August 23, 2018 3 min read

If you’re a loyal reader of Women’s Health, you’ll know that we always champion working towards non-aesthetic focussed goals (think mastering a new skill or increasing strength, and the like).

But, let’s face it, sometimes you just want to torch a few calories , and what better way than in a room full of sweaty, likeminded souls?

That in mind, we’ve pulled together a list of fitness classes that burn the most calories. Well, classes that have the potential to burn the most calories. You can thank us later.

But before you scroll straight to the biggest blitzer, bear in mind that the rate at which calories burn differs from person to person. So, for example, a spin class that sees you blaze through 500 calories might see a friend scorch 600.

Unfair, we know.

Why? It’s down to a number of factors, including body weight, metabolic rate, genetics and – not to forget – effort.

What, you thought just because you signed up for a class that promises you’ll torch 1k calories means you automatically will?

Sorry to burst your bubble, but in order to burn those calories, girl gotta work. And hard.


1. HIIT: Up to 900 calories per hour

A study by the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse revealed that, on average, a HIIT workout featuring exercises such as squats, burpees and lunges with short recovery periods between each set could burn around 15 calories per minute. Score.

2. Boxing: Up to 800 calories per hour

Research by Forza suggests that boxing burns more calories than any other sport, offering an 11st (or 70kg) indiviudal the potential to burn up to 800 calories in a 60 minute class.

3. Crossfit: Up to 780 per hour

A study by scientists at Kennesaw State University revealed that a CrossFit sessionconsisting of pull-ups, push-ups and squats could blaze 13 calories per minute – and that’s without adding weights into the mix. Though, it’s worth remembering that the number may be higher or lower depending on body weight and effort.

4. Spinning: Up to 634 calories per hour

According to the calc on the Calories Burned HQ site, a one-hour class cycling at mid intensity (aka, you’re still able to have a chat) could see someone weighing 70kg torch more than 600 calories. It won’t be a walk in the park, mind.

5. Run club: Up to 606 calories per hour

A moderate run of 5 mph could burn 606 calories per hour (for an individual weighing 73kg), according to research by The Mayo Clinic, while a faster pace could scorch more still.

6. Rock climbing: Up to 584 calories per hour

Tempted to try the trendiest activity of late (aka, rock climbing or bouldering)? The Mayo Clinic found that 60 minutes of navigating uneven walls could burn some serious cals. Almost 600 for someone weighing 73kg, in fact.

7. Circuit training: Up to 547 calories per hour

SparkPeople’s calculator predicts that someone weighing 11 stone could burn upwards of 500 calories during 60 minutes of circuit or boot camp-style training (though it largely depends on the type of exercises), plus more after you’ve finished your workout, thanks to excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), which helps you burn calories fast.

8. Barre: Up to 415 calories per hour

Health Status’ calorie calculator estimates that 60 minutes of ballet-style movements, including pliés and pulsing, burns upwards of 400 cals for a 5’5” female weighing 11st. But be warned: Expect to leave with legs like jelly.

9. Power yoga: Up to 292 calories per hour

Drawing on research published by the National Institutes of Health, The Mayo Clinicshared that Hatha yoga (which tends to be quite gentle) burns around 228 calories per hour (for a person weighing 73kg), while power yoga, which is more vigorous, torches more.

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