CrossFit vs HIIT Training – Introduction
You are looking for a new workout routine and considering CrossFit vs. HIIT but just aren’t sure which one to choose.
On the surface, they may seem similar to each other, but the details differ.
Crossfit and HIIT athletes look similar to each other because they are fit, lean, and muscular.
These two types of exercises are not the same. One isn’t better than the other; they are just different.
While reading this article, you should consider your main goals with the fitness option you choose.
This article compares and contrasts CrossFit versus HIIT to help you determine which one of these exercises is the right one for you.
What is CrossFit?
CrossFit is a fitness program that was created in the early 2000s.
The overarching goal of this program is to improve athletes’ overall fitness with a combination of gymnastics, weightlifting, and cardiovascular movements.
The fundamental principle of CrossFit is the movements should be constantly varied, high-intensity, and functional.
This means that the movements are always changing, and you won’t find the same workouts two days in a row.
When you do a CrossFit workout, you will do the workout of the day (WOD).
The workout movements are high-intensity while remaining practical.
Each workout intends to mimic movements that you will find in your everyday life.
Crossfit workouts happen in a group setting with a coach, and they can be scaled to meet the fitness level of the person performing the exercises.
The Benefits of CrossFit
The prevailing goal of CrossFit is for the individual to achieve overall fitness and athleticism.
These workouts are intended to build strength, agility, power, balance, core strength, and both anaerobic and aerobic fitness.
CrossFit is popular with those who want to be fit and prepared for whatever may happen in their lives.
The varying advantages of CrossFit include the following:
CrossFit helps build power because it involves exercises that apply as much force as quickly as possible.
In general, strength combined with speed equals power.
Exercises that include throwing weight or jumping with weight are training exercises that help produce power.
Typical CrossFit exercises like:
- box jumps,
- thrusters, and
- Olympic lifts
all help build explosive muscle power.
Workouts in CrossFit include lifting heavy weights in order to build maximum strength.
In addition, these workouts are based on powerful compound exercises that target your entire body simultaneously and not one muscle group at one time.
You increase strength and endurance when you challenge all your muscle groups together.
CrossFit involves high reps and supersets.
Interval training increases your lactate threshold and builds speed which helps improve endurance.
CrossFit helps you perform a high volume of work without muscles becoming fatigued.
CrossFit exercises are complex and demanding, which makes this fitness program ideal for weight loss.
When participating in CrossFit, you can burn a lot of calories per minute.
You should eat a healthy diet because nutrition is critical.
While building muscle mass is not an intended goal of CrossFit, it is an effect of CrossFit workouts.
In CrossFit, you complete movements until you reach muscle fatigue or failure, which naturally builds muscle.
Some CrossFit workouts are long, like running or rowing for miles.
These workouts improve your ability to pull in oxygen during a workout.
When you become stronger at transporting and using oxygen during workouts, you are better able to work out for a longer period of time.
Other CrossFit workouts are intense and short.
You may also have workouts with short periods of high intensity separated by short periods of rest.
This improves your ability to exercise even while not being able to pull in oxygen.
Functional fitness is a pillar of the fundamental belief of CrossFit.
It means that the exercises inside CrossFit gyms (aka CrossFit boxes) are similar to everyday movements, like carrying bags of groceries.
CrossFit helps prepare you for physically demanding jobs and hobbies.
The Problem With CrossFit – Chris Heria
What is HIIT?
HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training that alternates high-intensity activities but for only short bursts of time.
Those bursts alternate with rest or low-intensity activity.
HIIT is intended to burn calories and improve cardiovascular fitness in less time than straight cardio workouts.
The bursts of activity range from 30 seconds to several minutes.
The period of rest is often shorter than the period of activity.
These workouts include cycling, jumping rope, and running.
They are completed in a circuit.
HIIT focuses on burning calories with quick alternating movement combined with rest.
As a result, it uses fast movements to increase heart rate dramatically.
HIIT workouts are time efficient because they only last about 15 to 30 minutes.
Therefore, this exercise is ideal for those with busy schedules.
The HIIT workout’s high intensity increases your body’s metabolic rate.
