Stronger or Weaker?

Scripture: Judges 16

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will review the story of how God used Samson’s strength to end the Philistines.
  • Students will learn how God uses all circumstances including people’s bad choices to fulfill his ultimate will.
  • Students will learn the basics of muscle fatigue and experience it through exercise and graphing.  

Guiding Question: What is muscle fatigue and how does it affect one’s physical activities?

Materials: paper, pencil, stopwatch

Procedure: Review the story of Samson and Delilah focusing on how his disobedience to God caused him to lose his strength and ultimately suffer for it. Discuss how Samson became weaker because his hair was cut and he had a covenant with God. Ask students what causes our muscles to weaken? Not exercising muscles, not eating healthy, lack of protein etc. Explain that exercise is good for muscles. However, you have to be careful not to push muscles too hard in a limited amount of time because they will get too tired and give out. This is called muscle fatigue.

Organize students in pairs. Time students for 30 seconds and have them do as many push-ups as possible (if students can’t do a regular push-up, they can do them on their knees). Have them record their first trial. Then have them do it for a second trial. Do the same a third time. The partner will observe that the one exercising is doing them correctly and serve as the counter. Have students record how many push-ups they do each time. Then have students switch jobs. Ask them what is happening to the number of push-ups they can do. They do fewer each time. Emphasize that it gets harder as the muscles work longer. This does not mean that they are getting weaker, but rather that their muscles are getting fatigued. If they continue to work in short periods over long periods of time, their muscles will grow. Tell students that the number of push-ups they can do helps their muscular endurance. Endurance is the ability to do an exercise over a longer amount time. Muscle strength is the ability to move a large amount of weight just once.

Emphasize that when your muscles feel fatigued you should rest and drink water. God created our muscles so that they protect themselves from being ripped and overextended like a rubber band that is pulled too far. If you exercise them too hard, the body tells you to stop through fatigue. If you exercise regularly your body will build muscle so that it can keep up with the new exercise you want it to do.

Additional Questions:

  • What types of exercises are harder and easier for you to do?
  • How can you incorporate exercise into your life?

Supplemental Activity: Have students come up with a short exercise routine to do each day. This can include push-ups, crunches/sit-ups, jumping jacks, running, etc. Challenge them to increase the number that they do each week. First have them test themselves to see how many of each type of exercise they can do. Then have them set long-term goals for how many they want to do. They can keep an exercise journal to see how they progress

Written by: Savannah Negas

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