As of Wednesday March 25, our facilities will be closed until further notice. We look forward to serving you again as soon as we can!

Easy Meal Prepping Ideas

April 2, 2020

Written By Tanner Hoffarth, Marketing Employee

Being cooped up inside practicing our social distancing is something we dove into last week that we never thought would be a reality. On top of staying active, it is also important that we practice good eating habits. This includes not just filling our bodies with substance for our “three meals a day,” but filling it with food that makes us feel good.

I have put together some of my favorite recipes that anyone can make for a quick tasty meal. Each meal was also designed to be completely customizable based on your dietary needs or taste bud preference.  On top of that, each of these meals are portioned to feed an army! What does that mean? That means your dinner tonight can make an easy lunch tomorrow.

In this time of uncertainty, being able to cook or know what you will cook for dinner this week brings a little certainty back in order.

With this meal plan, a shopping list is provided for everything you need through the week—that’s if you don’t already have it in your pantry. A shopping list for the week will eliminate the need to continually run back and forth from the grocery store.

Screenshot the shopping list and get cooking!

Day 1: Chicken and Asparagus (Creme de la Crumb)

    INGREDIENTS

    • 3-6 chicken thighs or boneless skinless chicken breasts (breasts pounded to even 1/2-inch thickness)
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • 1-pound asparagus, ends trimmed
    • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
    • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • fresh herbs for garnish (optional)

    DIRECTIONS

    1. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large pan/skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in garlic and herbs and cook another minute or so until the garlic is fragrant.
    2. Reduce heat to medium, add chicken to pan, and cook for 5-7 minutes, then flip and cook another 5-7 minutes. (Chicken should be nearly, but not completely cooked through by this point)
    3. Scoot the chicken over the sides and add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to the empty portion of the pan. Once the butter is melted, add asparagus. Season asparagus with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, rotating throughout, for 4-6 minutes until tender and chicken is completely cooked through.
    4. Serve immediately garnished with freshly cracked black pepper and fresh herbs if desired.


    Day 2: Pasta al Limone (Bon Appetit)

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1 lemon
    • 12 oz. spaghetti or other long pasta
    • Kosher salt
    • ¾ cup heavy cream
    • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
    • 3 oz. finely grated Parmesan (about ¾ cup)
    • Freshly ground black pepper

    DIRECTIONS

    1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove two 2″-long strips of lemon zest. Thinly slice each strip lengthwise into thin strands; set aside for serving. Finely grate remaining zest into a large pot (like a Dutch oven). Cut lemon in half and squeeze out enough juice to yield 2 Tbsp. into a small bowl; set aside.
    2. Cook pasta in another large pot of boiling heavily salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente (pasta will finish cooking in the sauce).
    3. Meanwhile, add cream to pot with lemon zest and cook over medium heat, whisking often, until liquid is just beginning to simmer, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Whisk in butter 1 Tbsp. at a time until melted and sauce is creamy and emulsified. Remove from heat.
    4. Just before pasta is al dente, scoop out 1½ cups pasta cooking liquid. Add ¾ cup pasta cooking liquid to cream sauce and return to medium heat. Using tongs, transfer spaghetti to pot with sauce (it’s okay if a little water comes along with it). Cook, tossing often and adding Parmesan little by little, until cheese is melted, and sauce is creamy, about 3 minutes. If sauce looks tight, add 1–2 Tbsp. pasta cooking liquid. (Cream sauces tighten up very quickly as they cool, so it’s better to lean on the saucier side of things.) Stir in reserved lemon juice; season with more salt, if needed.
    5. Divide pasta among bowls. Season with pepper, then top with reserved lemon zest strips.


