We all want to get the most bang for our buck while we’re sweating it out at the gym… But just how many calories are you really burning in your sessions? While there’s no doubt that some types of training are much more efficient than others when it comes to burning maximum calories, here’s how many calories each exercise is torching each time you hit the gym.


Running burns between 550 and 1050 calories per hour, depending on your speed and the terrain you’re running in. Generally, flat treadmill running will burn fewer calories compared to running outdoors at different inclines, since the hills and environmental influences can further challenge your cardiovascular fitness.

And the faster you run, the more you burn too! In fact, this is why many people love to use HIIT (high intensity interval training) intervals when it comes to running. By alternating between periods of maximum effort and high speed, followed by low effort and speed, you can torch calories faster, compared to if you stayed at a steady, slow jog for the same length of time. So it’s worth mixing up your running sessions with some HIIT intervals on the treadmill next time you hit the gym!


This leads us nicely to HIIT training! HIIT isn’t just running intervals - it can refer to any type of exercise performed in short, sharp bouts of maximum intensity, alternated with low intensity efforts during which your heart rate comes down towards its baseline resting rate.

Studies show HIIT can burn up to 1,000 calories per hour, depending on the exercises you’re performing and the length of each interval. Keep in mind, when it comes to HIIT, shorter rest periods won’t necessarily maximise your calorie burn… In fact, the effectiveness of HIIT training in burning calories relies on your ability to bring your heart rate right down in your resting periods, and then elevate it as quickly as possible in the intense efforts.

This method of training can actually burn between 25-30% more calories than a steady-state session, such as cycling, weightlifting or running, due to the oxygen required to fuel your anaerobic system and muscles to sustain these alternating bursts of intensity. The more oxygen your body demands during a session, the more calories you burn both during and after your workout!

Even better, this style of training increases your metabolism, leading to the “EPOC effect”. EPOC, or the afterburn effect, refers to the rise in metabolic rate after an exercise session as the result of consuming more oxygen during your workout - so not only are you burning more as you sweat it out, but you’re continuing to burn calories at a higher rate for up to 48 hours post-workout! That’s serious efficiency!


While there are many different types of yoga from yin to heated to Vinyasa, a typical yoga session will burn between 180 and 500 calories per hour.

If you’re looking for the greatest calorie burn, studies show Vinyasa is your best bet, burning the greatest amount of calories compared to other styles of yoga. It’s a full-body workout, emphasising building heat in your body and challenging your cardiovascular endurance through continuous, demanding movements.

Typically, heated classes will burn more calories compared to non-heated yoga classes, so keep that in mind next time you’re booking a yoga class!


Boxing is one of the most effective ways to burn calories fast. Generally, boxing burns up to 800 calories per hour, depending on the type of boxing you’re doing. You’ll burn more calories boxing in a ring, or sparring against an opponent, compared to just punching a bag over and over again. Plus, the added element of competition may just encourage you to go a little bit harder…

Boxing requires immense amounts of oxygen, and often involves alternating between periods of vigorous intensity and punching, followed by periods of rest or dodging your opponent - giving it similar benefits to HIIT training! It’s a great way to sweat it out, and get rid of any frustration or excess energy you have at the same time!


Weightlifting can burn anywhere between 200 and 600 calories per hour. It comes down to your body weight, the weights you’re lifting, the intensity, the length of your rest periods, and the parts of your body that you’re challenging.

For example, key compound movements which work your entire body - think deadlifts, squats, lunges - are likely to burn more calories than isolated movements such as tricep dips. Not only are these compound lifts likely to be heavier weights, they’re also challenging your body more, and requiring more oxygen and effort - therefore torching calories at the same time!

While weightlifting may not burn quite as many calories as some cardio sessions during the workout, the good news is this: weights actually elevate your metabolism for hours following a session. They help to build lean muscle mass, which burns far more calories throughout the day even when you’re at rest!


Pilates burns between 175-400 calories per hour, depending on the intensity and whether it’s a mat or reformer class. While Reformer is undoubtedly more challenging in general, and burns a greater number of calories in a session, the more you elevate your heart rate throughout the class, the more you’ll burn!


Swimming burns a surprising number of calories - up to a massive 500 calories per hour! If you prefer a leisurely swim, you’re looking at around 350-400 calories in an hour, but if you go all out, you’ll be at the upper end of the calorie spectrum.

Swimming is also an excellent low-impact option, making it perfect for anyone wanting to torch some calories while struggling with injury, pain or mobility concerns!


Burpees take the cake when it comes to the greatest number of calories burned in one movement. They require significant oxygen, involve your whole body, and elevate your heart rate immensely - I mean, we’ve all felt like we could pass out at any moment after an intense round of burpees, haven’t we?

You burn around 10 calories per minute of burpees completed, making them one of the MVPs if you’re looking to torch calories as efficiently as possible!

So there you have it, the verdicts are in! Now you know the most effective ways to burn calories, you can program your workouts and sessions accordingly, and get the most bang for your buck every time you hit the gym!

Having said that, the aim of the game shouldn’t always be to burn the maximum number of calories possible. At the end of the day, the most effective workout is the one you’re consistent with! So that requires finding something you love and look forward to, and adding variety and recovery into your fitness routine. Remember, we move our bodies for the joy of it!

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