Is Exercise Bad for You?

There they go again.

“Is Exercise Bad for You?”

“Should You Stop Exercising?”

The news stories were reacting to a study published in the journal PLOSone, and reported on by the New York Times.

The study looked at a group of clinical trials and found that exercise makes some people’s health worse. Especially their heart health.1

Scientists and the writers at the Times are mystified as to how the studies could have gotten this result.

The results didn’t surprise me at all. I suspected this would be the problem. When I looked at the actual studies I thought, “Yep, that explains it.” They all used the tern exercise to mean cardiovascular endurance exercise, or “cardio.”

The fitness industry has hijacked that word so that the entire world thinks all exercise is some form of cardio. Or even that the words “cardio” and “exercise” are the same.

That’s why I rarely use the word exercise. To me, it has a negative meaning now.

When I came up with the term P.A.C.E. for the new category of exercise I designed, I could have used the word exercise for the E. But I didn’t. I use the term exertion instead. Because exercise is used to describe something that I don’t want people to do.

Cardio does have negative consequences for your heart. And if you do it long enough, it mimics the stress we normally see in the modern world that is the cause of things like heart disease.

So the fact that some people in the study had results that mimic the results of the stresses of modern life is not a surprise to me.

If they had done the study about P.A.C.E., they would have found the results to be quite a bit different.

Their blood pressure would have gone down. Immediately. Their triglycerides would have gone down right away. Their HDL would increase.

We know that because we did do a P.A.C.E. study at my clinic. Almost a hundred people signed up for the PACE Study Group, and we measured their progress. Take a look at these charts.

The people who did PACE had their blood pressure go down immediately. And these were not people who had high blood pressure to begin with.


And their body fat percentages dropped right away. You don’t find that with people doing cardio.


You’re more likely to hear people who do cardio say “I just can’t seem to drop the extra pounds.”

But with PACE, the excess starts coming off you right away, keeps coming off, and stays off.

This is why I’ve been telling people not to do cardio for 20 years now. It mimics stress and makes you old before your time.

P.A.C.E. is designed to mimic natural challenges to your heart and body.

In fact, you can try P.A.C.E. for yourself, starting today.

Here’s a workout you can do that’s straight from my new at-home P.A.C.E. program I call PACE Express. It will help get you started doing P.A.C.E. and is very effective at raising your heart rate using your own body weight to create a natural challenge.

This one is called “Squat with a Low Row.”

  1. First, stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width. Squat down, keeping your knees behind your toes (don’t squat down too much or too far forward) and keep your belly tight.
  2. As you squat, extend your arms out in front of you.
  3. As you raise back up into a standing position, pull your arms back in, as if you were rowing a boat, flexing your biceps and making fists with both hands.
  4. Repeat until you are slightly out of breath, and rest. It should last no more than 4 minutes.

    P.A.C.E. certified trainer Rob, who I chose to work with me on my PACE Express program, demonstrates the “Squat with a Low Row” workout.

    If you are a P.A.C.E. beginner, or are deconditioned, this is all you have to do. Don’t worry about doing more. All you have to do is increase the intensity just a little bit the next day and go from there. It’s easy!

    If you are more advanced, you can:

  5. Repeat for a second set until you are panting, and then rest and recover. Should only take about 4 minutes. Do this set at about a 7 out of 10 on your personal intensity scale.
  6. Repeat for a third set. Go for no more than 3 minutes, and do these at about 9 out of 10 on your personal intensity scale for the last 30 seconds or so.

And remember, to make it a real PACE workout, it has to be progressive like this. That means slightly more intensity with each set of movements. Even if you start with one set today, and don’t do another until tomorrow, that’s OK. Make the next set slightly more intense than the last one, and you’ll get all of PACE’s benefits.

1. Bouchard C, et. al. "Adverse Metabolic Response to Regular Exercise: Is It a Rare or Common Occurrence?" PLoS ONE 2012;7(5): e37887