The United States adopted "In God We Trust" as the official motto back in the 1950s. It is stamped on coins and written on the back of every bill in your pocket. That's what it says, but do we? Nearly everyone trusts the money they can hold in their hand, but how many trust the unseen God? It is easy to understand why so many trust in money rather than in God. Someone can hand you a hundred dollar bill with a one-sentence explanation and you would know money. It requires a little more effort to know God. Let's face it; no one ever trusts anyone or anything they don't know. Thus, even though it is inscribed with "In God We Trust" most of us don't know God and only trust in money.
There is a level of trust in God that is similar to a fire insurance policy. At this level a person believes in Jesus Christ to save them from hell, but other than going to church on Sundays their life is no different than their non-Christian neighbor. We are all born spiritual babies at this level. We are not supposed to stay babies though. We are supposed to press on to know God. The better we know Him, the more we will trust Him.
How are we to know God? That question can't be answered any better than as written in 1 Peter 2:2 "Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation." The pure spiritual milk is the Word of God. It is only by feeding on it daily have I begun to know God. This has made all the difference between who I used to be and who I am today. Don't just take my word for it though. Set aside some time each day to drink a little of the pure spiritual milk of the Holy Bible for yourself. Seek to know God with all your heart and He has promised that you will find Him (see Jeremiah 29:13). Allow God to talk to you through His written word, and then you will know that the Lord is good. Blessed is the one who trusts in God (see Psalm 34:8).
Who are you going to trust? Money is just paper-thin. People will let you down. Self will only get you so far, but those who trust in Jesus will be saved. Not just from hell, but saved right now, right here, from all sin. This was such an important revelation for me personally. Jesus will save you from drink, drugs, porn, sex, smoke, and anything else that is leading you to sickness, suffering, death, and eternal damnation. Ask Him for deliverance. Believe that He will and He will (see Matthew 9:29). Then say it aloud: "Jesus saves me now." Grace is the power for lasting change. This is the path to happiness, health, peace and eternal life.
In this episode:
--What’s in my gym bag?
--The power posture
--Three keys to staying young /reversing aging
--How to be free from bad habits
I gained 10 pounds this weekend! This was not my plan, but I do consider it a blessing. After being in a calorie deficit for the pass 4 or 5 weeks, spending this weekend with my distance family put me in full blown storage mode. Surprisingly little of the weight gain is fat. I can still see my strips (upper oblique definition). I'm sure there is quite a bit of water retention as I woke up this morning with my fingers a little stiff and swollen. I've learned that is a sign of high sodium consummation which causes me to retain more water. With the body in storage mode and the muscles hungry, both muscle and fat increases.The water will go, and so will the fat, but the beef is here to stay baby!
I really did eat good this weekend. I put away enough groceries to feed a small village. The time together with family was enjoyed by all. It was nearly midnight before we got back home last night. Needless to say I didn't make my normal 3 am wake up this morning. More like 5:30 when I crawled out of bed. I had to cut my morning ritual a little short, but I will be back on it tomorrow. I also decided not to do my current Monday routine in the gym. I opted for my slightly easier "in the garage Saturday" workout. I will re-set this week and next week I will be back on my normal daily grind.
I spent a lot of time driving this weekend. Now Episode 4 of my vlog is a little over due. I'm on it. I should have it posted by tomorrow. Only 34 days out now. Thanks for following.
I am truly honored to have been chosen as the Military Bodybuilder of the Month. I have the upmost respect for all who volunteer to defend this country. I hope there is something I can pass on to help, be it ever so slight. As I look back on my military service I have few regrets, much to be happy about, and acknowledge that it has been a huge part of making me who I am.
You can read the article here: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/military-bodybuilder-of-the-month-bruce-coleman.html
In this episode:
--What is instinctive training?
--My Thursday Workout
--What's in my gym bag, part 2
***For unknown reason bodyspace is not allowing me to embed video on my blog. You will have to copy and paste the url above.
