FIT36 High Intensity Interval Training

FIT36® Fitness Blog Lowry

What is the Difference Between CrossFit® and HIIT?

What is the Difference Between CrossFit® and HIIT?


If you’ve been paying attention to fitness trends, you’ve heard plenty about CrossFit®.  You’ve heard it can be difficult, it’s a great workout, and it’s offered just about everywhere.  However, what you might not be as clear on is whether CrossFit® is right for you, and how it differs from your HIIT workouts at FIT36. 

CrossFit® is, by definition, designed to help you be better at what you may or may not encounter on a daily basis.  CrossFit® is a core-strengthening program, and strives to make you bigger and better in ten specific fitness domains including: power, strength, flexibility, stamina, speed, coordination, balance, and accuracy.  Expect to see a few fitness props in CrossFit® classes such as kettlebells and battle ropes. 


How HIIT and CrossFit® are the same:

  • They both offer cycles of exercises. Lest anyone get bored in a class, both of these exercise styles keep it fresh and exciting by moving quickly between activities.
  • They’re overachievers. They pack a LOT in to an exercise session. Lots o’ muscle groups, lots o’ cardio, lots o’ results.
  • They’re not for wimps. While both CrossFit® and HIIT can arguably be scaled to benefit anyone at any fitness level, they both provide a really, really good workout. If you want a lot of bang for your exercise buck, these classes are the way to go.
  • Both types of exercise are best done under the instruction and supervision of a trained coach.

Although they share a few features, they are not identical.  Here’s why:

  • CrossFit® often adds in more “exotic” features such as gymnastics, throwing, and Olympic weight lifting. 
  • With CrossFit®, you’re encouraged to complete a set of exercises in as little time as possible.  Because of this, less attention is paid to actual body form or positioning, leading to a greater potential for injury.
  • HIIT focuses more on timed intervals, with periods of high aerobic activity followed by very brief periods of rest.  Because of the intensity of the intervals, you can get a complete workout done in a shorter amount of time.
  • HIIT prides itself on MAJOR calorie burn and muscle development in the shortest amount of time.  You’re hard-pressed to find an exercise that yields a higher rate of calorie burn per session.
  • CrossFit® contains an element of competition that’s not necessarily present in HIIT classes.  This is a big draw for some, and a deterrent for others.


Clearly, both of these exercise types have some real benefits.  Both CrossFit® and high intensity interval training are fast-paced and challenging, and can help you develop the prowess, stamina, and muscle tone you want.  At FIT36, we pride ourselves on a community atmosphere where everyone is welcomed, and everyone will be challenged. 

If you’re still unsure about which exercise program is best for you, we recommend that you try out both.  Because, when it comes down to it, the very best exercise for you is the one you’ll actually do.


CrossFit® is a registered trademark of CrossFit, Inc. in the US and other countries.

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