Interval Workouts + How To: Calculate Calories Burned

For, Greg Presto writes in the article “The Best Exercises for Fat Loss” that sprinting in the form of interval training is a great total-body exercise.

I guess I am doing something right on Mondays.

In this blog, I have discussed sprinting, interval training and intense workouts as being more effective than taking the tortoise-route when wanting to lose weight.

Intensity in short bursts burns calories more quickly and more fat overall. (The cardio zone is not nearly as good as the fat-burning zone.)

Interval Training
Remember our prior discussions (and complaints) about Insanity? Insanity is the definition of interval training… it just happens to be a bad definition for me.

Luckily, Insanity is not the only interval training program.

Interval training is simply bouts of high-intensity exercise alternated with short rest periods. “Simple” meaning turning a normal workout routine into an interval workout routine is pie – up the intensity, rest and repeat.

If you like the track, sprint 100s. If you prefer the gym, get on the treadmill, elliptical or bike and do your own intervals!

Interval training burns more calories and improves the body’s ability to burn fat by promoting the production of growth hormone, which burns fat, and adrenaline, which burns fat and suppresses appetite.

I need me some growth hormone… Wait… Maybe not…

Interval workouts are shorter. Good thing because most people hate exercising for lengthy periods. Interval training also will get you fitter in fewer workouts.


Sprinting will give you gorgeous glutes, muscular legs and an all-over awesome body.

At the track, Ashley and I see sprinters all the time, and I WANT those legs. Remember, I want runner muscles?

According to the article, sprinters also have amazing arms and shoulders. I believe it! Since adding sprinting to my workout regimen, my arms are becoming more muscular and lean doing less pushups. Sweeeet!

A “Be Careful!” Note: You might pull a hammy. (P.S. I like calling it a hammy!) The article suggests beginning sprints on a hill (really?) to put less impact on your joints.

Sprinting only once a week can cause soreness (the good times). The article said even abs will feel the pain-gain, and it’s true. My tummy is sore… and smaller.

Density Workouts
Cardio is not necessary to get a high-intensity workout. (It is good for you, don’t get me – or the article – wrong.) However, by strength training opposing muscle groups at the same time, you can increase your heart rate and burn fat.

For example, work the glutes with squats, and then move on to the arms with hammer curls. Or work the legs with lunges, and then do pull-ups (from the article – I cannot do a pull-up).

And suggests…

“For each exercise, choose a weight with which you can perform 10 reps. Alternate between exercises, performing just five reps of each with a 10-rep weight… Rest as needed between sets and pairs so that you can complete each set of five without failing.”

Alternate 10-15 minutes. When you do it again, try to beat your record. (Just like weights class in high school.)

Not in the article, but something I have tried as a workout… Do squats while doing bicep curls. Do lunges with a twist to work the core. Do step-ups with an overhead press. It works both muscle groups at the same time, which works the body harder. Debbie Seibers does it, and she looks great.

Countdown Workouts
Something I’ve never heard of… intriguing…

Countdown workouts use opposing exercise pairs, too, but require you to keep careful count. Go figure.

According to the article, the workout involves one fewer rep for each move. The whole point is to keep you on track with counting, and also provide motivation because there is a finish line – zero reps.

From Mike Wunsch, performance director at Results Fitness in Santa Clarita, Calif., the article highlighted a few countdown pairs:

  • kettlebell swing with squat thrust
  • medicine ball side toss with medicine ball slam
  • jumping jacks with pushup
  • squat thrust with pushup

I have to figure out what a squat thrust is…

The Hurricane (?)
Brief, but intense was the description provided…

The Hurricane is made up of lifting weights and interval training broken up into three groups called rounds. Each round includes an exercise to get the heart rate up, and the two in between. The whole thing lasts about 16-22 minutes.

You might just have to see it because the explanation is just complicated… Check it out!

And the final item…

NOT an exercise or workout regimen but a necessary part of getting fit.

The article has done something for me that I have been trying to figure out precisely for… well, forever…

Calories = [(0.2017 x age) + (0.6309 x heart rate) – (0.09036 x weight) – 55.0969] x time / 4.184

That is one helluva calculation… (trembles in fear of math), but let’s try one for the helluva it!

