What’s the Best Way to Burn Calories in 30 Minutes?

Perhaps I should have titled this article, The Best Normally Engagged in Calorie-burning Activities Per Time Unit. After all, you could burn lots of calories by going insane up and down stairs all day until at some point you break down. However, that would not be a practical and safe option.

You could also do a combination of floor-based bodyweight exercises, running, and pull-ups for hours until you literally run out of energy. But who has the time? Not many, and it’s not recommended unless you are a psychotic fanatic and financially able to spend valuable time doing it.

This discussion focuses on simple caloric intake versus caloric intake, pragmatic exercise choices, and sensible diet.

Articles for nutrition and fat loss

When it comes to healthy eating, there is already a wealth of great information out there that can help maintain your diet. It takes discipline, but you can if you really want to make changes. Check out these lovely items:

Come up with a realistic game plan

Assuming you can sustain your food intake, here are some realistic workout options using traditional modes and schemes. They are all based on a manageable thirty minutes per session – a length that you will surely find time for if you want to make serious changes. If you’re not serious about it, stop reading this.

“[U]Understand that the higher the exertion per unit of time, the greater the calorie expenditure. This has a huge impact on your weight gain or weight loss goals. “

With that in mind, why are you reading this?

  • Are you looking for an exercise that will counteract your poor caloric intake?
  • Are you looking for an activity to start your magazine popular exercise regimen that didn’t work?
  • Are you interested in what you have to do when you finally cross the line and pursue a sensible exercise program combined with a reasonable food intake?
  • Are you looking for effective options to expand your current results-oriented regime to take it to the next level?

Before you proceed, you should know these facts:

  • In general, ingesting more calories than you are consuming results in additional body fat storage, all other factors being equal. If you exercise and burn X calories but then consume more than X calories plus your daily basal metabolic rate, you are most likely storing more body fat. Stop it.
  • If you follow a high-carbohydrate diet but eat fewer calories in terms of protein and fat, your body may be hampered in optimally developing muscle mass. You may be able to train longer, but your ability to build beautiful, calorie-dependent muscles may be limited.
  • Following a high-protein, high-fat diet and avoiding low-carbohydrate intake can limit your energy storage and decrease your immediate abilities. You may not have enough energy to fuel short-term maximal muscle fiber recruitment efforts. This in turn can limit optimal muscle fiber stimulation and possible impending growth stimulation. Read: You Can Minimize Gains In Muscle Mass.
  • As you grow and have optimal muscle mass percentages (both male and female), you can avoid excessive body fat storage provided your total caloric intake does not exceed your total caloric expenditure. However, your high-intensity exercise efforts may decrease due to a lack of immediate stores of glycogen (carbohydrates) in relation to your exercise or energy needs. Bottom line: You will run out of high-intensity training fuel sooner.

Who wins here? The low-carbohydrate / high-fat and high-protein group or the higher-carbohydrate / normal protein and fat group? Because of a large number of dependent variables, there is no easy answer. But whichever option you choose, your existing scale weight and body composition rating provides marker points for further experimentation.

If you don’t already know, you do. Exercise generally does not burn a large amount of stored body fat during activity. Likewise, in activities aimed at maximum calorie burning, no stored (fat) calories are tapped during training, but possibly after training – provided it is combined with a lower calorie intake. It’s not huge, but it helps.

Calories burned during normal exercise sessions

When you know that you will either gain or lose weight depending on your energy expenditure (exercise) and total caloric intake (food intake), you understand what follows. These are some realistic calorie burning options that might help, provided you keep the above in mind.

In order of precedence, the following are effective (or ineffective) calorie burning activities based on a 30 minute activity for a 30 year old 190 pound / 86 kg man and a 30 year old 125 pound / 57 kg woman. The goal would be the estimated total calorie burn regardless of specific muscle building workouts (hint, hint).

“In activities aimed at maximum calorie burning, no (fat) calories are stored during training, but may be stored after training – provided it is combined with a lower calorie intake.”

Here are the activities, listed from a higher to a lower average calorie consumption:

Interval training on a Versa Climber @ 1:00 difficult /: 30 easy

  • Male = 617 calories
  • Female = 389 calories
  • Note: If you’ve used the VersaClimber, you know it was a love-hate relationship. It’s like a sack of twenty dollar bills used as kindling to cook a delicious T-bone steak over a fire. Yes! Pooh.

Stationary cycle – full throttle

  • Male = 451 calories
  • Female = 285 calories

Resistance circuit strength training @: 45 work and: 20 rest

  • Male = 371 calories
  • Female = 234 calories

Bodyweight exercise circuit

  • Male = 370 calories
  • Female = 229 calories
  • Note: This is as many rounds as possible in 30 minutes of 10 repetitions each of push-ups, pull-ups (or maximum), squats, and jumping jacks, with minimal rest between exercises and rounds.

Run at 12:00 p.m. per mile

  • Male = 365 calories
  • Female = 222 calories

Bootcamp class – various exercises and funky dance moves

  • Male = 357 calories
  • Female = 220 calories

Treadmill go @ 5.0 miles per hour

  • Male = 308 calories
  • Female = 211 calories

Traditional strength training

  • Male = 217 calories
  • Female = 137 calories
  • Note: Done with a 3:00 p.m. break between sets, but fully with every set executed

Pilates, pilates woman


  • Male = 158 calories
  • Female = 100 calories


  • Male = 113 calories
  • Female = 71 calories

Find out what works for you

There is a lot of information and potential confusion out there so read and know the facts above. If you exercise more (45 minutes) or less (20 minutes), adjust accordingly. But understand that the more exertion you do per unit of time, the more calories you burn. This has a huge impact on your weight gain or weight loss goals.

“You could also do a combination of floor-based exercises with just your own body weight … for hours until you’ve literally depleted your energy stores. But who has the time for it? “

To burn maximum calories to promote body fat loss, exercise hard and create a calorie deficit. To build muscle tissue while also using that new tissue to burn more calories, use challenging resistance training and combine it with a relative calorie intake.

Find out about the types of calories and how they are metabolized. This would include not just protein, fat, and carbohydrates, but the type of each, such as:

  • Low versus high glycemic carbohydrates
  • Saturated, polyunsaturated, unsaturated fats and trans fats
  • Lean versus fatty proteins

Use this information carefully and responsibly to aid you in your training goals.

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Photos 1, 3, and 4 courtesy of Shutterstock.

Photo 2 courtesy CrossFit Empirical.

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