I have always wanted muscles. When in grade school, my brother and I would stuff dirty socks and underwear in the sleeves of our oversized pajamas to make it look like we had biceps. We would admire our stinky bulges in the mirror, imagining what it would actually be like to carry around biceps that stretched our shirts.
Fitness equipment was always in our home, as my parents slowly accumulated a random assortment of exercise equipment in our home; a treadmill, chipped dumbbells, kettlebells, a smith machine, a bow flex, pull up bar, dip bar… the basics, but all the necessary, muscle-building supplies.
I remember my first ‘official’ lesson in that little home gym. One of our family friends was a competitive bodybuilder, and we invited him and his family over for dinner one night. My mom spent a week prior to this dinner building up the courage in me to ask this bodybuilder to teach me how to lift weights. When you are a scrawny thirteen-year-old who wants muscles, the prospect of having a bodybuilder over for dinner was a terrific but terrifying opportunity. He was my first teacher.
And so, my pursuit of building muscles and learning about fitness began. I joined the high school football team and lifted weights in the gym every summer in preparation for the season. Halfway through high school, I quit football, and my brother and I joined a martial arts gym, where we trained in a dojo three to four times a week. I completed p90x my senior year in high school. In college, I completed a triathlon, a handful of half-marathons and other distance runs, and then became an indoor rock-climbing addict. In graduate school and through the first several years of my work career, I regularly exercised three to four times a week, pounding off stress. About 6 years post-graduate school I decided to take my fitness education up a notch and became a Certified Personal Trainer with NASM.
And now, fifteen years after my first gym lesson, I am a husband, father of one (with my second on the way), and still a fitness enthusiast. I love the sweat. I love the work, dedication, and sacrifice. I love the improvement and the gains.
I am also a Christian. I believe in the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross for man’s sin. I believe Jesus is the son of God; fully God and fully man. I believe that the Holy Spirit works to transform the hearts and minds of those who put their faith in Jesus. I believe that God has given us His infallible and inspired word for our teaching, correcting, rebuking, and training in righteousness. I believe that the church is the pillar and buttress of the truth, and has been purchased by the blood of Christ for His glory. And I believe that Christ will return bodily one day in full splendor and glory.
And when I look at the resources available for me, as a Christian man, to grow in faith and fitness, I am generally left with two options. The first option is the secular fitness arena, which is incredibly helpful and detailed from a technical perspective (programming, exercise tutorials, fitness tips, etc…). But it is over-sexualized, replete with vain, self-exalting motives, full of fads and quick fixes, and is pragmatically atheistic by not honoring God as the Creator and Owner of the human body.
The second option, Christian fitness resources, is certainly better. But we need more of them. We need Christian fitness resources that have robust doctrine and practical application of the doctrine in all areas of fitness. Sadly, some of the Christian fitness resources I have found market themselves in the same way the world does with the same types of empty motivations for fitness. Instead of “be the best you”, it’s “be the you God created you to be”, or instead of “get your beach body”, it’s “get the beach body that will honor God”. The same marketing is employed as the world uses, except there is a small, Christian tag added to the product.
God is the creator and owner of the human body, and all fitness resources should have His truth as their foundation. The goal of Layman’s Fitness is to help Christian men learn, grow and develop their body-stewardship for God’s purposes and glory.
In other words, Layman’s Fitness seeks to provide the man in the pew with the “What” and the “Why” of exercise and fitness for God’s glory.