Calculation for Wednesday’s Hill Workout
[(0.2017 x 23) + (0.6309 x 170) – (0.09036 x 132) – 55.0969] x 30 / 4.184 = 321.7 (I think.)

Math, even with a calculator, sucks.

…after all that work… Pretend I’m a man, and then I burnt 321.7 calories. Ugh!

As a woman…
Calories = [(0.074 x 23) + (0.4472 x 170) – (0.05741 x 132) – 20.4022] x 30 / 4.184 = 356.7

There! That’s how many calories I burned.

I now have the most complicated way to figure out how many calories I have actually burned. (Gotta love Livestrong! :) ) Guess what’s going to happen, though? I’m still going to go off whatever the machine says.

Favorite interval workouts? Go!

How did you burn calories today?  I was supposed to run. Instead, I spent two hours cleaning my ENTIRE house. (Except ceiling fans…)

I will not be defeated!

Dear Readers,

From my previous post, I’m sure you know I did not have a great Thursday.

Well, after Friday, my Thursday got a lot better. Doesn’t make sense? Doesn’t need to. Just know that ALMOST everything is better. (Cooking is still impossible for me right now.)

I suppose I got some splainin’ to do!

Thursday: 7:30 a.m.
I wake up with a terrible headache, but it’s not bad enough to worry over so I take an Alieve (just one) and get some breakfast.

I slept well Wednesday night, but I still feel tired. Coffee should fix the problem. It doesn’t.

Before I leave, I carp at Husband. He is quite confused.

9:00 a.m.
I am at work. It is my last day before school starts on Monday.

I must write two final content pages, but the web editor is being difficult… timing out and crashing. Nothing new, I guess.

I must also write my last blog (for the organization, not for skinnyshae). It is a “goodbye” blog, and it introduces my replacement.

My last goal: Train my replacement. She has her work cut out for her. The job is hard (but only because parts of it are frustrating).

Email after email. Text and phone call, one after another. Bad news. It’s all to do with school. I am anxious. I am pissed.

3 p.m.
My head aches with full force. My stomach hurts. Time to go home.

4 p.m.
I’m home. I shower quickly. I do not want to be in the shower long; it’s too hot.

Nap! Brilliant. Peaceful. Three hours.

I make Creamy Dijon Chicken and Rice. It’s terrible.


Friday 7 a.m.
Filled with endorphins after three miles with Ashley and her friend. Happiness abounds! But running with skinny girls is hard…

My body is too heavy to maintain pace. I have to stop and walk. (They’re nice so they stopped with me.)

I feel good, but I also feel fat.

9:30 a.m.
My headlight is fixed! :)

10:30 a.m.
SUPER anxious. It is almost time for the meeting that decides my entire schedule for the next five months.

I cannot work the same schedule I worked during my first two semesters. It will kill me, and I will get stressed out and fat.


I get the schedule I need. Stress- and anxiety-free!

My Thursday got better! It just took 24 hours and half of a Friday. :)

I wish I could go into more detail, but some things are SUPER private, and other things I just cannot remember – like what I said… no clue!

Fitness Update: No workout on Thursday, three miles on Friday and an intense yoga practice this morning!

Diet Update: Beer-Battered Shrimp Tacos and Chips and Salsa at Jose Peppers… I know it’s bad, but I didn’t eat the tortillas or the cheese. The tacos were dressed with raw cabbage, little sauce and avocado slices. I also ate black beans and only a little rice.

Big problem? Margaritas… I know. On the rocks is better than frozen! :)

Back with better posts as soon as my curriculum is set! I have a lot of work to do for the semester.

While you are not reading skinnyshae, check out the awesome blogs on my blogroll.


Power Yoga + A good excuse to go to the zoo

Since I’ve been running, I can’t do Pigeon to save my life.

I used to be amazing at Pigeon! I used to be able to do all of the variations with my hips even on the floor. It’s practically a split with one leg bent.

Ugh. My hips are tight.

I want Pigeon.

