The best high-intensity interval training (HIIT) classes in Canberra

Start the conversation
Person exercising on bike erg

Elements4Life in Belconnen, home to one of Canberra’s most recommended HIIT classes. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

If you’re looking to get fit fast, high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is a great way to start. Alternating between short, high-intensity work sets and brief recovery periods, HIIT can be as addictive as it is challenging.

Surveys show that HIIT is one of the top fitness trends globally. Interval training can burn more calories and fat in a shorter time than traditional exercise. It also improves cardiovascular activity and endurance. And because most trainers and gyms keep things interesting by changing up the exercises from class to class, boredom is less of an issue.

You don’t need to be a seasoned athlete to give HIIT a go. With the support of an experienced trainer, even beginners can tackle classes head-on. So whether you’re looking to lose weight, strengthen muscle tone or boost overall fitness, HIIT classes can help. Group HIIT classes are also a fun way to meet new people.

What makes a great HIIT class?

Joining a new HIIT class can be intimidating, especially if it’s been a while since you laced up your exercise shoes.

It can be helpful to keep the following in mind when choosing a new HIIT studio:

  • Variety, time and atmosphere. Your HIIT studio should offer different types of HIIT classes. Types include cardio-based, weights-based and hybrid classes. They should also offer them at times that are convenient for you. Also choose a HIIT studio that’s welcoming, inviting and motivating, not intimidating.
  • Experience. HIIT trainers and coaches should be qualified and experienced. They should know when to push you, when to suggest adding extra weight, and how to support you to get the best results.
  • Proactive trainers. Check that the HIIT trainers proactively monitor form and technique instead of just counting down the time left on the clock. You don’t want to get injured during your HIIT class.
  • Quality equipment and facilities. While gym equipment doesn’t need to be new, it should be in good condition and well maintained. A variety of equipment is essential for different strength levels.
  • Size. HIIT classes don’t necessarily need huge studios, but they need to be large enough for all participants to perform their exercises safely. You don’t want to risk injuring another person or being injured yourself, just because there’s not enough room to move.

The best HIIT classes in Canberra

RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.

To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintained a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.


Elements4Life, affectionately known as E4L, is a market leader in delivering functional training programs in Canberra covering all four elements of training – high intensity, strength, mobility and recovery, and core and midline. E4L specialises in High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which has many benefits, including burning a lot of calories in a short time, helping you lose fat and increasing your metabolic rate.

Other training specialisations include High-Volume Interval Training (HVIT), Variable-Intensity Interval Training (VIIT), strength cycles, personal training and semi-private training.

E4L is about better experiences, teamwork and community vibe, as well as driving better results using science backed programming and well-structured workouts.

In Canberra, E4L leads the way in trademarked modular functional training systems and multi-experience services – Smart™ Experiences and Elements4Life for Harrison gym members and multiple Smart™ training experiences for Belconnen members.

Each unique E4L Smart™ training experience is built on scientific principles catering for multiple training styles, personal space compliancy and personal preferences. Multiple training experiences are offered. All Smart™ experiences have a cap on space so everyone has room to move when training.

E4L’s coaches are highly trained and experienced, each with a Certificate IV in Fitness, at a minimum, and a Master Functional Trainer certification.

The motivating and enthusiastic E4L team are market leaders in fitness experiences, compliancy, hygiene, innovation and facilitation. Their approach that’s smarter by definition and better in execution.

As satisfied member Francesca Hardwicke wrote on Google, “Great gym! I absolutely love this place and all the amazing people that are a part of it. I could not recommend training here enough and if I could give more than 5 stars I would.”

hiit republic

Hiit republic is a boutique functional fitness environment with a full gym, open 24/7, at an affordable price.

Hiit republic classes provide a full-body workout to help improve energy levels, strength, endurance and to make members feel the best they can be. Each session is designed by experienced coaches, ensuring that no two workouts are ever the same. The average class is 45 minutes with 60 minute sessions on Saturdays.

Member Haley Pitman wrote on Facebook, “The workouts at HIIT Republic are intense and challenging, but so much fun!”

Anytime Fitness

Anytime Fitness offers high-intensity interval training (HIIT) classes guaranteed to burn fat in minutes. Efficient, effective HIIT workouts are available at all 14 Canberra locations. Members don’t need formal HIIT classes. They can work out 24/7 through endless online timed routines and can combine HIIT with strength training, using a wide range of equipment and facilities.

