Tabata versus HIIT Workouts - Become a Fat Burning Furnace!

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Tabata versus HIIT Workouts – Become a Fat Burning Furnace!

I think everyone can agree with me; burning fat is harder than going to dinner with your girlfriend’s mother!

With these two workout disciplines, you can burn up to 30% more calories than you did before!

In this article, I’ll discuss these two popular workout routines with you; Tabata and HIIT.

Which one is better for weight loss?

woman jumping on box at gym

What’s HIIT?

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and is focused on burning as many calories as possible in a short period of time. Short intensive exercises are interchanged with even shorter periods of rest between the exercises.

Need more information about HIIT? In this post we’ll tell you all about it!

So, What are the Benefits of HIIT?

Let’s face it:

HIIT is the new rage in the fitness industry. But what are the benefits?

  • Burn a lot of calories in a short period of time.
  • HIIT can be executed by everyone and altered to the personal needs of the person working out.
  • A HIIT can be made by everyone. Running up and down the stairs, doing some short sprints and rope jumping can be done anytime, ANYWHERE!
  • A lot of benefits for the cardiovascular system. Studies prove that it has positive effects on blood pressure levels.
  • A LOT of variations possible!

And in the long run?

I’ll be honest here, for the EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption), HIIT does not make a big difference. The number of calories you burn after working out will be approximately the same compared to weightlifting, CrossFit or any other workout routine on the block.

Why is this still beneficial then?

HIIT is more beneficial because it burns calories like crazy in a shorter period of time compared to a normal workout. Studies even show that doing a HIIT for the same amount of time as weightlifting or any steady-state exercise session burn up to 30% more calories!

Should I then choose HIIT over any form of exercise?

Hell no! They are good to combine. For example, running and HIIT! Interested in this combination? Check out this post about the benefits of running and HIIT.

So, are you looking for that summer body to show off with?

HIIT is the way to go! Burn more calories in less time. Keep the workouts excited with many possible variations and carry out your workout, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE!

man doing push ups in outdoor

Any Cons Then?

Let’s be honest here, there are…

But does this involve the way of thinking about HIIT? No! This purely involves the people that are doing and teaching it. Where many gyms offer HIIT training, this is not always wise.

A study that was published in the American Journal of Medicine found out that there are some people that had rhabdomyolysis. Sufferers experience a lot of pain and can eventually lead to kidney damage.

Why does this happen then?

It’s because some people are simply not conditioned enough for HIIT. Besides, HIIT gym classes are a mix of advanced gym rats and beginners. This makes it hard for trainers to find a solution for all the attendees.

Still Convinced?


Because we’ve got some HIIT workouts for every training level!

Are you still new to this? Then try some training methods from Joe Wicks, a.k.a. The Body Coach on YouTube! For example:

More advanced and training for some years now?

Then try this one. It is used by some athletes for Spartan races!

What is Tabata?

Do you want even shorter periods of time working out, but keeping the results? Tabata is your new favorite!

Tabata was discovered by Dr. Izumi Tabata and his team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo.

More information about Tabata? Check out our other post!

What did he discover?

He discovered that Tabata is the new fat burning program that everyone was craving for! He discovered this with two groups of people that he let workout for six weeks.

How does this work?

Two groups of athletes. One group focused on moderate-intensity workouts, while the other focused on this high intensity workout routine.

28% increase in anaerobic system.

So, what is the anaerobic system?


A lot of muscles, so to speak. He discovered that the second group had an increase of 28% in their anaerobic system, while their cardiovascular system remained approximately the same level.

woman doing tabata workout

How Does Tabata Work?

Tabata can be described quite easily.

  • Exercises last only 4 minutes!
  • 20 seconds ass to the grass!
  • 10 seconds rest.
  • 8 rounds of giving it everything you got.

And the best part? You can do this for as many exercises as you want! Begin with some easy bodyweight exercises:

  • Push-ups
  • Squats
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Sprints

Still alive after this workout? Just add some more exercises!

What are the Pros?

Leaving all other lifestyle factors aside, it helps to burn fat. And isn’t that what we are all looking for? How does this work, you ask?

