Calisthenics Crossfit

Crossfit vs HIIT: What Is the Difference?

Among different fitness trends, some fit best in our lifestyle, and some are more in tune with our aims. Both Crossfit and High Intensity Interval Training are reputable training regimens. Each can suit a specific group of athletes, and sometimes a combination of both will bring the desired result. 

Like any other fitness recommendation, your chosen training method is subject to a variety of personal and environmental factors. If you have ever wondered about the difference between Crossfit vs. HIIT, what follows will help you make the right decision.

What Is the Difference Between Crossfit and HIIT

The main difference between Crossfit and HIIT is that HIIT is a training system whereas Crossfit is a competitive sport involving different training methods including HIIT. We can implement HIIT style in many different routines. Cardiovascular exercises can be performed in HIIT format.

What is considered a HIIT workout?

HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. Looking more precisely at its name, we can gain some helpful insight into this training protocol. “High Intensity” indicates the appropriate level for this exercise. “Interval Training” is a training system for aerobic fitness. It involves spurts of activity followed by brief low-intensity activity or complete rest.

What Is a CrossFit Workout?

Crossfit is more than just a training protocol. It is an all-encompassing exercise routine that focuses on functionality in all aspects of fitness. It involves nutrition plan, strength and conditioning, and agility; it is also performed in “high intensity”. Crossfit is a community-oriented program that advocates WODs and competition events.

Are Crossfit Workouts Considered HIIT?

Crossfit involves high-intensity exercises, which can be strength and conditioning, followed by short rest periods. In that respect, for a comparison between Crossfit vs HIIT, we can say that Crossfit is a high-intensity Interval Training. However, we should not overlook the fact that it also involves gymnastics, stretching, plyometrics, etc.

On the other hand, another attitude toward HIIT vs Crossfit signifies that there are clear distinctions between the two. HIIT defines action-rest intervals, whereas Crossfit works across a range of intensities; meaning that Crossfit does not have to be at maximal intensity unless the program is designed to do so. Metrics such as Maximum Oxygen Consumption (VO2MAX) and lactate threshold are not that much considered in CF compared to HIIT. Crossfit also involves HIIT during the MetCon.

Crossfit vs HIIT for Weight Loss

Crossfit vs hiit for weight loss

HIIT is designed for cardiovascular fitness, and it is ideal for burning fat. Crossfit also has weight loss features along with other health and fitness benefits, but the focus of it is not weight loss. Therefore, in comparison between Crossfit vs HIIT, HIIT is ideal for weight loss.

Nevertheless, diet always plays a significant role in weight loss. Neither Crossfit nor HIIT will result in an ideal fat-burning plan unless they accompany a proper nutrition program.

Additionally, for burning fat, consistency is the key. Hence, if that is your purpose, between Crossfit vs HIIT, choose the one that you can practice regularly. Nonetheless, studies show that High Intensity Interval Training has a greater impact on burning fat than continuous training at a steady pace. The reason could be the impact of HIIT on increasing the resting metabolic rate.

Difference Between HIIT and Cross-Training

Cross training vs HIIT can be compared as follows: HIIT involves bursts of intense exercise followed by short periods of low-intensity exercise or complete rest. For example, someone can sprint for 2 minutes and then stroll for 15 seconds. Cross-training is when someone practices an exercise outside their primary routine. For example, a bodybuilder may cross-train by cycling. HIIT improves aerobic measures along the line of the same activity, whereas cross-training improves weaknesses and functionality in areas other than the primary exercise.

Read about: Crossfit vs. Cross-Training: Differences and Similarities.

Is CrossFit HIIT or Cross-training?

Crossfit involves both HIIT and cross-training. The nature of Crossfit is to train across various domains. So, a Crossfit high-intensity program alternates across various exercises and different muscle groups with short rest intervals.

