But you can't blame her. After all, these were her cabinets for a room where we spend the most time and have have so much fun.

Putting my arm around her, I kissed the side of her head as we surveyed her work. In that moment, I wondered if this is how we should be treating our time, resources and our health. Our gifts deserve more than an "eyeballing" but rather a genuine care and concern, amen? Of course, not to boast in our possessions or to gloat about how "fit" we are, but all because of the One who made us.

"Fearfully." "Wonderfully." "Knit together." "Formed." "Created". These are just a few of the ways the bible describes how God lovingly built us. Just imagine Him with a level as He designed our souls with integrity. Picture it as He wipes the dust from our rough edges, smoothing tempers and molding character. It's no wonder He chose to be a carpenter. We're a masterpiece that He signed with His blood and framed with a body; what a privilege He's given us to care for His work.

--Jimmy Peña

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: Push-Ups & Planks If you’re short on time, but long on enthusiasm, today’s workout will meet both needs. No equipment required — all you need is some open space, your own bodyweight and 5-10 minutes. Even if you had other plans for the day’s workout, indulge us and give it a try anyway.

>> Click here for the workout!

Higher Ways

"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways  higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." --Isaiah 55:9

Read: Isaiah 55

You've more than likely heard the story about the eagle and the chicken where an eagle, equipped with an eagle's heart, body and wingspan lived and ate with chickens. Because he lived with chickens, he believed he was one. The eagle looked up and saw another eagle flying, but didn't realize that's where he belonged. Versions of the story vary, but the message is clear: an eagle can't fly if he lives like a chicken.

I thought of that story when I had a workout session inside an altitude chamber. As you may or not know, training at altitude helps you better perform at sea level. The more time you spend up high, the better you perform down low. As a physiologist, that makes good sense to me, but as a Christian, it points me in the right direction: higher.

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace."

Let that be our faith perspective this week. Train high, live low. Look up and do more than believe.

--Jimmy Peña

Question: When we take time out of our busy days to read God's Word and pray, we are more equipped to handle our busy days. What is your plan to make sure that each day you prioritize quiet moments with the Lord?

PRAYFIT WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: RIGHT TO THE CORE Get abs that are strong to the core with this focused workout

Exercise  | Sets x Reps Reverse Crunch | 4 x To failure Standard Crunch | 3 x 15 Double Crunch | 3 x To failure Plank | 3 x To failure To failure: The point at which you can no longer complete reps safely on your own.


We begin the workout session with a lower abs move. Let me first say that it is impossible to completely isolate any one portion of the abs, but you can emphasize a particular section over another through exercise selection. We begin with reverse crunches because for most of us, the lower abs are our weakest section, and it's a good idea to begin a session with your weak link when you're the freshest.

We then move to standard crunches, double crunches and end with a core-specific move, the plank. The plank helps work not only all the outer muscles, but more importantly works the innermost musculature of the abs (transverse abdominis), while also strengthening your low back. Hold the plank position as long as possible, record your time in the log and repeat after a brief rest.

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Uphill Battles

"Carry each other's burdens." --Galatians 6:2

Read: Galatians 6

>> AUDIO: Click here to listen to this entry, as read by Jimmy Peña. [audio:]

Uphill battles. If anyone understood the phrase, Simon did. Simon of Cyrene was of course the man who helped Jesus carry the cross up the hill toward Calvary. In one moment, a bystander. The next, a cross bearer. He did literally what you and I are called to do figuratively. Little did he know the example he was setting. I wonder if he knew his sin would soon be nailed to the tree he carried.

Uphill battles. If anyone understood the phrase, Jesus did. Yet Jesus knew that what He faced, He had to face alone. Nobody on earth, above or below, could take His place as He took ours. But the thought of you and me facing our days without hope was enough to kill Him. The weight of the cross and our helplessness were more than He could bear.

Simon, Jesus. Two men, one cross and an uphill battle.

--Jimmy Peña

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: Build & Burn Getting leaner isn't just about burning more calories. How much weight you can lose is determined in large part by how much muscle you are able to build or maintain. The best body-changing type of workout helps you to use up calories while also challenging your muscles to rise to the occasion. This workout does just that, working all of your major muscles groups with a quick, at-home, equipment-minimal scheme that's sure to leave you better for the effort.

