How Many Calories Can You Burn in 30 Minutes — and How?

man on a treadmill in a Planet Fitness gym
High-endurance cardio exercises like running can help you burn hundreds of calories in less than 30 minutes.

by Mary Lambkin

If you're looking to blast fat and burn calories at the gym, your biggest "bang for your buck" is likely in the cardio department. How many calories can you burn here? A lot. High-intensity cardio exercises like cycling, stair climbing and running will get your heart rate going and are great workouts for fitness enthusiasts of all levels — because you can adjust the intensity to meet your needs.

Wondering how many calories you can burn with different exercises? We've estimated the number of calories burned for different workouts below. Note that all calculations are based on the American Council on Exercise's fit calculator for a 175-pound person. Your results may vary based on many factors, including the pace of your workout and resistance settings.

How Many Calories Can You Burn . . .

Running?

Running is one of the most popular exercises for people looking to burn fat fast. Start by walking and work your way up to a steady jog; or try alternating walking and sprinting for a high-intensity workout. If you run at a pace of 10 minutes per mile, you could burn through 396 calories in 30 minutes.

Stair Climbing?

The stair climber is a great place to get your heart rate up. If you like to read or watch TV while you work out, a stair climber workout is perfect because your body stays mostly stationary from the shoulders up — allowing your eyes to focus. After only 30 minutes on the stair climber, you can burn up to 320 calories, depending on your intensity.

Cycling?

Pedal your way through hundreds of calories. Within the first 30 minutes of your session, you could shed up to 300 calories. Add light weights to your workout to boost upper body strength or increase your bike resistance to fire up the front and back side of your legs. Try alternating sprints, hills and standing/sitting positions to keep the workout fun and challenging.

As always, please consult with a physician prior to beginning any exercise program. See full medical disclaimer here.