You'll often hear me talk about your "peak performance state" simply because it is the central concept my Bulletproof Ballerina system is built around helping you achieve. But, what is it exactly? The obvious meaning involves your performance itself - being in top condition to dance and perform your art. What you may not realize is that your peak performance state can refer to other aspects, as well. It is actually not one state but several that you shift between depending on your goals. This realization can be a huge tool in allowing you to get killer results in whatever you pursue.
When you hear “peak performance state,” it’s easy to assume that there is one peak condition that will allow you to win at everything in life. But, it’s not that simple. Remember the periodization approach to your goals? You can apply that mindset here in terms of getting into top condition for the specific goals you have set before you, meaning you have not just one peak performance state...but many.
As a Bad Girl Ballerina, you probably fluctuate between 3 different categories of goals throughout your dance career:
- Performance - This includes your ability to dance and perform your art, your grasp of technique, and your control over your movements. Peak performance involves maximizing the potential of your physical body in endurance, strength, power, grace, coordination, control, precision...along with your mind's ability to understand your body's unique needs and skills and how to showcase your talent. This also includes clearing your mental demons to access your vulnerability and create an authentic connection with your art.
Aesthetics - This includes body sculpting and transformation - what I like to call body art. This is for when you want to play with manipulating your look for a certain event such as a photo shoot. Peak performance involves transforming your body and feeling in control of the vehicle that carries you through life. It's body art at its finest. Think of it as putting artistic touches on your body...sculpting your very own statue. Some people get tattoos or piercings. Others go on shopping sprees or dye their hair. This is similar...but from an inside-out perspective. It's refining the look of your body through strategic dietary and lifestyle choices and body sculpting techniques to polish and chisel your unique work of art.
Vibrancy (a.k.a. Health) - Let's be real...your most vibrant state is most likely not when you are at your skinniest weight on the scale. We often associate leanness with health. The fitness models with single digit body fat percentages surely must be the healthiest humans alive, right? WRONG. First of all, getting super cut requires extreme focus and efforts to diet down, which also requires extreme sacrifice in other areas of your life. Second, that level of leanness is short-lived because it is against your nature to have extremely low levels of body fat. Third, you feel like absolute crap most of the time when you are super lean. You are the opposite of vibrant. Having a certain amount of body fat is necessary for healthy hormonal tone as well as keeping other systems functioning properly. If you want to live a healthy, happy life, you can't expect yourself to be super ripped 24/7. Having 6% body fat is NOT the epitome of health. Vibrancy means being able to spontaneously go out with your girlfriend for a drink. Vibrancy means having extra energy left over after work to enjoy a walk in nature. Vibrancy means jumping out of bed in the morning ready to attack the day. Vibrancy means feeling invincible enough to try snowboarding or surfing without worrying about getting injured. Vibrancy means seeking pleasure, happiness, and fulfillment out of life. In order for this to be possible, your body can't be in starvation mode worried about survival as you try to maintain your leanest weight year-round. Peak performance here means you are ready to grab onto and enjoy whatever life throws your way.
Each one of these categories involves a different peak performance state. You can certainly train to be in peak condition for all three of these categories, but just not all at once. Your peak performance state for the stage is not necessarily going to give you your peak performance state for a photo shoot, and neither will optimize your vibrancy. Expecting yourself to excel in all three of these categories at once just sets you up for failure and disappointment. Prioritize which peak performance state will help you achieve your most immediate goals
Recognize that you need to allow your body and goals to shift depending on what you want. Remember, you are the one designing your life, so you get to determine where you go with it. Pick one peak performance state to work towards and refine at a time.
How does this look in real life?
When I have a photo shoot coming up, I follow a very specific PHOTO SHOOT PREP formula (program launching soon!) for aesthetics. Following this detailed, time-specific plan for diet and lifestyle changes to achieve aesthetic goals doesn't leave much focus left over for my dancing. That’s why I am very strategic about planning photo shoots around major performance seasons so my dancing doesn’t have to suffer. This intense focus on aesthetics certainly doesn't allow me to reach my vibrancy goals either. I can't go out with friends to have treat meals or indulge at my favorite cafe. I can't stay up late watching Netflix with my bf because I need to get my sleep. But, these are sacrifices I’m happy to make during this short time frame where I’m getting into my aesthetic peak performance state.
And so, I focus hardcore on my aesthetic goals to get some artistic shots. Then, I might switch my focus over to optimize vibrancy where I enjoy self-pampering in order to bring my health meter up to full throttle. Next, I might shift over to maximize my performance goals to coincide with challenging choreography in an upcoming performance. And the cycle goes on and on…
Hopefully this information gives you a clearer picture of when to push for performance, aesthetics, or vibrancy with your peak performance state. It’s not that you can’t have all three of these qualities...you just can’t have them all maxed out at once. Learning to fluctuate between them to optimize what you need to achieve your immediate goals is when you really start killin' the game.
My PHOTO SHOOT PREP plan launches soon! Stay tuned for details and sign up to get on the VIP list – not only will you get early access to this new program, but you will get a special discount only available to my Bad Girl Ballerinas!
Photo credits: Rachel Neville Photography