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Muscular Christianity: 90 Day Workout Plan

click here to order “Muscular Christianity:90 Day Workout Plan” on

Crafted by a former Marine, the “Muscular Christianity: 90 Day Workout Plan” will change your approach to exercise, teach you how to eat and give you that spiritual six pack that allows you to make a difference and not just an appearance!

You’ll be using the “Loose Cannon Fitness Audio Workout System” which means that your workouts are playlists you import into your iTunes. Each “song” features the voice of a Marine accompanied by a drum track giving you the exercise you’re doing, the number of reps you’re performing and the pace of those repetitions. When you’ve got that level of accountability built into your workout session, you’re not just exercising, you’re training!

click here to see how a typical “Muscular Christianity: 90 Day Workout Plan” training day looks…!

With the “Muscular Christianity: 90 Day Workout Plan,” you’ve got over 300 pages of content that provide you with an understanding of how to eat strategically based on sound dietary concepts. You’re also looking at how your relationship with Christ was never engineered to be a mere file folder among many. Rather, He’s the Filing Cabinet. And when you intentionally align all your pursuits beneath the banner of enhancing the Reputation of your King, your perspective changes, you’re more enthusiastic and you’re more inclined to succeed – not because of who you are, but because of a more muscular Presence of Christ working in and through you.

  • 90 days worth of daily “Core Training” readings
  • Over 60 individual “Loose Cannon Fitness” exercise tracks free with purchase of book. That’s over a $50.00 value!
  • Team Training Material also available as part of the collection of downloadable resources included with the book

Also, be aware of other “Muscular Christianity” resources engineered to keep you perpetually motivated and educated…

Buckle up!


Bruce Gust

Loose Cannon Fitness

loose_cannon_fitnessphone_displayIn the Marines, we exercised as a platoon. You had a lean, mean and very impatient Drill Instructor up front dictating the exercise, the pace and the form. On every level, at every turn yozu had a standard to adhere to and it was both motivating and extremely challenging.

“Loose Cannon Fitness” is a creative packaging of the same kind of accountability that ensures you’re a pointless puddle of perspiration at the end of every workout.

With Loose Cannon Fitness, your workout is a Playlist that you import into your iTunes. Each “song” features the voice of a Marine accompanied by a drum track giving you the exercise you’re doing as well as the number and pace of the repetitions you’re performing. Your workout never sounded so good!

No DVDs, no computer monitors. You can go online and see short video demonstrations of each exercise, but when it’s time to workout all you need is your mobile device and a place to perspire.

Unlike other exercise programs, LCF doesn’t give you the option of “doing as many as you can” or “going as fast as you can.” You have a built in standard incorporated into each exercise that compels you to move outside your comfort zone. It will change the way you train and because of the way you can mix and match individual tracks, your workouts can be customized to target whatever muscle group you want using free weights or calisthenics.

Adaptable, affordable and accessible – Loose Cannon Fitness will change your approach to exercise!

Loose Cannon Fitness: Ripped. Ready. Begin!

Click here to learn more!

Loose Cannon Fitness is the exercise program thats included in the  “Muscular Christianity: 90 Day Workout Plan.” For $29.99, you’re getting almost $50.00 worth of “Loose Cannon Fitness” tracks and workouts. Head out to to learn more!
90 Day Bible Study Guide

The 90 Day Bible Study Guide

51i7RDuPgGL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_The Bible can be a little intimidating.

Big book, not a lot of pictures…

And there’s no denying that some of the passages, without some kind of context, appear to be kind of dull.

“The 90 Day Bible Study Guide” is designed to walk you through every book of the Bible in a way where you can get your arms around what each book is bringing to the table in terms of Israel’s history, Old Testament Law, poetry, music, drama, sin, grace and how it all points to Jesus.

When you are able to process the book of Nahum as a prophecy that spells out in detail how one of the greatest cities in the ancient world was going to be conquered, Nahum suddenly takes on a different look. When you recognize howthe book of Isaiah articulates specific information about the Messiah that would come to pass centuries later in the Person of Jesus Christ, Isaiah is now much more than a lofty sounding piece of spiritual literature.

Even Leviticus. Old Testament Law is a laborious topic. But when you realize that there are three types of law and that two of those dynamics were fulfilled in Christ – now it’s legitimately interesting if for not other reason than to see how Grace has uncoiled what would otherwise be a tangled assortment of legal requirements – none of which could be obeyed to the degree that merited a truly righteous status before God.

