One of the most important features of PACE workouts – accelerate the challenge by shortening rest periods, and by getting up near – but not at – your maximum intensity faster with each set.
Incrementally, progressively increase the intensity. PACE isn’t about going all out as hard as you can. You always leave yourself a little bit of room in your workout where you could have gone harder. As you get closer to your peak, you become more aware of it, and by controlling it you have room to improve the next day.
To succeed at something, you have to focus your conscious intent on it, and it has an effect. So instead of focusing on going as intensely as you can, what you do with PACE is to turn your attention to the level of intensity.
We have a capacity for doing things this way that we ignore. We try to distract ourselves by watching a video or listening to music, but that makes exertion totally ineffective. Be aware of your level of intensity and your mind will coach your body, giving you better results. It becomes very natural.
Every time you work out, it gets a little bit easier to go at a slightly higher level of exertion. This progressivity over time – flirting with that maximum intensity without reaching it – raises your peak output and builds capacity.
In a very short period of time, you’ll be using more energy, burning off more fat and building muscle with each workout… but it won’t seem like you’re working hard. Your body takes over and makes it easy to do because it’s how you were designed to exert yourself.
The “up-down” is one of the body weight exercises.
It’s almost like a combination of walking, a pushup and a lunge. You can do them anywhere. All you need is enough space for the length of your body.
1. Start with your feet shoulder width apart, arms hanging by your sides
2. Raise your arms above your head
3. Bring your arms down, bending forward into a slight squat
4. Fall forward touching both hands to the ground with your rear slightly raised
5. Step each foot out behind you one at a time into the pushup or plank position
6. Step each foot back underneath you
7. Lunge back up into the starting position and repeat
As you become more fit, you can do a “modified up-down.” Instead of stepping each foot backward one at a time, you can hop both feet backward into the pushup position, then hop them both back underneath you and jump as high as you can, landing back in the starting position.
Because your perceived intensity will be less, measure your workout by something objective. You can use your heart rate, the speed you ran, the number of up-downs you did in a set, how high you jumped, the setting on a machine at the gym… something that you can cycle through.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
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