Tag Archives: Strength

Strong Like Samson

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With anything, it is important to teach our kids tools of life and ways to live. As our kids grow up, we teach them to say their prayers at night and, many times, we will teach the classic, “Now I lay me down to sleep…”

No matter your religious affiliation, many people believe in a God. In the Christian world, prayer is important to us because this is direct communication with God. As our kids grew up, we taught them first and foremost to be thankful and to thank God for all he has blessed us with. Among the many other things we pray for, we ask God to help them to become 3 things, which I feel embody what they should strive for from a biblical perspective:

1. Strong like Samson
“Help me to be Strong like Samson.”
There is a line in a movie that says life will chew you up and spit you out if you let it. In life we have to be strong, and we have to own that strength in 3 ways:

Physically – I think we need to teach our kids to be physically strong. They have to be able to do physical things in life, like “lift this” or “move that.” For example, be able to pick up their bike when they have a wreck or to pick up their sister if mommy and daddy can’t make it there. Physical strength in life is paramount on so many levels that I could write a small book about the topic (but I will leave that for another time).

Mentally – Mental toughness is one of the top keys to being successful in life. We have to be able to handle all that life is going to throw at us. How do we respond to failure? How do we respond to success? How do we respond when things are not going as planned and we want to quit? When the going gets tough, we have to have it between the ears before we have it in our muscles.

Spiritually – Being strong in our faith and having something to rely on that is bigger than us is HUGE. There are going to be times in life when you’re not sure you can make it. If you solely trust in others, they may let you down. We have to be strong spiritually to know that God has everything in control.

Why Samson?
Samson has the reputation of being the strongest person in the Bible. The Bible says that when the child was born, “he grew and the Lord blessed him” (Judges 13:24). The Bible then goes on to tell the story of how Samson was walking through the vineyards and came upon a lion. “The spirit of the Lord came upon him and he tore the lion apart with his bare hands” (Judges 14:6). The angel of the Lord told his mother that this power would grow as the boy got older and as his hair got longer. There are numerous stories in Judges 13-16 of how Samson showed his strength, from killing 30 men to collapsing two pillars that held up an entire building.

Do I want my kids to be exactly like Samson? No, he made mistakes just like all of us do. But I do want them to embody the physical, mental, and spiritual strengths the Lord blessed him with.

2. Tough like Benaiah
There is not a ton about Benaiah in the Bible. I first learned about him from the Mark Batterson book, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day.  Benaiah exuded toughness.

Toughness. It will get you through almost anything.

When many people think of being tough, they think of the physical aspect. But what most do not realize is the mental toughness it takes to launch headlong into whatever venture you are facing that may be physically taxing.

But why Benaiah? What makes him so tough?

He is faced with an Egyptian giant… and kills him
This is cool, but we have heard this story before (David and Goliath). This time, though, it’s HOW Benaiah did it that makes him stand out. The Egyptian had an enormous spear (weaver’s beam–sized) and Benaiah has nothing but a little club. But no big deal, Benaiah just snatches the spear from the Egyptian and kills him with that instead. That’s hardcore.

Killed a lion
Killing a lion itself is super crazy, but the Bible tells us (2 Samuel 23:20) that he went down and killed a lion in the middle of a pit on a snowy day. This is not a deal where he was in a pasture and a lion came up to him; no, out of his own free will did Benaiah go down into the pit and kill a lion. Talk about mental toughness. Lets go one more: it was snowing. I don’t even want to go get the mail when its snowing, much less go fight a lion. I want to teach my kids that toughness will get us through many things in life and how we have to be tough physically and mentally to be great.

3. Wise like Solomon
Soloman was said the be the wisest man in the world. He wrote, he sang, and he taught. But what makes him so wise? And why do I want my children to be like him? In 1 Kings Chapter 3, God comes to Soloman and asks him, “Solomon, ask for anything you
want, and I will give it to you.”

WOW.

And Soloman’s response was, “Please make me wise and teach me the difference between right and wrong. Then I will know how to rule your people. If you don’t, there is no way I could rule this great nation of yours.”

Say what!!! That’s strong!

This is why I want my kids to be wise like Soloman. Because he had enough in him to know that if he obtained wisdom, all the other stuff would follow. He gave up the instant gratification for the delayed riches and honor. It gives me chills to think that my kids and I are praying this into their lives every day.

Prayer is communication with God. When we pour out our hearts he listens. Child-like faith is what causes God to listen. Speak life into your child on a daily basis. In all of these prayers, we explain to our kids why these people are the way they are and why they should want to mimic these traits. It is not just a rote prayer they speak daily; we discuss why they want to be like these 3 giants of faith.

I’d love to hear what you pray with and over your kids every day. Leave it in the comments below.

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Whatcha thinking about?

The way we think has an amazing impact on everything we say and do.

If we want to be more and be better and do more and do better the way we think has to be an important part of who we are.

Good thoughts and actions can never produce bad results just like bad thoughts and actions can never produce good results.

We have seen this so many times where people are anxious to improve their circumstances but are unwilling to improve themselves. We cannot be stagnant. In order to be greater we must always try to improve ourselves in whatever it is that we are doing.

People that are hungry are willing to do today what other people want to do, in order to have the things that others will not have.

Go out and get what you want and don’t back down from the obstacles that are in your path.

Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.

Have a great day.

My High School Athlete Needs to Gain Weight!

