Tabata vs. HIIT: 3 Main Differences

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and Tabata are fitness buzz words that you’ve probably heard about lately - but what exactly are these funny sounding workout terms, and how are they different?! Both Tabata and HIIT are centered around Intervals of high intensity exercise paired with periods of complete rest. The exact time spent during work vs. rest is a key difference, as well as the total workout time, and the intensity of each. We’ll explore below the key differences between the two exercise types, and what sort of physical adaptations it has on our bodies.

Duration of Work vs. Rest

Tabata is known to have a pretty standard 20 second work period followed by a 10 second rest period, while HIIT generally requires you to work for anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes, followed by a 30 second to 2 minute recovery period (depending on the work duration). What’s most different about the duration of these two is the ratio of work to rest. While Tabata generally has a 2:1 ratio, HIIT is more often a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio.

Heart Rate and Intensity

Tabata aims to get your heart rate above 100%, really pushing the limit on the percentage of your maximum heart rate. HIIT has a slightly more conservative effect on the heart generally pushing 80-95% of your maximum heart rate.

Total Workout Time

With Tabata, you can expect a shorter workout time compared to HIIT. Tabata workouts are traditionally 4 minutes in duration (though these days they tend to be slightly longer), while HIIT workouts can be anywhere from 20-40 minutes.

Interval training has become seemingly more popular in the last few years, and reaps so many benefits with less of a time commitment - perfect for people wanting to shed some pounds without a ton of time on their hands! Don’t stress too much over which to try, because with both HIIT and Tabata you will see fast results while still being so efficient. Try both, and see which workout style works best for you!

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