I find myself time and time again going back to Al Sear’s PACE (Progressively Accelerating Cardiopulmonary Exertion) and my husband finds it suits his personal style very nicely, so we are both exercising in this way at least 2-3 times a week. In between I do T-Tapp to maintain my chiropractic adjustments (yes, T-Tapp really does do that).
At our house we have very basic equipment, so my SO uses his Schwinn Airedyne to perform his PACE. He has adapted the technique to suit him, so I think he warms up for three minutes at a slow steady speed. At that point he gives it some gas for one minute, decreases his resistance and speed until his heart rate comes down and then hits the gas again until he breathes hard and is winded. He intersperses this with 30 second bursts now and then and leaves 3 minutes to cool down and end at 30 minutes.
I use my rebounder (and watch Weeds or something with catchy music) warming up for three minutes at a gentle jog. Then I progress to jumping jacks for 2 minutes (that is 130 jumping jacks) and then cool down for 2 minutes. At the 8 minute mark I run as fast as possible for one minute and then cool down for three minutes. At the 12 minute mark I jump off my rebounder and skip around my basement for 6 rounds (1 minute)jump back on the rebounder and run gently for 3 minutes. At 16 minutes I repeat the jumping jacks for 1 minute (65 jumping jacks) and cool down for 2 minutes.
Now I am approximately 19 minutes in to the workout and I want to quit at 30 minutes so I can spend 20 minutes in the FIR sauna before I do 10 minutes in front of my Sunsplash Renew, so I need to fill 11 minutes. I hop off the rebounder and skip around my lower level again for 6 rounds (1 minute +or-) and run gently for three minutes and then run in place for 30 seconds just as fast as I can, using the next three minutes and 30 seconds to get my heart rate down at which time I do 1 minute of jumping jacks (65) and finish by gently running on my rebounder for two minutes and hop off and in to the sauna where I will more easily sweat out many unwanted toxins.
I cannot speak of weight loss (keep in mind I am fighting a hypothyroid condition) but I think both of us have benefited from exercising this way as we don’t need hours of grueling exercise and we are able to keep up with the younger generation quite nicely. We are, and have been for sometime, PACEing again.
If you enjoy Al Sear’s PACE exercise, cycling in the Stillwater, Minnesota area has to be one of the best ways to do PACE. If you aren’t going down hill you are going uphill and every change in topography is a change of heart rate and exertion.
If you happen to be in the area and want to PACE yourself Stillwater proper has plenty of challenge and fantastic river city scenery. When you want to just cycle with no particular exertion or rest hit the Gateway Regional Trail and enjoy the ride through forest and open prairie or even in to the city of St. Paul and beyond.
Yes, you read that right PACE, I am commenting on PACE again but some may not like what I have to say.
I was T-Tapping (the coined phrase for exercising with Teresa Tapp) to Total Workout Slow the other day and I finally heard Teresa say what I had been thinking. The idea behind the Progressively Accelerating Cardiopulmonary Exertion (PACE) is not a new idea at all it has just been well promoted by Al Sears and I will give him credit for that as not all of us are clever enough to advertise well. I have felt for sometime that several people actually do the PACE program including, as many have noticed on this blog, Kathy Smith and now Teresa Tapp. This adds a lot of variety to your exercise program and variety is after all the spice of life.
Teresa at one point in her morning long seminar (that she recorded for people like me to exercise to) said that she designed T-Tapp exercise 10 years ago (with the help of Dr. Ken Cooper) with the idea that you elevate the heart rate for a minute or two and then let it come down (she called it sprinting), elevate, let it come down. What does that sound like to you? To me that is PACE in a nutshell and in addition to the cardio workout you will work muscles you didn’t know existed and sweat like you have never perspired when working out. Your posture improves, bone density increases and you just feel perkier. Doing lunges the T-Tapp way I have been able to lunge with none of the knee pain that I always experienced in years past. The Total Workout even includes a T-Tapp chiropractic adjustment called T-Tapp Twist. When you do it with the precision she requires (rather like the discipline involved with traditional Qi Gong) you can actually feel your vertebrae fall in to position, you sleep better at night and you don’t have stiffness.