With the “90 Day Bible Study Guide” you’re spending just under 30 minutes each day on Scripture readings and corresponding Bible study questions designed to guide you to a better understanding of the personalities, the history, the conflicts the miracles and the Truth that is the Christian faith.

If you’re getting ready to wrap the “Muscular Christianity: 90 Day Workout Plan,” this is a great way to follow things up.

Click here for more information!

What is “Muscular Christianity?”

220px-Muscular_Christianity_GrugerA Brief History

From a historical perspective, the term, “Muscular Christianity” first came into the public spotlight when it was used as part of a book review written by T.C. Sandars of a novel entitled, “Two Years Ago” by Charles Kingsley in 1857. Sandars had seen in the book’s main character a combination of physical athleticism and Christian virtue and he called, “Muscular Christianity.”

But it was Kingsley’s contemporary, Thomas Hughes in his book, “Tom Brown at Oxford” where the characteristics of the “muscular Christian” were fleshed out and described in a way that resembled a 19th century Christian knight or a “true” gentleman:

…the least of the muscular Christians has hold of the old chivalrous and Christian belief, that a man’s body is given him to be trained and brought into subjection, and then used for the protection of the weak, the advancement of all righteous causes, and the subduing of the earth which God has given to the children of men. He does not hold that mere strength or activity are in themselves worthy of any respect or worship, or that one man is a bit better than another because he can knock him down, or carry a bigger sack of potatoes than he. For mere power, whether of body or intellect, he has (I hope and believe) no reverence whatever (The Victorian Web).

While it was never an organization per se, it was nevertheless a mindset that was encouraged by English clergy who saw sports as way to improves one’s physical capacity to serve in the context of personal and public ministry. In addition, it proved an effective way to get men interested in church and their spiritual disciplines when in 1899 women constituted 75% of church membership and 90% of church attendance.1

Men’s Ministry…it can be a tough thing to get moving because reading one’s Bible and spending time in prayer is often perceived as a last resort reserved for those who can’t get it done.

There’s a difference between being transparent and being defeated. While conversing with one’s King should never be perceived as a sign of weakness, it can be given the way it’s portrayed in our culture and even the way it’s sometimes voiced by well meaning believers.

Even some of our Praise and Worship focuses more on the weakness of the one that’s worshipping rather than the True Muscle of the One being worshipped. It is a very healthy and necessary thing to confess one’s inability, but not at the expense of celebrating God’s Perfect Ability to do all things.

To get a man interested in reading the Word of God, it has to be seen as more than just a Divine Emergency Kit. Rather, it has to be engaged as part of a Holy Ghost Strategy to be better than your best and being able to, not just get things done, but being able to get things done in a way that translates to an outcome that’s better than you could have planned on your own.

In addition, good health, while it was more of a given during the years prior to the Civil War, where a lot of the work that was being done was agricultural, now was in a state of peril due to the way in which the Industrial Revolution had transformed the country’s economy and sedentary desk jobs became commonplace (1870-1914).2

Over time, the formation of church sport leagues and the building of gymnasiums would crescendo to the point where the formation of a formal association became a logical next step and this is how the YMCA got its start.

While the Y was formed in 1844 in London, it didn’t have it’s own sports facilities until the establishment of the New York City YMCA in in 1869. At the time Theodore Roosevelt was only eleven years old,  but he was raised in a household that subscribed to the “Muscular Christianity” perspective and would go on to become one of its more vocal supporters.

You don’t hear the the term, “Muscular Christianity” as much today, although organizations such as the “Fellowship of Christian Athletes” do well in keeping alive the idea that athletics is an appropriate way to reinforce biblically based morals and character. From that perspective, “Muscular Christianity” is still very much a part of the contemporary Christian landscape.

What’s Different Here

“Muscular Christianity,” in the context that it’s used here, is different in that while fitness is still processed as an extension of discipleship, it’s taken a step further and used to describe an intentional effort to apply God’s Word to every nuance of the human experience. Fitness, Politics, Church Life, Relationships, Culture – everything!

Moreover, one’s spiritual disciplines are pursued not just as way to endure the trials of life, but also as a way to excel (Col 3:17, 23)!

The “Prosperity Gospel” movement positions Jesus as a Holy Appliance that one uses to secure financial and material blessings. Instead of using Christ to get what you want, “Muscular Christianity” is all about obeying Christ to order to do and become more than you could ever accomplish on your own and receive all that He would give (Josh 1:8; Dt 8:18; Ps 1:1-3; Rom 12:1-2; Phil 2:13).

