Une femme en plein workout de HIIT


HIIT or Circuit Training: what are the differences?

Reading time : 10 min

THE HIIT and the circuit training are two training methods enough fast to do. HIIT is still faster than circuit training.

THE HIIT will especially work your cardio and make you burn a lot of calories. Where the circuit training go instead strengthen your muscles and your endurance.

Are you hesitating between the 2? No worries, in This item we will explain their differences and their common points. Ready to sweat? Let's go! ⚡


What exactly is HIIT?

First of all HIIT it means High Intensity Interval Training. The idea is to work quickly with very little rest time. It is a training method which will mainly exercise your cardio.

HIIT is structured with several exercises to do in a row, most often at body weight.


When you do HIIT, the goal it is therefore work only for a few seconds, but to a maximum intensity. You must be approximately 80% of your max intensity on each movement.

Actually, the closer you are to your maximum, the more your working time will be reduced. For example, you will do 20 seconds during which you are really going all out. Or 30 seconds where you are a little below

And between each work period, you take a minute rest time. Just time to change exercises. In general it doesn't exceed 10-15 seconds.


You understand, with HIIT you will quickly be in the red. But it's interesting, because with little rest, your body will draw on your reserves. What will do to you burn a lot of calories.


This type of workout is done especially body weight, or with cardio machines assault bike or rower type. In general you have for 10 to 30 minutes of training.

A example HIIT workout format, it's the tabata. You chain 8 sets of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest for 4 minutes in total.

The ideal with tabata is to make several turns. In general you can do between 3 and 7 rounds so that your workout is not neither too short nor too long.

And as for exercises, you can for example do burpees, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, etc.


HIIT is a type of quick workout, but which also presents other benefits very interesting!


The benefits of HIIT

HIIT will allow you to:

  • Win time in your workouts
  • Improve your stamina
  • Burn a lot of calories, even after your workout
  • To be able to withstand high intensity over a certain period of time
  • Improve your performance aerobic And anaerobic


How does HIIT improve your endurance?

We're just going to give you a little more detail, so that you understand better how HIIT improves your endurance.

Actually, alternating intense effort and rapid recovery, you go boost your metabolism, because he will have need more oxygen.

Over the course of your workouts, you will then increase your maximum oxygen absorption capacity.

Your muscles go next succeed in using this oxygen better during exercise. And so you will feel a improvement in your endurance !


OK, you know what HIIT is and its benefits, now we can move on to circuit training.


What exactly is circuit training?

THE circuit training is a type of workout that focuses mainly on the muscle strengthening, but also a little cardiovascular work.


This is a training method organized into several circuits. Each circuit is made up of different exercises (between 8 and 12) that you chain with a little rest time

For each exercise, you do a set number of repetitions before moving on to the next one. But if you prefer, you you can also count with a stopwatch.

Typically you take a short rest period between exercises and an slightly longer break between rounds.


With circuit training, the objective it's from exercise different muscles in a single workout. You can therefore very well choose to work the upper body, the lower body or the whole body.


Circuit training is a easy to implement method, but there is still several elements to plan before you start :

  • THE exercises
  • THE number of repetitions where the working time per exercise
  • THE recovery time between exercises
  • THE number of turns
  • THE rest time between each circuit


In general, the circuit training exercises they are enough varied. You can opt for strength training exercises, such as cardio exercises or static exercises.

For example, you will often find squats, bench presses, core training, kettlebell swings, etc. There is really a lot of choices.


In total one circuit training lasts between 30 minutes and 50 minutes, sometimes even 60 minutes for the longest.

But it remains one fairly quick training method. And that’s of course not the only advantage!


The advantages of circuit training

Circuit training is an interesting type of workout because:

  • He is aimed at beginners and experienced alike
  • He work hard, mobility, cardio, speed And endurance
  • He helps strengthen all muscle groups
  • He is easily modular
  • He helps you lose weight


Circuit training has some benefits that may be similar to HIIT. But these 2 training formats still remain different.


