Four Exceptional Calorie-Burning Workouts

In a recent POPSUGAR interview, Generator’s own Dr. Jessica Tranchina described the best bang-for-the-buck workouts for maximizing calorie burn on limited time. Check out why Dr. Jess says these four workouts can’t be beat.


Whether you love to run, or hate to run, mixing in sprints to your weekly workout schedule can really reap the calorie-burning benefit.  A great thing about sprint interval workouts, beside the calorie burn, is that these sessions take only 30 minutes or less! 

Intervals of 20 or 30 seconds of an all-out sprint followed by a minute or two of active recovery kicks up the calorie burn.  If you’re just starting (or re-starting) your workout regime make sure you start at a slightly lower intensity.  Your speed intervals can be a bit longer if you’re not going all out. For example, you can do 30 to 40 second fast-paced intervals followed by 30 to 40 seconds at a jog.  Gradually work up to going “all out” for 20 to 30 seconds with a minute or two of active recovery. Recovery periods should be “active” so be sure to jog or fast-walk during the recovery portions of your intervals.

Care to kick up the calorie burn even more?  Try doing your sprints on an incline -- a.k.a Hill Sprints.  For each degree of incline added to your hill, you will burn 10 percent more calories. For example, a 160-pound person on a five percent hill at a five-mph pace will burn roughly 400 calories in a half hour.

Repeat these intervals, but note that your total sprint workout should not be longer than 30 minutes.

Spin Class.

For a low-impact workout, try a spin class.  An indoor cycling class with high-intensity drills ensures maximum burn calories.  Spin classes are different than a long outdoor ride because classes typically include intervals of instructor-led high-intensity drills along with fellow classmates to keep you motivated. A 45 minute spin class can easily burn 450 to 800 calories.  

Phew!  Don’t forget to bring a towel!

Strength Training.

Not into cardio?  Or perhaps you’re already getting plenty of cardio in your fitness program?  No problem! Strength training is a great way to turn up the heat on your calorie burn.

With weightlifting comes an “afterburn effect”, also known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). The EPOC is actually at its highest right after working out due to your body’s efforts to repair those muscles you just put through the grind. While there is an EPOC benefit after any workout, strength training is particularly beneficial because the muscle you build from weightlifting also increases your resting metabolic rate. The result is a calorie burn both during your workout and long after your workout is over. As a bonus, the more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolic rate is, and the more calories your body burns -- even at rest.


Compound Exercises.

Why not mix it up a bit with compound exercises to help you accomplish more in less time.  Compound exercises are multi-joint, multi-muscle movements that target large muscle groups to tone your body by simultaneously burning fat and building muscle. By incorporating multiple muscle groups, these exercises require more energy so your body naturally burns more calories.  As a side benefit to the muscle-building, calorie-burning powers of compound exercises, they also require core-stabilizing muscles to get involved to help you power through the movements. 

Burpees, for example, involve resistance and intensity through your whole body. If you weigh about 160 pounds, this exercise can burn 300 to 400 calories in 30 minutes, depending on the speed at which the exercise is performed.  It’s a win-win.

Check out Generator’s classes in HIIT Shred, LIIT Shred, and LIIT Flex. After your fast-paced, calorie-burning class, stay for some Stretch and Recovery. Click here for our current class schedule.



Dr. Jess Tranchina