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5 Reps With... Eric Hernandez

Eric Hernandez is the Lead Apologist at Texas Baptists. He holds an associate degree in social science, a bachelor degree in theology and a certificate in apologetics from Biola University. He is married to Kendall Hernandez, and the two are the proud parents of Adyson Grace and Hudson Ryan. Many of Eric's teachings and debates can be found at his YouTube channel.

What does your exercise routine look like? How has it changed over the years?

When I was younger and in high school my goal was to outlift anyone on my football team, or at least be the strongest according to my body weight. I was constantly pushing myself to lift heavier if I could, and testing my strength against my teammates.

Well, now that I’m 33, strength isn’t my top priority, much less being the strongest. While I’ve maintained my strength for the most part, I can feel the effects on my joins from say, squatting reps of 415 and maxing out at around 525. Now, I’d much rather lift lighter and put in more reps, as it saves my joints from a lot of stress and tension. While I still lift heavy, I’m not trying to beat my max, nor am I worried about being the strongest person in the room.

What is your favourite way to exercise outside of the gym?

Chopping wood! Hands down. We have lived in our current house for about two years and we finally have a fire place. When we first moved in I had to cut a few small trees down in our backyard and occasionally trim branches. I figured it would be a waste to just toss all the wood out, so I bought myself a good axe and went to town. I still have a good size tree that I plan to eventually get taken down, but I do the wood chopping myself. It’s a great sweat in the outdoors and a fun challenge for me.

What is one simple tip you would give to someone looking to get started with stewarding their body better?

Just get started and get moving. Especially if you’re getting started, do just that; get started! Anything that you enjoy that can work up a sweat or get you moving, do it and do it as often as you’d like. Set goals that are within your reach. Don’t focus so much on what the scale tells you, focus on how you feel and how your clothes fit. The more you do this, the more you’ll get to know your body and know what works best for you.

When it comes to eating and exercising, where are you vulnerable to poor stewardship? What steps do you take to safeguard against it?

Snacking. Unnecessary snacking kills my goals, and as we all know, dieting will reflect on your physique more than your gym time. I find that I’m most vulnerable when I’m up late at night watching tv or being lethargic.

To try and safeguard against this, I look to do two things: wake up earlier in the day so that I won’t stay up so late, and do my best to refrain from buying unnecessary snacks at the grocery store. If I don’t buy those box of cookies, I won’t have said cookies to eat if and when I do stay up late at night. That said, having two kids at home (including a three year old son), it’s hard to keep snacks and cookies out of the pantry. Needless to say, I now try to wake up as early as possible.

What challenges do you face that make it difficult to consistently steward your body?

Time, schedules, and consistency. Because of the nature of my job, I’m constantly traveling (especially pre-covid),and sometimes this is spontaneous from week to week (not to mention having young kids). When I was single and no kids, I was able to accommodate my schedule fairly easily. But now with a family and a travel demanding job, I always strive to be with them when I’m not on the road. If I’m home for the week, I plan my workout times around their schedule. If I know they will be busy with school or practice, I’ll use that time for my workouts. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work out (no pun intended) and something will have to give. That something is never time from my family, so it’s usually the work out that I give up for the day, OR, I move that work out to a later time or to the next day. Usually when I travel I hit the hotel gyms, but with covid, many hotel gyms are still closed. Worse case scenario, I’ll play with my kids and throw them around on the trampoline or in the grass, trying to make picking my 3 year old son up into some type of bicep curl. You gotta take what you can get.



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