Beast Mode 365 is a powerlifting team that is breaking stereotypes and barriers by showing women and men how to bulk up, how to achieve personal weight goals, and embark on new fitness journeys, all while achieving mental stamina to tackle anything life throws you.
Meet the Coach
Coach Charles Brown
Charles Brown, who goes by “Coach,” is a 51-year-old youth leader, teacher for the Aldine school district, and is the coach of Beast Mode 365. He spent 25 years working with youth in the lockup center and 19 of those were spent in the Aldine district.
He is very passionate about assisting young males struggling in today’s society. His passion for youth comes from his belief that the world we live in waits for young black men to slip up and he wants to catch them before they fall. He is devoted to helping the youth before they make mistakes that cause their entire lives to change. Coach Brown is no stranger to being a mentor for those in need. Regardless of the circumstances that he has met people in, he has been a friend and motivator to all.
As the treatment supervisor, Coach Brown exhibits a caring, loving, helping spirit that resonates with his boys as well as everyone he meets. Coach Brown is the oldest of nine siblings, therefore, taking care of people is weaved into his DNA. His greatest accomplishment was taking care of his wife of 13 years. She passed away tragically from cancer in Brown’s arms and it was in that moment that he realized just how strong he really was.
Having a rough childhood and a dad that was everything short of being a positive male role model, Brown has come to believe that all the trials he endured molded him into the man of God that he is today. “Life is about choices and I chose to not become the man that I saw growing up,” Brown said. God has been the driving force in all that Coach Brown does and no matter what he has gone through, he has praised God every step of the way. He never left his wife’s side despite the trials and he never abandoned his faith even when the outcome seemed unclear.
Coach states that his motivation for creating Beast Mode and getting his body in shape was to stand up against his violent father if he needed to one day. That is the same motivation that led him to set 19 world records and obtain an undefeated title.
He keeps his team strong by setting clear standards. It’s not just about taking care of the body, because while 20% of it is training, the other 80% is eating. He believes that if you trust the process, you will see a change. Brown says that you can’t halfway do anything in this life. If you’re going to do it, you must do it with all your might. At times when he would question if he was fit to lead all of these people to their goals, his mother would assure him by saying, “God trusts you with others and that’s why he continues to put you in the position to lead.” Brown has done just that! Guiding the boys to positive lifestyles and ideologies, motivating the members of Beast Mode to achieve every single goal they set, and encouraging and uplifting every person that he encounters. Coach Brown leads Beast Mode 365 in Kingwood, Texas at Xtreme Fitness Unlimited. If you’re hungry for change and ready to embark on a new journey, contact Coach Brown at 281-780-3395!
Meet the Team
Amber Lewis is a 30-year-old well-rounded athlete who evacuated to Houston 13 years ago when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.
She met Coach Brown at Fitness Connection while lifting and squatting. Coach Brown saw something in her that compelled him to ask to train her.
Although she had already mastered what she was doing, Coach Brown saw potential in her to do more. She embraced the new powerlifting lifestyle head-on. Amber explained to Coach Brown how she wanted to look, and he threw her into grind mode.
Coach Brown has not only been there for her on the weights, but he has also been like a father to her by helping relieve some of the weight that has been thrown her way in the real world. He has strengthened her body, faith and her confidence in the 13 years of knowing her. Amber says, “When lifting the weights, it’s all in your head. You have to just lift and trust what Coach Brown sees in you.”
Her confidence pours into all areas of her life. She loves her slim-thick physique and knows that her lifestyle and personality aren’t for everybody. Working out is her life and people can either respect it and love it or they can find someone else because she loves the woman that she is becoming and doesn’t plan on changing for anyone.
The thing that she wants people to take away from her story is that you must believe. “Belief is for you and no one else. No one can believe for you,” Amber says. She stands firm in the fact that the key to becoming great is believing that you are great. You must stay planted and seeded in who you are and focus on your personal growth. Amber has competed in several lifting competitions and has come in first place in her division. Deadlifting over 330 pounds, Amber is truly an inspiration and an example that women can lift and keep up with the boys, while still maintaining their femininity!
Ferleshare “Fee” Starks
At the prime age of 47, Fee has been through one rollercoaster after another, whether it be the changes in her physical health or her mental health. She has always wanted to obtain a solid body shape and get healthy, but family, work, and trials were a few of the things that held her back from achieving the size and weight that she desired.
