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Firstly, let’s put to rest the research on short 3 minute HIIT and whether this is enough to give you all you need to keep you fit.

Quite simply no!! I strongly believe there is a much higher risk of Injury for a start. I will be happy to Let’s look at how a Pilates HIIT session calorie count stacks up against other classes or Sports based on an hour.

  • Playing football 752 to 937
  • Running 5 mph 606 to 755
  • Running at 8mph 861 to 1074
  • Squash 511 to 637
  • Basketball and Tennis 584 to 728

Pilates HIIT burns around 500 calories in an average 45-minute session. 756 calories in a circuit class

So HIIT Pilates compared with these mostly continuous Sports comes quite close to the energy burnt. However what HIIT brings though is an all-round workout and a much more controlled and safer set routine. More core work, short bursts of cardio/muscle endurance is an all-round workout. Having taught and participated in boxercise, circuit classes and now Pilates HIIT I can honestly say I get a better sense of fulfilment, more energy and no niggling pains from overworked muscles from HIIT. These are the reasons why HIITs subtle differences I believe are better for you:

  •   Intervals on each exercise are less usually 30 seconds rather than 60 plus in a circuit style class which is less fatiguing and therefore allowing the muscle groups to recover
  •   Pilates is controlled and breathing orientated so despite HR being higher the focus on quality core exercise is both productive and safer.
  •   The balance of Cardiovascular, Muscle Endurance, Pilates and recovery time is much more rewarding than total exhaustion followed by total fatigue
  •   HIIT classes are shorter with a set warm up and a longer cooldown and stretch

What I have felt and seen in circuit classes is poor postures poor exercise and poor coordination, balance, control, fluency, flow, precision and therefore breathing as well. These are the seven principles of Pilates which are a thread running through Pilates HIIT. Even I with the knowledge and practice of good exercise quality found myself incapable of sustaining quality for long enough. It is like a domino effect which carries on throughout the rest of the workout until you have lost coordination and incapable of talking for a whole sentence. Boxercise can be even worse as punch bag work and pad work alone should be followed by recovery time but are usually followed by another intensive station. Pilates HIIT is more accessible for the older population and provides a good addition to the weekly regime and is a great cross training alternative.

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