>> Click here for the workout! For additional exercise tips and routines, visit our fitness page.

>> SOCIAL NETWORKS: Now you can "like," "join," "tweet" and "watch" PrayFit. Click the links below to get plugged in with the rest of the PrayFit community. Facebook HeavenUp Twitter YouTube

The Sufficiency of Grace

"Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me." --2 Corinthians 12:8

Read: 2 Corinthians 12

Earlier this year, I did an interview with Moody Bible Radio, and one caller in particular came to mind as I sat down to write this entry. See, she struggles with a physical ailment; one she can't shake. Lord only knows how many times she's gone to the foot of the cross for healing. The sleepless nights, the prescriptions that don't help, the brokenness untold. Perhaps she asks Heaven if this is how she'll have to endure earth. Maybe you can relate because you've whispered similar on your own tear-stained pillow.

Paul could. We don't know for sure what Paul's "thorn in the flesh" was but we do know he was soul-stricken by it. Whether it was physical or spiritual, Paul begged God to remove it. God's response? Let's hear it from Paul:

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."

Paul mentions that God said, "No" in order to prevent him from becoming conceited. And yes, it's only God who knows what He's protecting you and me from or, like Paul, what God is enabling us to do in an even better way when the answer is no.

Today, if you're like me, you may be searching for the answer to the question Why? If so, rather than strain to see clearly through that prism of uncertainty, shut your eyes and pray for God to be seen through you instead. Though many of us are hurting, be encouraged. If your body is failing, He won't. If your limbs have stopped working, He hasn't. Let's stand close to Paul and let our pain be bathed in that same promise..."My grace is sufficient for you."

--Jimmy Peña


You may not have any interest in the Sweet Science, but the fact remains that boxers are some of the best conditioned athletes on the planet. They have to be. The whole-body demand of jabbing, slipping, bobbing and weaving for any length of time, over time, makes them stronger, leaner and tougher than those who practice other sports. PrayFit partner and endorser Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero, who fights November 24 against Andre Berto on HBO, boasts a physique that is equal parts form and function from all of his years spent in the gym. But if you don't have the dough, or desire, to dive headlong into a franchise boxing gym membership, you can use this 12-minute, at-home solution to start building a pugilistic physique.

Why 12 minutes? Well, here, each minute will represent one "round" -- and high-profile, championship fights are always 12 rounds.

Straight punches - 1 min.

Crunches - 1 min. (VIDEO)

Straight punches - 1 min.

Bicycle crunch - 1 min.

Straight punches - 1 min.

Plank - 1 min.

>> For additional exercises and videos, click here.

Using a stopwatch or timer (, go through this workout circuit-style, taking little to no rest between moves. After the final move, stand up and get right into the entire circuit once more, for a total of 12 rounds. Perform this workout three times per week for max results.

Straight punches: A series of jabs and crosses (lefts and rights) delivered at eye level at an imaginary target at arms length. Throw as many punches as you can with good form in the scheduled minute of work. For more detail on boxing punches, click here.

ADVANCED OPTION: Finish off your workout with three sets of push-ups (any style) to failure, resting no longer than a minute between sets. Tally your number and try to beat it next time out.

DID YOU KNOW?: High-intensity boxing workouts can burn 750-1000 calories in one hour. Find a gym near you at

"Being a big believer in Jesus Christ, PrayFit gets me on track to start my day off in the right direction. In boxing there is no room for error. You have to be not only be physically prepared but spiritually strong as well." — Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero, 6-Time Boxing World Champion

Stopped in His Tracks

"When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out, 'Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.'" --Mark 10:47

Read: Mark 10

A few hours before surgery, Loretta and I were reading together about the blind man sitting on the side of the road in Jericho. His name was Bartimaeus. When Bartimaeus heard it was Jesus who was walking by, he began to shout out, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" Over and over he yelled. Despite being rebuked by others, he continued to shout, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" And it's the reaction of Jesus that touched my heart that morning of the surgery. The bible says that when Jesus heard him shouting, He stopped walking. Some bible versions say that He "stopped in his tracks," and other translations say He "stood still".

