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The Best HIIT Classes in Houston

Wondering where to get the best bang for your buck for HIIT classes in Houston? Wondering what even is a “HIIT” class? We got you and your fitness resolutions! Not many people are crazy to sign up for a zillion HIIT classes during the holidays, but I did to write this article. You’re welcome. Now I need a massage.

First off, a HIIT is a “High Intensity Interval Training.” The HIIT classes in Houston tend to include a series of sprint-style workouts on a treadmill, rowing machine, or other form of cardio matched with weight training exercises. The goal is to push your effort to the max through quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed by shorter recovery periods. This type of training gets and keeps your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time.

As the name suggests, they are intense and you’re guaranteed to leave sweaty and tired. Most studios advertise that you can burn up to 1000 calories in an hour.

This article is a review of some of the most popular HIIT classes in Houston to help you choose the one that matches your budget, style, and fitness goals. I’ve also noted which ones provide towels (so you know if you need to bring one from home) and which are into the heart rate tracking on screens. Behold… in alphabetical order to not play favorites, the best HIIT classes in Houston!

Barry’s

  • Colors: Red and Black
  • Location: River Oaks
  • Class Length: 50-60 minutes
  • Towels Provided: Yes
  • Heart Rate Monitor: No
  • Price: $20 New Joiner Special / $32 Drop-In / $385 Monthly Unlimited
  • What makes it different: The classes take place in the “Red Room” and you have your choice of starting on the treadmill or floor exercises. The intervals are 10-12 minutes before you switch to the other side. If you don’t like running, you have the option to do double strength training. Each day has a theme so you can (in theory) go to the classes every day of the week. For example, Thursday is “Abs & Ass”, Friday is “Total Body”, Saturday is “Upper Focus”, etc.
  • Read more here!

Camp Gladiator

  • Colors: Red and Black
  • Location: 220+ in Houston area
  • Class Length: 60 minutes
  • Towels Provided: No
  • Heart Rate Monitor: No
  • Price: 1st Week Free / $75 Monthly Unlimited
  • What makes it different: Camp Gladiator classes take place outside in public parks, schools, parking lots, etc. I’ve done classes at Carnegie Vanguard High School and Stude Park before. The classes are considerably cheaper because there’s no infrastructure and you bring your own mat and weights. The system is structured on a 4 week system where each week has a theme such as speed, strength, and endurance. Camp Gladiator is regularly running promotions where you can get discounts and free classes.
  • Read more here!

Elevate Strength

  • Colors: Teal
  • Location: Midtown
  • Class Length: 50 minutes
  • Towels Provided: Yes
  • Heart Rate Monitor: No
  • Price: 1st Class Free / $25 Drop-in / $139 Monthly Unlimited
  • What makes it different: You might not expect to be doing much fitness beyond 12 oz curls in the building that houses Pub Fiction and 3rd Floor in Midtown, but Elevate Strength proves you wrong. Their sleek studio on the second floor offers spectacular views of downtown as you sweat it out on the cardio machines. No treadmill to be found in this studio, but you will sweat it out plenty on the rower, assault bike and ski machine.
  • Website

Empower Fitness Lab

  • Colors: Green
  • Location: Uptown, Washington Ave.
  • Class Length: 60 minutes or 90 minutes
  • Towels Provided: Yes
  • Heart Rate Monitor: Available for purchase
  • Price: $15 New Client Drop-in / $30 Drop-in / $199 Monthly Unlimited
  • What makes it different: They have traditional cardio + weight classes, but also some that change it up by subbing in yoga or boxing into the mix. Class progress is measured with a heart rate monitor, and people regularly feel like they have plenty of space to spread out during class. Anytime anyone brings up Empower, inevitably someone will mention the self-propelling treadmills which are “curved” and powered by your own body. Don’t miss the massive bayou-downtown-fitness mural outside.
  • Website