James Northwood wrote on Google, “Best gym experience I have had in 10 years. It’s a great community feel …”

The Den Canberra

The Den Canberra, operating since January 2016, offers sessions that cater for the professional athlete though to those just starting out. Of their many classes available, the flagship tabata session 20/10 is based on the principles of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). The workout comprises of a series of 20 seconds maximum effort workout followed by 10 seconds rest, repeated in sets of 8. The zero impact session reaps all the benefits of strength and conditioning exercise in the safest possible environment.

As Carolyn Stewart writes in their Google review, "They have the best classes and you work to your fitness level. Whether your already super fit or just starting out on your fitness journey, I highly recommend giving The Den a go. And to top it all off the coaches are amazing!!"

Functional Fitness Australia

Functional Fitness Australia, or FUNC, is dedicated to improving the ability to move efficiently and develop strength, body awareness, mid-line strength and fitness through the use of real-world body movements. Catering to people of all fitness abilities, it offers a variety of small group sessions, including HIIT, led by a team of experienced coaches.

Forget weights machines, cables, TVs or mirrors. At Functional Fitness Australia in Mitchell, trainers are focused entirely on clients.

As Phil Klitscher says on Google, “More than just sweat! Holistic fitness that focuses on technique and mindset. A welcoming community of fitness professionals passionate about you and your development … One of the few gyms a first timer can working out next to an athlete and everyone feels equal. Yeah seriously!”

F45 Erindale

F45 training is about functional training that all happens in 45 minutes of heart-pumping fun in a team training environment. Functional HIIT-style workouts are designed for a full-body workout that improves energy levels, metabolic rate, strength and endurance. A range of classes and Recovery Sessions are on offer. F45 Erindale is about innovation, motivation and results.

Karen Porter wrote on Google, “This gym is the best. I’ve gained muscle, lost fat and made new friends. Winning!”

Eighty8 Fitness

Functional training and strength classes are at the heart of Eighty8 Fitness, a gym that prides itself on its personalised approach to fitness. With locations in Brindabella Business Park and Majura Park, Eighty8's HIIT classes use a variety of bodyweight/cardio exercises, as well as power and functional movements to help achieve fitness goals.

Eighty8 caters to all levels of fitness. Exercises can be modified and scaled to suit, so no previous gym experience to get started.

Zuzette Kruger-Finch wrote on Facebook, “Great fitness programs, fantastic members and support and awesome trainers!”

If you’re looking for other places to get fit, check out our article on the best gyms in Canberra. Or, if you’re looking to try something different, check out our articles on the best martial arts schools and the best Zumba classes in Canberra.

For advice on improving your nutritional baseline, check out our article on the best dietitians in the Canberra region.

Your experience with HIIT in Canberra

Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.

Have you visited any of the facilities listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most effective HIIT workout?

As the name implies, these workouts involve high-intensity interval training. There are many different HIIT exercises, including treadmill sprints, jumping rope, cycling sprints, burpees, squat jumps, dumbbell thrusters, and stepmill. This training technique keeps your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time. It’s all about quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed by short recovery periods. A HIIT workout is effective if it’s achieving this.

Can beginners try HIIT workouts?

Yes, but it’s wise to talk to staff at your gym or studio about what’s best for you with HIIT, especially while you’re building your fitness levels.

How long is a HIIT workout?

Most are relatively short, with some experts saying 20 to 30 minutes is ideal. Some say if you need more than 30 minutes you might not be working hard enough during your HIIT session to optimise the benefits. You can talk to the HIIT instructors at your gym about the best class for you.

Are HIIT classes really hard?

They’re called high-intensity interval training for a reason. HIIT classes are supposed to be challenging and are designed to take you to your limits. Every person is different, depending on their fitness level. Some will find HIIT more difficult than others, but everyone should be prepared to sweat and give 100 per cent effort.

Can I do a HIIT class every day?

While HIIT classes, in a proper studio or gym with a trained and qualified instructor, are safe and effective, many experts say there’s no need to do a HIIT class every day. Ask your instructor. Views vary but some trainers say three times a week is plenty.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.