O Happy Day, 7 June 2013
The world would have you believe a happy meal consists of a burger, fries, and shake. The truth is without the bread of life and living water there is no lasting happiness. Jesus Christ is the bread of life (see John 6:51), and the indwelling Holy Spirit is the living water (see John 7:38). This is the cornerstone laid in Zion (see 1 Peter 2:6). Blessed is the one who believes in him (see psalm 84:12). If you want to reach the next level, jettison the unbelief that is holding you down and trust Jesus more.
The unbelief of those on the board path to destruction is understandable (see Matthew 7:13-14). The unbelief of believers though, is a tragic sin. Surely it grieves the Spirit of God just as surely as it would any man who had a child who refused to trust him. One hundred times a day we are asked the same question in a hundred different circumstances...do we believe what we see, or what God has said? (see 1 Corinthians 5:7) This can be hard at times, and I've struggled with it just like everyone else. Today I realized that it is an unnecessary struggle though. I've learned to cry out like the man in Mark 9:24: "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" It doesn't take a lot of faith to see why this would please God and why He would help. Faith can be developed (see Romans 10:17), but unbelief needs to be confessed and repented. Do this and remember He is faithful (see 1 John 1:9). O what a happy day indeed!
Accepting donations at: http://www.gofundme.com/1e22qc
Six pack abs and education have one thing in common. Most everybody is willing to spend money for them, but only a small fraction are willing to work for them. Too many people want the fruit of labor without having to labor. Television infomercials sell shake weights, ab belts, booty lift dvds, and special lotions of all kinds. They usually stop short of calling their products magic, but they all promise incredibly fast, easy, and low effort results. You can sell easy, but few are willing to even listen to the truth.
The truth is there are no short cuts. With abs and education you only get what you work for. Don't waste your time and money chasing magic beans. Eyes on the prize, shoulder to the wheel, hands on the plow, and work for the harvest. It won't be instant, probably won't be quick neither, but the harvest will come in it's proper season if you don't give up.
In this episode:
---Why I call it old school
---My Friday Workout
---What's in my gym bag, part 1
---The chief end of man
All day long Friday I was struggling to get my head right. I made a little headway, but the breakthrough came this morning. During my morning ritual I realized my problem. I had taken my eyes off Jesus and was once again focused on me. The Bible warns about how foolish it is to start in the Spirit and then attempt to finish in the flesh (Galatians 3:3). When you take your eyes off of Jesus, you will be left looking at yourself and your circumstances. I was now looking at self and thinking about how to do it in my own strength. As a result they started looking like giants and I started looking like a grasshopper in my own eyes.
This was the same mistake that sent the Israelites wandering in the wilderness for 40 years. They had seen the plagues God inflicted on Egypt. They crossed the Red Sea on dry ground, and they watched God drown Pharaoh’s army when they came in purist. Yet there they were on the border of the promise land and they took their eyes off of God. They didn’t remember His power. Instead they looked at the giants in the land and their own little strength. They grumbled, doubted, and complained against God. This is recorded in Numbers chapters 13 and 14 for our instruction.
It is a message I have received loud and clear. Fix your eyes on Jesus. He is the true vine that will produce the fruit. I, the branch, need only to abide in the vine and bear the fruit. I lift and I eat, but it is God who grants the growth. My joy and peace have returned.
Accepting donations at: http://www.gofundme.com/1e22qc
I love to watch world class sprinters. Power and poetry in motion. The sprinters are the highlight of the Summer Olympic games for me.
To produce speed requires strength, and world class sprinters have an optimal amount of muscle mass to produce the strength required for that Olympic speed. Sprint training won't guarantee that you will develop world class speed any more than lifting weights will make you Mr. Olympia. Everyone should still lift weights though, and world class speed isn't required in order to benefit from sprint training.
I love the warm weather. It gives me a chance to get outside and do a little sprinting. I sprint repeats of 60 meters with 90 seconds of rest in between. It is the same program outlined in this article: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/phil3.htm
Not only is sprinting a lot of fun, but according to the above article you can get a growth hormone release like Rocky Balboa without the expense of having to shoot up. Yo Adrian, get out there and do it! What do you have to lose beside some the extra padding you've been meaning to shed anyway.