Oh my sweet family and friends, although I'm not blind, I was begging. A month ago, I didn't want the Lord to take another sweet step. Seconds before surgery, a nurse tried small talk, but I'm afraid she sounded more like the teacher in the Charlie Brown cartoons. They transferred me to the operating table which, for all I knew, sat on the side of that dusty road in Jericho. When the doctor said he would see me in recovery, I slowly turned my head to the side, and as tears streamed from my shut eyes, I stole a line from Bartimaeus and fell asleep.

Well, I'm beyond blessed to report that the surgery was successful. Jesus stopped in His tracks. Praise God, He stood still to hear a prayer. You know, when Bartimaeus received his sight, the very first thing he did was follow Jesus along the road. I suppose he figured the best test of his new peepers was to focus on the One who finally made them work. I plan on doing the very same thing.

--Jimmy Peña

P.S. A little over 10 months ago, while I was traveling, writing and working, I was hit with a debilitating infirmity. I came home to begin medical treatment, and since January, I've lost 50 pounds of healthy tissue -- not the good kind of weight loss. I weighed more at age 14 than I do at 40. But what you have just read was a personal journal entry that I wrote to a small group of family members who prayed for me as I went into surgery. And this week -- my first week back in a month -- I'm sharing some of those entries with you; things God has taught me through His word and through the fire. You know, at PrayFit we believe health is a means of praise. Well, never in my life has that been more true.

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: USER CHOICE Tell us what your workout of the day or week is and we might use it to help others as next week's training program. Be specific and thorough. You lead the group! Nearly 10,000 people will get your workout, so make it count!

>> If you're looking for ideas to get you started, visit our Fitness page by clicking here.

Salvation Carpentry

"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." --Galatians 6:14

Read: Galatians 6

Wendy, you complete me. Sorry to start with such a tired, borrowed phrase but it's true. She does. My weaknesses in this marriage are balanced out perfectly by her strengths. She speaks Spanish pretty well, which has helped on our travels and with living in Southern California. She's tall, so that means I have someone to reach my supplements on the top shelf. But she's also a do-it-yourself maniac which is great since I am challenged by even the most remedial of home improvement projects.

I don't think I've ever put something together without having an inordinate amount of parts leftover. While she savors opportunities to tool, tinker and fiddle -- or as she says, "to do it right" -- I prefer to just duct tape it and be done with it. And the tape may hold -- for a time -- but eventually, it fails. But crafting things to last should be my goal, as it is hers, which reminds me of a great sign I saw once:

"People use duct tape to fix everything. God used nails."

God knew that our eternity was too fine a construct to employ inadequate materials. The cross -- which stands as the definitive, finishing touch on our salvation -- was built to last. It was built as a sign that heaven wasn't a "do-it-yourself" project. And the hands and feet of the Great Carpenter held the nails to prove it.

--Eric Velazquez

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: 10-Minute Bodyweight Cardio Blast

No treadmill? No bike? Not a problem. It's short-sighted to think that you need some piece of gym equipment to get your heart racing. The greatest piece of equipment at your disposal is your body. Hit this intense, at-home cardio session to burn calories and start the day off right.

TRAINER TIP: To increase the amount of fat you burn, try this workout on an empty stomach. After a night of fasting, available blood sugar is low, meaning that your body will tap into stored fat for fuel faster than normal.

Perform each exercise for one minute and move to the next exercise immediately, with no rest between moves. More advanced exercisers can rest 1-2 minutes and tackle the entire sequence once more. Use this routine 2-3 times per week on non-consecutive days. Walk in place Jog in place High knee running Jumping jacks Fast feet (Squat down, spread your feet and tap your toes as fast as you can) High knee running Virtual jump rope (Feel free to use an actual jump rope if you have one) High knee running Jumping jacks Walk in place

>> MONDAY "TO DO": If you haven't already, please visit the Official PrayFit Facebook page and click "Like," then suggest us to 10 friends.

It's a Run/Walk

"And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us." --Ephesians 5:2

Read: Ephesians 5

An author, speaker and member of the 1972 Olympic team, Jeff Galloway is a world-class runner. He broke the U.S. 10-mile record in 1973, and among his victories are the Honolulu, Atlanta and Boston Marathons. What's his best tip? Walk. That's right. In fact, Jeff says, "Thousands of time-goal-oriented veterans have improved by 10, 20, and over 30 minutes in marathons by taking walk breaks early and often to reach their goal in the race. You can easily spot these folks. They're the ones who are picking up speed during the last few miles when everyone else is slowing down."