    Day 3: Salmon Soy & Citrusy Charred Scallions (Alison Roman)

    INGREDIENTS

    • 2 bunches scallions or spring onions, white and green parts, trimmed
    • 2 to 3 lbs skin-on salmon fillet
    • 1⁄4 cup plus 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1⁄4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
    • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon or lime zest plus 1⁄4 cup fresh lemon or lime juice (from about 2 lemons or 4 limes)
    • 2 tbsp fresh orange juice (from about 1 orange)
    • Crushed red pepper flakes

    DIRECTIONS

    1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Thinly slice 4 scallions and place in a medium bowl; set aside.
    2. Place the salmon skin side down in a large baking dish and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and lots of pepper. Place in the oven and roast until the center begins to turn from deep sunset orange to salmon-y pink, but still remains pretty medium-rare toward the top, 10 to 12 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium cast-iron skillet. Add the remaining scallions and season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until deeply charred in spots, 4 to 6 minutes.
    4. Transfer the scallions to a cutting board and coarsely chop. Add to the bowl with raw scallions along with the soy sauce, lemon zest and juice, orange juice, and remaining ¼ cup olive oil; season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.
    5. Using a large spatula, transfer the salmon to a large serving platter, leaving any skin behind. Spoon a bit of the charred scallion mixture over, serving any extra alongside.


    Day 4: Never Fail Chicken Tacos (Delish)

    INGREDIENTS

    • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
    • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ strips
    • Kosher salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 tsp. chili powder
    • 2 tsp. cumin
    • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1/4 tsp. paprika
    • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
    • 8 corn tortillas, warmed
    • Thinly sliced red onion
    • Diced tomatoes
    • Shredded Monterey Jack
    • Diced avocados
    • Fresh cilantro
    • Lime wedges

    DIRECTIONS

    1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to skillet. Cook until golden, 6 minutes. Add spices and stir until coated, 1 minute more.
    2. Build tacos: In tortillas, layer chicken and desired toppings. Serve with lime wedges.


    Day 5:
    Avocado Toast w/ Jammy Sunny Side Up Eggs and Roasted Baby Tomatoes (Closet Cooking)

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1 avocado
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or lime juice)
    • pinch salt
    • 4 eggs
    • 4 slices toast (can sub for GF if needed)
    • salt and pepper to taste

    DIRECTIONS

    1. Mash the avocado, lemon juice and salt.
    2. Fry the eggs in a pan over medium heat.
    3. Spread the mashed avocado mixture on the toast, top with the fried eggs, season with salt and pepper and enjoy!

    Shopping List

    PROTEIN

    • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    • 2 to 3 lbs skin-on salmon fillet

    SPICES

    • Kosher salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • Crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    • 2 tsp. chili powder
    • 2 tsp. cumin
    • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1/4 tsp. paprika
    • 1/4 tsp. cayenne

    OILS & SAUCES

    • Extra-virgin olive oil
    • Low-sodium soy sauce

    PANTRY

    • 12 oz. Spaghetti or other long pasta
    • 8 6”-diameter corn tortillas
    • Bread of choice

    FRIDGE

    • Eggs
    • Heavy cream
    • Unsalted/salted butter
    • Parmesan
    • Shredded Monterey Jack

    PRODUCE

    • Garlic
    • 4 Lemons
    • 3 Limes
    • 1 Orange
    • 2 bunches scallions
    • 1-pound asparagus
    • 1 Fresh bunch cilantro
    • 1 Red onion
    • Diced tomatoes
    • 3 Avocados

      Utilizing the Liberty Today App

      March 26, 2020

      Written By Alivia Chenoweth, Marketing Manager

      So, you’re back at home and desperately missing LaHaye and the motivation to stay fit. We get it. Did you know that in addition to the Wednesday Workout videos that are posted on the Recreation Centers Facebook page, there is currently a library of workouts available for free to students through the Liberty Today App?

      How to Get to Our Page

      1. Download the Liberty Today App on your phone (Apple, Google)
      2. Click the three grey bars in the top left-hand corner
      3. Scroll down to LU Fit

      When you get to the LU Fit page, you will be able to see all of the LaHaye Rec & Fit and David’s Place workout spaces that are offered. On the bottom of your screen, you’ll see access to a map of LaHaye, a Stopwatch feature to use during workouts, and then a Workouts tab.

        Workouts Tab

        Featured in the Workouts tab are Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced workouts taught by our very own professional fitness staff. Under each of the workouts is an overview of each set, a description of the length of the workout and how many repetitions are needed for the circuit. The workouts range from the following:

        • Arms
        • Full Body
        • Glutes
        • HIIT
        • Legs & Core
        • Lower Body
        • Tabata
        • Upper Body

        With a wide range of workouts to choose from, it makes working out at home, or even in a gym, a whole lot easier. Download the Liberty Today App today for free and stay tuned for more workout videos on Facebook, Instagram LIVE, Spotify playlists, and more!

