Heart Rate and Oxygen Consumption are Directly Proportional

Jun 21, 2022

Photo Credit: Ketut Subiyanto

The modality you chose for cardio does not make a difference for calorie burn⁣

If your heart rate is 150 beats per minute while you:⁣
  • Walk up the stair master⁣
  • Walk up the stair master sideways⁣
  • Ride a bike⁣
  • Jump on a trampoline⁣
  • Do cartwheels through the library ⁣
  • Take a jazzersize class⁣
  • (Or literally, anything else you can think of⁣)

⁣You are burning the exact same number of calories.

Human Physiology 101

Calorie burn is directly proportional to Oxygen consumption and Heart Rate⁣
  • Your heart does not know or care what activity you are doing.⁣
  • HIIT is not an exception to this rule, rather the high spikes in heart rate just accumulate oxygen debt which (like student loans) you have to pay back. ⁣

The HIIT workout after burn (called EPOC) is short-lived and not very significant, amounting to roughly 5-15% of the calories burned during the workout (typically about an extra 40 calories burned after the workout).⁣

The exercise you choose for HIIT (burpees, squat jumps, sprints, intense vacuuming, moshpit participation, etc) makes no difference if your heart rate is equal. ⁣

⁣Bottom line

Exercise selection is important for muscle development (Muscles only get stronger if you train them) but it does not matter for calorie burn.

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