Seventeen years ago, I stood in the middle of a rain-soaked football field in Austin, Texas and watched Jeff's theory being tested. For weeks she'd verbalize her goal: "One time around the track without stopping." What did she do when she didn't make it? She walked. And when she caught her breath, she'd run again. Turns out that long before my wife Loretta ever read a book by Jeff Galloway or listened to any of his seminars, she practiced what he preached. And I'll never forget the day she made it. We shouted for joy. (She eventually turned that one lap into 26.2 miles without stopping, several times a year.)

One time around the day. You may have just entered your cubicle, dropped the kids off at school or you're about to exercise. Whatever the case, the bible says we're to run the race and walk in love. So no matter what the world has stacked against you -- be encouraged -- it's a run/walk.

--Jimmy Peña

P.S. You know, it was pretty neat for me to see Loretta meet her hero of the track. Do you see him giving her instruction? The moment made me think that when it comes to the faith, you and I have an opportunity to follow some heroes and maybe lead as one. So today, as you run your race, make it a point to stand in the middle of someone else's lap and shout for joy.

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: Shoulders & Legs

Many of our workouts are geared for the living room, but for those of you that are gym-goers, this one's for you. An odd combo you may not be used to involves training legs with shoulders. But we think you'll enjoy it as much as we do. You're going to hit legs first then attack shoulders. The top-to-bottom approach is so satisfying we think it just might become one of your go-to routines for two areas of your body that are important for different reasons.

With your shoulders, greater muscle tone goes a long way toward defining your torso's silhouette, giving the appearance of a smaller waist. But regular training of your shoulders is also a great way to bolster your resistance against injuries that can spring up suddenly with these complex, yet delicate joints. And training your legs intensely not only has tremendous athletic benefits -- those who are stronger on the squat tend to perform better on sprint and agility drills -- but these large muscles help your body to burn more total calories, both during and after your workouts.

Try this routine and post your responses in the comments below or at our forums.

Legs Squat (Smith or free-weight) - 4 x 6,8,10,12 Leg Press - 4 x 8,10,12,15 Romanian Deadlift - 4 x 10,12,15,20 Jump Squats - 4 x 20

Shoulders Overhead Press - 4 x 6,8,10,12 Upright Row - 4 x 8,10,12,15 Dumbbell Lateral Raise - 4 x 10,12,15,20

--Prior to training, perform a dynamic warm-up to raise your internal body temperature and to prepare your joints for the work ahead. Try 5-10 minutes of running in place, jumping jacks and jump rope, for example. Then, do a few light sets of the first exercise for each bodypart before your "working" sets.

NOTE: You'll notice that, on most exercises, the target number oreps increase with each successive set. This is called a reverse pyramid. This allows you to lift the heaviest weight early in the set, when your strength levels are highest. Then, as you fatigue, you can lower the weight to allow for more reps, which recruit additional muscle fibers and provide additional blood flow. This also adds volume to the workout, meaning more calories burned during your time in the gym. For each rep range listed, select a weight that brings about failure at that number. Failure is the point at which you can no longer complete clean repetitions on your own.

EXERCISE DESCRIPTIONS: To see some of these moves in action, visit, one of the web's largest resources for exercise demos.

In The Temple

"The blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them." --Matthew 21:14

Read: Matthew 21

When Jesus entered the temple, what He found didn't resemble its purpose. It didn't take Him long to overturn some tables and drive out those who mistreated His holy place. Interestingly, the very next verse says, "The blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them."

Friends, the enemy wants us to abuse the temple, this body. He wants us to either neglect it so we can't live an abundant life, or he wants us to lose perspective with vain eyes. If you can't see beyond the physical, or if you haven't given your health enough attention, ask Jesus to overturn some tables. He can rebuild what we've destroyed. After all, it's His temple. And that's where He heals the blind and the lame.

--Jimmy Peña


After a five-minute warm-up, you'll dive right in to the lower body complex. Move from exercise to exercise without rest. Once you have completed the leg complex, you'll move directly into the upper body complex. Keep the same cadence, moving quickly between exercises -- minimizing rest will help you keep to the 24-minute mark we've assigned here. If you adhere to the "rest minimal" policy, the 24-minute mark should get you through the lower body and upper body complexes four times each.