        Ways To Stay Active During Social Distancing

        March 23, 2020

        Written By Lauren Stinner, Marketing Intern

        Just a few weeks ago, the term “social distancing” had never even been a thought. If you are cooped up inside, try and get active for at least thirty minutes per day. In these coming days or weeks, there are some excellent ways that you can keep your body moving while social distancing yourself.

        Find an At-Home Workout Routine

        Luckily, in our day and age, finding workout resources on YouTube, the App Store, Pinterest and more is easier than ever. Keeping your body healthy and moving can help keep your mind sharp, as well as drive out any anxiety. Take what you usually do at a gym or outside and translate that into a workout you can do in the comfort of your own home!

          Learn a New Dance

          With the rise of TikTok, there are hundreds of new dances to learn. Not only does this create movement while being inside, but it can also be fun for others to do with you. If you are home with family and distancing yourself from public places and people, try and get your family members to learn a dance with you! This can create community within your living environment while just letting loose.

          Go for a Walk

          This might sound so simple, and that’s because it is! Fresh air can be so good for our bodies. Going for a brisk walk can help get you into a more positive headspace after being inside all day! Go alone or invite the family dog so it can get some energy out, too.

          Learn Some Yoga Poses

          Yoga can be an excellent way to clear your mind of any worry or fear. Go on YouTube and find some new yoga poses, or even a yoga routine that will be best for you. Find a quiet place in your home and practice these techniques. Maybe this means waking up before the rest of your family so you can start the day with peace and prayer!

          Clean Your Living Space

          Whether it’s your room, kitchen, bathroom, or any room in your home, right now couldn’t be a better time to clean, organize, and Marie Kondo your place. Try and find the most commonly touched items in your house and disinfect them. If you don’t have any disinfectant, look up some substitutes. You’d be surprised what household item can be used to get rid of germs (hydrogen peroxide, anyone?!). Be extra cautious of surfaces you touch, and go the extra mile when tidying up. Try to turn this into a game with your siblings or see what other chores you might be able to do that help you reach your move goal!

          Challenge Your Friends

          If you have an Apple watch, share your Activity with your friends who also have one! This will help keep each of you accountable and turn your move and exercise rings into a daily challenge with each other. Or, see what type of trends are happening on Instagram right now like the 10 push-up challenge!

          All of these things can be useful tools while social distancing. The temptation to sit on the couch all day and binge watch Netflix shows is very real, but keeping your body moving will not only keep your immune system up, it will also keep you in shape for when life goes back to “normal”. Finally, lean into God with your fear, uncertainty, or anger you have in this new season at home miles away from your friends and trying to figure out online classes with your family around 24/7. Cling to the words of Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

          Keeping Up With Your Resolutions

          March 12, 2020

          Written By Kevin Cobb, Personal Trainer

          New Years is a great time to make a change. People often set high goals but end up keeping little to none of those goals. Are you one of the many people who feel that you have given up on your resolutions and goals already? Do you feel like you are still on pace to keep your goals but running out of motivation? I’m going to give you 5 simple steps to keep pushing so that you can succeed in maintaining your New Year’s resolutions.

          Find the Why to What You Do

          Many people know what they do, but only the most successful people have identified their why. We drive off of having a purpose. Without a purpose, what’s the point of doing something you don’t feel like doing? Motivation is something that constantly changes. When you know your why to what you do, you can develop discipline to be consistent even when your motivation levels are low. In order to develop a hunger to be more consistent and disciplined, you must change your way of thinking. Instead of thinking about how hard you must work—think about the happiness you will feel from fulfilling your goals.

            Make Realistic Goals

            I have a lot of friends who know that I am a personal trainer, so they often tell me their fitness related resolutions. Most of them tell me that they are going from being a couch potato to working out every single day! During the first few weeks of the year I usually see them every single day at the gym. Once the enthusiasm runs out, they are right back to where they started. Why? Because they set unrealistic goals for themselves. While some people may think that drastic change works, the majority of people do not have that type of will-power to sustain such a dramatic change. When it comes to making goals, we should remember to keep them S.M.A.R.T.

