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If you’re going to spend time in the gym each day, you may as well spend it burning the highest number of calories, right? Choosing which type of exercise you do has a big effect on how much weight you lose. Some exercises like spin classes and running can burn a large number of calories, while other exercises like yoga don’t burn as many. Here are the exercises that have the strongest calorie burning effect:



Lifting weights is one of the best ways to speed along and intensify your weight loss journey. One of the best perks about weightlifting is that you continue to burn more calories long after you’ve finished lifting. You can burn approximately 150 – 200 calories per 30 minutes of weight lifting, but this ‘after burn’ effect can increase this number indefinitely. When you push your muscles to new limits, tiny tears are created in your muscle fibres. These tears must be patched up after your workout. This leads to continuous calorie burning while your muscles are repaired and are remade to be even stronger than before. Not only does weightlifting burn a lot of calories just from the act of lifting, but this ‘after burn’ effect can continue for 24 hours after the workout. That is a great return on investment for those hours spent in the gym.

It’s pivitol that you do a warm up before lifting weights. Make sure you stretch your muscles first and work your way up slowly from lighter to gradually heavier weights. If you ensure that you’ve warmed up and don’t start lifting really heavy weights first, you’re less likelly to pull a muscle. It should be noted that if you feel pain during weightlifting, you may have hurt yourself and should stop. The after burn effect occurs after you have finished your exercise and while it can be uncomfortable, it should not feel painful. If you feel pain during or after weightlifting, you may have strained a muscle and should seek professional medical attention.



When it comes to a full body workout, running is a great way to go. The act of running requires intense bursts of activity from your body which help you to burn extra calories. Running is a high calorie burning exercise by itself (approximately 300 calories burnt per 30 minutes). Incorporating some High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) into your routine can help to increase calorie burning even more. A great way to include HIIT in your daily run would be to jog for ten minutes and then sprint at full capacity for five minutes.

If you find that this is too intense, you can always start at a lower ratio. Try jogging for ten minutes and sprinting for three minutes. A lot of gym classes who incorporate HIIT tend to aim for a 2:1 ratio of low to high intensity. You know you’re doing HIIT right if you are breathing heavily during high intensity. During low intensity, you should feel like you could continue at the same pace for an indefinite period of time.

Spin Classes

If you want a high calorie burning workout that you don’t have to plan out too much, spin classes are where it’s at. Spin classes give you the opportunity to just enjoy the ride. They usually follow a HIIT style pattern that ensures maximum fat burning (approximately 351 calories burnt per 30 minutes). Working out in front of others in a class may also push you to work out just that little bit harder. Alternatively, you could easily apply the same HIIT principles and go cycling on your own. Crank up the intensity for five minutes and then bring it back down for ten (or whatever suits you). Spin classes are also another great full body workout. They can help you to strengthen not only your legs but also your core, resulting in time well spent in the gym.


The rowing machine can be a bit neglected at the gym. Often coming second to the treadmills and bikes, the rowing machine shouldn’t be underestimated. This is truly a full body workout and will help you to strengthen muscles that you didn’t even know you had. It doesn’t matter if you are rowing on a lake or rowing in the gym. The constant push and pull of your arms and legs burn a high level of calories (approximately 210 calories burnt per 30 minutes at moderate intensity) and is a great way to tone your body from head to toe.

These are some of the best ways to burn calories quickly, but that doesn’t mean that other types of exercise should be ignored. Yoga is a great exercise that offers benefits beyond burning fat, such as mindfulness. It’s important to include a range of exercises in your weight loss routine. Repeating one type of exercise over and over can lead to your body becoming adapted to that exercise and will result in slower and more stubborn weight loss. Do you have experience with other great fat burning exercises? Which of these exercises have worked the best for you? I’d love to hear from you! Send an email through to: emily@zenithfitnessandwellbeing.com or post a comment below.


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