The Key to Fitness is Advancing to the Next Level

Pace Fitness Program

Our caveman ancestors had to be ready to run from a predator or chase after prey at a moment’s notice. They needed a strong heart and lungs to generate lots of power very quickly in order to survive.

In modern times, you don’t have to run from predators but you do need to have access to that extra power if you are being chased by someone or if you need to make a quick getaway.

So when it comes to exercise, it’s a good idea to build and strengthen your high-energy output system. You make sure your heart and lungs have the ability to generate lots of power very quickly — just in case.

Having quick access to extra power is what our ancient ancestors built and maintained naturally in their native environment. But it’s lacking in our modern world.

The training of your high-energy output system is critical to your health improvement, disease resistance, fat-fighting, energizing and anti-aging capacities. It’s incredible that no popular exercise program has ever specifically addressed this issue.

On the surface, it would be dangerous — even foolhardy — to go on an intense exercise rampage to challenge your heart, lung, vascular and metabolic capacities. What you need is a plan to build these capacities safely and effectively.

PACE® is the first and only program conceived, designed, tested and proven to achieve this most important of all fitness goals. It does this for you by measuring where you are, then making progressive, small, incremental changes over time. Little by little you advance to the next level.

The key is to start with a brief exertion that is comfortable for you at your current capacity. It’s not so important how hard you exert yourself today.  It’s that little bit that you do next week that you didn’t do this week. This is the element of progressivity.

That tiny incremental change compounds — like interest on capital — to have an amazing and powerful affect over time.  By changing your program through time, you work with your metabolism and your inborn adaptive response to coach your body to change.

Learn Progression with This Easy 10-Minute PACE® Program

Here’s a simple program to use progressivity in the right direction. In this 10-minute program below, you’re going to focus on gradually increasing the challenge as you progress.

Weeks Warm-ups Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Exertion Recovery Exertion Recovery Exertion Recovery
1 2 min 5 min 3 min
2 1 min 3 min 2 min 3 min 2 min
3 1 min 2 min 2 min 2 min 2 min 2 min 2 min
4 1 min 1 min 2 min 1 min 2 min 1 min 2 min

Notice the progressivity of this workout. Over time, the duration of each exertion period decreases. This progressivity in the right direction toward maximal capacity is the heart of PACE®.

Here’s how it works…

During week 1, you’re going to take it easy and just do one warm up for 2 minutes and then one exercise set at a low to moderate intensity. Just do what feels comfortable. If you are out of shape, it’s okay. You can just start with walking.

Try and do this 10-minute interval at least 3 times during the first week. But each time you do it, slightly increase the intensity level. By the end of the first week, you should feel like you’ve given yourself a slight challenge you were able to accomplish.

Keep in mind that how you adjust the intensity will depend on what instrument you’re using. If you’re on a stationary bike, increase the level on the control panel so it becomes harder to pedal. If you’re on an elliptical, boost the incline so it’s harder to run, etc.

During week 2, you’ll add another exercise set. But the duration of your exertion periods will decrease. After a quick warm up, you’ll do a 3-minute exertion period. As you start, notice how fast you’re going and how long it takes for your heart and lungs to meet the challenge.

When 3 minutes is up, begin your recovery. If you need to stop, that’s okay. Otherwise, your recovery period should be a slow, easy pace. If you’re on an elliptical machine for example, you should slow down so you feel like you’re walking.

During each recovery period, focus on your heart rate slowing down. If you start to pant, it is okay.  Feel your lungs quickly fill up and release. Allow your body to come back to a state of rest. This is strengthening your heart and lungs.

During week 3, you’ll start with a quick warm up and then a 2-minute exertion period. But this time, increase the intensity to give yourself more of a challenge.

When 2 minutes is up, begin your recovery. Repeat this process for exercise sets 2 and 3. During week 3, try and repeat this workout 3 or 4 times.

When you hit week 4, you’re going to do 3 exercise sets as in week 3. Except this time, you’re going to reduce the exertion periods to just 1 minute each, followed by 2-minute recovery periods.

Apply the same principles. Take your warm up at a low to moderate intensity. Then turn up the intensity when you start your first exertion period.

Remember, don’t stress yourself. As you decrease the duration, you turn up the intensity. And by decreasing the duration, it will actually feel easier as the 4 weeks progress. Part of the PACE® program is realizing that real progress can be made in just minutes a day.

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Health Topic: General Health


  1. I do believe that one of the best things about exercise is that it helps to counteract oxidative stress. The stres we create by poor eating habits, choices and manageing a modern rushed lifestyle. These are some of the modern day problems that our ansestor did not have to face.

  2. SAM I AM says:

    No, excercise tends to INCREASE oxidative stress.

    Hence, the higher inflammation from prolonged exercise routines. This wreaks havoc on the body and especially connective tissues. This is one of the reasons so many athletes have so many injuries.

    The benefit of a P.A.C.E. program is in fact reduced oxidative stress compared to traditional long workouts.

    The PACE program is really training of the phosphagen / lactic acid systems. Burn muscle sugars, create lactic acid, rest – recover for quick flushing of the lactic acid. Repeat over and over.

    Doing this over and over requires the body to become very efficient at replenishing the muscle sugars.

    You are essentially training what are known as “Fast Twitch” muscle fibers…the ones that use the most energy. In turn you create a syndrome known as “Oxygen Deprivation.”

    It is this that keeps the body burning fat for hours after the exercie.

    And where does the body get it’s blood sugars for this exercise? Conversion in the liver from fat to sugar. Hence the reasons for it’s success at fat reduction.

  3. SAM I AM says:

    …errr….correction. NOT OXYGEN DEPRIVATION yet rather “OXYGEN DEFICIT.” The body will work over 12 – 24 hours to pay back this ‘deficit.’

  4. Lisa says:

    What happens at the end of the four weeks? Do I start all over with Week 1 and repeat the four weeks over and over? I just started Week 1 today…need to know what to do after Week 4!

  5. Pacemaker says:

    Lisa Dr Al sears the creator of this pace program tells in his pace book that following a schedule is not the real important part you should try to make your own way of doing it at your own pace.You just have to follow these guidelines

    #1 don’t go past 20 minute(you want the benefits to come after exercise not while your exercising)

    # warm-up for like a couple of minute

    #Run a sprint give it like 30% of what you have then rest for a couple of minutes then do another sprint but this time give it 50% then rest then another sprint of 70% then rest then the last sprint give it like all you have.

    You can do this same thing with bicycling or jump-roping swimming. the idea is to give a high intensity short-burst then rest ect

    You can see if you created an oxygen debt(click link on bottom) IF YOUR heart rate goes up a few ticks when you rest after your sprint.

    But after a couple of weeks like 4 to 6 weeks you have to change it up so your body can adapt better.


  6. Pacemaker says:

    **** The last part I wrote I meant your body adapts to whatever exercise you give it after about 4 to 6 weeks so you have to change it up switch to swimming or some other form of exercising.*******

  7. George says:

    Nobody knows what to do after week four. Maybe you never have to exercise again after week four. If that’s the case, then this program should be called “How to only excercise for four weeks and have excellent health for the rest of your life without ever having to do it again”.

  8. Ian says:

    I love this method. I have been working out in a similar way with H.I.I.T. I love it and it really works.

  9. nancy says:

    Found your website very interesting,going to start Monday. In reading some of the replys I would also like to know the answer to Lisa’s question.
    Do I start over with week 1 and continue with 1 min exercise and 2min rest 3-4 times a week?

  10. kent says:

    This is also called High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Same method. Same stated purpose and benefits. The good Doc seems to have given it a name change and called it new.

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