            Specific: In order to achieve something, you must know what you are trying to achieve.
            Measurable: Track your progress so you can see if you are going in the right direction.
            Attainable: You want it to challenge you, but it should also be possible.
            Relevant: When you achieve this goal will it be worth it?
            Timely: Having a time limit will give you a sense of urgency to keep pushing.

            Let Yesterday Die

            There is a reason why we have days, weeks, and years—it is to signify beginnings and endings. It is dangerous to let yesterday’s failures or successes dictate what you do today. Michael Jordan said, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” This is a prime example of not letting the fear of failure dictate your next move. He took his failures and used them as fuel to better himself. Not only do you need to let yesterday’s failure die, you also need to let yesterday’s successes die as well. Often the biggest setback to progress is past success. Don’t think just because you did something good yesterday that you’re done for today. Always strive to improve, because no one else is your competition. You are competing to beat your best self.

            Know Yourself and Know Your Worth

            There was a point in time where I didn’t know who I was. I tried to find my identity in football, then school work, then a relationship. And they all failed me. I was at an all-time low and didn’t feel like there was any hope for me. But, when I asked the Lord to fulfill me, everything changed. Instead of trying to find my worth in what I do, I now find my worth in who He is. When you know that you are a king/queen in Christ, the thought of failing does not bother you because you know that what Jesus did on the cross has made you victorious before you even fight the battle.

            V-check is something I have been saying since I had this revelation, and it stands for victory check. I say this to myself every time I go into a situation that I feel like is too much for me. I know that my victory has been won through Jesus at the cross, so no matter the situation I win! I don’t fight for victory, but from victory! Adopt this mindset in everything you do and remember that the only reason why we have victory is because we put our faith in Jesus.

            Set Your Priorities

            Feed what you want to grow. Every day you should feed your passion in some type of way. Your passion is what God created you to do, so do it to the best of your abilities and show God’s glory through what you do! As college students we are in a great spot to feed our passions because we can lock in on doing what we were called to do. This might mean you have to sacrifice some fun and sleep in order to pursue your goals, but it will be worth it in the end. Look at what you are doing every day and ask yourself, “is what I’m doing helping me reach my goals?”. If not, then you need to realign your priorities and do what is going to benefit you in the long run. You can still take a break and have fun, but you need to make decisions that will shoot you toward your goals!

             

            Running on Campus

            March 5, 2020

            Written By Abbey Hayes, Group Exercise Instructor

            Hi, my name is Abbey Hayes and I love to run. This is a phrase I never thought I would write. Like ever.

            Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane to three years ago. I was unmotivated, unhappy, and couldn’t run to the end of my block without wanting to give up. I had been over-weight my entire life and saw running as something that would cause humiliation, rather than something that could change my life.

            However, I was sick of feeling like this! I wanted to stop dreaming about changing my life AND ACTUALLY DO IT! I began to train for the Virginia 10 Miler and was absolutely terrified. Long story short, I ran the race. I’ve run it three times since and been in the top 10% of women the past two years. After discovering a passion for running, I developed a passion for all things fitness—especially running and HIIT. Now, I teach fitness classes and love working out.

            Did you think this blog post was going to tell you the best places to run on Liberty’s campus?

            I have something far more important to share with you: the lessons that God taught me as I’ve ran around Liberty’s campus over the past three years. Although, I would be happy to share with you that running from East Campus to Chili’s and back is exactly 2.5 miles, and there’s a phenomenal 5K loop starting at LaHaye, going around Thomas Road, running by the Circle, and running all the way back to LaHaye. But, we are here to talk about something far more important. Endurance.

             If you hate running, that’s okay. I did too! But guess what? God created it, and that means He can teach us things through it. I don’t know about you, but to me, that’s pretty exciting. So, open your Bible, put on your running shoes, and let’s dive in.

