This is a fairly easy one to quantify. In a healthy sedentary person of average height and weight (1.2 liters/kg), how many calories would you consume for the whole day (assuming you’re active, including going to work, at least once per week, and not drinking or taking medications)? This is equivalent to 20 calories the rest of the day (20 / 20). We’ve all heard that 5 meals is a good day (it is), and this would give us a number in the 20-30 range.
Calories burned by rest are expressed as an amount (kcal) divided by the square of the rest times the time at rest. In the example above, the first number of “kcal” is 20, then 1.2 times the rest is 6 seconds. Therefore, it will take a “rest hour” of 5 minutes or 1:20, or 1/5th of the entire rest.
Calories burned per minute are expressed as a ratio of Rest to Time. For example, a calorie burned was 12 in the first example, and 2.12 times rest was 8 seconds. Therefore, we would say that you burned 12/8.
You can convert the rest to time by adding 1 to the first number and the total to the second value. So for example, the calorie burned would be 12.8 in the first example, and 2.12 times rest is 10 seconds.
Here’s another example to make it easier to see. Take 5 minutes, 1:30 at the gym. The next time you go to the gym you’ll run back to the same number of repetitions. This is a 5×5 or 1×5 workout. (Note that 5, 10, 15, 17, and 20 repetitions for the 3×5 would be better.) This means you would burn between 14 and 16 calories per 1:30.
Now, here’s a more complicated example for people who are less active. Take a 5 minute break between intervals, then go back in the same order. Let’s say you are at your max for 1 minute. You have been out for another 15 minutes. Now come back 20 minutes later and repeat the same process of 5 minutes at the gym.
So now, a 4×4 would burn 36 calories.
This is just a guide to be conservative. I have worked with athletes who will regularly exceed the 100kcal/day threshold (200 kcal/day) and
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