Here's another little gem:
A great workout, a workout that delivers desired result, must create an overload on the musculoskeletal and nervous system. In other words, you must push yourself physically a little more than you ever did in your previous workout sessions.
This refers to a concept called Progressive overload.
If that is a relatively easy task to achieve for the beginner, it quickly becomes a very difficult undertake following the first year of physical conditioning. This occurs at a time when you reach an intermediate and then advanced athletic level.
There are many factors that come into play when you try to break through your limits and continue down the road of one progressive overload workout to another. The mental barrier still kicks in, which is a factor that should not be overlooked and underestimated.
Like in case of everything in life, you are only limited by your set of beliefs and views of yourself. This also applies to your time in the gym.
Listening to a friend or trainer, observing others in the gym, following certain training patterns and tracking your own performance can go a long way in internalizing specific values and beliefs of what you can achieve in the gym and what not.
From the moment you set foot in the gym, you know your own limits .
Chest workout, dumbbell press: 90lbs – 8 sets of 8 reps in 35 minutes.
This is your belief, this is your limit.
But the thing is that even though you reach your real physical limits just a short while ago, your body might be ready to take you to the next level, but you would never know that for sure because the limits that had been set by your mind earlier now stop you from achieving more that, in turn, has direct effects on your body and actions.
In other words, your limit is most likely to be hindered by your mind and by your body.
The only solution to that problem is: proceed in beast mode!
What is beast mode
Beast mode is when you gain access to a particular, inner warrior spirit, a sort of primal state of mind in which those psychological barriers don’t matter any-more because you are able to go deeper and harness your full potential.
When on beast mode, you think about nothing else; you’re fully there in that moment; you’re not just a man on a mission, because YOU ARE THE MISSION and nothing else exists except the mission for that short period of time.
Prerequisite to beast mode
There is a prerequisite to beast mode, and I recommend you to meet it before going for it; it is not only devised for safety reasons, but it would also make you capable of achieving success a lot quicker.
Beast mode requires a certain level of experience. You must be near the top of the learning curve in what you’re doing before attempting it.
You must know your routine and how to perform each exercise properly. You need to have achieved a good level of control before you open the cage and let the beast free.
In other words, beast mode is the next level, so just make sure you did your homework and cleared level one first. Once you do that, everything is going to be peachy.
How to go beast mode
First, in order to have the required level of energy to sustain an intense workout session, proper pre-workout nutrition is required. A decent homemade size of meal containing enough saturated fat, high glycemic carbs and meat protein one hour before the workout is the perfect way to start off.
A couple of fatty chicken legs with skin and some white rice would certainly do the job.
Also, a nice and big caffeine drink such as a large iced coffee about 15 minutes before workout is a must.
You might also want to drink about 1 litre of orange juice during the workout, which will provide proper hydration and continual flow of ready-to-burn fast acting carbs.
You must definitively get excited about that workout session! Make it a special moment that you can’t wait for to begin. Proceed to special rituals to build up excitement; you might want to eat your favourite food, listen to a special set of songs, do some sort of prayer or visualisation, put on a distinctive warrior apparel or anything crazy that will wake your inner beast up for the promise of increased exhilaration.
You cannot be bored if you want to go beast mode! You need to create a challenge by changing a small parameter in your routine. You don’t want to make a drastic change, because you need to stay in control but something like changing the tempo, the sequence or other slighter changes to your weight lifting routine might equally do the job; just enough to spice things up a little!
As soon as your workout session has started, it is of grave importance to preserve a heightened momentum and focus. You cannot wait until someone else decides to share a piece of equipment with you. That’s why it is better to do your training alone or at home and not during rush hour. Training partners can be useful for specific exercises, but they are often unreliable and most of them come late, speak too much or are just too slow or moody on that day. Let’s not confuse beast mode with babysitting mode!
Also, a gym with a large crowd can make you lose your focus. It’s not the time for hot chicks, dumb-ass and social rituals.
Once your training session has started, you must be 100% focused on your training and your training alone.
I use the timer feature on my watch already pre-set for a specific time. For example. I set my watch for 90 second and once I am done with a set, I just hit the start button all over again and then focus on my breathing for maximum oxygenation so that I can get fired up for the next sets without having to keep time in mind. At that moment, in this trance-like state, time doesn’t even exist; my watch will “beep me” for the next set! That is all there is to it.
Drop any measurements
Don’t count your repetition, don’t take notes, don’t bring your chart, and don’t watch the clock. Those will only distract and make you remember where your limits are. Plus, they would definitively kill the mood. Beast mode is pretty much the opposite of accountant mode, because for that one, you will have to follow your instincts and go with the flow!
Be like water …Empty your mind, be formless. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. -Bruce Lee
Overload your senses
Overload your sense with everything that happens in the present moment. Focus on your breath to provide proper oxygenation; focus on your muscles getting pumped, on doing the specific exercises that will activate the targeted muscle groups perfectly. Feel the exhaustion of muscle fibers and welcome the pain as a reward for a job well done. You might want to listen to some music with a headphone to cut off external noises to further enclose your focus and give yourself fully over to the work you’re doing.
When you go beast mode, you lose track of time; distractions, the people around you become secondary. You’re totally consumed by hypnotic trance, connected to something greater than yourself that helps you dig deeper and deeper into your primal power. There is no such thing as limits, doubts or fear; the only thing that exists at that moment is a magnified view of the task at hand and everything closely related to it. You execute what you have to do with the excitement of challenge and give your best by living that moment to the fullest.
Going beast mode might not be suited for every training session, but it’s certainly awesome to let the beast free once in a while.
I like to do push-ups with runtastic push-ups, which counts how many I'm doing, with my eyes closed and without counting in my mind and I'm always surprised how many more I can do.