Crossfit vs HIIT vs Tabata

We already explained Crossfit vs HIIT, but what is the difference with Tabata? Tabata was invented by Dr. Izumi Tabata, and it is named after him. Similar to HIIT, Tabata is also a high-intensity training modality, and HIIT is a variation of Tabata. Tabata has shorter rest and active intervals, and it pushes to the limit of maximum heart rate. We can say that Tabata is a higher intensity version of HIIT.

If you are short of time, Tabata or HIIT are suitable options. I can complete a HIIT session in 15 to 20 minutes. While both Tabata and HIIT are inclined towards aerobics, Crossfit involves aerobics, strength, etc.

CrossFit HIIT Workout No Equipment

Some CrossFit exercises, such as burpees, push-ups, lunges, and so forth can be practiced without any equipment. We can apply HIIT or Tabata training format to these exercises, and we can practice at home or anywhere just by leveraging bodyweight.

With a Tabata format, you should practice for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest, and repeat it for eight rounds. With a bit of tweak and by adding eight different exercises, you can create a Crossfit HIIT workout with no equipment. Here it goes:

  • Each round is 8 different exercises
  • 20 seconds for each exercise
  • 10 seconds rest after each exercise

After finishing each round, rest for one minute and repeat for a total of three rounds.

The following is a list of Crossfit exercises that require no equipment. They can be assembled to form a HIIT training Crossfit workout. We can practice this style of exercise at home or anywhere with minimum requirements.

  • Burpees
  • Jump Squat
  • Tempo Squat
  • Box Jumps
  • Air Squat
  • High Knees
  • Push-ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Lateral Run/Side Drills
  • Jump Split Squat
  • Crunches
  • Dips
  • Leg Raise
  • knees to elbows CrossFit

Also, you can read more about: no equipment Crossfit workouts and Tabata in bodyweight WOD.

What is Similar Between HIIT CrossFit and Body Weight Exercises?

1. Both are suitable for weight loss
2. Both are functional and improve overall fitness
3. We can practice both of them in aerobic or anaerobic mode
4. They follow a minimalistic approach

We can practice both body weight and Crossfit HIIT style with no equipment. In fact, Crossfit HIIT is based on calisthenics methodology.

Is HIIT Harder Than CrossFit?

To answer which one is harder: Crossfit or HIIT? it should be mentioned that both are scalable methods. You can start at a low level and as you progress increase the intensity of the exercise. However, considering the competition aspect of Crossfit, it seems to be the more challenging one in practice.

In HIIT you adjust the intensity based on heartbeat. Even when it is against a set time, you still upscale the intensity on par with your pulse. So, it is mostly a competition against yourself. In Crossfit, you need to meet certain benchmarks; there can be a number of repetitions, or many rounds as in AMAR ( as many rounds as possible). 

Perhaps, we can say in Crossfit vs HIIT for someone with the aim of general wellness and fitness, Crossfit is the more challenging one. HIIT appears to be more beginner friendly and age-friendly. There is a lower risk of injury in HIIT vs Crossfit. You can start HIIT at almost any age and continue it for years without burning yourself out.

Which Is Better HIIT or Crossfit?

Now that we learn the differences between Crossfit and HIIT, we have a better outlook on which method to choose. If the purpose is weight loss, HIIT, and if it is general fitness, Crossfit can be suitable. It is also possible to practice HIIT style Crossfit with bodyweight.

Final thoughts about HIIT vs. CrossFit

  • Crossfit and HIIT have many similarities. In fact, Crossfit is a HIIT training. Although WOD can be adjusted based on the needs of the individuals, we should not overlook that Crossfit is high intensity; It is made to be demanding. HIIT has better flexibility to be adjusted to the needs, physical features, and age of different groups.
  • There are things that are similar between HIIT Crossfit and body weight exercises. We can have a combination of both in a HIIT Crossfit and even a Crossfit HIIT workout with no equipment. Still, HIIT is a much more no equipment form of exercise.
  • In Crossfit vs HIIT for weight loss, both consume a lot of calories but HIIT seems to be the more efficient one.

Also read: Crossfit vs Circuit Training.

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