Tabata vs HIIT – the differences and similarities

Find Your Personal Trainer

Published: January 11, 2022

The world of fitness is filled with all kinds of exercise routines that help you stay fit and healthy. With so many different choices at their disposal, a lot of people have a hard time opting for just one training technique. Lately, it seems like everyone is talking about either Tabata or HIIT. People are discussing whether Tabata vs HIIT will be the right kind of routine for them, they seem to be weighing the pros and cons of these two techniques, and they are wondering which one to opt for. Worry not – we here at DubaiPT are here to provide an answer to some of these problems. We’ll help you get to the bottom of things and help you decide which of these two classes to attend.

A woman working with training ropes.
Tabata and HIIT help you work on your fitness goals without spending hours at the gym.

Tabata vs HIIT – the similarities

Let’s start by discussing what these two workout techniques have in common, as they share quite a few things. For starters, both are a form of high-intensity interval training, as Tabata is basically a form of HIIT. HIIT is a type of interval training where a period of hard work is followed by a period of rest. When immersed in a HIIT workout, you can decide to focus on cardio exercises, but you can also add in a few pieces of equipment that help you work on your strength. While the intervals of a HIIT routine can vary, they usually last two to three minutes, with the entire workout lasting as long as you see fit.

On the other hand, Tabata is a form of HIIT that will help you experience all kinds of benefits. And these benefits range from health-related ones to physique-related ones. Both a HIIT workout and a Tabata training workout will result in enhanced strength and cardiovascular capacity. Likewise, both Tabata and HIIT can be done anywhere and without any pieces of equipment. Of course, you can always decide to challenge yourself and add in a pair of dumbbells to your workouts. The point is that both of these workout techniques let you have a perfectly effective session with bodyweight exercises only.

The biggest similarity between Tabata and HIIT is that you are supposed to exert yourself to the max during the active period. That’s why both Tabata and HIIT are the fat loss workout of choice for many people. But to truly be able to opt for one over the other, you need to understand exactly how they differ – that’s what we are here to find out.

Tabata vs HIIT – the differences

There are two main differences between Tabata and HIIT – the intensity and the duration of the intervals. Put simply, Tabata is a higher intensity version of HIIT, as it puts more stress on the body and makes you work harder. That’s why Tabata is a mandatory part of many fat-burning workouts, as it helps you shed pounds at an impressive rate. Needless to say that both Tabata and HIIT are good for you and will help you stay on track with your fitness journey.

An alarm clock on a pink and blue surface.
The time it takes to complete an interval is the biggest difference between Tabata and HIIT.

Another thing that differs when it comes to Tabata and HIIT is the duration of the intervals. We’ve already mentioned that the intervals of a HIIT routine can vary, and you can usually make them shorter or longer. On the other hand, Tabata, which was invented by Dr. Izumi Tabata, is more specific in interval timing, and it usually has shorter recovery periods. A Tabata interval lasts four minutes, during which you have alternating intervals of work and rest. In most cases, 20 seconds of hard work are followed by 10 seconds of rest, and that’s the pattern you follow until those four minutes are up. You can then decide to do another four-minute Tabata interval, or you can immerse yourself in another form of exercise.

In essence, Tabata is a great aerobic exercise – but so is HIIT. Both of these workout techniques will help you achieve similar results and obtain the physique you are dreaming of. Of course, we understand your confusion and inability to opt for just one of these two. After all, it can be hard to choose when both seem to be giving you the same benefits.

How to choose the right workout style for yourself?

Tabata, HIIT, and even CrossFit training – all of these three workout techniques have some things in common. And considering the fact that all of them are so similar, we can’t possibly give you an answer to this question. The only one who can decide which workout style is the right one for you is you. There’s only one way to do that – by trying all of them out. What do you stand to lose by doing one session of HIIT, one session of Tabata, and maybe even one session of another workout style? The worst thing that could happen is for you to get in better shape. We do believe that trying out these two workout styles just once will be enough for you to choose your favorite.

A man surrounded by question marks, thinking whether to opt for Tabata vs HIIT.
Don’t think about it any longer – try both Tabata and HIIT once and make your decision.

The bottom line

Both Tabata and HIIT are forms of exercise that provide impressive results. They help you burn fat, build muscle, and improve your cardiovascular capacity. That’s why most personal fitness trainers in Dubai usually include a brief high-intensity interval training session in their workout routines. When looking at Tabata vs HIIT, the main difference we are able to notice is in the intensity of the workouts, and the duration of the intervals. The great thing about both of these is that they are perfect for people who are short on time. Tabata and HIIT won’t take up too much of your time – quite the contrary. They will let you work up a sweat at an incredibly quick rate.


Get Matched With The Best Personal Trainer

Dubai PT logo image Schedule a Free Training Session With Our Top Rated Trainers X

Please leave your info and we will provide you with a list of openings for your complimentary training session

Dunja Zaric - trainer profile image

Dunja Zaric

  • Customized entry-level training
  • Home, gym & outdoor workout
  • Cardio & Strength training
  • Professional nutrition guidance
  • Dance & Bodyweight courses
View Profile

Voja Budrovac - trainer profile image

Voja Budrovac

  • Nutrition specialist
  • Providing fast results
  • Home, gym & outdoor workouts
  • Internationally certified
  • Hundreds of satisfied clients
View Profile

Aly Mohamed - trainer profile image

Aly Mohamed

  • Fat loss & muscle building expert
  • Over 15 year of experience
  • Level 3 certified personal trainer
  • Speaks English & Arabic
  • Home, gym & outdoor workouts
View Profile

Kate Nadich - trainer profile image

Kate Nadich

  • Strength building expert
  • Certified personal trainer
  • Over 6 years of experience
  • Postnatal recovery programs
  • Weight-loss & nutrition specialist
View Profile

Djordje Brajkovic - trainer profile image

Djordje Brajkovic

  • Weight lifting & cardio training pro
  • Internationally certified
  • Home, gym & outdoor workouts
  • Faculty degree in sports & fitness
  • Kids' & teenagers' training programs
View Profile