As the son of a successful high school football coach and being a former high school and college football player myself, I have heard this a thousand times.

My son needs to gain some weight! What does he need to do?”

To be honest with you, my answer over the years has changed. But the more I have surrounded myself with wiser, more experienced people and the more I have experimented with myself and those around me, the more I have learned.
I have put together a handful of things that I have seen over the years that work for high school kids to gain strength and mass.

1. Make sure the kid wants to do it and it’s not just the parents’ idea.
The absolute worst thing a parent can do is to live vicariously through their kids. The scenario goes 1 of 3 ways:
• Mom and Dad were average athletes that never really were what they considered a “success.”
• They were good athletes that screwed it up somewhere along the way.
• They were very successful athletes and they want their kid to be like them.
In all 3 of the above situations the parents push and push their kids to practice, workout, and play, causing the kids to resent the sport and the parents. This is getting more and more prominent in today’s society. All of the major sports are year-round these days. Baseball has fall ball, spring ball and travel ball. Basketball has school ball then AAU where they travel all over creation playing in gyms for hours on end. Football has the season, pre-season, combined season and camp season. Kids have to want to play and have to LOVE the game because when the LOVE is gone, it’s not fun anymore. When it’s not fun, it becomes a job. When it becomes a job, it becomes a problem. Kids have all their life to work. It’s a game. Let them play.

2. GET STRONG…don’t worry about “gaining weight.”
People equate weight with more strength and that is the furthest from the truth. Kids (14 and up) need to focus on getting stronger. Don’t look at the number on the scale. Look at the number on the bar. This may be the most important statement I make in this whole article. PARENTS: if your kids want to get “bigger,” do some research and find them a coach that is a stickler for technique. Don’t just ask your best friend. Ask people who know about fitness and know how to squat, press & deadlift properly. The last thing you want is for your kid to be taught improper technique and get hurt. Teach them technique and don’t let them go up until their movement is as close to perfect as it can get. Strength should be the focus, not weight gain.

3. Make sure they are eating WHOLE FOODS.
Eat real foods that come from an animal or from the earth. Stay away from processed food and fast food. As a parent, if you are really concerned with your child’s well being, you will spend a little extra time making sure you are giving them the best food possible. You have to wake up earlier or go to bed later so you can make sure you are spending the time to get good fuel in their body. Feed your kids sweet potatoes after workouts. Make sure the protein they are getting is from an animal, such as beef, chicken, pork or fish. Eat things that are green. You may be thinking this right now: “My kids will not eat vegetables.” First of all, that is probably your fault because at a young age you made it ok for them to sit at the table and not try everything on their plate. You tell yourself “they just don’t like veggies” but they don’t like them because you did not expose them to it. It takes effort to give your kids good food. There is still hope. When you cook green stuff, cook it in bacon. Bacon makes everything better. (Sorry for the soapbox).
Think of it this way. Regular kids that don’t play sports are like a Nissan Sentra. It’s a good car that just needs you stop at the gas station and get some gas. That is the fuel they need to hang out with friends and go to the movies, go to the mall and hang out in the Wal-Mart parking lot. As athletes, their bodies are like a NASCAR. You have to put a higher quality product in the engine. When was the last time you saw Dale Jr. at the local gas station gassing up the car he is going to race on Sunday? Athletes need higher quality fuel because they are burning so much throughout games, practices and workouts. If you are not sure, ask someone. Email me at thomas@mealfit.co. I can help. Feed’em good food, folks.

4. SLEEP.
A friend of mine has 2 kids in high school and they have a rule at their house: after a certain time at night, the phones go off and go in the parents’ room. I have 2 kids myself and when mine have a cell phone, this rule will be implemented in our home. Why? Kids need to sleep. This generation has so much to keep them occupied from smart phones to IPads to desktop computers to television. There is an unlimited supply of information out there and kids will consume it or play games on all the electronic devices they have. The body releases the most testosterone and growth hormones when a person is sleeping; the better quality sleep a kid has, the more likely he is to be better at the next day’s game, practice, or workout. They need good quality sleep.

If your kids are doing the above things they will get stronger, and with strength comes size. There has to be proper technique when they are lifting. Strength in compensated positions will lead to the wrong kind of development, especially if the kids are starting young. Patience and persistence are the keys that lead to a successful outcome. If you are a parent of an athletic kid, look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself if you are one of the above parents. If you are real brave, ask someone that will be honest with you if you are one of the above parents. Seek advice from people who get paid to help people get fit and strong. Feed your kids great quality food and make your kids go to sleep at night.

Parents: “You can’t push a rope.” Kids have to want to be great. The best advice I can give is for you to be the example of hard work and persistence. Kids are sponges. They soak up whatever is around them. The question is what are you giving them to soak up?

Stephanie King “How to Change Your Life” Part 1

Most of you have seen the video’s with Chris Howard (here is the latest link with about Chris’s story)and his battle with Hashimoto’s and how much success he has had. Stephanie King got in contact with me and asked me to work with her on some of the issues she was having and her new battle with Hashimoto’s.
We have been working together for 8 weeks and this is where we are. Check it out.

Paleo Zone Meal Plans

Whats the brief Difference in the Zone Diet and the Paleo Diet? & What has MealFit done to make both groups happy? Thomas Cox answers these things in a quick explanation.

MealFit has Created a Paleo/Zone Plan for those that want to go the extra step in their fitness.
4 Block Meals that are strict Paleo.