This allows your body to continue to burn calories even once you’re finished working out.
Improved Cardiovascular Fitness
Due to the high energy and high intensity of HIIT workouts, your cardiovascular system becomes more efficient, which helps to increase your overall cardiovascular health and wellness.
HIIT workouts include many different types of movements, so you won’t get bored.
You will find cycling, running, cardiovascular movements, and bodyweight exercises in any workout.
Most People Do HIIT Cardio Wrong – How to Do HIIT – Thomas DeLauer
HIIT vs CrossFit – Which is Better for You?
When studying CrossFit vs HIIT, you can see the similarities and differences.
While one isn’t better than the other, one is better for you because it aligns with your fitness goals.
Once you know what you want from your workout, you are better able to choose the one that fits your needs.
Best for Building Muscle
When looking at CrossFit versus HITT, they both can help you gain muscle.
However, in CrossFit, you are lifting weights with the goal of lifting as much weight as possible.
This is going to increase muscle mass quickly.
Most HIIT exercises include body weight or light weights.
These exercises are intended to tone more than build muscle.
Winner – CrossFit!
Best for Fitness
Even though they have different approaches, both CrossFit and HIIT are ideal for improving your fitness levels.
CrossFit is focused on conditioning and strength by combining gymnastics, weightlifting, and cardio.
HIIT provides a short burst of activity that is intense, alternating with periods of rest.
Both programs improve endurance and cardiovascular fitness.
Winner – It’s a draw!
Best for Fat Loss
When looking at CrossFit vs HIIT for fat and weight loss, both are high-intensity workouts.
However, the amount of calories burned during a workout depends on many factors.
The duration and intensity of the workout matter, but so do your fitness level and metabolism.
HIIT uses high-intensity movements with little to no rest in between.
CrossFit also has intense movements, but it’s varied much more than HIIT.
It’s a close call when comparing HIIT vs CrossFit regarding the number of calories you burn in a workout.
Winner – HIIT (but only by a small amount)
Best for Beginners
We’ve already talked about how intense both workouts are going to be.
If you ever watch either workout, you may think that it is impossible for someone that has never for someone that hasn’t exercised.
That’s not quite true.
Everyone enjoying the workout was once a beginner.
While it may not look like it, both exercises are ideal for beginners.
The great thing about both of these fitness programs is that they can be scaled to meet you where you are.
In CrossFit, they offer a scaled version of every workout.
You can always make more adaptations if that version isn’t scaled enough.
The same is true for HIIT.
You can take a longer break and have a shorter duration of intensity until you build up stamina.
Someone new to either of these exercises can enjoy them as long as they don’t try to do too much in the beginning.
Winner – It’s a draw!
Best for Building Strength
CrossFit involves using a lot of weight, with the point of working up to the heaviest weight possible.
Therefore, in some workouts, you work to find the maximum amount of weight you can lift.
HIIT is more focused on bodyweight movements in quick bursts.
So while you will gain muscle with HIIT, it is more likely to be lean muscle.
Winner – CrossFit!
Risk of Injury
While you can injure yourself during any workout, the chances of injury doing CrossFit are higher.
Understanding how to do the movements is essential before you try them.
CrossFit consists of complex, technically demanding, and full-body movements.
These movements are done quickly and under a high level of fatigue.
HIIT, on the other hand, uses simple movements quickly.
While some weights are used, they’re light.
It’s possible to injure yourself during HIIT because of the fast movement, but much less likely.
CrossFit has a bad reputation for causing injuries.
Winner – CrossFit! (but not in a good way)
CrossFit vs HIIT Training – Wrapping Up
Even though CrossFit shows up as the winner more often, there is no clear winner in the HIIT vs. CrossFit battle.
It really depends on your goals and what you want to get out of your workout.
If you want to burn fat, move a good amount of weight quickly, and improve your fitness, CrossFit is for you.
HIIT is the answer if you want to burn fat, improve endurance, and build lean muscle.
These two exercise programs are similar.
You may find that you enjoy both of them.
Consider trying both types of workouts to determine which you like best.
You may find that you enjoy both and want to work CrossFit and HIIT into your weekly exercise routine.
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