I watched a guy with about 1,000 pounds on the leg press machine this morning. I would have been more impressed if he had been doing barbell squats with 400 pounds. Why? 1,000 pounds is 1,000 pounds, but sitting on you butt pushing it with your legs, and holding it up on your back while pushing it up from the floor are two totally different things. The fact that this guy repping with the 1000 pound leg press was hiding his legs in sweat pants just like the guy in the squat rack doing curls, is further proof to me that the squat is, and always will be, the king of exercises.
Most people don't think much of a five pound weight loss. Forget the biggest loser. In the first place these people have about two to three people's worth of fat to lose, and second, they are on a specially designed fat farm to optimize weight loss. Not very realistic for most of us. Some people get inspired by this television show, but others see the large amounts of weight these people are losing and feel sad because they lost only a mere 5 pounds. To those people I will show them the picture on my Fit Board of the really cool looking model on display at the gym this morning. The model showed the size of 5 pounds of body fat. Anybody who thinks a 5 pound loss of fat is a small thing should be slapped with a 5 pound chunk of fat. Lose 5 lbs of fat, gain 5 lbs. of muscle, and you will see a huge improvement in how you look, feel, and how your clothes fit.
In the end it is true "200 pounds is always 200 pounds," but how big of a deal it is depends on whether it is at the end of your feet, across your back, or around your waist.
It is hard at the start. It gets harder with consistency. Then it gets easier as you persist.
Push through. What if that unsurmountable looking obstacle in front of you is just paper thin? Well it is paper thin to the Almighty Creator of heaven and earth. Stop looking with your eyes and push through with your faith. May the Spirit within you confirm this truth.
I had a very good workout today. Holidays bring out a higher concentration of the dedicated. I guess most people don't realize that a holiday is not a day off from the gym. The gym has holiday hours for a reason. You make necessary adjustments, get your workout in, and then enjoy the rest of the time off from work.
I'm feeling good on this Memorial Day. Back in the groove with my daily grind. I took a few weeks off, and it took a few weeks to get my groove back. That's good news for me and everyone else. For everyone just starting out. For everyone just getting back after a long lay off. For everyone wanting to kick it up from a few days of working out to six days a week. The good news is this: It is hard at the start. It gets harder with consistency. Then it gets easier as you persist. This is the great secret of all achievement big and small. You have to push through the hard parts.
Today I'm 53 days out from competing in the 2013 NPC Teen, Collegiate and Masters National Championships. I am determined to press on and let God take care of all the rest.
Philippians 3:13-14 New International Version (NIV)
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
To donate: http://www.gofundme.com/1e22qc
If you look up chow hound in the dictionary there would be a picture of the little dog we bought my daughter a few years ago. Seriously, this dog will eat until you stop feeding her. Evidently our dog is not the only one with this problem. Walmart is now selling diet dog food. What's going on? Now we are making our dogs fat too!
Our dogs are getting fat for the same reason that we are getting fat. Simply put we are eating too much. My little chow hound has an excuse. Her survival instincts tell her to eat food whenever it is available. Never know when that next famine will hit. This little dog has no higher brain function to understand that her food will be provided everyday like clock work. So if I don't limit the amount of food she gets, she would eventually eat herself to death.
I kind of chuckle when I hear people call their diet program something like "psychotic fat demolition" or "body fat destroyer". To me this shows a basic lack of understanding of the purpose of body fat. The ultimate purpose of body fat is to provide life sustaining energy during periods of famine. Just like my little dog, the body is hardwired to survive. Most of us these days are in no danger of a famine. In fact, the average person probably has enough body fat to walk from L.A. to New York, but probably couldn't run a mile to save his or her life. When we won't deny ourselves, and eat 3 to 8 meals everyday for years, the body keeps accumulating more and more fat in preparation for the next famine. Yet it never comes, and we slowly continue to eat ourselves to be grossly overweight, sickly, and dead.