              Endurance Brings us Closer to Jesus

              Hebrews 12:1b-2a: And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. (NLT)

              This is pretty much the reason I work out. Now, why is this so important to me? Well, I realized that first-world countries have very little need for endurance. Everything is at our fingertips. Pain can be temporarily escaped with ease, and we never really have to force ourselves to endure anything. I believe that God gave us running, or any type of physical activity, to practice endurance. He gave us this gift to learn what it is like to power through something that feels impossible, and to realize that there must be something or someone bigger than ourselves to carry us through the unsurmountable. And that someone is Jesus. I know it may sound silly to think that you can find Jesus on a one-mile run starting from Commons 2 and ending at the gym, but He’s there.

              With Every Mountain Comes a Valley

              Hebrews 10:36: Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. (NLT)

              Have you ever noticed how long and awful the hills are when you run? Three minutes uphill feels like hours of torture. We result to walking 30 seconds in, feeling absolutely incapable of making it up the mountain. But I have good news for you! Every time you get to the top of a hill, there is a downhill!

              So, you may be asking, how does this apply to my life as a Christian? Creation shows us that if there is a mountain, there must be a valley. As you run, keep this in mind. Don’t run up the mountain in fear of stopping, or worrying that it will never end, but knowing that relief is coming. The Lord is preparing you and developing your endurance for the future AND because it is so hard in the moment, you will enjoy the downhill that much more.

              When You Feel as Though You Have Nothing Left, God Created You to Glorify Him

              Psalm 150: 6: Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord! (NLT)

              We have all had those moments on a run where everything in us wants to give-up. Even though I try to focus on worshipping and praying as I run, sometimes I have nothing left in me. I become frustrated with my exhaustion, which can turn into becoming frustrated with God. This typically happens when I’m unhappy with circumstances in my life. I think to myself, “How can I worship God right now? Everything in me is tired and I can barely take a step forward.” And that is when I am reminded that I don’t have to do anything, God created my body to worship him. That truth gives me so much relief and freedom. Even when I am at the end of my rope, God still created my body for worship. He is so kind to us. He will carry us when we can’t continue. When we are weak his is strong.

              With these three concepts in mind, I have completely changed the music that I listen to when I run. Instead of pumping trap music through my ears, I choose to listen to worship music. I know it may sound crazy, but it has made my running time faster. There is nothing more motivating than the truth that Christ has set me free! I hope to see you running around campus. Remember, this is beyond burning a couple hundred calories (even though that is an awesome benefit). This is worship.

              Why Pinterest Workouts Aren’t As Effective As You Think

              February 26, 2020

              Written By Whitney Rumpca, Group Exercise Instructor

              I’m sure that I’m not the only one who has looked to Pinterest for workout routines. I mean, you’re bound to find a workout when there’s millions of pins to choose from! But, wouldn’t it be nice to know if the workout you chose was more than just aesthetically pleasing but also effective?

              Many of us probably have no idea who’s behind the makeup of that routine. While the convenience of Pinterest is great, it may not be the most qualified personal trainer. Let’s be honest with ourselves—have you actually gotten rid of the stubborn belly fat that full body workout promised would fall off after only 2 weeks? Before you blame yourself for doing something wrong, maybe the workout just wasn’t put together by someone who actually knew what they were talking about.

              The truth is, Pinterest workouts aren’t as effective as you think.

                Recreation Centers Professionals

                The best way to get a workout tailored to you is to first, stop trying to fit the mold of Pinterest workouts, and second, to seek a consultation with the Recreation Centers’ fitness professionals. We’re here to help you cut the nonsense and start seeing the results you’re looking for.

                Women on Weights

                For example, are you into weightlifting or interested in learning more? Women on Weights is an upcoming workshop we offer to help you learn from our female professionals. If you’re interested in weightlifting but don’t know where to start, come to us as your first resort! Attending the Women on Weights workshop will give you the chance to ask any questions you may have about lifting and receive guidance that will help you demystify weightlifting. We promise we won’t just hand you an outline we found on Pinterest and then leave you to your own devices.

                We Want to Help You!

                We are here to equip you with effective workouts and explain the scientifically proven mechanics behind them. We want you to find success in your fitness goals. Adding weightlifting into your weekly fitness plan may just be the secret sauce to success! If you’re interested in attending the workshop or other fitness events, you can find more information here. If you’re interested in a personal training package, you can find that here!