(On a lighter note: Husband actually want a pigeon, as in a sky rat. He and his friend are going to train them to send messages. I dunno. Birds smell.)

So… Power Yoga was fun this morning even without Pigeon… I suppose. I burned 790 calories as a 133 pound female in 90 minutes of Vinyasa Yoga.

I love Saturdays. :)

BUT what did I do Friday? Well, I happened to spend the afternoon with my sister-in-law, her sweet baby boy and his little red wagon.

Oh! And tigers.

Sedgwick County Zoo Wichita Kansas Tiger ExhibitSedgwick County Zoo Wichita Kansas Tiger ExhibitSedgwick County Zoo Wichita Kansas Tiger ExhibitBig kitty! I love tigers.

Since sister-in-law and I arrived to the Sedgwick County Zoo… yeah, the awesome one… we only had about an hour to spend in what was decent weather with some cool animals.

We spent most of our time in the tiger exhibit because the tigers would come up to the glass and the baby LOVED it.

He waved at them!

What else did we see?

Sedgwick County Zoo Feed the GiraffesSedgwick County Zoo ElephantSedgwick County Zoo Meerkat ManorSedgwick County Zoo Macaws!Animals are rad.

No time to see the bears and the lions were put away for the day :(

What ELSE did I do on Friday?

I indulged, but I indulged safely! I was almost a good girl.

(Note: I even tried not to indulge and posted on Twitter as to how I wanted to stay away from pizza, but all my friends really steered me in the wrong (right) direction…)

Husband and I went out with a friend to Old Chicago, which was awesome because I wanted pizza.

Like… I WANTED pizza. I needed it. I looked at the salads, and they were crap, so I got pizza (the good pizza).

At Old Chicago, pizza varieties range from meaty to meaty to cheesy to cheesy, but there is at least one that is not quite as bad: The “Veggie” Chicago Seven.

Veggie Pizza and BeerI requested my veggie pizza with no mushrooms, half sauce and half cheese on Artisan (thin) crust. It was HALF the calories of the original, which is still pretty big, but not over my limit. Just south of 500 is what I consumed.

I also had a Dark Side of the Moon, Eclipse or whatever you want to call it: Blue Moon and Guinness. If you didn’t know… Guinness is loaded with antioxidants.

And then, as is tradition, we all went to Baskin Robbins. Crap. However, I ordered Bananas Over Chocolate, which is an ice cream with no sugar added.

I also got a child-size scoop. ONE scoop. Go me!

I did not go over my calorie budget yesterday, but I sure tried. I will definitely start fixing my eating habits ASAP.

Weekend plans? Still need to build that shelf and dinner with my in-laws.

Have you been to the Zoo? Seen the penguins? The tiger exhibit? No? Fix that.


Hills with Ivan

I am feeling slightly better than yesterday.

When I got home from work, I was so exhausted. I wanted to crawl into bed and sleep! I had no desire to workout.

I changed into PJs and immediately ate a bowl of cereal… make that two bowls. Hey. I was hungry. I forgot to eat my yogurt at lunch.

And then I watched Ghost Whisperer and some Gone Without a Trace and read some blogs and laid on the couch.

General laziness…

But I had to get up.

The dog needed food and that meant a trip to Petsmart… and real clothes. PJs abandoned for sweats (not much better, but more coverage), and to the store I went!

While driving along in the car, bee-bopping to some music, I felt re-energized. I decided I should probably workout.

…but I wasn’t about to do it alone.

Instead of going to the gym by myself and running hills on the incline treadmill, I went to the park with this guy…

Workout with your petHe looks small in this picture. Be advised: My doggie is huge!

We ran up and down the hill at the park in our neighborhood for 10 minutes… well, 12 minutes total because we did run back to the car.

We were pooped. I know it was ONLY 12 minutes, but it was mostly up a hill, which is exhausting.

During our 12-minute workout, I burned 234 calories and maintained a heart rate of 150. I would have liked it to be higher, but I was trying to be conscious of my partner.

