Luther College Chips

Worship Workout brings faith to fitness

Ben Hermann (‘18) leads Worship Workout.

Ben Hermann (‘18) leads Worship Workout.

Grace Onsrud (‘20) | Chips

Grace Onsrud (‘20) | Chips

Ben Hermann (‘18) leads Worship Workout.

Grace Onsrud, Staff Writer

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Worship Workout, an event that combines physical activity with prayer and faith-based discussion, drew a group of about 20 students to the North Gym in Regents Center on Friday, March 16.

Ben Hermann (‘18) began the event with a prayer after which the group broke off into pairs and began a circuit workout that involved squats, planks, bicycles, and even tire flipping, depending on skill level. After every four rotations on the circuit, the group took a break for water and to gather for another short devotional from a group member before continuing the activities.

Hermann developed the idea to combine exercise and worship and  first proposed the idea to Focus leadership as a new activity they could add in conjunction to Sunday night worship services. Now it has grown into something larger as he has led Worship Workout at his hometown church in Moline, Illinios and at Fellowship of Christian Athletes summer camps in Rochester and at Luther.

This was the first Worship Workout session at Luther this semester, but Hermann is hoping to hold a few more before the semester is done. He is currently working to turn Worship Workout into a business that he can continue after gradation.

“I came up with the idea my [first year at Luther],” Hermann said. “I just wanted to get a group of friends together and just say a prayer before or after and work out together. It kind of transitioned into something more.”

According to Hermann his interest in physical activity and his faith in God helped him overcome his own health struggles, prompting him to integrate both interests into one event.

“I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when I was nine and I never wanted that to interfere with what I could do physically or who I could become,” Hermann said. “I wanted to be able to share my story and show [people] that God didn’t give them whatever medical problem they are having and that God can help you work through it.”

During the devotionals, others from the group shared their own stories and struggles with physical health and faith. People asked each other questions about how their faith had changed over the course of their college career and shared personal stories about what brought them closer to their religion.

Spencer Davies (‘18) has attended Worship Workout many times over the past year and a half. He said that the personal aspect is an important part of the event.

“I like the combination of exercise and faith,” Davies said. “It really works well together. I like the sense of community and engagement; it makes it more personal.”

He said that the size of the group usually varies from around 20 to 45 people, and many of them know each other well.

“There are some new faces here and there and some people who come every time,” Davies said.

Hermann said that one of the things he enjoys about Worship Workout is that it can bring together people of various athletic backgrounds.

“Some people who come are really into fitness, and for some people it’s their first workout ever,” Hermann said. “It’s a pretty diverse group in terms of physical and athletic ability.”

Attendee Tressa Forrest (‘19) said that Worship Workout brings together two important parts of her life, and she hopes that Hermann will be able to continue Worship Workout as a business after graduation.

“I hope that it’s something he can spread to other college communities because I think it’s been a really cool thing in Luther’s community,” Forrest said. “I think it could be really beneficial to other college students, too.”

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