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3 p.m. Weekdays: Best Place to Find Jesus -- and Rock-Hard Abs 

God's Gym

There's an airbrushed mural of Jesus on the wall of God's Gym. According to proprietor Gary Shields, He represents the Christ of Revelations 1:12-15: "His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace." He's also really buff. And half-white, half-black -- with Asian eyes. Since 1985, Gary Shields has fused pumping iron with praying to God at his Broadway gym. He and his wife offer a host of personal training services, as do many others who use the gym to conduct their business. There are just a few ground rules: No flirting. No fighting. And no cursing. "You hear enough of that outside," he says. "This is my world." Most customers know Shields, who also works as an assistant pastor at Living Word Ministries, as "G" or "brother." Then again, almost everyone at God's Gym calls one another brother or sister. If you want a little Jesus with your endorphins -- who wouldn't? -- Shields' personal training service will be at your beck and call. "I don't care if you're gay or straight, white, black, Hispanic, Asian, whatever," he says. "They believe in God or they don't -- doesn't make a diff to me. Everybody deserves to be loved." Amen, brother.

Readers' Pick for Best Exercise Instructor: Cato, Berkeley YMCA


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