Catholic Fitness Problems

From [Not an endorsement of]
In this penitential season of Lent, we Catholics are on a spiritual journey to develop habits of prayer and to abstain from excess as we work with God to be made anew in Christ’s image. Personally, as someone who in recent years has undertaken a fitness journey to develop healthy exercise habits and abstain from excess cheeseburgers in order to be made anew, I see a lot of overlap between being Catholic and being a regular at the gym. And so, to encourage you in your Lenten discipline and your ongoing faith and health journeys, here’s a list of Catholic fitness problems for my fit friends in faith. Enjoy.

Catholic Fitness Problems

  • There is no way you could ever give up meat for Lent.
  • No meat on Fridays is hard enough. Chicken breast is its own food group for you.
  • Wait, does protein powder count as meat? [It doesn’t]
  • Does a protein shake count as a meal on a fast day?? [It does]
  • You should know better than to schedule a workout on a fast day. [But you don’t]
  • You should know better than to go to Mass the day after leg day/spin class. [Because you won’t be getting back up off that kneeler]
  • You sometimes secretly do glute squeezes during Mass.
  • You’ve wondered how many carbs are in the Host.
  • You don’t understand people who go gluten-free or paleo for Lent [You’re pretty sure Jesus was pro-bread]
  • You’ve considered sneaking some rosary decades into your rep counts.
  • You once accidentally started praying the rosary during your rep counts.
  • You have actually had to pray the rosary to get through high rep counts.
  • You might pray harder in Barre class than in Church.
  • You’ve had someone tell you that yoga is sinful polytheistic practice.
  • You went anyway (but snuck in a couple of Hail Marys during meditation time).
  • But you’re not completely convinced that Cross Fit isn’t a cult.
  • You’ve finally accepted that modest compression shorts just do not exist.
  • Yet you keep searching for a pair that isn’t quite so revealing.
  • You’d be mortified if your priest ever saw your Spotify gym playlist.
  • You feel almost as guilty about missing a workout as you do missing Mass. [Almost]
  • You initially deeply misunderstood the concept of Ignatius’ “Spiritual Exercises.”
  • “Re-rack your weights, Bro,” is your 11th commandment.
  • You’ve prayed to Saint Sebastian during really long runs. [And here’s a song just for you]
  • You’ve considered praying to Saint Anthony after you’ve lost gains.
  • You once yelled “offer it up!” while spotting someone on bench press.
  • You’ve thanked God when you set a new PR.
  • You’ve considered dedicating a workout to a special intention.
  • You secretly want this shirt

    Available at

**Notre Dame Bonus**

  • You’re pretty sure that trying out for Bengal/Baraka Bouts counts as an act of charity.
  • You can’t run around the lakes without stopping by the Grotto…for a sip of water from the fountain.
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