You’ve been put on this planet to make a difference and not just an appearance (Eph 2:10). That doesn’t happen in the absence of challenges (Jn 16:33). In order to put some points on the board, you can’t afford to be merely smart, you need to be wise (Lk 12:13-21; Jas 1:5). Nor do you want to spend more time and energy rehearsing what you can’t do than on what God can do in and through you (Is 41:10; Eph 1:19-20; Phil 4:13, 19).

The goal of “Muscular Christianity” is to present Discipleship as an invitation and not just an obligation. By keeping your hand in His, He doesn’t just walk you through the fire, He leads you to the prize of time well spent, a victory well won and a life well lived (Matt 25:21). And all of this is accomplished by reeking of excellence in everything you do, think and say (Ps 19:14). That way, you’re not only getting things done, you’re doing the right thing at the right time in the right way for all the right reasons (1 Pet 1:16) and all the while inspiring others to ask you what it is that makes you tick (Matt 5:16).

The End Result

The result is a game winning approach to Discipleship. We’re not just launching an effective defense by standing up to temptation, we’re running down the field and putting some points on the board. We can explain not only what we believe, but why we believe it. We make a point of staying on top of our spiritual disciplines because, not only are we supposed to in order to avoid the baggage that goes along with sin, but so we can deploy God’s Purpose, Peace and Power in a way that translates to you and I reeking of excellence in everything we say, think and do!

In short, we’re spiritually ripped, physically fit and fully equipped.

Welcome to Muscular Christianity!

Bruce Gust

In addition to a number of articles on this website that cover a lot of ground, you’ve also got some specific strategies represented by a collection of resources:

Fitness: Muscular Christianity: 90 Day Workout Plan – pursuing a toned physique using the Bible as our mental starting point and then unpacking the subject of nutrition, working out everyday using a USMC approach and combining that with a daily conversation between your and your King. You can do it on your own or with a group. You’ll find a number of ideas by clicking on the “Fitness” tab on this website.

Bible Study: If you’re going to apply God’s Word to everything that’s going on in your life, you need to know how the Bible is laid out and what it says so you know where to go when it’s time to get some Answers. The “90 Day Bible Study Guide” breaks down every book in the Bible and gives you some highlights so you can see how everything “fits” and works together. It’s a great introduction to Scripture and is a great primer for more in depth Bible study.

Professional Development: “The Greatest Salesman in the World” is a book by Og Mandino that at one point was considered THE book that every business professional needed to read. It uses a clever story to introduce 10 Laws that, when properly applied, help you to succeed in the marketplace. “The Greatest Bible Study in the World” takes those laws and shows how they can be traced back to Scripture and from that standpoint, you’ve got more than just a book that shows you how to succeed in business, you’ve got a biblically based template on how to succeed in life.

Politics, History, Culture and Climate Change: “Perception Changes” is a book that looks at the things that dominate the headlines and asks the question, “What does this look like if Jesus really did die and come back to life?” Rather than wondering IF Christ’s death and Resurrection occurred, this book looks at the issues believing that He did rise from the grave and how that impacts our convictions and the way in which our “perception changes.”

In addition, you’ve got several articles that pertain to a variety of issues on this site…

Discipleship | Fitness | Self Improvement | Politics | Social Issues

The common thread being a concerted effort being deployed to craft a conclusion based on the whole of God’s Word and not just a few select verses.


1. “Muscular Christianity”, Clifford Putney, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass. London, England, 2001, p41

2. Ibid, p23-24

The Best Workout Plans – What Makes Them the “Best?”

Christian workout plansThe Best Workout Plans

“Muscular Christianity” is not just a workout plan or a fitness regimen. Yes, it is that. But in order to ensure that your fitness goals are realized and not just pursued, you want to step back and be able able to articulate “why” you want to get in shape. That’s a large part of what’s going to distinguish an effective fitness program from something that you’ll contribute to the next neighborhood garage sale.

Why Do You Want to Get in Shape?

Why do you want to get in shape? Most respond to that by saying things like ” I want to look better, I want to feel better and I want to be able to perform at my best.” That’s all good and healthy, but in order to lose weight and build muscle, we’re going to have to make some sacrifices and that’s where our inspiration is either going to help us or hold us back.

