With the popularity of HIIT (or high-intensity interval training) workouts, you may be wondering if you should HIIT it and therefore what the best HIIT workout is for you. With just a quick search of the options, you’ll find many, many versions of HIIT workouts you can try. Today, we’re going to explore three of the most popular HIIT workout programs that seem to be all the rage: Orangetheory Fitness, Burn Bootcamps, and Beach Body Home Workouts.
What is a HIIT Workout?
Before we get into which is the best HIIT workout style, let’s quickly review what a HIIT workout entails. These high-intensity workouts are designed around interval training. For example, you might walk for 60 seconds and do an all-out sprint for 15 seconds. You’d repeat this cycle for 15 to 20 minutes.
This type of workout is extremely effective when it comes to cardiovascular conditioning, calorie burning, and fat loss.
The Health Benefits of HIIT Workouts
Now that you know what a HIIT workout is, why should you be doing them? Well, there are several main benefits.
- Shorter workouts
- Less workouts needed per week
- Extra calorie burning during the workout
- Extra calorie burning for up to 36 hours after the workout (called EPOC, which is “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). EPOC raises your metabolism for hours after strenuous exercise by increasing the rate of oxygen you take in.
The Best HIIT Workout: Orangetheory vs Bootcamp vs Beach Body
Orangetheory Fitness seems to have a cult following, and it’s quickly shaping up to be the “in” HIIT workout and the latest “accessory” to brag about at social functions. Orangetheory’s claim to fame is the strategic use of EPOC—the afterburn you experience after intense workouts.
What is Orange Theory Fitness:
- A one-hour workout with heart-rate monitored training
- Combines treadmills and rowing machines with weight training
- Uses heart rate monitors to determine your workout routine
- They do offer a one-time free trial session
- No annual contracts
- Orange Basic offers 4 sessions a month
- Orange Elite allows for 8 sessions per month
- Orange Premier is unlimited sessions per month
The Benefits of Orange Theory Fitness:
- Group setting motivates you to push harder. Your heart rate is displayed on a huge television screen, so slacking is not an option.
- Claim to have you burning between 500 and 1,000 calories in 60 minutes
- Keeps you in the proper training zone for intense fat burning.
- Certified trainers are available to help answer questions and any concerns.
- No contracts to sign.
The Drawbacks of Orange Theory Fitness:
- It’s expensive when compared to a normal gym membership (which would include everything you need) or a home-based program. Four classes per month cost $59, eight classes a month is $99, and unlimited classes can vary ($150 -$200 per month).
- You can only choose from the cardio formats they offer.
- Must travel to their location to workout.
- Does not offer nutritional advice.
The Beach Body program has been around for a very long time. Think all the way back to 2003 when the original P90X program was released. This is a home-based workout program that makes you feel as though you’re working out in a group setting. The instructor talks to you and everyone in the group as you complete the workouts.
What is Beach Body:
- Program offers different workout programs to suit every need, such as HIIT cardio training, yoga & flexibility classes, martial arts, bootcamp-style classes, plyometrics, resistance training, and more.
- Uses either a collection of DVDs (the older system) or, you can now stream any program live for a nominal monthly fee (and you can start with a free trial). There are over 700 workouts to choose from.
The benefits of Beach Body:
- Pseudo-group setting motivates you and helps you push yourself to keep up with the group.
- Certified trainers are available online to help answer questions.
- Can live stream any program you like, as often as you like, for as little as $8.25/month.
- You can work out in the privacy of your own home.
- No travel necessary.
- Has a nutritional plan available as well.
- Workout anytime.
The drawbacks of Beach Body:
- Some programs require you to have or purchase home workout accessories, like bands, pull-up bars, yoga blocks, etc.
- You may not feel the same level of accountability you would feel if you were part of a fitness group outside the house.
- It’s easier to not push yourself as hard as you would in a group setting.
- Can’t meet new people in your class for camaraderie and support.
Burn Boot Camp
Bootcamps have been around a long time, and there are endless bootcamp-type workout options. But, one of the more popular styles to emerge lately has been the “Burn Bootcamp” which claims to have you burning up to 700 calories in just 45 minutes.
What is Burn Boot Camp:
- It’s a high-intensity group workout combining circuits, athletic conditioning, and crossfit-type exercises.
- Workouts are different every time.
- Workouts are posted for the week so you can decide which workouts to attend.
The benefits of Burn Boot Camp:
- Group atmosphere will help you push yourself harder than you normally would.
- “Focus Meetings” held with certified trainers are available to help you progress with your workout program and get your nutritional habits aligned with your goals.
- Free childcare is offered.
- You can attend other Burn Bootcamps across the country.
- It’s geared toward moms and women but is open to anyone.
The drawbacks of Burn Boot Camp:
- It’s quite expensive. It can vary from $99 to $199 per month. They offer 6-month, 12-month, and 18-month Lifestyle Transformation packages.
- Fitcards are available if you prefer to purchase 20 sessions at a time.
- You can only workout when classes are scheduled.
So, what is the Best HIIT Workout?
So, which workout wins the best HIIT workout faceoff? The answer is that they are all fun and effective workout programs. However, while they all have similar aspects, one program may resonate more with you. Basically, you can’t lose by trying any of the above, and you may even find a new favorite!