Ivan isn’t worried about burning calories or raising his heart rate so he didn’t monitor. :)

For once it wasn’t 1,000 degrees outside, so it was at least a little cool, but my poor dog is covered in thick fur and absorbs light because of his dark coat. He got hot pretty quickly.

I should have brought a water bowl for him…

Mommy FAIL.

He’s helping Daddy cook tacos now… and by helping I mean he’s probably laying in the middle of the kitchen. :)

Good dog.

Who is your favorite workout buddy? Ashley R./T. because my dog tried to trip me four times. He thinks zig-zagging in front of me up the hill is fun.

What do you do right after your workout? Water and a COLD shower :)

Dinner tonight? Tacos!

A day of rest I deserve

I do deserve this most glorious day of rest!

I did not miss a workout ONCE last week (even if Tuesday and Thursday strength days were both a tad miss-haps).

Go me!

Feeling from my first week:

  • I’m sore everywhere.
  • Pushups are impossible after sprinting days.
  • Thank goodness Jill (Power Yoga instructor at the Y) was feeling icky on Saturday morning because I was, too.
  • I don’t hate it… yet.

Give me time. I’m sure I’ll hate it eventually.

Resting feels good when you know you deserve it. :)

Treadmill v. Open Road

I have run on the treadmill, track and along sidewalks and streets, but I cannot decide for the life of me which I prefer.

(Note: The following conversation does not apply to the incline treadmill, which I hate.)

Treadmill Pros: Air-conditioned facility. Machine monitors speed. A TV is usually involved.

Treadmill Cons: In a building. People are too close. People are watching. Do not feel like you’re getting anywhere.

In my opinion, the treadmill is probably the best piece of cardio equipment in the gym. Why? Because the elliptical, the bike and the rowing machines do not provide the serious  full-body soreness that the treadmill provides.

That, and there are like 50 treadmills, and only two rowing machines. Otherwise, I’m sure I would like the rowing machine more. (I do not like bikes, and I’m not coordinated enough for the elliptical, so that might also be influencing my decision.)

Right now the treadmill is my best bet because the temperature in the Midwest has been a millionzee degrees outside, which is not fun for running.

I know… In the morning, it’s only 80 degrees, and I should just run in the morning. But I’m not a morning person.

I’m quite a bit of a night owl, and I refuse to run at night when someone might attempt to mug or kidnap me.

I’m paranoid, but some day that paranoia will save my life so I’m cool with it.

In addition, when I’m running on the track or on the road, especially for long runs, I get distracted easily and forget to pace myself properly so I’m not going to get the best workout or go the distance I can go in the time allotted because something shiny went off in my head.

The treadmill prevents that from happening because I MUST pay attention or I will eat machine.

However, there is nothing quite like the feeling of running on the street…

Dodging sticks and rocks and broken sidewalk patches, waving to other runners as they pass by (more quickly than me I might add) or just the feeling of actually going somewhere.

I do not get the feeling of accomplishment on a treadmill that I do on the road. But, for now, it’s the air-conditioned facility for which I pay $24.50 a month.

Gotta keep cool when I sweat.  :)


Husband joined me for the very first time ever for Power Yoga on Saturday!

I warned him it would be hard. And, oh my goodness, was it ever freakin’ hard!

Since running has become my workout of choice, I feel like I’m dying every time I go down for a chataranga or vinyasa. My Warrior III is really lacking, and my balance is WAY off. I suppose my muscle are simply sore and complaining about how weak they are.

Muscles: Um. What are you doing?

skinnyshae: Warrior III.

Muscles: No. No. You’re not.

skinnyshae: OOF!

And to my face I went. Thankfully, Arm Muscles were not being as big of jerks as Leg Muscle were, and I caught myself before eating mat.

That happened like seven times because Jill likes balance poses. Yay, Jill.

More News!

I had a bad, bad, bad bad bad diet this weekend.

Thomas Jefferson got the better of me, and I ate French fries.

Shoot. Me. In. The. Face.

Also, I spent way too much money and calories on wine and beer. Bad Shae! However, I did enjoy cleaning my house more with wine

And I spent those beer calories on having drinks with friends, especially with KBK whom I never get to see or hang out with outside of pharmacy visits. She’s awesome, and we will hang out more. :)

My social life is pretty tragic otherwise. Oh, well!