The pace provides a powerful fat-burning punch and the multi-joint nature of the exercises creates a powerful metabolic effect, which extends your calorie burn long past your final rep. This workout can also produce measurable gains in strength and endurance fairly quickly. To start, try this workout 2-3 times per week, always on non-consecutive days to maximize recovery between sessions.

LOWER BODY Static Wall Squat (hold a 90-degree squat against the wall for 1 minute) Jump Squat (1 minute) Static Wall Squat (1 minute)

--Hold your wall squat in a position that puts your thighs parallel to the floor. If you can't hold this position, you can increase the angle at your knees so that you are standing slightly taller. But try to start as low as you comfortably can, moving up the wall only as you fail at the lower position.

UPPER BODY Push-Up (complete as many push-ups as possible for 1 minute) Plank (hold the plank for 1 minute) Push-Up (complete as many push-ups as possible for 1 minute)

--If you need to modify and do your push-ups from the knees, please do so. Ideally, you should resort to the knees version only once you have failed the standard version -- even if it's only a few. This will ensure that you progress toward being able to complete more standard push-ups in the long run.

>> For more exercise descriptions and videos, click here.

Stumble, Rise

"Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light." --Micah 7:8

Read: Micah 7

In one of the heats of the women's 400-meter hurdles last night, two athletes met disaster but each recovered differently. Just a few seconds into the race, Vania Stambolova of Bulgaria hit the first hurdle, tumbling hopelessly to the track surface as her competition shrunk quickly into the distance. Maureen Jelegat-Maiyo of Kenya stumbled disastrously over a hurdle a few moments later. Both fell. But only one finished.

Dejected and physically beaten, Stambolova picked herself up and ambled reluctantly off of the track, conceding defeat. Jelegat-Maiyo, on the other hand, sprung up and continued on. She finished in last place, almost four seconds behind her next nearest competitor -- a lifetime in the world of elite hurdles. Despite her heroic recovery, there was little fanfare for the Kenyan hurdler to look forward to at the finish. No flash bulbs, no doting reporters -- just the knowledge that she'd picked herself up, run hard and given her best effort, both for herself and her countrymen.

How often do you charge out of the blocks on faith, only to stumble at the start? We misjudge our own power, we underestimate our weaknesses, and we short ourselves on hurdles of health. But those stumbles are never enough to knock us out of the race. In fact, our victory is assured because of the One who has already succeeded on the same obstacle-ridden course. As long as you commit to collecting yourself from a fall, there is no hurdle ahead you can't bound with His help.

--Eric Velazquez

EXERCISE IN FOCUS: REVERSE CRUNCH Yesterday's Workout of the Week started off with the reverse crunch because the lower abs are typically the most undertrained area of the midsection. Leading off with it -- you should always train weaknesses first -- allows you to target this hard-to-change area of your body faster. Here's a bit more about it, and some info on how to get it right.

Reverse Crunch | Focus: Lower abs

Lie faceup on the ground with your hands extended at your sides, your feet up and knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Your thighs should be perpendicular to the floor. Slowly bring your knees toward your chest, lifting your hips and glutes off the ground, and try to maintain the bend in your knees throughout the movement. Return under control.


The Scars & Stripes

"...and by His stripes we are healed." --Isaiah 53:5

Read: Isaiah 53

Driving along the canyon in Los Angeles this week, I came across a tall, old tree in the front yard of a beautiful home. Next to the tree stood an equally tall flag pole. Now, most days I probably wouldn't have noticed, but as I went by I realized the flag was tangled around some branches, evidence of some recent high winds. Now, you may be just like me, but something stirs inside when I see the stars and stripes helpless like that. I don't know, but our symbol of freedom shouldn't be stuck to a tree. It was wrapped so tight in fact, I literally said to myself, "Oh, someone has to climb up there."

With amazing pity for my crimes and yours, our Freedom willingly crawled up that old rugged cross. We were helpless, so someone had to climb up there. And Jesus, with His scars and stripes, embraced it.

--Jimmy Peña

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: TOTAL BODY 10 Train major muscle groups in less time with this bodyweight-driven workout

One way to constantly challenge yourself, and therefore effect change in your body, is to outdo your previous performance. And to do that doesn't require a gym -- just the willingness to push. It should be noted that training at higher intensity is relative -- your max effort is entirely unique to your body -- but this workout allows novices as well as experienced trainers to draw equal benefit, training your upper body, abs and legs in 10 minutes flat.