If the primary reason for getting in shape is to gratify ourselves – if we’re looking at fitness as yet another way to make ourselves feel better about who we are, then pause for a moment and consider how the psychological math is going to play out the first time you’re confronted with something inconvenient.

The Psychological Math

The alarm goes off. It’s early. We’re tired and the idea of getting up is loathsome to us, let alone the idea of getting hot and sweaty as we toil through an uncomfortable workout routine.

Now, hold up right here.

If our whole premise for getting in shape can be boiled down to a desire to gratify ourselves, the unspoken thought going through our brain right now is how much easier it would be to make that happen is by remaining in bed!

Now, let’s look at it according to a “Muscular Christianity” approach.

The “Muscular Christianity” Approach

Fitness is more than just being healthy, it’s also being obedient. When we position our pursuit of fitness alongside everything else we’re doing in an attempt to please and obey our King, now the allure of concessions is nowhere near as compelling because we’re targeting something other than just our reflection in the mirror.

Smart, Strategic and Wise

Setting a goal and securing an accountability partner is smart. Writing down what you’re going to eat before the day begins is a good strategy. But establishing a Source of Inspiration for what you do that reduces what would otherwise be deal-breaking concessions to easily dismissed distractions is nothing short of wise.

Regardless of what program you use, you’re doing well to approach your workout plans from a standpoint that incorporates a carefully crafted reason for your efforts that go beyond yourself. Should you choose “Muscular Christianity,” not only will you become physically fit, when you make a habit of blurring the lines that traditionally separated the secular from the sacred, that’s how you get spiritually ripped!

… and that’s a good plan!

The Strenuous Life – the Mindset of a “Muscular Christian”


…I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life, the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife; to preach that highest form of success which comes, not to the man who desire mere easy peace, but to the man who does not shrink from danger, from hardship, or from bitter toil, and who out of these wins the splendid ultimate triumph.1 (Teddy Roosevelt)

“Muscular Christianity” is organized according to three, broad tenets:

  • Know What You Believe and Why – be able to articulate what you believe and why you believe without sounding hesitant (1 Peter 3:15)
  • All Things at All Times – God is the Filing Cabinet and not a mere, File Folder (2 Cor 9:8)
  • It’s Not About You – His Agenda, His Timing, His Resources. You benefit by subordinating yourself to God and to others. In other words, it’s not about you and that’s a good thing (Phil 2:3-4)!

Taken together they serve as a solid, theological foundation that is simultaneously both practical and logical.

It’s unfortunate that much of what translates to something that’s legitimately motivating and beneficial gets lost in the midst of a conventional perspective that limits a relationship with Christ to either a Divine Emergency Procedure or a Sanctified Insurance Policy – supernatural options reserved for crisis situations and funeral arrangements.

That’s not what Christ intended.

He defined eternal life as “knowing God (Jn 17:3)” and when you make a point of positioning Him as your Motivation for everything you say, think and do, the resulting Standard of Excellence is downright inspiring.

So, what does the day / mindset of a “Muscular Christian” look like?

Here’s some Biblical scaffolding that answers that question, as far as how you’re “thinking” throughout the day in order to accommodate a godly perspective that is as Powerful (Phil 2:13) as it is Practical (2 Cor 9:8):

Reveille – Morning! It’s a good day It’s not about the mistakes of the past (Lam 3:22-23), it’s not about what’s looming on the horizon (Matt 6:34), it’s about the fact that I’m upright, God’s got a Plan (Jer 29:11; Phil 2:13), I’m destined for great things (Eph 2:10) and it’s going to be a great day (Ps 118:24).

Holy Ghost Briefing – I follow the example of my King in that I spend some time with my Heavenly Father at the top of the day (Mk1:35). I don’t just race through a couple of theological sounding thoughts, I take the time to consume some Truth and I pray in a way that combines reverence, intercession and appeals (John 1:8; Matt 6:9-13). I’m training to be godly and not just going through some spiritual looking exercises (1 Tim 4:7).

Keeping my Body Tight – my body is God’s Temple. It doesn’t need to be the size of Atlanta nor does it need to be a feather pillow. And my age doesn’t matter. If I’ve got a metabolism like that of a racecar, I’m still watching what I eat. And if it takes a little longer to get my muscles warmed up, that doesn’t matter either. I’m a pointless, puddle of perspiration when I train and I’m not clogging my pipes with ludicrous carbohydrates either. I don’t look at it as an obligation, I see it as an invitation to be excellent and in that way I’m an effective commercial for my King on top of being able to enjoy all the benefits that go along with looking my best and being able to perform at 100% capacity. Dig that!

