PACE Jumping Side Crunch
Here is another of Dr. Sear’s great exercises that even I can do. He stresses the 5-7-9 intensity scale for working out with POWER Fit, this allows you to get the full benefit of building lung capacity and also endurance.
Do your first set for each routine at what would be about an intensity level of 5 for you. That means you’d still be able to speak sentences afterwards, but you’re a little winded.
Rest and recover, and up the intensity to a 7. After, you should only be able to talk in short, clipped sentences, but you’re not gasping for air. For the third set, go up to 9. That means that you’re breathing hard and can’t complete a sentence.
The numbers are just a way of converting something subjective – exertion level – into something concrete. But they don’t tell the whole story.
They’re also a way to keep your focus on your intensity, so you can be in control. If you get to your peak heart rate after the second set, you’ve gone beyond your current level of conditioning and lost control.
And you want to be in charge of how hard you’re exerting yourself. You want to focus your attention on your use of oxygen, on your heart rate, on your perceived exertion.
We have the capacity to feel that. To feel how we are working in a much more complete and detailed way than most of us do because we’re so distracted. We’re taught to be distracted.
It’s gotten very bad in the modern world because we use our brains to disconnect from what our bodies are feeling. We take our brains somewhere else through TV or music when we work out.
But you want to bring your mind back into your body, and bring your body’s signals back into your conscious focus.
You’ll know with a lot more reliability how hard you’re working. And you won’t all of a sudden find you’re working out at peak intensity and huffing and puffing because you were thinking about something else.
Then you can influence your body, and direct it. And make your exertion, by intent, what you want it to be.
It’s the reason why we find P.A.C.E. to be so exceptionally safe. I think that part of the reason is because you’re focusing on the intensity.
It’s like if you were reading a book and walking on the edge of a cliff, it’d be dangerous. But if you’re walking near a cliff while paying attention to how close you’re getting to the edge, you can get pretty close and be safe.
That’s what you get when you repeatedly challenge yourself. You never get to your maximum intensity, but you are by design looking at how close you are, and getting closer and closer. That progressivity is what makes P.A.C.E. so effective.
Here’s one of the exercises we were filming that you can use to challenge your focus and intensity. It’s called a jumping side crunch.
1. Start with your feet a little wider than shoulder width
2. Raise your arms so they’re in a goal post position – upper arms parallel to the ground, elbows at 90 degrees, hands pointed up
3. Jump up, and as you come back down, turn your upper body toward your right leg –
Do a kind of twisting abdominal crunch, pressing the left elbow toward the right knee
4. Rise up out of the crunch and return to start position
5. Jump again, and repeat on your left side, pressing your right elbow toward your left knee.
To increase the intensity, you could do the side crunches faster, squat all the way down before each jump, and jump as high as you can. Remember to BREATHE! We all remember to inhale, but don’t forget to exhale (I usually exhale on the down motion).
In every P.A.C.E. workout we use contralateral arm-leg movement. The opposite leg and arm move together. That’s why, for the side crunch, you turn and move your weight onto one leg, but press your opposite elbow into it.
It’s how our natural neuromuscular coordination works. We’re already hard-wired to move this way. People who have been taught aerobics and people who lift weights often forget this natural movement. They tend to use muscles and tendons on the same side of their bodies. It’s one of the reasons I don’t recommend lifting weights.
The solution is to exert yourself with your body weight using contralateral movement and it all works perfectly.
[Try this one – it is easy to do, and Dr. Sears is right – focus so you have complete control over how far to push yourself. He also said:
“This is something I see a lot with people just starting P.A.C.E. Everyone does the warmup set (intensity 5) fine. She knew she had to gear up the intensity for the second set, but kind of zoned out and went after it too hard. By the third set she would have had nothing left.
As a teacher of P.A.C.E., I tell my students to work on keeping their focus. I want you to know how intensely you’re doing it. I want you to pay attention because I want you to be in control.
You get more benefit by easing off a little bit, so you can effectively increase the intensity a little at a time.”