In grad school, you make a lot of great friends and meet wonderful people. You just never have time to hang out with any of them!

And that’s this week’s recap!


What do you say? Treadmill or road? Treadmill because it’s hot and I am easily distracted by my brain.

Exorbitant calorie expenditures anyone? Uh. Cha.

If it wasn’t for shorts, I would go running

I perused Run Street’s Slacker’s Guide Series briefly.

Briefly because I did not want to get too excited about running, which always happens, but never quite works out for me.

Of course, after reading just a few blog posts, I felt inspired to lace up my cross-trainers and hit the pavement.

(It helped that she looks amazing! I totally want runner muscles.)

After reading, I remembered an article I’d read on Women’s Health: Six Reasons to Start Running.

This is what I do. I find encouraging blogs and supporting articles that make me want to work out, and then try it (or never try it), decide it’s awful and quit!

Ugh. Fail.

Six Reasons to Start Running
Reason #1: I found this funny… “It’s so easy. True, some high-tech gear will make your run more fun, but really, all you need is a good pair of shoes and a supportive sports bra.” (Source)

When someone finds a supportive sports bra – for someone like me, not someone like the women in the Insanity workouts – let me know. My sports bra is ripping apart my skin and bruising me.

Reason #2: So easy… “Yet so hard. No other exercise matches running for its ability to soak that sports bra.”  (Source)

Running blasts the most calories, and, when you’re counting calories, it’s nice to subtract once in a while. Like I needed more encouragement.

Reason #3: Running works out your heart.

But why more so than other workouts?

When you’re legs hit their stride, they squeeze blood toward the heart, which forces it to pump the blood back. The faster you run, the harder your heart works and the stronger it gets. (Source)

Check out this nifty little explanation of stride.
Apparently, it’s an entire move or something.

When my track-star-workout-buddy gets back from her honeymoon… Ashley R. is now Ashley T…. we are going to the track and “striding.” She likes to run; she’ll know what it is.

Reason #4: Running is good for your joints.

When you weigh less (by running for weight loss), you are at a less risk for osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. (Source)

Now, I have an inkling to disagree. When I was very young, I loved running and riding my bike and simply being mobile. (Cars ruined everything for me.) Several times I read or heard from people I knew that running would be bad for me.

It was. Because of running in my “growing years,” I developed a nasty little pop in my left hip. While it usually doesn’t hurt, a particularly big one can pinch a few nerves and send irritating little tingles up and down my leg.

I could be crazy, of course, that is very likely. However, the pop is there, and it’s annoying. If running now will prevent it from getting worse… well, then, I would just have to be proved wrong.

Reason #5: Less stress! Hallelujah!

Have you ever seen What Women Want, with Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt? They wanted to sign NIKE to their advertising agency. Do you remember the commercial they “created?” A woman doesn’t need to dress up for the road. A woman doesn’t have to impress the road.

Just her and the road, and she can work out all her problems on the pavement. I think avid workout enthusiasts will say the same. (Source)

Reason #6: Running can prevent disease.

Regular exercise reduces the risk of many kinds of cancer, including colon, breast, endometrial and lung cancers. Becoming a regular runner may help you cancer-proof your life. (Source)

In addition, running can battle heart disease, stroke and diabetes, lower blood pressure, raise good cholesterol and boost immunity. AND it can prevent vision loss. (I need to vision loss prevention; I’m going blind over here!)

With all those disease-prevention benefits, it stands to reason that if you’re a runner, you’ll live longer.

I want to live longer.

If I didn’t have to wear shorts… I’d be a runner. Perhaps I need to invest in some of those “capri” pants.

Second Insanity Fit Test 2 today. I do not expect to do well. :(

Last week, I was very stressed, so much so that I didn’t want to eat, which is weird because I always want to eat.

Well, when I let go of the stress and resolved some issues, I stuffed my face I was so happy.

Last week, from Monday to Friday, I lost four and a half pounds. Not good. On Sunday, I weighed myself again and had gained it all back.

Plus one.

