If you’re into exercise, you’ve probably heard the words HIIT and Tabata thrown around. These workouts have become extremely popular in gyms and studios, but do you know the difference between them? Both exercises focus on maximum effort over short periods of time with brief rest breaks. They have been shown to burn fat, aid weight loss, and improve endurance and speed. We’re here to break down what sets HIIT and Tabata apart.
Tabata is a type of HIIT that’s four-minutes consisting of eight rounds of 20 seconds of work at maximum effort, followed by 10 seconds of rest. If the class or workout differs from this time, it’s not considered an authentic Tabata.
HIIT workouts are more flexible with the time frame for maximum effort (“on periods”) and rest (“off periods”). By increasing the time for either period, you can play around with the movements, that wouldn’t fit into the 20-second Tabata window. This gives you more flexibility to do complex movements like burpee-mountain climbers or crisscross jumping jacks.
Which is Better?
Tabata and HIIT are great for muscle-building and fat-burning and the results you get are influenced by the exercises you put into your circuits and the effort you give to your workout. Tabata works well if you are short on time or if you’re just starting a routine. As you become stronger, you can increase the length of time with HIIT workouts and you can do more rounds and complex moves.