F45

  • Colors: Navy, Red, White
  • Location: 25+ Houston area
  • Class Length: 45-60 minutes
  • Towels Provided: Yes
  • Heart Rate Monitor: Provided with membership
  • Price: 1 Free Week / $28 Drop-In / $220 Unlimited Monthly
  • What makes it different: F45 or “Functional 45” is an Australian-based studio that combines HIIT, circuit training and functional training into one streamlined workout. The studio offers 36 class types–most of which are 45 minutes–that all have spunky names like “Moon Hopper” or “Triple Double.” In the classes that I attended, we rotated around the room between 6 to 27 stations and did various exercises using barbells, ropes, bosu balls, or weight balls according to mini-workout gifs on the TV.
  • Website

Illuminate Sweat

  • Colors: Grey, Black
  • Location: Spring Branch
  • Class Length: 60 minutes
  • Towels Provided: Yes
  • Heart Rate Monitor: Available for rent or purchase
  • Price: First Class Free / $25 Drop-in / $189 Month Unlimited
  • What makes it different: Get a full body workout from body builders in the most spacious city gym that’s complete with 4 types of cardio, a turf run, and a weight rack. The goal of the Illuminate Sweat classes is to bring personal training into a group setting. Each class has 2 instructors that actively monitor everyone’s form and ensure that you are working out safely. Illuminate Sweat is the only class I’ve seen that has a squat rack and incorporates heavy weights into the rotations. If you’re looking to gain muscle and perfect your form, this gym would be a good place to start. With membership, they’re offering a meal plan and personal training as well.
  • Website

OrangeTheory Fitness

  • Colors: Orange
  • Location: 25+ Houston area
  • Class Length: 60 minutes
  • Towels Provided: No
  • Heart Rate Monitor: Yes
  • Price: 1st Class Free / $150 Monthly Unlimited
  • What makes it different: OrangeTheory Fitness was one of the first interval classes to sweep through the Houston fitness scene. The classes are the same everywhere in the world as you follow routines across rowing machines, treadmills, and the weight floor. The OrangeTheory class layouts change every day to ensure that you don’t get a chance to build muscle memory.  On the weight floor, you follow TV instructions that demonstrate the different workouts and lists the number of sets. You wear a heart rate monitor during the class and accumulate “splat points” for every minute that your heart rate is in the orange or red zones. On brand, the workout room is tinted orange and at the end of class you get your results emailed to you.
  • Read about my first class!

SPENGA

  • Colors: Lime Green and White
  • Location: Montrose, Sugarland, Woodlands
  • Class Length: 60 minutes
  • Towels Provided: No
  • Heart Rate Monitor: No
  • Price: $30 Drop-In Class / $199 Monthly Unlimited
  • What makes it different: The classic SPENGA class is 20 minutes of spin, 20 minutes of weights, and 20 minutes of yoga. I’m particularly impressed with this combination because its 40 minutes of work and then 20 minutes of legit stretching (none of that half-ass 30 seconds touch your toes nonsense at the end of class). The spin portion is gauged based on how much watts your pushing out with your speed and force. You have a target zone to hit that’s measured based on your height/weight and then increased after several classes based on your progression. The weights section follows a series of intervals laid out with videos on a TV. You don’t need to bring anything to class as all gear, including yoga mats and towels are provided for you! Mention blogger Jayme Lamm and get your first class free.
  • Website

Sphere

  • Colors: Hot Pink and Black
  • Location: Downtown, Spring Branch
  • Class Length: 45 – 60 minutes
  • Towels Provided: No
  • Heart Rate Monitor: No
  • Price: $46 17-Day Trial / $17 Drop-In / $150 Unlimited Monthly
  • What makes it different: Sphere’s concept is designed by Major League Soccer player Michael Chabala and incorporates high intensity exercises that create well-rounded athletes–both on and off the field. Sphere offers a various class types all with punny soccer inspired names–Bala, Sole, Sphere, 45– all with varying degrees of soccer skills required. Bala is a continuous pick-up game while 45 has no ball at all. At the beginning of class, you’re given a jersey at the beginning of class and do exercises according to your jersey color to the beat of the music. In keeping with the soccer theme, Sphere makes it their mission to foster a solid teammate atmosphere. Sphere also offers “Powa” classes at the Four Seasons Downtown.
  • Read about my first class

