As you may already know, HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training, and as the name might suggest, it is pretty intense. HIIT is made of up short bursts of high-energy activity followed by periods of rest or less intense activity. HIIT is very much 0 to 100 – it gets your heart pumping almost straight away.
We get a lot of questions at Studio Society about our HIIT classes, like ‘What’s the best exercise to burn calories?’ or ‘How to burn calories at home with HIIT?’ One of the most commonly asked questions is ‘How many calories does HIIT burn?’
Well, this is quite a tricky question to answer as obviously the more effort you put into your HIIT workout, the more calories you will burn.
But, the beauty of High-Intensity Interval Training is that you can burn a significant number of calories in a relatively quick session. HIIT is hard work. Those high-energy bursts of activity are made up of a number of high calorie burning exercises, alternating those with the periods of rest or less intense bursts of activity.
HIIT | The best way to burn calories?
Many HIIT regulars will tell you that HIIT is indeed the best way to burn calories. Why? Well, HIIT is probably one of the most efficient workouts you can add to your workout routine. A quick 30 minute session and you’ve raised your heart rate and worked up a sweat – then it’s over and done with before you know it.
HIIT | How to burn 500 calories a day
How many calories you’ll burn in one HIIT workout will depend on quite a few things, for example; your weight and height, your fitness level, the duration of that HIIT class, how much you exert yourself and even things like what time of day and whether you’ve eaten before your class might affect your calorie burning.
Research tells us that as an average, one can burn anything up to 500+ calories in just a 30-minute HIIT session, so this really is a workout that produces results. And, the energy of a HIIT class is very much get in, get it done, get out again. Why spend longer working out than you need to?
If you are interested in HIIT training for burning fat, remember that weight loss all comes down to a calorie-deficit. To maintain your weight as it is, you will need to be burning as many calories as you’re consuming. To lose weight, you will need to be burning more calories that you’re taking in. That being said, don’t rely purely on your scales to track any progress. With any workout routine, it’s likely that you will be building some muscle which weighs more than fat. So, don’t be disappointed if you don’t see your kilograms plummeting. It’s a better idea to track your progress by taking note of how your clothes might be fitting differently, for example. Or what’s even more important – how much healthier and fitter you feel!
And remember, if you are picking up HIIT for weight loss or adding HIIT as a regular component in your workout routine, it’s vital that you combine it with a healthy and balanced diet. To give a HIIT class everything you’ve got (and therefore reap the benefits of it), your body will need to have the energy to do it.
A daily HIIT workout would be an easy way to burn 500 calories a day. ‘Easy’ in that you can get it done in 30 minutes, then it’s ticked off and you can get on with your day. To keep things interesting, you might want to mix it up a bit. Try combining a couple of HIIT classes in your area with some HIIT sessions you can do at home, at your gym, at there park, or wherever.
HIIT | Joining a HIIT class
You can of course incorporate HIIT training into your home workouts or while you’re at the gym, but there are benefits of joining a HIIT class specifically.
Firstly, you get the support of the class. We all know we’re more likely to complete a full workout from start to finish if we’re doing it with others. We’re much more likely to put our full effort in too – it’s harder to slack when you’ve got an instructor on your back! Just remember though, that any HIIT instructor will encourage you to take it at your own pace. You should be competing with yourself only, not those around you.
Being in a regular HIIT class also allows you to track how you’re improving. If you have the same or similar session booked in every week, you will eventually notice it getting a little easier every time you attend. That means it’s working – you are getting fitter! If you’re putting the same level of effort into your classes but it’s taking longer for your heartrate to rise (and it recovers more quickly), your fitness is improving and you’re making positive changes to your cardiovascular health.
You might notice you can fit more reps in or complete more difficult exercises. Many class instructors will sometimes give their class a couple of different options when it comes to each exercise. Having variations like this allows everyone in the class to work to their own ability. So, once HIIT gets a little easier, make use of your instructor’s more difficult variations and give yourself that little extra bit of a challenge each week or at each class you attend.
And when it comes to tracking your progress, doing this from home can be a little tricker. Here at Studio Society, we use Boditrax to make it easy to track your progress. Boditrax works by monitoring your metabolic rate, fat and muscle mass, bone density and much more so that you can tailor your workout schedule to deliver the results you’re looking for.