Life threw curveballs and although she wouldn’t let them knock her down, the discouragement was enough to halt her progress. She met Coach Brown at 29 while teaching in the Aldine district. After being away for so long and bouncing from trainer to trainer, Fee took Coach Brown’s offer to elevate her life and health. He began working her harder than she’s ever trained, but just as things were lifting, the rollercoaster took a drop when she suffered an injury at the gym. She lost all stamina and went from 148 lbs. to 192 lbs. in a matter of eight short months. It broke her spirits to the core this time.
The last three years have been the most challenging for Fee. She not only has had to start from the bottom and work her way back up again, but her challenges have also put a hold on her secret passion of rocking designer fashion heels. Even with a family and career, she struggled as a result of losing herself along with others close to her.
It was those trials that inspired her to do what was best for her health and admit herself to the hospital. She managed to regain herself after undergoing major surgery and has never given up on her goal to become healthy and strong and stay that way. Instead of making excuses for the ups and downs, she used the trials as fuel to her fire and released it on the weights. It became her motivation. She no longer avoided the struggle, she embraced it.
Her beautiful spirit is now a testimony of all that she’s been through. She describes life at the gym as more than reconstruction of body, but also as the opportunity to realign your spirit and mind with the things you value. Coach Brown has given her the courage to stand out and step out on faith.
Fee competed in the latest meet and powerlifted a staggering 148 lbs. on the bench and deadlifted 358.2 lbs., which set a state and world record in her division! She says if there is one thing she wants people to take away from her story is that no matter how impossible it seems, if you want it, you must try! To fail is better than to do nothing at all.
Nitra Hammonds has been on this earth for 45 years and carries a carefree and laidback nature with her like a warm breeze, but it wasn’t always smooth sailing. The struggles of life and being a mother to her now 21-year son were daily mountains to overcome.
She has always tried to maintain her health and stay strong in the mind and body but that was easier said than done. With her mother’s health fluctuating and causing her to have surgery, Nitra vowed to do things that make her feel good. She knew that if she didn’t start taking care of herself and treating herself to things that she enjoyed, her happiness would get lost in the translation of daily trials.
She met Coach Brown through her son who had previously worked out with Coach Brown in the 7th grade and had been mentored by him. In 2016, he introduced them and that is when Nitra began her powerlifting journey. She states that powerlifting makes her feel good as well as look good. Every woman wants to look fit no matter the age and that has become Nitra’s motivation. She works out Monday- Thursday and she looks forward to it daily.
Coach Brown has been striving to build her faith in God by letting her know that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made and with God at the head, no task is too big for Him. She has gained self-confidence through his words and his unique motivational tactics.
She says that Coach Brown never tells her the amount of weight on the rack. He just places what he wants and tells her to lift. Nitra says at first she was nervous and would question Coach Brown on how much was on the rack and his response was always the same, “God says he’ll never put more on you than you can bear, I won’t either. I have faith in you, now lift!” Every time she would increase the weight and wouldn’t even feel it because she had increased her faith in herself.
Nitra is a firm believer that whatever you start, you must finish. She instills in her son, as well as herself, that quitting is not an option. She was nervous at the competition, but she put all doubts and second-guessing aside and was able to deadlift 292.1 pounds which set a state record in her division! Nitra wants people to take away from her story that all things are possible. No matter what it seems like, she wants you to know that you never know what you can do until you do it.
Bernard is just like any other 16-year-old boy. He loves going to physics and history class at Benjamin O. Davis High School. He is a well-rounded athlete who is on the swim and track team. He enjoys hanging out with his friends, competing with his big sister on EVERYTHING, and “bringing sexy back” as he likes to call it. In his free time, Bernard says that he loves playing basketball and eating everything!
Bernard is the sole male member of Beast Mode, but he says that doesn’t bother him because all of his team members are strong competitors that motivate him to push harder, regardless of their gender. He started working out with Coach Brown to stay fit for sports but developed a passion for powerlifting. He says it’s a great way to relieve stress and clear his mind. After spending 8 hours in school learning, Bernard loves to go to the gym and unwind on the weights.