Sweat1000

  • Colors: Red and Black
  • Location: Heights
  • Class Length: 60 minutes
  • Towels Provided: Yes
  • Heart Rate Monitor: No
  • Price: $30 Drop-In / $300 Monthly Unlimited
  • What makes it different: Sweat1000 alleges that after 60 minutes with them you’ll burn 1000 calories. Straight out of South Africa, this HIIT class is split between 5-6 minute intervals on a treadmill (measured in kilometers per hour) and floor exercises. Weights are heavy and classes move fast. The room is dark, music is loud and having a baseline understanding of different movements is helpful to get the most out of class. On Saturdays the classes turn up with a live DJ. Also, George Springer’s wife works there (look for Charlise).
  • Website

Row Studios

  • Colors: Green and Black
  • Location: West U
  • Class Length: 50 minutes
  • Towels Provided: Yes
  • Heart Rate Monitor: No
  • Price: $49 for 30 Days / $25 Drop-In / $160 Unlimited Monthly
  • What makes it different: Row Studios has two rooms–one with bars and weights for strength classes and one filled with ergs (rowing machines) for endurance and all body classes. The classes at Row Studios are a mix of CrossFit-esque strength training and rowing that focus on “endurance, strength, and mobility.” In every class, there has been an AMRAP (“As Many Rounds As Possible”) activity where you do a series of exercises over and over until the time is called. Luckily, Row Studios doesn’t carry the crazy competitive vibe that plagues CrossFit gyms and there is a big emphasis on proper technique. As a beginner, I didn’t feel ashamed at lifting 10lb (instead of like 150) and felt grateful when they corrected my form. The overall vibe is pretty chill (aka you don’t have club lighting/music) and every class ends with foam rolling.
  • Read more about my month trial

Tough Mudder Bootcamp

  • Colors: Orange and Black
  • Location: Washington Ave.
  • Class Length: 45 minutes
  • Towels Provided: Yes
  • Heart Rate Monitor: Available for purchase
  • Price: 1st Class Free / $20 Drop-In / $119 Monthly Unlimited
  • What makes it different: Tough Mudder Bootcamp is the perfect class for people looking to build agility and compete in its namesake Tough Mudder obstacle courses. The brightly lit gym sports a neon orange turf with a monkey-bar rig that’s used in most classes. The studio offers 6 class types (upper body, lower body, etc.). You won’t find a treadmill or barbells in any class. Whether or not you’re training for an actual Tough Mudder race, you’ll get a solid workout. At each of the 6 stations, a TV displays mini videos that demonstrate what you’re supposed to do. If you sign up as a member, Tough Mudder with monitor your baseline heart rate and do baseline tracking to gauge your fitness improvement.
  • Website

As with any fitness studio, the one that makes the most sense for you all depends on the instructors, the studio culture, and your personal preferences! It’s helpful to take advantage of the newbie specials and try out a bunch of HIIT classes in Houston before you commit.

Also, a word of caution: These classes are often in dark room with loud music and fast intervals. In theory anyone can modify a workout to make it their own, but if you’re new to HIIT classes in Houston, definitely do your research, show up early, and learn the form so you don’t hurt yourself!

Know a HIIT class in Houston we’ve missed? Comment below. I’d love to check it out!

Want more fitness inspo? Check our guides to Pilates in Houston and Cycle Studios in Houston.

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6 thoughts on “The Best HIIT Classes in Houston

  1. Check out Yoga Athletex in Spring Branch! Their HIIT classes are awesome and they’re always mixing things up so it keeps your body guessing. You can take a yoga class right after HIIT and it’s a great way to end a workout.

  2. Great list! Trotter Family YMCA on Augusta has a terrific hit class as well by Laura Williams on Mondays and Wednesdays at 8:30am!

  3. I’m biased, but I LOVE the HIIT That workout at Dance House Fitness! There’s also Extra that combines dance, weight training, and booty band resistance!

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