Well, it burns fat because a Tabata workout increases our Basal Metabolic Rate (or BMR). By increasing the BMR, you also increase the calorie expenditure.

And we all know, burning more calories while eating fewer calories means more fat burned!

Increase in Your Aerobic Capacity

Your aerobic capacity is the maximum amount of oxygen uptake that your body can handle. The more we exercise, the higher our aerobic capacity.

Studies show that Tabata is a great way of increasing your aerobic capacity, much more than moderate-intensity workouts!

More Calories, Less Time!

Because Tabata is such an intense (and short) workout, you will burn more calories in half the time. If compared to other moderate intensity workouts, the calorie expenditure is much higher.

So, are you in a time squeeze? Tabata!

Gains, Gains, Gains Baby!

As any other workout should, it causes small tears in the muscle tissue. When this muscle recovers, it has to expand to cover that tear in the muscle tissue, therefore, making the muscle stronger and bigger. This is also true for Tabata workouts.

Let the gains begin!

two girls jumping on plyo box in fitness class

What About the Cons Then?

The main con?

There is no data that supports the benefits of Tabata in the long term. Dr. Aseem Malhotra, a cardiologist and fitness enthusiast, questions if HIT is the best form of exercise. He states that too much exercise can harm anyone as much as it can be beneficial for their health.

A study published by the British Medical Journal even found out that people who perform high-intensity training methods have a higher mortality rate than people that perform low-intensity training regimes.

But there is a big catch!

This is not researched thoroughly either and that’s the reason this can also be questioned. Performing sports has overall benefits, Tabata is not excluded from this equation.

Another con?

Because of the intensity of the workouts, it is not something everyone can do! Going ass to the grass for 20 seconds with only 10 seconds rest is not something the majority of people can do immediately. Training is needed for this!

The last one then?

Technique is very important here. Doing a push-up, for example, has many benefits. Doing a push-up, the wrong way, has many side effects as well.

You can get injured; your back may get hurt and your shoulders may feel it. Therefore, doing Tabata is not only rainbows and sunshine!

Still Interested?

Are you still in love with Tabata? Then we’ve got some great news for you! There are plenty of workouts available on the web!

Which one do we recommend? How about this one from CrossFit Champion Mat Fraser?

Or this one, from the popular magazine Men’s Health?

Still nothing of your liking? This Tabata workout by HASfit will surely make everything burn! And don’t come to us with muscle soreness the next day!

Then make your own Tabata workout routine with these bodyweight cardio exercises from Men’s Health, focusing on both strength and endurance! Getting that killer body lays now in your own hands!

So, What’s the Difference?

The main difference between HIIT and Tabata workout routines is that HIIT is mainly focused on time or reps, while Tabata is strictly focused on time.

Another difference is the rest period. Where HIIT does not specify a rest period that is allowed or advised, Tabata is very strict on the 10 seconds.

Go to a random gym that has a Tabata workout routine and you won’t get an extra second for free!

And last but not least.

With Tabata, you can squeeze 5 intense exercises within 20 minutes. HIIT tends to last a bit longer. Somewhere between 20 and 40 minutes.

athletic girls doing jump rope exercise

Bottom Line – Tabata or HIIT?

The best part?

It does not matter!

And even better? You can mix them up and play around with both workout styles! Getting bored with your Tabata routine? Try HIIT training next time or switch up your Tabata workout routine. There are plenty of exercises that are very suitable for Tabata.

Think about:

  • Push-ups
  • Squats
  • Jumping rope
  • Sprints
  • Air squats
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Etc.

What’s Best for Me?

The workout that’s best for you is the workout that YOU love. The difference between Tabata and HIIT is very little, so choose a workout routine that you can hold on to for a long time.

Also, look at your own time schedule! Do you have a lot of time, give HIIT a shot! Short on time, then choose Tabata as your workout routine!

And then?

The results will come! Combine this workout routine with a healthy diet and you’ll see your abs in no time!

You Up for the Challenge!?

So, are YOU up for the challenge? Tabata vs HIIT, or Tabata and HIIT? Or maybe Tabata or HIIT?

Whatever you choose, both workouts are proven to be intense, good for your health and burn calories like crazy! So, get off that couch and burn those love handles!

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