Nothing shouts “fitness” like a great set of guns. It takes a lot of hard work and persistent training to achieve growth and visible results. But – it takes much more to do something with all that strength. It takes passion for God, love for others, a humble spirit desiring to be used for a greater purpose and a simple cheerfulness in serving.
We asked 11 Faith & Fitness Magazine readers to show us their arms, tell us how they got ‘em and what they do to make a difference. You can TRI but you can’t BI your way into this dimension. Check out all the impressive photos on each page. No matter what your size, you can be a big lifter for God by serving others.
Ok, without question Mitch’s favorite arm exercise is --- well, every arm exercise. He is a personal trainer that own’s Mindset Fitness in Arizona. He says that getting big isn’t his real motivation. Instead Mitch shares, “I have made it a personal goal of mine to keep God at the center of all I do and everything I accomplish. I believe deep down that I was put in the position I am in to inspire others to seek faith and become the best person they can be, both inside and outside of the gym.”
JAMIE DE LA ROSA
She is the wife to Erik (you can read his blog postings here in Faith & Fitness Magazine) and the mother to “two amazing kids”. When she’s not working those arms in the gym she using them to do some good.
Jamie says, “Ive always hated training arms. That is mainly because I didn't like how my arms looked. But I really dove in this last couple of months and was set on making a noticeable change. And I did. I loved it when I started seeing definition in my bi and tri. I think the reason it was always a lagging body part is because I never dug in and trained them hard.”
Beyond taking time with her daughter to have fun washing the car, Jamie’s active serving others. She explains, “I like to use fitness to lift others. A lot of people starting a healthy lifestyle can get discouraged. I like to be the cheerleader - Let them know they can do it and share tricks I’ve learned that makes things easier. I get excited when new people sign up for a nutrition plan with my husband. When they get discouraged or tired, I like to be there to help pick them up and help them continue. After all, It's not just about how your body transforms on the outside but also the person you become on the inside throughout the journey.”
Adam has been reading Faith & Fitness Magazine since 2009. He first contacted us when he was doing planning for a faith and fitness expo at his church in Washington D.C. He found that the magazine, “inspires me to
go out there, tackle the world and give God my very best!”
For Adam, strong arms are all about serving God. He says it this way, “I lead an active and healthy lifestyle because I believe that physical fitness and spiritual fitness go hand-in-hand.” One of his favorite Bible passages is Colossians 3:23-24, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men... it is the Lord Christ you are serving."
Vicks knows that strong arms really mean setting a strong example. He describes it this way, “I love the idea that I can serve God even while I'm working out. My example has motivated friends, family and my church community to make similar strides.”
Rivers are a big metaphor in the Bible. The world’s largest river is the Amazon in Brazil. In Brazil, Faith & Fitness Magazine reader Jeferson Silva may have some of the biggest arms in the country.
Though Humberto Toval from Puerto Rico does a blog in the magazine in Spanish, we’re hoping we might get Jeferson to write for us in his native Portuguese.
Jeferson attends an Evangelical Maranatha Church in Vespasiano City where he helps lead the worship team and does outreach. Jeferson’s pastor supports him in his training. When he isn’t serving in his community through the church he likes to get in a workout with his children Danil and Larah. He likes to do an alternating thread in his bicep curls.
What do you do when you’re a young guy wanting to earn some money? You do some dog sitting. What do you do once you earn that money? Get a cool shirt like this and then show off those arms!
Nicholas, is the son to Kelli Calabrese, a team member and blogger in Faith & Fitness Magazine. She knows that if you think it is too early to get training your arms you need to think again. Nicholas knows it’s not too early for him.
He explains, “I started conditioning when I turned 13. I enjoy training my arms to become a better athlete and pitcher. I love being able to use my physical strength to go on mission trips and build houses or help remove debris from natural disasters. I also like to help my dad do chores around the house, which require strength.”
We think dad and mom both have a good strong worker in their home. Keep an eye on this guy and pray when you go on a mission trip that he is there to work alongside you.
Kelly knows that it takes a lot of energy for women to do their job well. She should know, when she isn’t in the gym training a big part of her time is spent working with children with special needs.
She shares, “My favorite arm exercise is training biceps. Training in the gym helps me as I grow in my relationship with God because as I better myself physically, I continue to inspire others to be their personal best. One way I use my physical strength to help others is not only through the work I do with young children with autism, but in the energy I bring to my passion for fitness. My energy allows me to coach others toward lifelong nutritional habits and share what I know works.”
For Kelly, being strong to demonstrate her faith is exactly that, simply sharing with others. One of her favorite Bible verse is Hebrews 13:16, “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”
Fitness has changed my life in a multitude of ways. Throughout the course of my fitness journey, I have learned; patience, determination, dedication, and developed a willingness to sacrifice for the betterment of my future. When I started my journey I was 325 lbs and I am proud to say that I stepped on stage for my first physique competition this year weighing 197 lbs and below 5% body fat.