                Preparing for Lent

                February 21, 2020

                Written By Lauren Stinner, Marketing Intern

                As Christians, the weeks leading up to Easter can be a time of spiritual preparation. One of the ways you can prepare your heart in this season is by participating in Lent. The purpose of Lent is much like fasting; it takes something out of your everyday life and replaces it with time to grow in faith. This year, Lent starts on February 26th and ends on April 9th. As you approach this season of faith, think about what you can set aside in order to focus on your spiritual walk. As stated in our mission, Liberty Recreation Centers seeks to provide holistic well-being, and Lent is a perfect example of this. Here are some ways you can prepare for Lent.

                  Prepare Your Mind

                  The mid-semester stress is starting to set In, and it can be so easy to let other priorities crowd our heads. 1 Peter 1:13 says “Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Setting aside a portion of your day to clear your mind can be beneficial in you walk with Christ. Meditation can help ease your stress, and activities like devotionals and yoga can be very helpful.

                  Prepare Your Body

                  Taking care of your health can be both physical and spiritual. 1 Timothy 4:8 says “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.” Taking care of your physical health can aid in your mental health. When you take care of your body, you are not only honoring yourself, but honoring God.

                  Prepare Your Heart

                  This is the most important because getting your heart in the right place to hear God in the season of Lent can mean so much. Job 11:13-19 says “If only you would prepare your heart and lift up your hands to him in prayer! Get rid of your sins and leave all iniquity behind you.” When you choose what you will give up for Lent, make sure your intentions are pure. Although every person is born with a sinful nature, keeping you heart set on God assures you are on the path to righteousness.

                  Think of Something You Can Give Up to Honor God More.

                  For example, giving up coffee or a social media platform can eliminate something you are subconsciously dependent on and replace it with more of Jesus. Lent is a wonderful way to spend time in your walk with God. Use this season to better your relationships, change your mindset, and reflect on the sacrifice Christ made for you.

                  30 Day Spring Break Workouts

                  February 14, 2020

                  Written By Cricket Jurgovan, Personal Trainer and Alivia Chenoweth, Marketing Manager

                  Spring Break season is upon us, and whether you’re going on a trip or enjoying a “stay-cation,” everyone wants to look fabulous from head to toe. Here are a few 30-day workout challenges to incorporate into your everyday routine until we reach the sweet time of Spring Break.

                  Core/Ab Challenge

                  For each day on until Day 30, increase each workout set by 5 and making sure to rest every 4th day.

                  • Day 1
                    • 10 situps
                    • 12 bicycle crunches
                    • 10 reverse crunches
                    • 20 sec plank
                  • Day 2
                    • 10 situps
                    • 15 bicycle crunches
                    • 15 reverse crunches
                    • 25 second plank
                  • Day 3
                    • 15 situps
                    • 20 bicycle crunches
                    • 15 reverse crunches
                    • 30 sec plank
                  • Day 4
                    • Rest Day
                  • Day 5
                    • 20 situps
                    • 20 bicycle crunches
                    • 20 reverse crunches
                    • 30 sec plank

                  Cardio Challenge

                  Make sure to also increase these increments as you do it throughout the next 30 days.

                  • 2 Minute Intervals
                    • 60 seconds: jumping jacks
                    • 60 seconds: side to side leaps
                      • Rest 60 seconds
                    • 60 seconds: run in place
                    • 60 seconds: side shuffles
                  • Rest One Minute
                  • 1 Minute Intervals
                    • 60 second: mountain climbers
                    • 30 second: rest
                    • 60 second: burpees
                    • 30 second: rest
                    • 60 second: knee high run
                    • 30 second: rest
                    • 60 second: squat jumps side to side
                  • Rest One Minute
                  • 30 Second Intervals
                    • 30 second: air jacks
                    • 15 second: rest
                    • 30 second: squat jumps
                    • 15 second: rest
                    • 30 second: jumping lunges
                    • 15 second: rest
                    • 30 second: jumping lunges

                  Other Workout Options

                  Run through each workout a total of 3 times, set a timer and aim for 40 seconds of work and 20 seconds of rest. At the end of the circuit take one minute of rest and then start on the next round!