Coach Brown always tells him that men are naturally strong but it’s not enough to just be strong physically. You must also be wise and educated. Bernard plans to pursue a higher education and is considering attending Louisiana State University or Arlington. He believes that college may be tough for him because he struggles with commitment and distractions, but Coach Brown has been motivating him to stay the course and to not give up. When he’s not being motivated on the weights, his parents are at home motivating him to do better and to strive for more. The most important thing that Bernard said he’s gotten from training with Coach Brown is perseverance.
He has learned that even in the moments where you want to stop and give up, you must push just a little harder and fight just a little longer and your goals and achievements are on the other side of that effort. At the last meet, Bernard lifted a whopping 424.5 pounds!
He wasn’t even aware that he could lift that much. Coach Brown was given the numbers before the meet, but he chose to not disclose them to the team because he didn’t want them to psych themselves out with fear and doubt. When Bernard finally found out his numbers, he was elated and ready to get back into the gym to train more! One thing Bernard wants people to take away from his story is that he’s sexy, smart, and he never gives up!
Taylore Graham is the older sister to Bernard and she makes sure to remind him daily. She is a 17-year-old jack of all trades. She has played volleyball, track, basketball, participated in the band, and she’s on the student council. She met Coach Brown during her freshman year and began to train with him to stay active during offseason in her free time if she had any.
While training with Coach Brown she was the starting point guard on the B Team at Benjamin O. Davis High School. She suffered a calf strain her freshman year that made her have to halt her sports activities. It was then that she began to train solely with Coach Brown and work on her healing. Sports were her life and she was determined to come back better than ever.
In the process, she discovered that she was excelling in yet another sport, powerlifting. She began to love lifting the weights and the excitement of not knowing what number Coach would give her and then finding out that she exceeded her expectations yet again.
She is now back playing sports and is a starting player on the junior varsity basketball team. Even with all of her activities, Taylore still finds time to hang out with friends and be a normal teenager. She says it’s not hard to maintain friends because all of her friends are athletes as well, so they understand. Although maintaining friends isn’t hard, sometimes it’s hard to find a lot of time to be social, because there have been occasions when she wants to go to the movies or hang out with friends, but can’t because she’s either taking care of things at home as the oldest sibling, has to work out with Coach Brown, attend various practices, or show up to student council meetings. Despite those times, Taylore makes sure to prioritize finding the time to enjoy the things that make her happy.
In addition to the challenges of balancing her activities, the road to where she is now was equipped with some obstacles. She was so close to making district in track, but her grades held her back. She lost two very important people in her life and it took her some time to recover, but the losses she faced became her motivation. She felt that now that her loved ones are not here, she must succeed and make them proud.
She desires to go to college and become a physical therapist for athletes in professional sports. Now that she has improved her grades and began to excel in her athletic career, Taylore believes the possibilities are endless.
She showcased this belief at the latest meet. Taylore was nervous as well, but she trusted Coach Brown. When she lifted the weight, she said something came over her as she yelled “lightweight,” which is a gym term that means ‘I’ve got this’. She deadlifted 275.6 pounds, which set the world and state record in her division!
With the help of her parents constantly reinforcing her worth and value, along with Coach Brown strengthening her body and mind, Taylore says she has developed a new-found confidence in herself that radiates in everything she does. She wants to be a motivation to all young girls and show them that no matter what happens and no matter what you go through, you can make it out and succeed.
She has a helping and healing spirit and wants all young women to realize their potential and operate in it. She strives to succeed and achieve all the goals she has set for herself so that she can be a walking testament of what happens when you don’t give up.
Beast Mode has broken records and barriers and continues to change the face of fitness. Whether you’re slim thick, unapologetic, and fabulous like Amber, an overcomer when your health tries to work against you like Fee, carefree because life is what you make it like Nitra, bringing sexy back like Bernard, sprinkling melanin magic everywhere like Taylore, or being a fighter in God’s Army no matter what the Devil throws at you like Coach Brown, we can all take away knowledge and strength from hearing their stories. Beast Mode is not just a team or fitness program, it’s a lifestyle. It can encourage you to believe that no problem is too big and no situation is too bleak. Don’t say how big your problems are, go “Beast Mode” and show your problems how big you are!
For more information on Beast Mode, contact Coach Brown at 281-780-3395!