I’m not really promoting any one of the T-Tapp exercise programs in this article but I did want to address PACE because I think there are many different ways to do PACE and some are better than others. T-Tapping is a common sense approach to PACE that I can vouch for its effectiveness and recommend it. Al Sear’s program is useful and promotes good health it is just not a new idea and also not the only progressively accelerating cardiopulmonary exertion program out there.
I would like to briefly touch on my PACE again. I am still using the general principle and I don’t think I will ever go back to long, back breaking, exercises. They just don’t make sense to me anymore. I seem to have more endurance now than ever should I want a long hike up the mountain side in Idaho or just around my hometown of Stillwater, Minnesota which is full of stairways and hills to climb. I can run when I want to and not find myself struggling, biking is a breeze and jumping rope is finally not a horrible way to get my heart beating.
I like to work out to a simple exercise program by Kathy Smith called Power Walking. It is done inside with weights and a television, simple as simple can be. You primarily march in place and then add weights for your abdominals and upper body. She has two big push interludes and I pick up my jump rope and jump as fast as I can for the time allotted which does increase my heart rate and make me breath deeply. it is not strenuous but when I am done I am sweating and my heart is pumping.
It is criticized on Amazon.com for Kathy Smith’s blunders and for being too easy but I find the blunders entertaining and easy is as easy does, if you don’t put any effort in you will get back just what you put in to the workout. I suspect that Al Sears would not give this DVD the PACE seal of approval but I would like to share with my readers that it is a good workout for those times when you are in a hurry and it does generally follow the principles of PACE.
I am once again flexing the creative lobe of the gray matter occupying my skull. My creative partner, HP Pavillion, decided several weeks ago that it needed a change. Why it chose its hard drive for this apparently necessary life changing exhilaration we will never know. What I do know is I am so lucky to have a computer geek in my life and I thank him profusely for being back with my creative partner. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you. For HP, you need to improve your product this is the second failure of my laptop in as many years.
What that all means for my experiment with the PACE program is I have been following it for longer than I intended before making an entry again. It also means that I have had time to discover that while I think it is the most beneficial way to exercise it is hard for me to follow on a weekly basis. I can follow the basic formula but exercising for only 20 minutes only works for me once in awhile as I actually like to exercise.
I am one of those sickos ( Michael Moore does not get to claim any rights to that word) who enjoys breathing hard and sweating. My spousal unit awoke me to this fact the other day on the bike trail as I was complaining that everyone seemed “so crabby”. His response was “not everyone gets a high from exercise”. I guess that spoke volumes to me and I quit smiling at every poor soul that met us.
ANYWAY, I have thus far resisted buying the full on book about PACE but it is inevitable that I will (even though I think it is horribly overpriced) as I really don’t understand how you work the program in to a lifestyle that has included exercise for the last 30 years. 20 minutes or less does not even take me to the regional trail on my bike much less the 20 miles we like to ride. It barely allows for a couple of miles on the trail on foot and few if any of my exercise videos are that brief.
What it does allow pretty easily is a workout with Kathy Smith called Power Walking. She has a 20 minute segment of walking and weights that fairly closely duplicates the PACE regimen. The weight lifting segments slow your heart rate some and then she has you push yourself for a minute before returning to the walking routine which is fun to do and even more fun when she loses her count or forgets her routine (I bet she is 50-ish just like me). You repeat that general pattern several times and then cool down and stretch which takes you to about 30 minutes of exercise and stretching.
I did make up several routines where I just jumped rope for a minute or two or used the Schwinn Airedyne to a level 5 or 6 for a minute. I also walked the regional trail with 3-4 minute runs interspersed with very slow walking to lower my heart rate but my Carver trait made that slow part really hard as I was embarrassed to be walking so pathetically in front of other people. Crikey I have to admit that it probably just doesn’t work very well for me on a day to day basis.
That said, I am still following the basic premise and I do feel my lung power has increased and I am more fit. I just returned from the Idaho mountains and for the first time in my life I did not feel the altitude when out for mountain hikes. It was amazing. It may be due to several changes I have made in my life but I believe that exercising with the basic PACE tenets has improved my lung capacity and my ability to go from a resting heart rate of 68 to a working heart rate of 150 and back down to a heart rate of 100 and I will continue to forge ahead with the routine.