By Jeremy Evans @peakplantperformance
If you’ve trained in a gym, you’ve probably heard the term “Beast Mode.” You may have also thought you were using it once or twice too. In case you’re unfamiliar, “Beast Mode” is figuratively thinking of yourself as a beast and smashing your workouts, your weights, your body, your protein shake, and your food, then repeating this…and doing it all in the style of the most hard core “beast” you could think of. While this may sound like “goals” to some, it could be doing your health more harm than good.
There’s a common misconception, particularly amongst bro-science individuals, that beast mode will get you the gains, the glory, the girls, the guys or…both.
Unfortunately, because the vast majority of us are living our lives with chronic stress from poor quality sleep, anxiety, poor nutrition, poor quality training, poor quality relationships – beast mode in actuality is adding more fuel to the fire that is your already dominant sympathetic nervous system. For this reason, it is likely doing more harm than good. And because your default is beast mode, which results in pushing the proverbial up a hill, if you wanted to fully reveal your “beast mode”, your current potential for it would be more likely that of an 8 week kitten. Combining our modern life stresses with beast mode can lead to Sympathetic Dominance (SD). SD is your central nervous system being locked in a vicious cycle of fight or flight.
So, with the considerations just mentioned, beast mode might be the thing that needs breaking…before it breaks you.
Why is SD a cause for concern?
Straight up, it can lead to:
- Impairments and dysfunction in multiple energy pathways and metabolic processes
- Digestive distress leading to malabsorption of nutrients
- Decreased mental focus
- Inability to make decisions
- Lowered immunity
- “Tight” muscles
- Diminished libido
- Increased inflammation
- Slower recovery from exercise
- More stress…
Being sympathetic dominant and then smashing beast mode only further exacerbates the SD state. It’s like grinding your top gear into a non-existent higher gear.
Taking a break from beast mode is the yin to the yang.
Breaking Beast Mode is not about being lazy, weak or unproductive – it’s about being smart, mindful and future proofing your life and results.
Breaking Beast Mode means:
- Less balls to the wall training
- More low intensity steady state aerobic training
- Mobility work
- Mindset development
- PB’ing your rest and sleep
- Breath work
- Spending time in nature
- Enjoying your hobbies
- Connecting with other valuable areas of your life
- Developing meaningful relationships
There’s nothing inherently wrong with beast mode, but if you only operate in this setting and live in the modern world, re-read this article from the top! Conversely, if you’re always breaking beast mode, it might be time to ramp it up and bring out the beast. Ultimately, it is an individual thing. However, none of us are immune to stress wether we think we are or not. The body is very good at hiding, masking and numbing the effects of stress on our bodies. So, if you’re paying bills, spending plenty time on social media, eating without thinking, getting rubbish sleep, feel tired for no reason after a decent sleep, lacking interest in things you previously enjoyed, drinking multiple cups of coffee a day to get by or living for the weekend…
It’s time to break beast mode.
Furthermore, when it comes time to be the beast of your dreams in whatever context you desire, having previously given the time to breaking beast mode, you’ll be in a better state of health to beast mode effectively. Finally, most people don’t even truly know what beast mode is. It’s a torn t-shirt, a dirty pre-workout, a death metal track on repeat as you lift iron, a juicy pump, a post workout gym selfie, a hashtag…so, if you’re idea of being a beast is any of this I suggest you go and buy the first homeless person you see on the street a hot meal and then call your mum.
Written by Jeremy Evans @peakplantperformance
PranaON Victoria BDM, personal trainer, health coach and epic human