High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is extremely popular among people trying to lose weight. Because of the intensity, this kind of training allows you to burn a lot of calories in very short sessions.
While they’re not ideal for beginners and shouldn’t be done every day, many people should consider doing them at least once a week.
How many calories can you burn with HIIT? Check in this calculator:
How many calories can you burn during a HIIT workout?
The number of calories you burn may vary depending on your weight, intensity, or even what kind of exercise you choose.
Usually, during HIIT training, a 180 lbs (81 kg) person should burn:
- 57 calories in 5 minutes
- 80 calories in 7 minutes
- 114 calories in 10 minutes
- 171 calories in 15 minutes
- 228 calories in 20 minutes
- 343 calories in 30 minutes
- 514 calories in 45 minutes
Of course, it is worth remembering that due to the high intensity of HIIT, we should avoid doing too long workouts. Usually, HIIT workouts last from 15 to 30 minutes, but for beginners, they could be even shorter.
Here are some of the most popular HIIT exercises for burning calories:
Typically, HIIT training consists of several alternating exercises of different intensities. If you don’t know what exercises you should choose, find a suitable training plan on YouTube or in one of the HIIT apps.
How to burn more calories with HIIT?
1. Always stretch before doing HIIT
A warm-up does not burn as many calories as the training itself. However, you must remember that high-intensity training (like HIIT) often leads to injury.
And if you want to burn calories effectively, you should avoid any injuries because if they happen you may not be able to train for some time.
For this reason, always take at least 3 to 5 minutes to warm up before doing HIIT. You can, for example, make some front-to-back leg swings, side-to-side leg swings, squats, and jumps.
2. Don’t be afraid to get tired
HIIT training is all about getting exhausted.
If you want to mess around and take it slowly, it is better to just go for a walk or ride a stationary bike.
Interval training is great for people who are short on time, but as its name suggests, it’s very intense. However, don’t exceed your limits.
3. Don’t make HIIT your only physical activity
It is not recommended to do HIIT training every day (1). Normally we should do them two or three times a week.
If you want to lose or maintain your weight, regularity is incredibly important.
Seven short, low-intensity walks a week will likely burn more calories than one or two short, high-intensity interval training sessions. In the long run, the tortoise wins over the hare.
HIIT is great as an addition to other workouts, but I wouldn’t recommend making it your only physical activity.
4. Choose exercises that are effective in burning calories
HIIT workouts can consist of different exercises, depending on what goal one wants to achieve.
If your goal is to burn a lot of calories, look for HIIT cardio workouts. On the internet, you will find a lot of training plans, and many of them do not even require any equipment.
Pros and Cons of burning calories on HIIT workouts
Here are some advantages and disadvantages of HIIT workouts:
- They allow you to burn a lot of calories in a short time.
- You can choose exercises you like, and there are tons of free training plans online.
- It’s easy to do these workouts at home. You don’t need any equipment, so you can start right away.
- They improve your stamina.
- They are not beginner-friendly. If you just started your weight loss journey, I highly advise against them. They are very tiring and can discourage you. Instead, you can start with walking or using an elliptical.
- They can easily lead to injury. Remember to warm up and don’t do anything beyond what you can. Just because your trainer can do 30 minutes of high-intensity exercises doesn’t mean you can too – find your limits, and try to consistently improve.
- They are very tiring. I’m usually too tired to work after them, so I do them in the afternoon.
- They can make you dizzy (if you experience this, take a break immediately).
Here’s my take:
HIIT workouts are great for intermediate and advanced people who want to add something more intense to their workouts that will allow them to burn a lot of extra calories from time to time.
However, I don’t recommend this kind of workout for beginners.
At the beginning of my weight loss journey, I was discouraged by HIIT, which was too tiring. After 5 minutes of such training, I had no strength left for anything, and I was unable to force myself to do HIIT regularly. Seriously, I almost gave up losing weight because I thought I wouldn’t make it. Fortunately, I decided to start with other, easier activities (mainly walking) that were more appropriate for a 5’10 guy weighing over 240 lbs at the time.
Instead, if you are a beginner, you can try walking or cycling, and over time, as your stamina improves, you can add, for example, two short HIIT workouts a week.
Calories Burned on a HIIT training Formula
To calculate how many calories you can burn during HIIT, use the following formula:
Suggested MET value:
- 8 (aerobic movement with minimal rest, general, vigorous intensity)
Calculate how many calories a 200 lbs person can burn during a 15-minute HIIT workout.
Weight in kg ≈ 90.72
CB ≈ (15 * 8 * 3.5 * 90.72) / 200
CB ≈ 190.51 calories