HIIT is hot, because it’s time-efficient, and great for burning calories and sculpting a lean, mean figure. Get your HIIT fix at these gyms and studios.
Science-based HIIT classes, combining the efficiency of interval training and camaraderie of group exercise sessions, is still pretty much in demand, some 10 years after it first burst onto the commercial fitness scene. In Singapore, there’s something for everyone, from homegrown concepts to international names.
Spanning about 30 minutes, a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) session involves short, intense bursts of activity such as squat jumps, burpees and mountain climbers, with brief recovery periods in between. These moves, which require all-out effort, are meant to push your heart rate up to 100 per cent of the maximum.
Formerly the domain of elite athletes, who use the format to help boost performance, it’s been super popular with regular folks, especially those who are short on time and want to reap as much fitness benefits in as little time as possible – that’s all of us!
Though HIIT went mainstream about a decade back, it’s still in high demand and in fact, is booming internationally. Recently, fitness professionals voted HIIT the second top fitness trend in 2020, in a survey by the American College of Sports Medicine. (Speaking of which, remember to wear high-support sports bras for your HIIT sessions.)
The number one benefit of HIIT is its cardiovascular training. It has been shown to improve measures of VO2 max, an indicator of endurance that calculates the maximum volume of oxygen the body can use. Performance-wise, devotees can expect to bike, run or swim, faster and longer.
Adding to the appeal of HIIT is the “afterburn” effect. That relatively short but intense exercise period revs up your metabolism, letting you burn more calories at rest for hours after. What that means: you’ll get more burn from a 30-minute heart rate-spiking HIIT workout than a 30-minute steady-state sesh.
Ready to go hard and fast? Check out these HIIT-based gyms and studios in Singapore.
Also known as the 30-Minute Gym – it believes you can train your body effectively in just 20 minutes; add a shower and “refuelling”, you’re out in a half hour – there are no conventional machines like treadmills or rowers at the gym. Instead, exercises are body weight-based with items such as kettlebells, medicine balls, suspension ropes and gymnastic rings thrown into the mix. Each session at this homegrown gym accommodates 10 people and runs every half hour till late. With exercise clothes, showers and amenities, charging stations, and a smoothie bar provided, there’s just no excuse not to train. Plus, with outlets in five continents worldwide, featuring synced workouts and playlists, you’ll be motivated to work out even while travelling. (Before signing up, read about our workout experience at Ritual.)
Best for: Busy executives
More info: ritualgym.com
Developed in Australia, and combining HIIT and functional fitness, F45 is a fast-paced 45-minute class that’s something between interval training and Crossfit. Having hit Singapore in 2016, studios have now sprouted up all over Singapore – from Changi Business Park and Siglap to Orchard and Holland Village. Working with your own body weight as well as various equipment, like resistance bands, free weights and rowers, in “pods”, workouts vary each day (but is the same worldwide) and are quirkily named – think Brooklyn (boxing-based routine) and Quarterbacks (plyometrics-based session). Fans love the camaraderie and feel-good vibes typically found in each franchised studio.
Best for: Team players
More info: F45training.sg
Barry’s Bootcamp Singapore
An LA-based international operation that’s frequented by celebs like David and Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber, cult HIIT studio Barry’s first foray into Asia is right in the CBD, along Robinson Road. Work out in its signature Red Room with either the Original (run and lift) or the Double Floor (strength-based, treadmill-free workouts) routines, which are between 50 and 60 minutes long. The founding premise of both is rooted in the “magic” combination of cardio with weight training, paired with intense bursts of anaerobic exercise and recovery for maximum fat burn. Besides its Insta-worthy studio, you’ll be spoiled with luxe amenities such as Dyson Supersonic hairdryers and Oribe toiletries. It’s said that each gruelling session can help burn up to 1,000 calories!
Best for: Runners seeking variety
More info: barrysbootcamp.com/studio/raffles-place
Founded in the US in 2010, OrangeTheory is all about the numbers. Each participant has to wear an OTBeat heart rate monitor, which can be bought or rented, and aim to have at least 12 minutes of each 60-minute workout in an orange or red zone (the orange zone, from which OrangeTheory draws its name, represents 84 to 91 per cent of your maximum heart rate). Doing this will help you reap maximum cardio benefits and fat burn, for up to 36 hours after the class. Done using treadmills, water rowing machines and light weights, each workout is monitored by an instructor who will check on form and motivate participants. At the end of the class, personalised results are automatically emailed to you – all the better for you to keep track and up your game the next time!
Best for: Data miners
More info: robertson-quay.orangetheoryfitness.com
Booming music – specially curated to pair with the workout of the day – and a stylishly darkened room makes this local studio feel like a cool club. It’s just as well because you’ll surely be kept hot on your toes with an immersive 45-minute workout driven by two trainers who watch over a maximum of 20 participants. Choose from two workouts: Meltdown features conditioning drills with each session differing from the other to constantly keep your body guessing, while Leanout focuses on total body strength with bursts of cardio.
Best for: Party lovers
More info: hausathletics.com.sg
Founded by three former Team Singapore athletes – Lim Yao Xiang (water polo, swimming), Lim Yao Peng (athletics) and Teh Chong Nyen (water polo) – this HIIT gym stands out for its emphasis on functional fitness. Specifically, the founders don’t want you to simply work out to burn off calories from what you ate, tone certain body parts (though we can’t deny that’s part of fitness motivation) or work out for sweat’s sake. Rather, think of workouts as something that helps you move better, get stronger for everyday tasks, and improve your immunity, among other health benefits. Classes at Grityard are designed with five pillars of fitness in mind – strength, power, agility, core and endurance – with each day of classes focusing on a different pillar. Classes are 30 (lunchtime) or 45 minutes long.
Best for: Goal-oriented people
More info: grityard.com