At over six foot tall, training arms has always been one of my most challenging days at the gym because my muscles are so long it takes a lot of effort to build any mass or for me to see results. The two exercises I feel give me the greatest long term results as well as provide instant gratification in the form of an amazing pump are strait bar curls and overhead tricep extensions. Both of these are staples in my arm workout.
The lifestyle changes I have made will help me to be a positive example for my daughter as she grows up and help me insure that I will be physically capable of being involved in all of her activities. The confidence I have gained enables me to approach a variety of situations that used to intimidate me with my head held high.
I am so blessed to be able to help others who struggle with their weight or body image and provide them with the support they need and the confidence to know that if they stick with it they will achieve their goals.
Kenneth owns his own company, Virtual Fitness 360.
When we asked him about arm training he took it a little further, “I use the strength with which God has blessed me to show my son and others that ALL things are possible for those who train hard and eat healthy.”
He reinforces that with the Bible verse from Galatians 6:7 that says, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.”
Kenneth says, “When you sow effort in exercise and healthy eating then you reap the rewards of fitness and healthy eating. Those rewards are strength, great health and longevity.”
Becky is big into CrossFit. In fact she and her husband do ministry to help network and support those who own a CrossFit and want to do Christian ministry too called Faith Rx’d (more about that in another Faith & Fitness Magazine article). With that kind of a background it is no wonder that her favorite arm exercise is a Hand Stand Push Up.
Get her talking about the importance of training in your relationship with God and she has some important things to share:
Spiritual training is similar to physical training. We have our days we are proud of, days we would rather forget, but the goal is to grow in our relationship with God. Here are a few training tips adapted from the "Athlete New Testament" at www.faithrxd.org/store.
1. Communicate with the Coach: Read the bible every day to hear what God has to say to you and pray to Him, asking for forgiveness, giving him thanks, or just talking about what's on your mind.
2. Get to the gym. There are no garage gym Christians. Working out in a group pushes you to grow, and attending a Bible teaching church will help you do the same spiritually.
3. Keep a log. Start and journal and keep track of the questions you have, the things you're learning and praying about. Soon you'll be able to see your spiritual growth occur.
4. Remember the goal. We go to the gym so we can do more outside of the gym. Functional spiritual fitness is important too, a faith in God that is displayed in everything we say and do in our lives.
She says, “As a games level CrossFit athlete and a professional athlete in the National Pro Fitness League, I serve the Lord with the talents he has given me. Competition is a form of worship, and when I compete for His glory I know it honors the Lord (Col 3:23-24). I also am passionate about Faith Rx'd, I ministry I co-founded to unite and equip our fitness community to LIVE, SHARE and SERVE Christ. “
Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in the Outer Banks is where the Wright Brothers did their historical first flight. It’s safe to say if Kitty Hawk resident Levi Burge had been in the plain back then they never would have got off the ground. Levi’s physique is … big!
How did he get there? He explains, “To build a huge arm it takes a lot of focused hard work, consistency and proper diet. I think my favorite biceps exercise is the bent over concentration curl. It really hits the belly of the muscle.”
And how about where all this arm training gets him spiritually?
He describes it this way, “Because it takes so much discipline and focus on everything: diet, training, rest and more, I feel that bodybuilding has strengthened my relationship with God. That relationship is built on the same principles and disciplines. I must eat right; I must feed my spirit right. And it is God who gives me the ability to do what I do. God has shown me many parallels between my physical and spiritual growth and has given me the opportunity to share that with many people.”
And finally, #11 in this series is Ty from St. Petersburg, Florida.
Why do I like working arms? Three years ago I had a very serious injury. I tore my tricep tendon completely off the bone while training. After speaking with doctors I was told I had to have surgery right away to repair this. They said it would be unlikely that I would be able to keep even half my strength let alone lift weights or compete in physical activity ever again.
After my surgery this really brought me down and worried me for weeks. Until one night my Dad and I were talking about my situation and he asked me, “Why are you so worried what doctors, specialists, or others have to say about your injury. Go to the Creator of the universe, the One who made you, and ask Him to take care of the situation and He will!” At that very moment it hit me: What my dad said to me was so right.
I put ALL my time into praying, studying, church, and thanking the Lord. Just trying to get to know him better day by day! I can now say that today I am stronger than I have ever been in my life and have no pains or aches thanks to my Savior Jesus. I do wear a big scar on the back of my elbow, but it is there to remind me nothing is impossible with God!
I recently moved to Florida from Wisconsin to pursue my dream of becoming a professional wrestler. I have been training at the WWE training facility. I also work at Gold’s gym and attend a local church, which is heavily involved in doing outreaches to those in need. I love being there as there is no greater feeling than sharing the love of Jesus and being a part of helping others. Follow my progress at www.tyler-garceau.com
I’m a huge supporter and follower of Faith & Fitness Magazine because of the loads of information they have and how it’s just such a great website.