10 Push-Ups

10 Bodyweight Squats

10 Double Crunches

--Set a timer for 10 minutes. Perform these exercises consecutively with no rest in between moves. Do as many rounds as possible of these exercises in the prescribed order in the set 10 minute period. The total number of rounds you complete is your "score" for the day. Partial rounds may count as thirds -- i.e. if you only get through five rounds and then only complete the five push-ups on the sixth round, you've done 5 1/3 rounds.

Advanced Training: If you can complete 10 rounds in 10 minutes, increase the workout length by one minute. Add a minute to the workout each time your number of completed rounds equals the number of minutes trained for sustained progression.

Because He Traveled

“Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My father if it’s possible, let this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.’” --Matthew 26:39

Read: Matthew 26

Getting ready for a business trip is no easy task. From the packing and planning, to some unpacking and repacking, it becomes quite the endeavor. Work before work. And while I’m grateful for the opportunities that business travel allows, I always have one thing on my mind — one solitary vision, and the reason I’m up for the fight — getting home. Even before I leave, I find that I’m homesick and still in my living room.

I wonder if Jesus ever got homesick. I mean, if anyone had the right to miss where they were from, He did. But something made Him leave. That something? Our helplessness.

Divine irony: Because He traveled, we’ll get home.

--Jimmy Peña


Let's hit the back of the arms this week, shall we? Known as the triceps because of the three muscles (long, medial, and lateral heads), the tri's make up the majority of the upper arm.

While you can't completely isolate any one of the three muscles, you can engage one over the others based on the angle of your arm. For example, anytime you raise your arm overhead and extend the elbow, you hit the long (inner) head with better accuracy. Regardless of your fitness level, from beginner to seasoned athlete, these moves can improve your upper arms with laser-like accuracy.

Pressdown 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions Seated Overhead Extension (with a dumbbell, cable or even a soup can) 4 sets of 8-12 repetitions Lying Triceps Extension 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions Close-grip Push-ups 4 sets to failure

FAILURE: Failure is the point at which you can no longer complete reps on your own with good form. Taking your muscles to this point ensures adequate breakdown of muscle tissue, which is key for building strength. However, it should not be overused in any program.

"I'm Still Here. I Can Fight."

"I have fought the good fight." --2 Timothy 4:7

Read: 2 Timothy 4

Weeks before his HBO Pay-Per-View fight against top contender Timothy Bradley, Manny Pacquiao made a profession. Not a prediction, a profession. Proclaiming Jesus Christ as his Savior and rededicating himself to his family, Manny said he is a brand new man. So much so that he said he "hates the old Manny." In a profession where so many adhere to a strict philosophy of force, Manny had made a profession of faith. And in the days leading up to the bout, the naysayers grew louder. He's soft now. His faith has blunted his edge. Manny's warrior instinct has been replaced with bible verses and gospel hymns.

But it didn't take Manny 12 rounds of completely dominating his opponent to quiet the doubters. It was how he handled himself when the decision came down from the judges. See, although Manny beat him, he didn't win. Then after giving Christ glory, a winded, humble Manny said, "The best attitude is respect and professionalism. I did my best. I'm still here. I can fight."

Folks, the world may disagree with your profession of faith, but being obedient has never proven to be popular or easy – just effective. Beset by the unyielding flurries that life has to throw at us – be they health, faith, work or family – we are often left with a simple choice: to surrender to the call of the canvas, or to fight boldly in a manner befitting a warrior. Because you are still here. And you can fight.

--Jimmy Peña & Eric Velazquez

Question: What are you facing this week? Are you or someone you love hurting physically, or emotionally? Are you struggling for motivation to be healthy? Perhaps you've neglected your prayer life. How can you use today to get back on track? Leave your comments in the field below.


You may not have any interest in the Sweet Science, but the fact remains that boxers are some of the best conditioned athletes on the planet. They have to be. The whole-body demand of jabbing, slipping, bobbing and weaving for any length of time, over time, makes them stronger, leaner and tougher than those who practice other sports. PrayFit partner and endorser Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero boasts a physique that is equal parts form and function from all of his years spent in the gym. But if you don't have the dough, or desire, to dive headlong into a franchise boxing gym membership, you can use this 12-minute, at-home solution to start building a pugilistic physique.