My WEIGHT DROP! blog now needs to be changed from four pounds to three pounds. Boo.

I supposed I’ve been slacking in my workouts, and then trying to make up for the slack with extreme cleaning of my house. (I moved the microwave f0lks.)

Nothing beats a good old-fashioned sweat session, though. And I’m about to hit it.

Wish me luck!

Favorite sports bra: NONE! I hate them all. (P.S. If you’ve got suggestions for big-chested ladies, I’m all ears.)

Favorite running shorts: I haven’t found the perfect pair yet, but I like Danskin products.

What do you like most about running?
I’ll tell you when I try again!

Skinny shopping list

Today is grocery day! Another chance to save money, use coupons and still eat healthfully.

Let me tell you… Not easy, but I’ve got to do it, and I usually don’t do the best job. I just keep trying.

I found a skinny shopping list – the groceries of skinny people – to “follow” on my trip today. I wonder how well I’ll do…

Skinny Shopping List
Apples… are full of fiber and uber delicious. Similar to the sugar boost of a large candy bar, apples can boost your energy while filling you up with enough fiber to keep your full for far longer than a Snickers. Pears have more fiber, but “they’re ripe for half an hour!” (Eddie Izzard). Both fruits are rich in pectin, which lowers blood sugar.

I pick up five or six green apples every shopping trip. Better or worse than red or pink? I’m not sure. Green apples are sweetly tart!

Berries… are high in fiber and packed with antioxidants. Naturally sweet and filling, berries are great for breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between. Plus, Women’s Health Magazine once advised that you should stuff your face with them.

Berries are expensive and do not come in portion sizes that I desire. For instance, a package of blueberries QUICKLY rots from the bottom up. If I do not eat ALL of the berries (huge package) the same day I bring them home, I cannot eat any of the berries.

Crunchy veggies… such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, are low in calories, high in fiber and full of potassium and calcium. Green leafy veggies are loaded with calcium – some even more than milk.

Broccoli and cauliflower are pretty much “banned” from the house. Husband hates broccoli, and I hate cauliflower. I’m willing to eat as much cabbage as I possible can, though. LOVE cabbage. Green cabbage on the list!

Mushrooms… blech! Low in calories but unfortunately disgusting. No mushrooms in my house!

Nuts… awesome! Protein, fiber and healthy fat found in almonds, walnuts and peanuts! LOVE! However, I cannot keep nuts in the house for very long. Husband covers them in peanut butter for double the yum and devours them in one setting. All of them.

Have you ever fed a behemoth? It’s hard. (Behemoth is one of my GRE words!)

Oatmeal… We have oatmeal, I just need a recipe for oatmeal that doesn’t taste like cardboard.

Beans… are not glamorous, of course, but they are super nutritious. Dana @mylittlecelebration puts them in brownies! My next mission in baking? Putting protein and fiber filled beans in something sweet and sneak feeding it to my family or husband.

Beans on the list!

Quinoa… is too expensive for my wallet, but it is a protein-filled whole grain of goodness! No quinoa for us this week.

Fish… is on the menu at least once a week at our house. Easy to flavor and quick to thaw and cook. Check out my baked tilapia! It’s so yummy.

Our frozen store is running low. Tilapia is needed!

Lowfat yogurt… is filled with all the good things you’re supposed to get from dairy products. Buy plain or Greek yogurt and sweeten naturally with berries or nuts.

Husband and I tried Greek yogurt… twice… and we really wanted to like it, but it’s just so gross. We have Yoplait Lite! in the fridge. No yogurt this trip.

Eggs… Oh. My. Goodness. I love eggs. Eggs are good with everything, just like apples or crackers. Spicy eggs, sweet eggs, savory eggs, you name it, I’ll eat it. And we’ve only got three left! :( Eggs on the list.

Olive oil… should be used to cook everything. It’s just that awesome. But we’re stocked so no olive oil for me this week.

What’s the first step?

Finding recipes/food that we’ll eat for the next two weeks, and then I will gather my coupons, make my list and go hunting for the best and healthiest deals.

Wish me luck! Update when I get back from the store.