Not All HIFT Classes Are Created Equal: Evaluating Energy Expenditure and Relative Intensity of a High-Intensity Functional Training Regimen

Int J Exerc Sci. 2020 Sep 1;13(4):1206-1216. eCollection 2020.


The demand for efficient and effective exercises has grown in concert with increased attention to fitness as a determinant of overall health. While past studies have examined the benefits traditional conditioning exercises, there have been few investigations of high intensity functional training (HIFT). The aim of this study was to measure the energy expenditure and relative intensity from participation in a signature, 35-minute group-based HIFT regimen. During the HIFT session, 13 volunteers (aged 23-59 years, 6 females) donned a portable breath-by-breath gas analyzer and a heart rate monitor. Mean caloric expenditure (528 ± 62 kcal), maximum heart rate (172 ± 8 bpm), and metabolic equivalents (12.2 ± 1.4 kcal/kg/h) were characterized as a vigorous-intensity activity according to the Compendium of Physical Activities guidelines. Moreover, implementing this high energy expenditure session twice weekly may comport with Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans weekly physical activity recommendations. HIFT training may provide time-efficient exercise for those seeking exercise-related health benefits.

Keywords: Exercise; caloric expenditure; high intensity functional training; metabolic equivalent; physical activity; training.