Exercise Physiology

Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!” Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all. (Acts 2:40–41 NLT)

They praised God. They were respected by all the people. Every day the Lord added to their group those who were being saved. (Acts 2:47 NIrV)

Believers were added to the Lord in increasing numbers—crowds of both men and women. (Acts 5:14 HCSB)

Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and strong in faith. And many people were brought to the Lord. (Acts 11:24 NLT)

The principle of progressive resistance exercise was first described by Dr. Thomas DeLorme, a Captain in the US Army Medical Corps during World War II. (Delorme TL. Restoration of muscle power by heavy-resistance exercises. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery [Am].1945;27(4):645-667.) He formally described in this article, and others he wrote, a method that had been used for a long time in strength training and rehabilitation. Fundamentally, he noted, muscle power improves under the influence of resistance training that overloads the musculature and is progressively increased over time.

Of course, muscles that are exercised this way increase in size. For many years it was thought that this enlargement occurred by hypertrophy, or the increase in size of individual muscles fibers. However, some researchers examining muscle tissue with microscopes started promoting the idea that another physiological process—hyperplasia, or the increase in the number of individual muscle fibers—was partially responsible for the improvement in muscle size and function. Today, even though we know that hypertrophy is the predominant mechanism of muscle enhancement that intensifies force and power output, hyperplasia is known to occur, as well.

Read about the first revival in Acts 2. It’s known as the Day of Pentecost. From that point onward, Acts is full of examples of what happens when training (a concept we know better in our faith as discipleship) and power output come together. Nowhere else in the New Testament do we see such an increase in the number of Jesus followers and their impact on society. It was a hyperplasia of souls brought to the Lord and, unlike in muscle, hyperplasia is the only way to increase the power of the Church. If you and I multiply hyperplastically, our number will at least double. What if that happened as a result of everyone in your small group or your church exemplifying the Christian life and explaining their faith when they have the chance? Quite honestly, if that occurred today, the hyperplasia would make Pentecost look as tiny as a muscle biopsy on a microscope slide.

- Jeff Russell

E-KardíaGram: Sports Performance Edition is produced by The Kardía Foundation in association with Athletes in Action Sports Performance © 2018 The Kardía Foundation

We connect the Christian faith and healthcare, equipping Christian healthcare workers to integrate their faith and practice. www.kardia.org

Contact: sportsperformance@athletesinaction.org This electronic publication may be forwarded in its original format with proper credit given. Written by Jeffrey A. Russell, PhD, ATC

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