Tabata vs HIIT – Choose the right cardio workout for you

HIIT and Tabata are two popular forms of high-intensity exercises. Read this article to find out the differences between Tabata vs HIIT and which one is best for you.

Table of Contents

HIIT and Tabata are two popular forms of high-intensity exercises. Please read this article to find out the differences between Tabata vs HIIT and which one is best for you.

There are so many different cardio workouts that it can be challenging to know which one is best for you.

If you want to get your heart rate up and burn fat, two of the most popular options are Tabata and high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

But what exactly are they? How do they differ from each other? And how effective are they at helping you reach your fitness goals?

What are Tabata and HIIT cardio workouts

HIIT is a broad term that encompasses many different forms of exercise. One popular form is sprint interval training, which involves performing multiple sprints at maximum effort separated by rest periods. This type of training improves your ability to produce power, speed, and strength.

What is Tabata?

Tabata is a form of high-intensity interval training. It consists of eight rounds of ultra-high-intensity exercises, followed by a rest period. Each exercise lasts 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest, making up one round.

The idea of Tabata is to push as hard as you can and get your heart rate up as much as possible during each 20-second burst.

Tabata is a specific type of HIIT, so the benefits are similar. But there’s more to it than that.

When you’re at the gym, you might see people running on the treadmill or lifting weights, but others might be doing something else: They’re going all-out for 20 seconds and then resting for 10 seconds. Repeat eight times, and you have one round of Tabata.

In order to burn calories, Tabata typically involves performing eight rounds of a specific exercise at maximum intensity, with short breaks in between each round. For example:

Squats: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off

Push-ups: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off

Lunges: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off

Burpees: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off

This workout takes 4 minutes, making it highly time-efficient for those with busy schedules. What’s more, it can be performed anywhere without special equipment.

What is HIIT?

HIIT workout

HIIT or High-Intensity Interval Training is a form of cardio that involves bouts of high-intensity work followed by rest periods. In the HIIT workout below, you’ll perform each exercise for 30 seconds and rest for 15 seconds. The entire circuit lasts just 8 minutes and can be repeated 2-3 times if desired.

25 Health Benefits of HIIT Training
See also

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a type of cardiovascular exercise that involves short bursts of intense activity followed by rest periods.

HIIT sessions are:

  • typically 15-30 minutes long.
  • structured in different ways, but you’ll generally do a warmup and cool-down period with several cycles of high-intensity activity mixed with lower intensity activity or rest.
  • developed to get the same health benefits as longer endurance workouts in a fraction of the time.

How Tabata vs HIIT compare in terms of benefits

HIIT training is as effective as other types of exercise but in less time. For example, a study from the University of Western Ontario compared Tabata with moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) and looked at VO2 max levels after six weeks. The researchers found no difference between the groups in terms of fitness improvements. However, Tabata participants spent only four minutes per session exercising.

What about there’s no difference between HIIT and Tabata? Well, yes and no. There are a few critical differences between HIIT and Tabata:

HIIT can last anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes

You may go hard for anywhere from 20 seconds to one minute

You might repeat your intervals anywhere from three to seven times

Tabata is a specific protocol – 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off repeated eight times – and

The main similarities between HIIT and Tabata

  • Both styles are fast-paced, high-intensity forms of exercise, but there are some essential differences between them.
  • Both Tabata and HIIT are forms of high-intensity interval training.
  • The main difference is in the length of intervals and rest periods.
  • Both protocols involve working at maximum capacity for short intervals, followed by even shorter rest periods.
  • Both exercise programs get you in shape fast, burning fat and building muscle.

The main difference between HIIT vs Tabata

How does HIIT affect your health

The main difference between HIIT and Tabata is that the latter is a specific form of high-intensity interval training that has its roots in aerobic exercise. At the same time, HIIT encompasses many different types of intense exercise programs designed to boost metabolism, burn calories and increase aerobic capacity.

Running to the Music: The Natural Motivator
See also

HIIT is an umbrella term for any workout that alternates between high and low intensity, while Tabata is a specific type of HIIT workout that involves 20 seconds of all-out effort followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated eight times.

HIIT can last anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, while Tabata is a specific four-minute workout. You may go hard for anywhere from 20 seconds to one minute in HIIT, while Tabata intervals are always 20 seconds long.

Tabata is a more intensive and regimented form of HIIT. Tabata helps participants lose six times more subcutaneous abdominal fat than the HIIT group.

HIIT workouts may involve repeating intervals three to seven times, while Tabata is always eight rounds long. As you can see, Tabata is a more intensive and regimented form of HIIT.

While both HIIT and Tabata workouts torch equal amounts of calories during a training session, they each produce different results in terms of weight loss. A recent study published in the Journal of Sports Sciences found that while HIIT and Tabata training participants lost the same amount of weight over 12 weeks, participants who did Tabata lost significantly more body fat than those who did HIIT workouts. The study also found that Tabata helped participants lose six times more subcutaneous abdominal fat than the HIIT group.

The benefits of Tabata vs HIIT

HIIT is as effective as other types of exercise but in less time. For example, a study from the University of Western Ontario compared Tabata with moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) and looked at VO2 max levels after six weeks. The researchers found no difference between the groups in terms of fitness improvements. However, Tabata participants spent only four minutes per session exercising.

The Tabata protocol was discovered when testing Olympic speed skaters on a stationary bike. The goal was to increase their aerobic and anaerobic capacities. The research found that short spurts of intense interval training yielded better results than long bouts of moderate-intensity cardio exercises.

The lengths of each interval also vary significantly between different types of HIIT workouts. For example, some may require 30 seconds and 30 seconds off, while others may call for longer periods – even several minutes.

10 tricks to speed up metabolism to the fullest
See also

Which type of cardio workout is best for you?

12 min Good Mood Cardio Workout

The best exercise program for you depends on your goals, fitness level, and time constraints. If you’re looking for a fast, effective workout that you can do anywhere, Tabata is a great option. HIIT may be a better choice if you have more time to devote to your workouts and want to focus on increasing your aerobic capacity.

In conclusion, Tabata and HIIT are great exercises for burning fat and getting in shape quickly. Tabata is a more specific type of HIIT workout, while HIIT is an umbrella term for any workout that alternates between high and low intensity. Choose the program that fits your goals and fitness level.

Tabata vs HIIT – which is better for burning fat?

You want to burn fat fast. You’ve read about HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and Tabata training, but you’re not sure which style of working out is best for you.

Well, as it turns out, both can be equally effective for burning fat — provided that you’re doing them correctly. Let’s take a look at what these two types of workouts aim to do and the science behind them – then we’ll help you figure out which one is right for your goals!

FAQ