Kiss on the Cheek – Depending where I’m at in my life, I’m either kissing my Mom and Dad goodbye as I’m heading out the door, or I’m kissing my bride and my kids goodbye. Regardless, I honor them and I treat them as the priority treasures that they are (Eph 5:22- 6:1-4; 1 Pet 3:7).

Work / School – I’m knocking it out of the park! I’m bringing my “A” game to whatever it is that I’m doing (Col 3:23) and I benefit because people are drawn to excellence and / or those who pursue it.

Going South – not everything works out the way I prefer. Sometimes my heart gets broke, sometimes I get angry. But rather than careening off into an emotional ditch, I reign my passions in and bring them under the Umbrella of my Savior’s Purpose, Peace and Power. The clouds don’t always clear, but the Son’s given a chance to break through the cloud cover and there’s enough Light to justify an even disposition and a genuinely optimistic outlook (Rom 8:28; Phil 4:6-8).

Riding Off into the Sunset – the day is done, but actually it’s not. I’m not just collapsing in front of the TV. Maybe I’ve got homework, maybe I’ve got some other commitments but I’m still engaged right up to the point when my head hits the pillow. It’s called “diligence (Prov 12:24).” Clean up after yourself (Dt 23:12-14), take care of any chores or admin, read a book (“To lead, you must read.” [Theodore Roosevelt])2, invest some time in other people, invest some time in improving yourself (Phil 2:3-4).

A Good Night’s Sleep – now you’re done. And you can look forward to a good night’s sleep (Ps 127:2). There’s always going to be something else to do, there’s often something on your mind, but the “Muscular Christian” is giving the keys to his Heavenly Father as part of being a “responsible driver.” It’s not that you’re incapacitated. Rather, you’re wise enough to know that it’s God Who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose and provided your obedience is in place, you can rest well knowing that it’s all good (Rom 8:28; Phil 2:13).

The quote from Theodore Roosevelt that’s referenced at the beginning of this devotional refers to a life that is “strenuous.” At first brush, it may be tempting to process “strenuous” as being strained or stressed. It’s not. “The Strenuous Life” is the life of a Hardcharger. It’s the approach taken by a Muscular Christian. It means that you’re engaged, motivated and productive for all the Right Reasons (Matt 5:16) and utilizing all of the Right Resources (Acts 1:8; 1 Cor 2:16; Col 1:27). It’s the practical manifestation of the Divine Life that proceeds from knowing God (Jn 17:3).

Below is a spreadsheet that you peruse every morning that includes all of the verses / themes referenced above. Read through the verses everyday and start each day by getting your spiritual tires aligned in a way that positions you for some quality Gains (2 Cor 3:18) and some true Success (Josh 1:8):

The Mindset of a Muscular Christian
Theme Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Morning! Lam 3:22-23 Matt 6:34 Jer 29:11 Phil 2:13 Eph 2:10
Holy Ghost Briefing Mk 1:35 Jn 1:8 Matt 6:9-13 1 Tim 4:7 2 Tim 2:15
Keeping Your Body Tight 1 Cor 6:19-20 Rom 6:12-14 Prov 23:2 Prov 12:1 Eph 5:1
Kiss On the Cheek Eph 5:22 Eph 6:1-4 1 Pet 3:7 Prov 29:15 Prov 6:20
Work / School Col 3:23 Ecc 9:10 Matt 5:16 Col 3:17 1 Cor 3:12-13
Going South Phil 4:6-8 Matt 6:34 Rom 8:28 Rom 8:32 Is 30:21
Riding Off Into the Sunset Prov 12:24 Dt 23:12-14 Phil 2:3-4 Prov 6:6 Prov 20:4
A Good Night’s Sleep Ps 127:2 Rom 8:28 Phil 2:13 Is 41:10 Ps 37:5-6


You’ll see some of what’s discussed in this post expanded upon in the devotional material included with the “Muscular Christianity: 90 Day Workout Plan.” Thing is, you don’t want to limit it to a three month training period. Being able to explain what you believe and why, applying all that Christ offers to every aspect of your life and establishing God as both the Target and the Source of your ambition is a lifelong dynamic. In other words, it’s not just a timeframe characterized by a spike in spiritual disciplines and physical training. It’s a mindset – the mindset of a “Muscular Christian!”