HIIT vs Tabata Workout
What’s the Difference?
You’ve probably heard of HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training, but have you heard of Tabata? For many years, fitness experts have been touting the benefits of high intensity interval training. Whether it’s your local gym, an online fitness class, or a boutique weight loss studio, HIIT and Tabata workouts seem to be everywhere. Chances are, you’ve even done a HIIT or Tabata workout at some point; but, do you know the difference between the two?
Similarities between a HIIT and a Tabata Workout
- Both workouts focus on exerting maximum effort for a short period of time with a brief rest period in between.
- Both have demonstrated their ability to burn fat, help with weight loss, and improve speed as well as endurance.
So, which workout is best for your fitness goals? First you need to understand what each is, and how each brings its own benefits to your fitness routine.
What is Tabata?
A Tabata workout is a type of HIIT workout. It falls under the workout regimens known as high intensity interval training. The Tabata workout is a 4 minute workout that consists of 8 rounds, each 20 seconds in duration. During each round, you work at your maximum intensity, giving the exercise everything you’ve got. This high intensity period is followed by a short rest of 10 seconds. The intervals continue through each of the 8 rounds, then you’re done with your Tabata workout.
The Tabata workout is named after Izumi Tabata, a researcher who, back in 1996, discovered the benefits of this type of training. He found that athletes were able to increase their metabolism as well as improve their anaerobic capacity by engaging in a Tabata workout 5 days per week for six weeks.
What makes a workout a HIIT workout?
A HIIT workout doesn’t have the regimented time segments like a Tabata workout. The time spent in high intensity activity as well as the length of the rest period is generally much more flexible. If you lengthen either of these, it’s probably a HIIT workout. By altering the time spent in each area, you’ll have more flexibility as to the types of exercises you’ll be able to incorporate into your workout; exercises that wouldn’t be possible to fit into a 20 second Tabata workout can be used in a HIIT workout. So, basically, a HIIT workout gives you more room to be creative with the type of exercise you’d like to fit into your exercise routine.
Which is better, HIIT or Tabata?
Both HIIT and Tabata are excellent options for building muscle and burning fat. The results you get will depend on the effort you put into your workout. Results will also depend on the specific exercises you use in each circuit. If you want to lose weight, you can kick up the cardio for more fat burning benefits. If you want to build muscles in your arms, add triceps dips and other arm strengthening exercises. With either method, it’s important to give yourself an adequate recovery period. Many fitness experts recommend that HIIT and Tabata workouts not be done on consecutive days.
Choosing Your Exercise Routine
There is a time and place for both HIIT and Tabata in your fitness routine. Tabata can be an excellent way to get started with interval training. It is also a great routine to do if you’re short on time. After all, you’ll get a complete workout in just four minutes. As you get stronger, you can move to a longer HIIT workout, adding more complex moves as well as additional rounds in order to give yourself a more challenging workout.
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