Tabata Vs. HIIT Workout: What's The Difference?
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Tabata vs. HIIT: What’s the Difference?

19 October 2022

Tabata and HIIT are two of the most popular types of high-intensity interval training. They both offer a lot of benefits, but there are some key differences between them. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at both Tabata vs HIIT.

What is Tabata?

Tabata is a type of HIIT or High-Intensity Interval Training that demands 20 minutes of high-intensity workout with an interval of small rest periods.

It was developed by a Japanese coach Dr Izumi Tabata in the 1990s, Tabata focuses on high-calorie consumption, muscle strength and better cardiovascular health.

So which one should be preferred, Tabata or HIIT? This article focuses on the effects of Tabata and where Tabata stands in the Tabata vs HIIT challenge and which one is better to achieve your goals.  

The Difference Between Tabata and HIIT (Tabata vs. HIIT)

Although Tabata is a type of HIIT, it has an even higher intensity than regular HIIT. Tabata has a smaller recovery time than a HIIT workout so a seasoned or experienced person in HIIT should step-up to Tabata only and not the beginners. 

As the name suggests, HIIT means there are bouts of high-intensity workouts followed by small intervals of rest. The variation in the workout intensity and rest timings makes Tabata different from HIIT. 

As far as Tabata vs HIIT comparison is concerned, the Tabata workout is more intense and burns more calories than an average HIIT regime.

Also, you don’t need any equipment for this Tabata workout program and you can do it in just 20 minutes, unlike a full-fledged high-intensity workout. 

Also Read: Diet Vs Exercise – Which Is The Champion Of Health?

Benefits of Tabata Training Over HIIT Training

  • More Calories Burn – Tabata training makes more calories burn in less time than other high-intensity pieces of training and traditional cardio exercises like swimming, running or biking.
  • Better Cardiovascular Health – As it improves cardio health dramatically, Tabata is a great workout for those who are looking for a way to boost their aerobic capacity. 
  • More Benefits in just 20 minutes workout – The major USP of this workout is that you get more done in just 20 minutes of your time.
  • Great for Weight Loss – Tabata is a better option for weight loss than other training and simple aerobic exercises. 
  • Increases strength & agility – For example, you will be able to perform push-ups in a better and more efficient way if you start doing Tabata.

Also Check: 7 Most Helpful Exercises To Do In Bed Anytime

Tabata Workout Routine for the Best Results

Each Tabata round lasts for four minutes, 20 seconds of action and 10 seconds of rest. 

You need to choose five moves, do each for 20 seconds then take a rest for 10 seconds, and do this eight times. Rest for a minute then repeat this for all five moves and you are done!

You can choose any good exercise to include in your Tabata moves such as high knees or knee to chest (more like jogging with knees flexing more than usual).

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Exercises used in Tabata

  • Sprawls
  • Skaters
  • Lunges
  • Tuck Jumps
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Push-ups
  • Sprints
  • Rowing
  • Knee Tucks to push ups
  • Burpees
  • Squat jumps 

You can choose any five you want. Just don’t forget to warm up before it. 

Can Tabata Help Improve Your Overall Fitness Level and Athletic Performance?

Yes, Tabata works both on the aerobic and anaerobic systems in our body, it is best for cardiovascular health as well as lean muscle mass buildup

This workout regime is based on time and not on repetitions, so it keeps the workout flexible while increasing agility and endurance. 

Your VO2 Max is reached pretty quickly with the Tabata workout. VO2 max is the maximum capacity at which your body can draw oxygen while exercising. 

Also Read: Muscle Cramps: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis And Treatments

Risks Associated With Tabata Training

  • Tabata is not for beginners, if you are already in the routine of working out or in HIIT training, then you can opt for Tabata but if you are just beginning your workout sessions then you must wait to get your body seasoned before you start such intense workout training.
  • Tabata is not for individuals who have any kind of heart condition as it exerts a lot of pressure on heart muscles, and also you must not be a hypertensive or hypotension patient. 
  • Warming up is very important to avoid any injuries and all the moves in the Tabata workout should be well-practised and you must be familiar with them.
  • If you are a beginner, you have a great chance of getting injured in Tabata workout. 


Is Tabata good for weight loss?

Yes, Tabata is good for weight loss. In fact, if you can pull a good and justified Tabata workout then you can burn calories even after you have completed it. It is one of the best workouts to reduce weight faster. In a study on Tabata workout, it was found that it helps in losing weight only in overweight individuals (source). 

Is Tabata harder than HIIT?

Yes, Tabata is way harder than other HIIT training. In Tabata, you need to work at your best speed during those 20 seconds of activity and the recovery time is much less than required which is just 10 seconds. Also, you need to complete eight such rounds of each activity. You need to do the same regime for five activities. So it is quite harder than HIIT.

Is Tabata good for beginners?

No, Tabata is a type of high-intensity interval training that requires strength, flexibility and speed, it is not recommended for beginners as the chances of injury are quite high in novice sportspersons. Once a person knows how to perform at least five activities well then only they can be incorporated into a Tabata workout. 

Are 20 minutes of Tabata enough?

Yes, 20 minutes of Tabata is equal to a long cardio workout and it delivers great results. Tabata workout is known to enhance muscle strength, improve endurance, provide good cardiovascular health and efficient calorie burning in just 20 minutes. 

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