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What's The Difference between Tabata & HIIT

What’s The Difference between Tabata & HIIT?

The difference between Tabata & HIIT has been a regular debate among fitness enthusiasts. The argument has always been about which offers more benefits. Understandably, you want to get fit the best possible way. If you are passionate about workouts, you probably already know about HIIT and Tabata.

Without much ado, both Tabata and HIIT are effective workouts anyone can add to their routine. They both offer satisfactory results, but differently. Many don’t know is that Tabata is a subset of HIIT that takes less than five minutes to complete. For better understanding, we will clarify the ambiguity surrounding the two exercises.

Key Takeaway

Tabata and HIIT are workout routines suitable for anyone with a busy schedule because they are short-term exercises. Both are efficient with short bursts of powerful movement with resting intervals. Tabata is a type of HIIT exercise producing resounding fitness results quickly. The similarity between Tabata and HIIT is maximizing results within a short period.


What does HIIT imply?

HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training, representing cardio workouts focusing on respiration. It is intense training that involves short bursts with shorter resting times. It is a cycle repeatable in less than 30 minutes.

HIIT is not new, except you are a beginner with no prior knowledge. The workout routine produces excellent results in a short period. Among the expected benefits is burning fat to push yourself to your limit. The powerful movement associated makes it recommendable for people with little spare time.

Within 30 minutes, you can gain more from HIIT than spending hours on other exercises, especially cycling. It doesn’t sound real. But, we have been there and can testify to its efficacy. You don’t have excuses for not exercising, given the short time to complete HIIT workouts.


What Does Tabata imply?

Dr. Izumi Tabata was the founder of the Tabata workout in 1996. Initially, it was a means of training Olympic skaters to become faster. As of now, many fitness enthusiasts are embracing this workout to stay in shape. Its simplicity makes it widely accepted across the world among fitness enthusiasts.

What differentiates Tabata from HIIT workouts is the time frame. There is not much difference in the exercises. You can complete Tabata workouts in under four minutes. This implies that Tabata is a structured workout similar to HIIT but shorter. It can be part of your HIIT exercises since varieties of training make it whole.

Practicing Tabata demands not less than 80 percent of your energy within the first 20 seconds. It requires a short resting time of 10 seconds. The cycle begins again for another 20 seconds with the same exercises. Follow the session with another 10 seconds rest. This continues for eight rounds until you complete the four minutes session.

You don’t have to spend hours planning Tabata, making it adaptable to strengthen any part of your body.


The Differences

In a precise term, Tabata is a type of HIIT practicable in a short time, as low as four minutes. Its intensity increases as you move to the next round, differentiating it from other forms of HIIT. As much as the exercise time is short, the resting period is shorter than other HIIT exercises.

The recovery period of HIIT workouts is more extended than that of Tabata, making it more intense. Tabata workouts increase your metabolism faster than other HIIT exercises. Engaging in Tabata can help you produce significant energy during quick attempts for up to 5 weeks every day.

So, we believe you can tell that the completion time and the intensity are the significant differences. But that doesn’t render other HIIT workouts useless. They are both effective for healthy living and building your confidence. The exercises are fun-filled, meaning you will enjoy doing them every day.

What we are saying, in essence, is that there is not much difference between Tabata & HIIT. Your decision should center on your fitness goal, schedule, and your availability. Interestingly, you can include Tabata as part of your HIIT workout routines. We would advise you to mix up the exercises occasionally if you already have a Tabata routine.

What's The Difference between Tabata & HIIT?

Image Source: ISSA Online


Tabata Exercises you can adopt

An interesting fact about Tabata’s workout is that you don’t need any equipment to get it done. Some people built that Tabata routine around the basic bodyweight exercises. It works similarly to lifting weights. The workouts include:

  • Jumping jacks
  • Mountain Climber
  • Push-Ups
  • Squat Jumps
  • Abdominal Crunches
  • Burpees
  • Heel’s Touch
  • Leg Raises

It doesn’t have to be everything at a time. Choose at least four that align with your fitness goal and do it within the stipulated time (4 minutes). The standard recommendation is to count the number of reps for your selected options at the beginning of the rounds.

The idea is to improve on your previous attempt. For example, trying to beat your last number of heel’s touch from the first set.


HIIT Exercises Suitable for you

The reps in HIIT workouts are higher and have a longer resting time. Here are a few you can add to your routines:

  • Squat thrusts (45 seconds)
  • Mountain climbers (45 reps)
  • Russian twists (20 on each side)
  • Jumping jacks (60 reps)
  • High knees (30 on each side)
  • Push-Ups (10 reps)


There are different ways to do HIIT workouts by trying other exercises. Keep experimenting until you find that which suits your preferences and objectives. Like the Tabata workouts, you also don’t need equipment for these exercises. The good it is that you can do them anywhere. It implies it doesn’t have to be at the gym.

However, you can use fitness tools for some variations if that’s your preference. These sets of exercises will help you burn calories during and after your daily routine. The aftermath effect is through a mechanism called Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC).



Tabata and HIIT are perfect exercises for business people with tight schedules. You don’t need several hours to get them done. Tabata is even shorter and intense, making it effective workouts for burning fats. HIIT offers the same effect even though you will spend more time doing it. We should have no difference between Tabata & HIIT at the back of our minds.

Finally, our nutrient intake also affects the fitness result. Therefore, it is essential to consume foods that support your body’s development.


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