                  Core Exercises

                  • Russian twists
                  • Plank walk out
                  • Oblique crunches
                  • Straight leg sit ups
                  • Side-to-side heels taps

                  Leg Exercises

                  • Walking lunges
                  • Step ups
                  • Kettle bell thrusts
                  • Alternating side-steps with squat
                  • Box jumps

                  Arm Exercises

                  • Rogue wall ball toss
                  • Bicep twist curl
                  • Push up from knees
                  • Rogue ball slam
                  • Skull crushers

                  Exercise Tips

                  Get 30 minutes of exercise in every day! Out of the 1,440 minutes in a day, this is just 2% of your day! Working out can give you so many benefits and doesn’t need to be as time consuming as some make it seem.

                  • Get outside or even in your living room and move your muscles!
                  • Check out the Liberty Today App for handy workout videos created by Recreation Centers! Tap on one you think you would enjoy!
                  • If you are a bit more experienced and want to up your game, perhaps set a goal of hitting the gym 3-4 times a week and focus on lower or upper body!
                  • Trying the stair stepper or walk at an incline on a treadmill for 45 minutes can be an alternative, and the key here is setting a pace that breaks a sweat but will not leave you winded 10 minutes in.

                    How Rock Climbing Changed My Life

                    February 6, 2020

                    Written By Laina Marble, Rock Wall Employee

                    There are a lot of conveniences in life—getting into a car and easily traveling miles by the press of a pedal, having boxes of whatever gizmo you desire by clicking “confirm purchase,” and whipping out your phone to brush up on a fact that is right on the tip of your tongue. Climbing though, is not a convenience.

                    Climbing and Theology

                    The start of my relationship with climbing began in 2014 when a group of friends and I were looking for something to do with our “free day” in the middle of a conference. Walking aimlessly around downtown Chattanooga, we all were taken in by the flashy colors of a climbing gym and decided to give it a whirl. Each of us had no clue what we were in for and had much more of a dressed-up attire than a ready-to-climb look going for us. Powered by a pair of rental shoes and a harness I fumbled my way to the first auto-belay that I saw and easily shimmied my way up, grabbing whatever color I desired all the way to the top. I struck up a conversation with a young boy and his dad that clearly knew what they were doing and very clearly could tell I did not. They were the first to help me learn some basics and belay me up a wall. My interaction with them was my first taste of climbing hospitality and a big part of the reason I decided to stay back to learn more about this weird sport while most of the group took off to go shopping.

                    Climbing allowed movement that I never had utilized before in such a productive way (aside from trying to impress my brother as a little girl to keep up with him as we were climbing trees).  I was quickly enticed to climb every route that I could to experience different holds that required something new from me. The conference we were at was a Christian New Year’s conference, and we had spent the two previous days talking all sorts of theology and life application. I run off analogies. So, while I was plugged into an auto belay, I realized that often times I had looked at different commands from God as obstacles to dodge around. But, when grabbing these strange little colored holds I realized that His commands were so much more than that—they were truths that I could cling to in obedience to bring myself closer to His heavenly face.

                    A Deeper Understanding of Climbing

                    Flash forward a bit to 2016. I nearly trip over myself and life choices and fall into a gap year program. Not truly realizing what I had signed up for, I found enough satisfaction in knowing that I would no longer be living in my mother’s house to not really care what else was in store. I quickly found that climbing had shown its face once again. I hastily had committed myself to a 9-month wilderness discipleship program at a camp in the hill country of Texas. Still being a newbie to the sport of climbing, I was terrified at how small personal harness’s looked. But, I noticed a stunning limestone wall that had a vast variety of routes to play on. Climbing outside became a game changer and added beauty to the sport. It taught me to look for holds that may have been unseen at first glance and to strive for a sense of accomplishment using an element that was simply its constant self. Walls began to have character, and I started to understand how I could adapt to this new season and grow as a climber and person. Again, the comparison to Christ was so clear. I needed to have patience to continue to work on the little foot slips and to not argue with where the Lord had placed me. There was a growing sense of transcendentalism in my relationship with climbing, and it was fueled by C.S. Lewis and getting to see those pretty little routes day in and day out.