Why 12 minutes? Well, here, each minute will represent one "round" -- and high-profile, championship fights are always 12 rounds.

Straight punches - 1 min.

Crunches - 1 min. (VIDEO)

Straight punches - 1 min.

Bicycle crunch - 1 min.

Straight punches - 1 min.

Plank - 1 min.

>> For additional exercises and videos, click here.

Using a stopwatch or timer (, go through this workout circuit-style, taking little to no rest between moves. After the final move, stand up and get right into the entire circuit once more, for a total of 12 rounds. Perform this workout three times per week for max results.

Straight punches: A series of jabs and crosses (lefts and rights) delivered at eye level at an imaginary target at arms length. Throw as many punches as you can with good form in the scheduled minute of work. For more detail on boxing punches, click here.

ADVANCED OPTION: Finish off your workout with three sets of push-ups (any style) to failure, resting no longer than a minute between sets. Tally your number and try to beat it next time out.

DID YOU KNOW?: High-intensity boxing workouts can burn 750-1000 calories in one hour. Find a gym near you at

A Cry at the Door

"As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you." --Joshua 1:5

Read: Joshua 1

As a new dad, one of the toughest things to do was to leave my daughters. Each morning, when I would head out into the garage to depart for work, I'd have to endure the heart-wrenching sound of their screams from behind the kitchen door. They were so distraught that I was leaving that my wife's explanations of my eventual return seemed to do little good. But that was then. Older and more confident that I'll always come back, they hardly notice my departures now. Whether I'm heading to the store for milk, or dropping them off at grandma's for the weekend, I'm lucky to get a second look when I'm heading out.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss them missing me so much. I know they love their daddy but part of me wishes that they were always a little more aware of my absence, a bit more hungry for my presence -- anything to make for a more dramatic, lasting embrace when I return.

At times, it may feel as if we've been left alone -- like our desperation has us crying at door for a father that is ambivalent to our desperation. But our heavenly Father never leaves our sides. We are His work so while there's never occasion for such a conspicuous exit, just know that He still loves it when we hunger for His presence and that our eventual reunion with Him will be all the more sweet as a result.

--Eric Velazquez 

PRAYFIT GARNERS ENDORSEMENT FROM JOSH COX Elite ultramarathoner voices support for faith and fitness

"Jimmy and the PrayFit team embody the words Paul penned to Timothy, 'For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.' (1 Tim. 4:8) Their daily devotional feeds my spirit and inspires my sweat!"

--Josh Cox, elite ultramarathoner, American record holder in the 50K

--Come back tomorrow for an in-depth Q&A with Josh Cox! Visit his website today at


an effort to become more efficient runners, people will often train their legs harder. A few more miles per week, a few more lunges in the gym -- legs, legs, legs. But as any experienced runner will tell you, legs are only part of the equation. Core strength and stamina are incredibly important for maintaining proper mechanics, whether you're training for a 5K or running out a double in a softball game. Muscles in your abdomen, such as rectus abdominis, obliques and deep transverse abdominis, help to keep the torso stable when running, allowing the legs to do what they need to. But simple crunches won't suffice. Your core needs deep and dynamic work in order to strengthen your stride. If you're a runner, or just someone looking for a more athletic core, this routine will come in handy.

Plank - 30 sec. Side plank - 30 sec. (each side) Ab rollout - 10-12 reps Bicycle crunch - 30 sec. Mountain climber - 30 sec. Medicine ball twist - 30 sec.

--Perform all exercises as a circuit with little to no rest between moves. Do the entire circuit 2-3 times total, 2-3 times per week on non-running days. If you must perform your core work and runs on the same day, go running first -- doing your abdominal work first could compromise your running form, putting you at risk for injury.

Standing Up Straight

"No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly." --Psalm 84:11

Read: Psalm 84

Isn't it interesting that at the mere mention of the words "good posture," we automatically pull our shoulders back? (Admit it, you sat up a little taller in your chair as you read that sentence.) Well, if it helps, I sat up as I wrote it. Many of you don't know, but two years ago I had cervical spine surgery; a couple of fusions and an artificial disk were all my neck needed. Okay, basically I have a brand new neck. And of the many rehab mandatories, a lifetime of maintaining good posture is at the top of the list. That's why I'm constantly asking my wife to remind me of it.

