HIIT: An Aerobic Workout or Anaerobic Workout?

It’s common for people to compare high-intensity interval training with other forms of cardio. So when people start dabbling into HIIT, a question they often encounter themselves with is: is HIIT an aerobic workout?

Aerobic vs. anaerobic exercise

Simply put, aerobic exercise is any type of cardiovascular conditioning, also known as “cardio”. Aerobic exercise uses oxygen as energy, which means that your breathing determines how much oxygen gets to your muscles. 

Some types of aerobic exercise are:

  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Walking

The word “aerobic” literally means “with oxygen”. 

Anaerobic, on the other hand, means–yup, you guessed it–“without oxygen”. Anaerobic exercise doesn’t rely on oxygen for energy, but instead uses glucose stored in your contracting muscles. 

Some types of anaerobic exercise are:

  • Weightlifting
  • Circuit training
  • Pilates
  • Yoga
  • HIIT

Wait–so does this mean HIIT doesn’t train your anaerobic fitness? The answer is, not exactly.

Is HIIT good for aerobic fitness?

Okay, so, is HIIT an aerobic workout? No. But is it good for your aerobic fitness? Actually, yes!

First of all, it’s important to note that high-intensity interval training is more efficient than aerobic exercise at burning fat. Plus, unlike aerobic exercise, it has an afterburn effect, which means you keep burning calories for hours after you’re done exercising.

However, some studies have shown that HIIT stimulates both the aerobic and anaerobic systems. This means that it can improves your cardiovascular indurance (aerobic) while also boosting your metabolism, burning fat, and strengthening your muscles, joints, and bones (anaerobic).

Something else to note is that since HIIT is a versatile workout method, you can technically use it to do more “traditional” aerobic exercise. For instance, you could do a running HIIT workout to take your regular running session to the next level and improve your stamina and speed.

At SWEAT440, we combine cardio and strength elements into 40-minute HIIT classes to get both aerobic and anaerobic benefits. Although we prioritize a specific muscle group each day, you’ll find that you still work your entire body in every class. Want to challenge yourself but are short on time? Visit our studio in Deerfield and try your first class for free!

We understand basic Covid safety, but how does it apply to gyms? Here are 6 things to consider when researching a “Covid safe gym near me Jean Talon.”

What are 3 types of HIIT workouts?

The basic idea of HIIT is: push yourself as hard as you can for short bursts of time, have a brief rest period, and repeat. This can be done for 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 40 minutes–it depends on the workout. Additionally, you can include different types of exercises in a HIIT workout, from cardio exercises to weighted exercises to plyometrics.

HIIT can be adapted to different fitness levels and types of exercises. But there are some variations of HIIT that have specific characteristics:

    • Tabata: 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest, repeat for 4 minutes (and then do it all over again for as many rounds as you want).
    • EMOM: It stands for “every minute on the minute”. You complete a specific number of reps of an exercise within one minute. If you have any time left, you can use it to rest before moving on to the next set.
    • AMRAP: It stands for “as many reps as possible” or “as many rounds as possible”. Here, you try to perform as many reps or rounds of the exercises as possible during a specific amount of time with minimal rest.

    What is an example of a HIIT workout? The best strength training and HIIT workout plan in Deerfield 

    A basic HIIT workout could consist of:

    • Jump squats
    • Mountain climbers
    • Alternating lunges
    • Push ups

    You could do 40 seconds on, 20 seconds off for each exercise. After having completed the four exercises using these intervals, you’d have finished one round. If you repeated that for 5 rounds, you’d have yourself a 20-minute HIIT workout.

    That’s just one example, but the magic of high-intensity interval training is there are many ways to do it. 

    SWEAT440 offers HIIT classes for anyone and everyone. Our coaches make sure that no matter what your fitness level is, you perform every exercise safely and with the correct form–and, of course, get fierce results! 

    If you’re in or near Deerfield and are looking for an affordable gym where you can get an effective workout in less than an hour, don’t hesitate to visit our studio. It’s located near 1100 E Hillsboro Blvd in Deerfield Beach, right by Massage Envy and the Publix at Hillsboro Square.

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    Step out of your comfort zone with HIIT

    How are HIIT and aerobic exercise related?

    • HIIT is not an aerobic exercise, but it does help improve your aerobic fitness by training your cardiovascular endurance.
    • HIIT is more efficient than traditional aerobic exercise at burning fat.
    • You can use high-intensity interval training to level up a traditional aerobic workout, such as running or cycling.

    Why it’s better to include both cardio and strength in your HIIT workout

    • You’ll strengthen your cardiovascular system.
    • You’ll build muscle and strengthen your joints and bones.
    • You’ll boost your metabolism and burn more fat.
    • You’ll have more stamina and perform better overall.