Studio Society | Our multi-sensory HIIT classes
Whether your aim is burning 500 calories a day, or simply to get a quick and intense workout done and out of the way for your fitness levels, a HIIT class is a worthwhile addition to any workout routine. To burn 500 calories in a day, a 30 minute HIIT will certainly get you on your way to that goal, if not ticking it off completely.
At Studio Society, we have two of the UK’s most advanced immersive training studios which feature floor to ceiling visuals as well as surround sound and choreographed lighting to really keep you going right until the end of your workout. The range of ever-changing sounds and visuals in our HIIT classes means that you are in the optimum training environment and your calorie burning HIIT session is a truly unique experience.
HIIT at home | 500 calorie workout
Are you wondering how to burn 500 calories at home? Well, HIIT is probably the best exercise to burn calories and like we’ve said, you can do it almost anywhere. Calorie burning workouts can consist of any high-intensity exercise, so it’s certainly possible to do HIIT at home too. A 30 minute HIIT session at home could (depending on your weight, height and fitness) burn 500 calories. This of course all depends on the amount of effort you put in. Doing your own HIIT workout at home can be a little more difficult to keep up when you have no one else there to keep you accountable. This is why HIIT classes are so popular – you have no choice but to keep going, whereas at home, what’s to stop you slowing down or taking an extra few seconds of your breather?
So, this is why we recommend mixing it up. If you want to get a few HIIT sessions in throughout the week, combining a HIIT class or two with your own timesaving 500 calorie workout HIIT at home will mean you’re smashing it – managing your weight, improving fitness and maintaining muscle mass.
How to burn calories at home (with no equipment)
You can incorporate any kind of cardio exercise into a HIIT workout. As we’ve explained, it’s more about the intensity of the bursts of activity, than the choice of exercise. But, we’ve listed just a few of our favourite high calorie burning exercises below which you can do without an instructor on hand. We’ve divided them into the simplest, moderate and slightly more difficult or strenuous exercises. To keep things simple, do 45 seconds of the exercise and 15 seconds of rest. You can increase or reduce your rest window depending on your experience level. A high calorie burning workout without any equipment might include:
Easy level HIIT
Jumping jacks: An old favourite, you can’t go wrong with jumping jacks or ‘star jumps’ to get your whole body moving and your heart pumping. From a standing position, simply jump into a stance with your arms above your head and your legs out wide, then jump back into your standing position with your arms by your sides again. Alternate between the two positions at a steady pace, fitting as many in as you can into your set period of time.
Bum kicks: Another simple but effective move. Jog in pace with your arms just behind your back. Kick your legs back so your heels touch your bum as you jog on the spot.
Skater: Begin standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your core engaged. Using your arms for balance, launch yourself to lightly land with your left foot behind and to the right of your right foot, like a lunge.
Moderate level HIIT
Reverse lunges: Bring one leg behind you into a deep lunge, until both knees are at 90 degrees. Then, return to a standing position. Alternate between sides. You can step into your lunges, or for a more intense workout, try swapping your lunging leg with a jump, alternating your legs in just one step.
Jump squats: Start in a wide squat – that’s standing with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and with your toes turned outwards. After you lower down into a squat position until your bum is just below your knees, jump up quickly. You will find a good flow and stability if you move your hands from in front of you when in the squatting position, to by your sides when you jump up in the air. Just make sure that you land softly back into your squat position to help protect your knees.
Plank: Get down into a press-up position. With your hands flat on the floor under your shoulders and toes extended, hold your body in a rigid plank position. Too easy for you? Use one hand to support your body at a time, alternating between left and right. With the other hand, extend it forward so that you’re in the superhero position.
Difficult level HIIT
Burpees: This is a tough one, getting yourself up and down to a standing position from being on all fours. Get down onto your hands and feet into a bunny-hop position. Jump your legs back into a plank position then back up to a bunny-hop position before jumping straight up with your hands in the air.
Russian twists: Sit on the floor, leaning back, with your knees bent and your lower legs out in front of you (not touching the floor). With your hands in front of you, imagine holding onto a football. Twist your body from left to right, tapping the imaginary ball to the ground. This one is killer for your abs – but worth it with the calories you’ll be burning during (and after) your HIIT workout.
These are just a few of the most commonly used HIIT exercises, all of which you can do at home. You’ll find a huge bank of exercises online for you to try once you get bored of these, or if you just want to mix it up a bit. Joining a class is a good way to learn some new moves too – then you can trust that your form is correct as you do them.