I am not unique. By the time I reached my early 40s I was overweight. Most people accept this as part of the natural aging process. I don't believe that. What has been called the middle age spread is actually the natural result of being in a constant storage mode from years and years of daily eating. I never would have believe this if I hadn't started experimenting with fasting. I've tried water only fasting and juice fasting. Both of these types of fasting left me with less than ideal results and I would not recommend either one. Then I tried intermitted fasting (IF) and I've never looked back. I had accumulated a lot of visceral fat. This is the really dangerous internal fat around your organs that makes you thick from the inside. I was pleasantly surprised that within a few months of IF the visceral fat was gone and I was lean for the first time in a decade.
Food can be the best medicine or a slow acting poison. Use your higher brain functions and exercise the ability to deny yourself. This is what my little dog cannot do. Not all calories are the same, but too much of even the good stuff will eventually cause problems. If you want to be a 250 pound mass monster, then by all means stuff yourself. If you just want to be lean and healthy, you may want to considered using a little IF for reducing your overall calorie intake.
From my lab where the rubber meets the road, I've changed the way I think about cardio. Some people hate it, some people like, I have always been kind of neutral about it. During my first contest prep of this year I was doing 40 minutes of hard cardio a day. I was alternating one day on the concept 2 rower, and the next day on a spin bike. In hindsight I believe that this was too much. The problem with excessive cardio is that becomes draining. Siphoning off the recuperation abilities that are more necessary for recovering from weight training. As a result I slowly out paced my recovery ability and was forced to take a few weeks down time.
I won't go there again. All of my cardio sessions have been 20 minutes or less since I've gotten back on my daily grind. With the shorter sessions on the rower and bike, I'm feeling energized. A little hard breathing, a little sweat, and I'm out still feeling like I could do more. This I believe is the key for getting all the benefits of cardio without sacrificing recuperation ability, or worst...burning hard earned muscle.
What about burning calories though? I'm not concerned. Sure you will burn more calories with longer bouts of cardio, but burning another 200 to 300 calories just isn't worth it. Depending on cardio for weight loss is not nearly as effective as just eating less. Depend on your diet for weight loss, cardio is for good health and the strength of the cardiovascular system that is necessary for hard weight lifting sessions. Toss in a couple of high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts a week along with the easy sessions, and you will supercharged your cardio to support all out efforts in the weight room. Finally I think I've found the right mix.
The best things in life are free, but they are not without cost. Love is the best example of these free things. True love cannot be earned or bought. It has to be freely given and freely received. Yet pay no attention to it, and instead of it blossoming into happiness and joy, it will shrivel into pain and regret.
It is the same with fitness. You can buy a gym membership, you can even invest in the best personal trainer on the planet, but unless you pay the cost of consistent effort you will get little in return. If you only eat what tastes good to you, you will never been lean. If you only workout when you feel like it, you will never improve. You have to be willing to pay the cost.
Halfway through my morning ritual in the early A.M. today, I started thinking that maybe I should cut it short. After all, this is the fourth training day of the week and I'm feeling a little worn out. Maybe....and then pressed up from deep within me were the words "pay the cost, no man builds a tower without first counting the costs" (see Luke 14:28). I plan on standing on stage in the number one position 57 days from now, and I'm willing to pay the cost. This lead to my prayer..."Lord, I can't do it today unless you enable me." God has never failed me. I had sufficient strength to complete my morning ritual, and my daily grind in the gym as well.
My question to you is what do you want? That is certainly the first question to ask. Once you have found a worth while reason for getting out of bed every morning, sit down and count the costs. To be sure anything worth having will cost much more than mere money. Are you willing to pay it? Before you answer that, remember if you are a believer you can ask for the graces you stand in need of, and according to your faith will it be (see Matthew 9:28-29). God is certainly able to make all grace abound to you (see Ephesians 3:20-21). What I've come to understand is that it is often like mana from heaven. God gives only enough for today, and tomorrow's grace will be provide tomorrow. Focus on paying today's cost, tomorrow is tomorrow's concern (see 6:25-34). You can do it. Pay the cost one day at a time. The harvest will come in it's due season.
