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Al Sears, MD
12794 Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 16
Wellington, FL 33414

Dear John ,

Finally, the old theories of aerobic training are crumbling under the weight of new evidence. At the center of the breakthrough is lactic acid. You've probably heard of it, especially if you've ever had a coach or a trainer. Conventional wisdom said you had to avoid lactic acid because its build up in your muscles caused pain, fatigue and the soreness you feel after "over doing it".

We were told to exercise aerobically and not cross the dreaded lactic threshold. To do so would mean an-aerobic (without oxygen) exercise, which created the damaging lactic acid. That sparked the aerobics craze that reached its peak in the 1980's.

But this theory never jived with my real world experience of the benefits of exceeding your aerobic threshold (which would build lots of the dreaded lactic acid.) It turns out lactic acid is not only not your enemy. To the contrary, it's fuel for your muscles.

Dr. George Brooks from the University of California at Berkeley recently found that lactic acid is taken up and burned for energy by your mitochondria – the energy factories in your muscle cells.1 What's more, it can not create the after workout soreness because it is rapidly removed as you burn it for fuel. In other words, it's long gone before you get sore.

A high output, anaerobic workout is exactly what your body needs to increase your lungpower, build reserve capacity in your heart and melt away your fat stores.

To move your workout into the anaerobic range, the key feature I use is this: Create an "oxygen debt." Simply exercise at a pace you can't sustain as in a short sprint. Ask your lungs for more oxygen than they can provide. The difference between the oxygen you need and the oxygen you get is your oxygen debt. This will cause you to pant and continue to breathe hard even after you've stopped the sprint until you replace the oxygen you're lacking.

Let's say you pedal as fast as you can on a bike for 15 seconds. When you stop, you continue to pant. This is the kind of high-output challenge I'm talking about. You have reached a supra-aerobic zone. This is very different from doing an aerobic workout for 45 minutes.

Aerobic exercise is low to medium output held for an extended period. Anaerobic or supra-aerobic exercise is high output, but short in duration. Why is this important? For one thing, it restores an element of your native environment. Our ancestors lived in a world where our food fought back. Predators attacked without notice. They had to run or fight – fast and hard. These short bursts of high-output activity fine tuned our ancient ancestors and kept them fit. We still have the same physiology.

This is the basis for my PACE® program. I began using most of this program 25 years ago. I'm delighted to see University-based science catching up to the idea. More recently, I added progressivity to increase the benefits.

By making small changes in the same direction, your workouts can produce remarkable results. And you only need 12 minutes to achieve the desired effect.

In a matter of weeks, you can:

  • Lose pounds of belly fat
  • Build functional new muscle
  • Reverse heart disease
  • Build energy reserves available on demand
  • Strengthen your immune system
  • Reverse many of the changes of aging.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

1 Kolata G. Lactic Acid is Not Muscle's Foe, It's Fuel. The New York Times. May 16, 2006


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