My students often hear me say that variety is the spice of life, so when they walk into my Cardio/Sculpt Circuit Training” class at 8:30 a.m. on Saturdays, they know to expect something different each time. Sometimes I’ll say, “Today, we are doing Tabata.” Other times we’ll do HIIT or perhaps interval circuit training.
So, what are the differences between these workouts?
Here’s the skinny: Tabata is a form of HIIT (high intensity interval training), and HIIT and circuit training are forms of interval training.
Here’s a bit more detail:
- Interval training is a series of low-to-high intensity workouts interspersed with short periods of rest. The main objective is to change the intensity of the workout.
- HIIT is a cardiovascular exercise program that alternates short periods of high-intensity aerobic exercise and less intense recovery periods.
- Tabata is a form of HIIT that uses standard durations of a 20-second work period followed by a 10-second rest period.
- Circuit training is a form of interval training that alternates between several exercises that target different muscle groups. The main principle behind circuit training is to work as many different muscles with a minimal amount of rest.
So why do I love this type of training? Because it’s both efficient and effective! Let’s face it, we all lead busy lives and want to enjoy the benefits of our workout in the short amount of time we have. Interval training workouts have been shown to do just that! HIIT workouts help boost cardiorespiratory fitness, can help improve insulin sensitivity and have been shown to boost that afterburner effect (also called EPOC, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. This means that your body actually keeps burning calories after you leave the gym!)
Are you sold yet? Go ahead, give it a try. All versions of interval training are fun, and you’re sure to get a great workout. Join me on Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. in Riverwalk.
Jordana Raban has been teaching group fitness at Somerset Hills YMCA since 2016 and holds special certifications in TRX and Mat Pilates.