I have 5 nieces and nephews; one of my jobs as an uncle is to be extremely uncool. This means finding new cool things that the children of my siblings like and immediately making them uncool through overuse and schtick.


I have my creepy uncle routine down to a fine science.


Internet memes come and go, I don’t know what the lowest threshold is in terms of something going viral and then flipping to unpopular is, but the KONY 2012 experiment has shown us anything is possible.


As far as exercise memes go, the labelling of someone’s effort as ‘Beast Mode’, has a particular way of sticking in my craw. It’s meant of course to describe someone’s frenzied effort and exertion in a physical task, my beef with it is in regards to the omission of acknowledgement towards the training platform of which that one physical effort stands upon.


A ‘beast’ is a creature, and the salient impression is that it cannot be tamed. To be in such a mode, would probably suggest that the faculty of control has been partially lost in order to access this heightened state of output. For an athlete, going through this process regularly would not be wise, as great extremes in output require the necessary rest; the systemic stress being so great.


An athlete does what is necessary, day-to-day, training session to training session, in order to reach a competitive performance. Whilst great moments of individual output are things of folklore, these sensational occurrences are only possible from a foundation of consistent training volume. David doesn’t actually just pick up a sling and bring down Goliath; That’s just a made-up fairytale.


Natural talent can be the bane of exercise prescription. You wouldn’t think so, but it is. Naturally talented athletes give cover for poorly talented athletes to train haphazardly, with poor planning, inappropriate intensity and ludicrous volume. ‘Beast Mode’ is essentially the maximal ability available at that time but ‘Beast Mode’ may be a training stimulus beyond what is recoverable for the next training session.

Allan Quatermain would find something activating ‘Beast Mode’ and shoot it, then stick its head up on the wall.


Allan Quatermain is the fictional hero of H.Rider Haggard’s novel King Solomon’s Mines. He is a skilled marksman and outdoorsman, an English Victorian-era hero and frontiersman. Quatermain is a master hunter, his response to something in ‘Beast Mode’ would be to shoot it and mount its head on his wall. His skills are honed for just such a task and a great athletic performance should start with the pursuit of acquiring such levels of skill.


‘Beast Mode’ does not give the proper credit to an athlete of superior preparation. Over-playing one great burst of effort does not help the fledgling athlete as a beacon for what they really need to do to get better.


Much the same way that a ‘Freak’, who may be especially tall or heavy or fast, missing out on the due respect to his or her effort because of a physical trait, ‘Beast Mode’ over-plays one thing and ignores the other more important one.