What are the differences between HIIT and circuit training?

HIIT is faster than circuit training

The workouts of HIIT are shorter than circuit training sessions. Count between 10 and 30 minutes for HIIT versus 30 to 50 minutes for circuit training.


HIIT is more intensive than circuit training

During your HIIT, you have to always be at (almost) maximum intensity. While during a circuit training, the intensity is lower. HIIT is more intensive.


HIIT is mainly done with body weight 

The workouts of HIIT are mainly done at body weight or with very little material. Where the circuit training offers more possibilities using equipment (dumbbell, barbell, machines, etc.).


HIIT is mainly cardio

THE HIIT concentrates almost exclusively on cardiovascular work. THE circuit training he can concentrate on the muscle strengthening like cardio.


Circuit training targets more muscle groups

With the HIIT you target fewer muscle groups than circuit training. Notably, because HIIT exercises are mainly cardio.


HIIT makes you burn more calories

THE HIIT can potentially allow you to burn more calories than circuit training. In particular, you will burn calories after your effort. Which can be explained by the after-burn effect.


Circuit training allows you to choose more exercises

The workouts of HIIT are especially cardio, so the choice of exercises is less vast than for circuit training. With circuit training, you can choose strengthening exercises, crossfit movements, etc.


HIIT working times are shorter

When you do HIIT, THE work time of each exercise is shorter than during circuit training. Count approximately 20 seconds of effort for HIIT against about 1 minute (or several repetitions) for circuit training.


Although they have differences, as we told you above, HIIT and circuit training are similar anyway !


What do HIIT and circuit training have in common?

They are easily adjustable

These two training formats are easily customizable and varied. You can easily adjust each variable according to your desires and objectives. Rest time, exercises, work time, etc. Up to you !


They help you build muscle and burn calories

Although HIIT is more cardio than circuit training, These methods are both interesting for losing weight and building muscle.. As long as you are as diligent in training as you are on the plate!


They help you take care of your health

A significant aspect: health. HIIT and circuit training are 2 ways to practice a sporting activity to stay healthy. You take care of your heart and your body!


You can train anywhere

HIIT and circuit training are 2 training formats that allow you to train almost anywhere. With or without equipment, you can train at home, in the gym, on the beach, in a park, in short anywhere!


HIIT or circuit training, which is more effective?

There is no not necessarily one method more effective than the other. It all depends on your goals, your desires and your availability.


THE circuit training may interest you if you rather want to strengthen your muscles. And if you're looking to improve your cardio and your endurance, THE HIIT may be more suitable for you!

In fact, the circuit training is quite complete, because you mix muscle strengthening and cardio. While the HIIT is really cardio focused And you burns a lot of calories.


Finally, the best thing to do is of switch between the 2. In this way your workouts are varied and never look alike!



HIIT or circuit training, it all depends on what you want to do:

  • THE HIIT is a fairly quick workout has high intensity axis cardio.
  • THE circuit training East a little longer, but rather focused on muscle strengthening.


At any rate, both have differences (intensity, working time, etc.) and common points (adjustable, good for health, etc.).

So above all, do not hesitate to test these 2 training formats and choose the one that suits you best!


Test HIIT and circuit training at DRIP

You want to try HIIT ? But you also want test the circuit training ? In this case, DRIP is the sports studio you need ! 💥


At DRIP, discover a workout inspired by HIIT and circuit training. YOU follow the workshops without rest by surpassing yourself thanks to group spirit.

The workout made in DRIP is: 7 bases, 3 rounds, 1 minute per base. And to help you give your all, Exclusive playlists give you the rhythm.


Our course are accessible to everyone. Whether you are used to HIIT or not, you have your place with us.

In addition, coaches support you on every movement and motivate you to give it your all in each workshop!


So does it heat you up? Come sweat with us at the studio. Direction the 8th arrondissement of Paris next to Monceau. You will love to hate us! ❤️‍🔥