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August 23, 2023

Switching Between Warrior & Buddha Mode For Highly Productive Days (Sympathetic And Parasympathetic Systems)

A simple but often overlooked fact:

If you want to have the best mind, it needs to be in the best body. And vice versa.

The two go hand in hand.

The Warrior Mode & Buddha Mode (Sympathetic And Parasympathetic) systems have a HUGE impact on us and our day to day life.

For example:

At the wrong time, one pathway system can be detrimental for our recovery and ability to build lean functional muscle to transform our body.

At the opposite end, one pathway can lead us to be lazy and underperform in our workouts, leading to tip-toeing through our progression, barely scratching the surface of our potential.

From experience with my own personal transformation journey going from gym rat to…

using just a TRX suspension trainer and resistance band to build lean muscle and transform my body anywhere….

Along with seeing how they affect other fitness freedom athletes within our community.

I know them to be powerful assets to appreciate, value and flex as tools.

Why understand these systems (Warrior Mode & Buddha Mode)?

The more we understand these systems, the more we can be mindfully aware of which one we are in AND which one we need to be in at that specific moment to help our body and mind be more productive.

To flourish in day to day life at all our tasks.

Mastering the ability to recognise and switch from each mode can monumentally impact our life with positive aspects.

You may have heard of them mentioned in reference to the ‘fight or flight’ response.

They are scientifically known as:

  • Sympathetic system
  • Parasympathetic system

In scientific terms, they can be explained by:

“The sympathetic system controls “fight-or-flight” responses. In other words, this system prepares the body for strenuous physical activity.”

“The parasympathetic system regulates “rest and digest” functions. In other words, this system controls basic bodily functions while one is sitting quietly reading a book.”

That’s a very basic explanation for them. For the sake of our progression for our fitness goals, we want to dive deeper into how they affect our physical body and how they can impact our minds focus.

I prefer to call these two modes by names that identify the benefit they can deliver to us.

Making it easier to identify which one we want to be in certain times throughout the day:

Warrior Mode > in workouts = sympathetic

Buddha Mode > outside of workouts = parasympathetic

We can visualise these systems as being at different ends of a long line.

What’s really interesting is that none of us lives at the same point on that line.

Some people tend to lean more towards the sympathetic (warrior mode) side and others more toward the parasympathetic (buddha mode) side.

It’s possible to notice which side people lean more towards by their everyday actions:

Sympathetic (Warrior Mode) people

  • multitasks a lot
  • can have many things on their mind at once, jumping from this to that
  • speaks 5-10k words a day, fast talker
  • may get stressed easy
  • can struggle to switch off and relax at times
  • doesn’t require much motivation to workout or do activities
  • can get anxious easier
  • Can have large highs and lows
  • often reacting before creating
  • Sometimes speaks loudly

Parasympathetic (Buddha Mode) people

  • prefers to sit and focus on one thing, prefers not to juggle tasks
  • speaks 1-5k words a day, slow – moderate talker
  • doesn’t get stressed easy
  • can require a lot of motivation to workout effectively or do activities
  • may have times of feeling low and depressed
  • often creating before reacting
  • can be quiet and withdrawn

These are broad and generalised and I’m not comparing one to be better than the other.

It’s so we can have a rough idea of the different systems.

Sometimes we can be in buddha mode at home and warrior mode with friends or at work.

There’s no right or wrong.

As a human, there’s no harm in leaning a bit more towards one system than the other.

However, when we lean too much one way for too long and at the wrong time…

It can have negative effects on our body, mind, and lifestyle.

And make it harder to transform our body via workouts, rest, and nutrition.

The good thing is, the more we understand the two systems and what causes and affects them, the more we can work with them.

They are a natural occurrence and amazingly beneficial and we don’t look to try and turn them on and off by controlling them.

We look to flow with them and guide them like a never-ending stream. Working with our body and mother nature and not against them.

An effective example of a Warrior and Buddha in a relationship

My mam leans very much towards Warrior Mode as a human. She was a single parent all my life and had a lot to cope with on her shoulders.

  • She talks 1 million miles an hour and never sits down.
  • She’s always got a task list and will jump at the opportunity to do any type of exploring activity.
  • She’s constantly multi-tasking and never needs any motivation to exercise.
  • However, she gets stressed easily and has suffered for that with her health in the past.
  • She finds it really hard to switch off and channel her emotions or calm down.

My mams partner on the other hand, who she met 8 years ago, is very lethargic.

He leans very far towards the Buddha Mode end as a human.

If he could, he would lay on the couch most of the day and eat quick microwaveable meals.

Until he met my mam, he hadn’t done much exploring, cooking, or fitness activities. He’d just kind of pleasantly plodded along.

They compliment each other fantastically.

My mam motivates him to do so much. They even came to Peru to visit me when I was living there and backpacked with me staying in hostels for two weeks. Below is a photo of us on the Inca Trail.

They were both in their mid-60s here:

My mams partner would have never done that in a million years had he not had my mams warrior mode energy motivating him.

In contrast to that, my mams partner has an amazing calming influence on my mam with her stress levels.

He is able to ground her and help her see her emotions rationally because his Buddha Mode focus has a positive impact on her.

It’s been such a pleasure to see how well they’ve connected and balanced each other due to their each leaning more towards a different system (mode).

If we embrace the type of mode we lean towards (Buddha or Warrior) as a human. We can rationalise our thoughts and emotions better and use little tools to help nudge us into the right mode at the right time to give our body and mind the best possible chance to transform and progress.

Diving into each mode in detail to reap the rewards

In the next two posts below, we’ll look at each one in detail.

So we can understand why learning how to flip our body from one mode to another will mean our transformational results can be much more effective, quicker and sustainable.

Along with making each day of our lives more productive and mentally grounded.

We’ll also take a look at the detrimental effects they can have on transforming our physique, and in our lives when they aren’t understood…

And methods that can be applied to switch between the two at the right time.

Warrior Mode – The Positives And Negatives Of Living In Warrior Mode (Sympathetic System) – Stress, Binges, And AWESOME Workouts!

Buddha Mode – The Positives And Negatives Of Living In Buddha Mode (Parasympathetic System) – Calm, Grounded, BUT De-Motivated!

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Switching Between Warrior & Buddha Mode For Highly Productive Days (Sympathetic And Parasympathetic Systems)

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