In this post we wanted to share some insight about “The Rise of The New Lifestyle” as we call it, referring to the Performance Lifestyle® and the High-Performance Lifestyle.
I am John Allen Mollenhauer “JAM”, I’m a lifestyle entrepreneur and coach, and I’ve been developing what it means to live a performance lifestyle and a high-performance lifestyle for the last 25 years as an entrepreneur on a quest to learn how to live a hard-charging life and not burn out or trade my health for success.
And right now, as the idea of living a performance lifestyle is coming of age in the thinking of the mainstream market, still with undertones from the field of sports and extreme performance; if you want to know how to live a high-performance lifestyle you can call your own, I’ve got some clear answers for you.
For you, the person who may or may not be into sports or even a health and fitness enthusiast but wants to live fully engaged, at full capacity with the energy, health, and performance you need to succeed, and your family can depend on.
But before I get into all of that (you can read a lot about the Performance Lifestyle on this site, which you need to understand first before you can ever learn how to live a “high” performance lifestyle); I want to share some curated thoughts that I read recently on the emergence of this new lifestyle from brothers Anthony and Joe Venarre of FITT INSIDER.
We love the work that they do, and we think it’s good history and perspective for you to have as you consider joining the Performance Lifestyle® Academy.
We will interject some thoughts following PL®A— as we go through them given the idea of living a high/performance lifestyle is so new.
A new vertical within fitness and wellness has emerged. Say hello to the high-performance lifestyle.
PL®A—it’s actually a new vertical within a wider swath of spirituality, fitness, and wellness, human performance and productivity, and wellbeing, but I agree that fitness and wellness are considered the “industry.”
What it is: Combining elements of technology, athletics, medicine, and mindfulness, the high-performance lifestyle (HPL), as we’re calling it, aims to optimize human performance.
PL®A – that it does, via lifestyle optimization since performance is a lifestyle at the end of the day.
By the numbers:
- The US self-improvement market is valued north of $13.2B.
- In the coming years, the global wearable technology market will exceed $60B.
- The global sports medicine market, including athletic recovery, will surpass $9B by 2024.
- By 2027, the global alternative medicine market—including yoga, acupuncture, and meditation—will reach $296.3B.
Why it matters: A masculine counterpart to the feminine notion of self-care, the HPL is geared toward self-mastery. Like the woo-woo version of wellness championed by Goop, the HPL has given rise to products, personalities, and philosophies at the intersection of snake oil and actual science.
PL®A—over 20 years of development from our company, ensures that anything you will learn here is on the side of science, not snake oil. That said, there is some that is based on anecdotal evidence at this time, as scientific research is always slower than common sense, intuition, and personal discovery.
The big picture: As the category continues to evolve, the HPL is creating new opportunities for brands seeking to push the limits of performance. From training programs and supplement protocols to wearables, recovery tech, and even therapeutics, unlocking our true potential is increasingly becoming a commercialized pursuit.
How We Got Here
The HPL is rooted in two related concepts: quantified self and biohacking.
PL®A—initially yes, and still today, but as this goes mainstream it’s going to be based on principles, practices, and strategy, with the fundamentals first (that’s where we play) and then using the best of performance optimization tools being created, from supplements to recovery gear, to food, to fitness and wearables…
The modern-day quantified self-movement got its start in 2007. According to its website, the term quantified self is loosely defined as “self-knowledge through numbers” — where self-tracking is used to answer health questions, achieve a specific goal, or follow a curiosity.
PL®A—important element of a performance lifestyle.
Beyond data collection, biohacking is a form of self-experimentation. Often called DIY biology, biohacking takes an algorithmic approach to the human system, manipulating inputs to maximize outputs. Outputs, in this case, intended to upgrade the mind and body.
PL®A—important element of a performance lifestyle.
The Founding Fathers
The extent to which biohacking or quantified self has entered the mainstream consciousness is likely a result of Tim Ferriss and Dave Asprey having popularized it.
PL®A—good guys, emerging something new when no one else is yet dialed in, is not easy.
For his part, Ferriss, an accomplished investor, author, and podcaster, has referred to himself as a “human guinea pig”. An attendee of the first Quantified Self meet-up, his earliest content was biohacky—and clickbaity, too—as evidenced by posts like the one entitled: “How I Gained 34lbs. of Muscle in 4 Weeks”.
Over the years, Ferriss focused more on optimization and less on bro-y hacks. These days, his podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show, is a platform for deconstructing the “tactics, tools, and routines” of world-leading experts. Emblematic of the HPL as we define it, guests run the gamut from Navy SEALs and spiritual gurus to medical practitioners.