                    Climbing is My Community

                    When looking for a college I had a few little details that I knew would seal the deal—and having a climbing wall was at the top of my list. It is a place to go when you just want to do something, where you can simply be with people, and a target for when I want to get my mind off of the frustrations of everything else and get frustrated at something that is just screwed into a wall minding its own business. Liberty’s rock wall has given me a sense of home and friendship on this campus. Through climbing at the wall, I’ve met a remarkable group of people that enjoy throwing on a pair of smelly shoes and supporting one another. There are a variety of people that come in and out of this tiny part of campus that have inspired me, challenged me, and given me so many new perspectives. At times I neglect my efforts to practice and improve my climbing, and I become fearful to return, afraid that I have lost too much and that I’ll disappoint myself when I come back after taking a month (or two) off. I had a moment at Liberty’s wall after one of these sabbaticals and realized that no matter how annoying it was that I was falling off V3’s I needed to assess myself if I was ever going to improve. Some days I put on a harness, and it feels like it’s my first time all over again. But, I never regret climbing, and there is always a takeaway—there is always a fear factor that gives me courage to push through the things that matter.

                    I could step into a climbing gym anywhere in the world and know that I will meet an incredible person and quickly make a connection. The first time I traveled out of the US was to climb with a crew in Morocco, and the sport allowed me to feel welcomed into the country. Hearing about other’s adventures gives me hope for the future after college because I know I will have my place on a wall wherever Christ takes me.

                    My relationship with rock climbing seemed to start out as an accident. We had passed by each other a few times, got familiar with seeing one another, and then became friends. I have experienced some of my scariest moments while climbing but also some of the greatest. The sport has allowed me to challenge myself in a holistic manner—to meet, love and be impressed by people unlike me, grow roots into drifting thoughts of Christ, and bring structure. Most inconveniences in life we avoid; we become trained to look for quick satisfaction and we’re constantly reminded that its now or never so buy it, spend it, eat it now. Climbing slows it all down. It entangles you into hours of working a problem, sitting on the benches at the wall talking beta with the people near you, and enjoying the days where you top out on the routes that you’ve spent weeks working.

                    I will always be appreciative for the inconvenience of rock climbing and how it has changed my life in a terrific callused-hand kind of way.

                      The Benefits of Swimming

                      January 30, 2020

                      Written By Lindsey Johnson, Marketing Employee

                      Swimming is a great way to work your entire body. Unlike other fitness regimens, swimming engages every muscle group and energy system. Did you know that an hour of swimming burns almost as many calories as running?

                      There are so many benefits that come from swimming regularly—let’s take a look at some of those and how you can start incorporating swimming into your routine, if you haven’t already!

                        Swimming Works Your Entire Body

                        Like mentioned earlier, swimming works your entire body. It increases your heart rate without adding stress to your body, tones your muscles, and builds strength and endurance. Some strokes you can use to add variety to your swimming workout are

                        1. Breaststroke
                        2. Backstroke
                        3. Sidestroke
                        4. Butterfly
                        5. Freestyle

                        Swimming Improves Coordination

                        Swimming is proven to improve flexibility, range of motion, and functional strength in and out of the water. This leads to improved core strength, mobile stability in your joints, and enhanced motor skills. Who knew?

                        Swimming May Help You Sleep Better at Night

                        People suffering with insomnia reported both a boost in quality of life and sleep after engaging in regular aerobic exercise. Swimming is also meditative – it boosts endorphins that increase feelings of well-being. The rhythmic strokes and sound of the water make swimming extremely relaxing, and it has been shown that swimming produces the same relaxation responses as yoga.

                        How do I get started?

                        Check out our LaHaye Aquatic Center and the various events and lessons we have to offer. From there, start slow. You may even want to start your journey in the gym with strength training that works your muscles before you hit the water. If you’re totally new to swimming and are interested in taking swimming lessons, we have lessons available for Liberty students and community members. We have group, private, and partner lessons available for purchase. More information can be found on our website linked above!

                        If you’re just getting started with an exercise program or if you’re looking to try something new, jump in the pool! Swimming has a host of benefits for your mind, body, and soul.