They’re Still Missing the Boat on Fitness

I originally developed P.A.C.E. to get de-conditioned people in shape to be able do anything they wanted. Run, play their favorite sport … even interval training.

Then I realized that the journey was greater than the destination.

People were getting more benefit from the incremental increases – trying to get to the level of being able to do something like interval training – than they ever got from doing actual intervals.

So I said yeah, interval training is good. But progressively accelerated intervals of exertion with focused recovery is even better.

At the time, I didn’t know it, but I had created the world’s first anti-aging exercise program.

You see, I had learned from research and practice that forcing your body to train for endurance robs you of your ability to respond to stressful life situations… what I call your “reserve capacity.”

I also observed over time that cardio mimics stress, wears you out, and makes your body old before its time, while shorter periods of progressive exertion make you stronger and give you more energy. And now we know the reason why that’s true…

Cardio and other forms of endurance training like aerobics, jogging and marathon running shrink your telomeres.

Telomeres are the little strands of DNA at the end of each chromosome. When this endcap is long, your body is strong and youthful. When it’s short, your body acts older and weaker.

That means your typical cardio workout accelerates the aging of your cells. What’s worse is that the more cardio you do, the older you become.

This may come as a shock. After all, it’s the opposite of what you’ve been told. But the discovery of the telomere has changed everything we know about how and why you age.

By using P.A.C.E, and training for capacity instead of endurance, you can lengthen your telomeres, and reverse years of wrongheaded fitness advice that was aging your body prematurely.

Two major studies showing the destructive effects of cardio on telomeres have been completely ignored by the mainstream fitness experts.

In the first, researchers followed up on the known fact that long-term, cardio-type exercise damages your muscle cells. Taking it one step further, they decided to measure the length of the telomeres inside these muscle cells.

The athletes with “exercise fatigue,” in other words, the athletes doing the long-duration, cardio workouts, had “abnormally short” telomeres.1

A study done at the University of California in San Francisco found that vigorous exertion protects you from high stress by protecting your telomeres.2

Now, don’t get me wrong, that’s great. But if they would have tested P.A.C.E, the results would have been even better. Why? Well, let me ask you… what did they mean by “vigorous”? How did they define that? Vigorous is subjective.

How vigorous your body perceives the exertion to be all depends on what your body is used to, and then challenging that by doing a bit more. And that’s what all these studies are missing. If they would pick up on that, then they would find the benefit is much greater.

You are a living reactive system. What matters isn’t an arbitrary point where someone thinks something is vigorous or not. What matters is what’s new to you.

That’s why P.A.C.E. is so much more powerful. You become focused on the progressive challenge of the exertion, not the total quantity of exercise. Less is more.

Everyone on the planet continually glosses over this most important point.

The studies think that people got the benefit because they were made to exercise at a certain regimented level. I’ll bet you if they would have measured their fitness level to begin with, and then had them do slightly more, followed by doing slightly more than what they just got used to, the studies would have showed even greater benefit for telomere length.

This is why P.A.C.E is an entirely new category of exercise. It’s the first anti-aging fitness system. It gives you the progressively accelerating periods of exertion that help you maintain long telomeres and slow their loss.

You can begin right now with a full body movement called the Jump-Squat:

  • Place your feet shoulder width apart.
  • While keeping your arms bent in front of you, lower into squat position.
  • With body crouched, jump upward as high as you can.
  • Simultaneously, extend arms and reach overhead.

If you’re just beginning, you can modify the jump and simply reach overhead while raising yourself onto your tiptoes. Then move up to full arm swings and jumps later.

To add a challenge to this workout and make it even more progressive as you get fit, add a frog hop to the left then to the right before jumping. Or, turn the squat into a squat-thrust. While in squat position, place your hands on the floor, and hop your feet backwards into a “push-up” position. Then hop forward and perform your jump.

All you have to do is a little bit more each time – tiny increases in exertion – and you’ll progress toward longer telomeres and a more youthful body.

1. Collins M, et. al. “Athletes with exercise-associated fatigue have abnormally short muscle DNA telomeres.” Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003;35(9):1524-8. 2. Puterman E, Lin J, Blackburn E, O’Donovan A, Adler N, et al. “The Power of Exercise: Buffering the Effect of Chronic Stress on Telomere Length.” PLoS ONE 2010; 5(5): e10837.