Whereas Ferriss diverged from biohacking, Dave Asprey doubled down.
Having spent millions of dollars to hack his health, Asprey lost 100+ pounds, boosted his IQ, and reduced his biological age in an effort to live to at least 180 years old. A walking infomercial for his Bulletproof brand—a media company, supplement line, and gym chain—Asprey’s efforts often border on outlandish.
In fact, his most recent book, Superhuman: The Bulletproof Plan to Age Backward and Maybe Even Live Forever, sums up Asprey’s approach quite well — being provocative moves product.
PL®A—good to learn from these guys, they have our respect, even if we all don’t agree on everything.
The Patron Saint
If Ferriss and Asprey are the forebears of the high-performance lifestyle, Joe Rogan is the patron saint.
Rogan’s podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, is among the most-listened-to podcasts on the planet. It’s also his bully pulpit from which he advocates for self-discipline, physical fitness, clean eating, and mental toughness, among other things.
To be sure, those “other things” include conspiracy theories and countless hours of non-PC conversations that have gotten Rogen in hot water. But, more often than not, the conversations hit on self-mastery, a term that’s central to the HPL.
From Dr. Peter Attia and Dr. Rhonda Patrick to Jocko Willink, Naval Ravikant, Matthew Walker, Sam Harris, Dennis McKenna, David Goggins… the list goes on, Rogan’s guests are the high priests of the high-performance lifestyle across its various pillars.
PL®A—there are more pillars of the high-performance lifestyle than most people realize, even the high priests. And if you are not necessarily into extreme sports, professional athletics, or at the other end of the spectrum—existentialism, but you want to know how you as an entrepreneur, a business professional, a working parent with 2-3 kids who is up to big things in your life, can perform better; you had better learn them all.
Self-Mastery as Self-Care
Beyond physical feats alone, the HPL taps into existentialism, addressing aspects of spirituality, self-actualization, and even mortality.
Love it or hate it, self-care has ballooned into a billion-dollar industry. At one end of the spectrum, exercise, meditation, and journaling help proponents find balance. Meanwhile, at the other extreme, astrology, tarot cards, and healing crystals help disciples find meaning.
Similarly, the HPL is tapping into meaning. Filling a void left by the collapse of traditional institutions and the changing definition of masculinity, self-mastery has become the holy grail. In HPL circles, those pursuits include stoicism, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, archery, kettlebells, surfing, contrast therapy, intermittent fasting, and psychedelics.
PL®A— and a whole lot more than that. This is just a flavor and focuses on many of the shiny objectives, but lifestyle training is different.
Like the expansive category of self-care, HPL isn’t without its faults. If wellness is dominated by pseudoscience, HPL is overrun with broscience. It’s also difficult to distinguish between optimization and obsession.
PL®A—it just depends on where you are learning from; here at Performance Lifestyle Inc, we are not overrun by broscience because we are developing the high / performance lifestyle for the mainstream from the start.
Take Twitter and Square chief executive Jack Dorsey for instance. Recently, Dorsey discussed his daily routine—fasting, meditation, sauna, ice bath, sleep tracking—on the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast (Greenfield is an HPLer of Asprey’s sect). Hearing Dorsey’s regimen left some listeners feeling inspired, while others walked away questioning his sanity.
PL®A—at PerformanceLifestyle.com you can count on learning this from the start, bottom-up, from principle, practice, and strategy (the essentials) to the technology (useful and nice to have’s) to the optimizing tools (that can get a bit anecdotal) but are super fun to play with and experiment with.
If the booming wellness industry is any indication, all signs point to the proliferation of the high-performance lifestyle.
For now, sleep trackers like Oura and WHOOP are leading the way. The same can be said of recovery tech from Hyperice and NormaTec, as well as Myodetox clinics. Likewise, Laird Hamilton’s XPT protocol and the Wim Hof Method from the Iceman himself have tapped into heart rate variability, cold exposure, and breathwork.
But we’re just getting started. As the pursuit of performance ratchets up, and efforts to optimize everything intensifies, don’t be surprised to see more mind-bending psychedelics, recovery-inducing therapeutics (think stem cell and testosterone replacement), and life-extending practices creep into the mainstream.
PL®A—I guess we fit into the “life-extending practices,” but also not mentioned are the energy-increasing, health-promoting, performance-enhancing, success-reinforcing, quality of life-expanding category.