I've had many low points in my life. Every single one of them was a self-inflicted wound. The devil was trying to destroy me, and I was helping him do it. After struggling and failing over and over again, I finally admitted that I could not save myself from myself. Once my self reliance was gone, then I turned to God. It is only by accepting our weakness that we can have God's strength. As long as you want to do it on your own, you will only have yourself to rely on. It doesn't matter how good or how strong your are, there are more things beyond your control then under your control. You have to live a while, been tossed around, scarred, tasted both victory and defeat to have learned that.
I see the purpose of it all now. What I've been called to do, I can never be strong enough on my own to do it. Even if I could do it without God, there would be no way of keeping my heart free of pride. Even if what I do is good, if my heart is not right, it is nothing (see John 15:5). Thanks be to the Father who has chosen us to share in the inheritance of the saints (see Colossians 11:12), our gardener (see John 15:1). Thanks be to Jesus who has paid the price for us with His own blood (see Hebrews 9:12), our true vine. Thanks be to the Holy Spirit who enables us to live the blessed life (see Colossians 11:11), our power that flows from the gardener and the vine through us to produce fruit (see Galatians 5:22). It is the Spirit who produces the fruit. Not us. Our job is to abide, that is to remain in the vine by trust and obedience. The moment we start off doing our own thing we hinder the work of the Holy Spirit (see John 15:4). Accept your weakness and then you can receive strength from the Almighty. Rely on your own strength and that is all you will have.
I understand now why the apostle Paul boasted about his weakness (see 2 Corinthians 12:9-11). For if I strive and achieve something for God using even 1% of my own strength, than at least 1% of the glory would belong to me. Any glory due me would provide room for that bitter root of pride to grow in my old sinful nature (see Hebrews 12:15). Surely this is one reason for the psalmist to pray "not to us, Lord, but to your name be the glory" (see psalm 115:1). Therefore it is essential for guarding your heart, that you go in the strength of the Lord (see Psalm 71:16, the King James version). Call me weak, and watch me do all things through His strength (see Philippians 4:13). So let it be.
I feel like I have only scratched the surface. How wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ Jesus (see Ephesians 3:16-19). The amazing thing about grace is that His love is beyond measure in every direction for those who love Him. We certainly don't deserve it. There is nothing we can do to earn it. Jesus Christ is our most precious gift from God. Our pearl of great price (See Matthew 13:45-46).
Much has happened since I wrote "Paradise Found Part 1" back in 2011. It has been just a hair over two years now, and I am starting to believe that spiritual growth is unlimited. I really do enjoy lifting weights. Today I asked myself if I would give it up for Christ. I don't think He is asking me too, but none the less, I would give it up in a heart beat for the Lord. As soon as I acknowledge this, Matthew 5:14-16 took on a new meaning for me. Here are the verses:
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.--Matthew 5:14-16
I always thought I knew the meaning of this scripture, but what I totally missed was what "your light" means. Our light is not something that we produce of ourselves. Our light is just like the light from the moon. The moon doesn't produce any light. Moonlight is a reflection of the light from the sun. In the same why our light is to be a reflection of our Lord Jesus Christ. We let our light shine by denying self and fixing our eyes on Jesus. The author and perfecter of our faith (see Hebrews 12:1). Yes, I have found paradise. It is the one and only pearl of great price. For it, I'm willing sell all that I have.
I finished 2nd in my last competition. One spot away from becoming a drug-free natural pro in my second, and perhaps my final bodybuilding contest. I'm going back to the new men's physique category. It is a better fit for me mentally and physically. Today I'm 65 days out from the NPC 2013 Masters National Championships. It is only by the grace of God that I will let my light shine. To God alone be the glory.