Good posture. Physically and spiritually. Isn't that the goal each day? Am I eating right? Am I reading my Bible? Am I walking uprightly in my pursuit of abundant living? When it comes to my very small, brief life, there's a lot I think I need, but I want nothing more than a backbone for Christ, while protecting the frame He designed around it.

I just want to stand up straight.

Have a good week everyone. In Jesus' name, we train.

--Jimmy Peña


Speaking of good posture, a strong back can help. Next time you're at your gym, try this workout. It'll help target all the major muscles of your back.

Lat Pulldown: 3 sets x 10-15 The lat pulldown is great as a warm-up as well as the start of your working sets. Do a few light warm-up sets with very light weight before reaching failure at the designated rep range. The lat pulldown targets the upper part of the lats, the wide, wing-shaped muscles that extend from your armpit down to your lower back.

Wide-Grip Seated Row: 3 sets of 8-12 Close-Grip Seated Row: 3 sets x 8-12 The wide-grip seated row will zero-in on your upper lats, while also hitting your middle back (rhomboids, middle traps). When you switch to the narrow grip, you shift the focus to the lower lats.

Pull-Up: 4 sets x To Failure Close-Grip Pull-Up: 4 sets x To Failure Finish your quick yet effective back workout with pull-ups and chin-ups, to failure, four sets each. Do as many wide-grip pull-ups as possible then finish with the underhand chin. Your biceps, which come into play more with this grip, will help you tax every remaining fiber in your back.

--Rest 60-90 seconds between sets and exercises. --Perform this workout once per week, preferably as one of the first in your schedule of workouts. --Do 5-10 minutes of general warm-up work, such as jogging or jumping jacks, in order to increase blood flow and elevate your core temperature. Follow each workout with a few minutes of back stretches to maintain flexibility in these crucial postural muscles.

Flying Without Wings

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." --Matthew 6:33

Read: Matthew 6

In Jonathan Pierce's song "Flying Without Wings", a great line always connects with me. He sings:

"So impossible as it may seem, you've got to fight for every dream. 'Cause who's to know, which one you let go, would've made you complete."

Last week, the space shuttle Discovery, sitting atop a 747 shuttle carrier aircraft, flew over the Washington Monument; its last flight. See, both the goal and the cost to get there are just too high. A bittersweet end to NASA's dream of boldly going where no man has gone before. But no matter where you stand on the politics of it, one thing is undisputed: We went as high as we could.

Friends, as we begin the week pursuing Jesus, let's be dreamers who fight for the things God put in our hearts. If He's called our souls to it, everything we have -- including our health -- is subject to that calling. And as believers, we're climbers, over-comers, and conquerors. So keep going, stay strong. Let's go as high as we can on earth, knowing Jesus paid the cost for the Heaven-seekers to someday go higher.

--Jimmy Peña

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: Shoulders, Arms, Abs

Sure, it's still early spring but that means it's the perfect time to start getting ready for summer. This workout tackles shoulders, arms and abs. All you need is a set of dumbbells and a little bit of space, either at home or the gym.

For each exercise listed, choose a weight that brings about failure at the rep range listed. By "failure," we simply mean the point at which you can no longer complete reps with good form. For example, if you complete 15 reps when you could have done 18, you should probably use a bit more weight on the next.

Spend about five minutes warming up -- jumping jacks, running in place, jumping rope and shadowboxing are all good ways to increase your heart rate and core temperature as well as prime your joints and muscles for the work ahead. This is preferable to static stretching ahead of exercise, which does not reduce your risk of injury or increase flexibility. Rest no longer that one minute between sets.

SHOULDERS Standing Dumbbell Lateral Raise: 3 Sets of 10-15 Standing Dumbbell Overheard Press: 3 Sets of 10-15 Standing Dumbbell Upright Row: 3 Sets of 10-15

ARMS Dumbbell Curl: 3 Sets of 10-15 Dumbbell Kickback: 3 Sets of 10-15

ABS Double Crunch: 3 Sets to failure

>> NEW!!! For a more comprehensive target training routine plus motivation and biblical encouragement, try the NEW PrayFit 33-Day Body Toning System DVD, exclusively through Thomas Nelson Publishing and its family of retailers. Find out more or place an order by clicking here.