Man resting between exercise cycles.

Are you supposed to choose HIIT or Crossfit?

Man resting between exercise cycles.


You have heard about them both but not really bothered to learn more about what they really mean. It’s time to understand some key differences as you are on your path to be a fit IT professional.

If you have already tried both, you probably noticed that both are designed to use exercise cycles. Also, both are very challenging and include plenty of exercises in a limited time. In fact, to take up either HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) or Crossfit, you are best advised to do so with a trained coach. Both HIIT and Crossfit sessions are high paced and will help you increase your stamina over time. But it takes effort and practise to get there.

Should I go for HIIT or Crossfit first?

Crossfit includes gymnastic exercises and weight lifting in very controlled movements to mimic everyday life. The workout is tailored to enable you with better functional movement in daily life. HIIT does not include this aspect but does use timed intervals with high intensity anaerobic exercises with short resting periods of rest in-between. The main benefit with HIIT is that you burn fat quicklier.

HIIT and dropping in weight

HIIT focus more on cardio exercises and does not include the constant variation of exercises. This is interval training as the acronym specifies. Although HIIT is very good to burn fat, it is not as effective for building muscle.

The intensity that comes with HIIT also means that you can get a full workout in a shorter time. An HIIT session is usually 30 minutes or shorter. Together these two facts mean that an HIIT session will burn more fat.

Use Crossfit to improve your functional movement abilities

Now, bear in mind that Crossfit encourages participants to complete exercises in a short time. But Crossfit emphasises the importance of varying the exercises. This leads to less focus on correct positioning, and in turn higher risk for injury. This is an important aspect for you to keep in mind, especially so if you are not used to working out regularly.

So what does this mean to you as an IT professional?

We might as well ask everyone with sedentary lifestyles. Anyone who is sitting down most of the day should be aware of a few things before starting with these high intensity workout methods. Let’s look at some key guidelines to keep in mind as you start with HIIT or Crossfit.

1. You need a certified trainer

You should begin with a class that has a trainer that can help you to gradually step up the pace and intensity. Remember that you will not benefit from working out too hard if it leads to injuries.

2. Goals are good, but increase them gradually

Don’t set your goals too high. Be satisfied that you complete the HIIT or Crossfit session. This means that you have to listen to your body. It’s yours and you know it best. If you feel pain, say it to the trainer and slow down. Don’t bother with the other people in the class.

3. You are your competition

Only compete with the person you were yesterday. This reflects back on the previous advice. By only comparing yourself with the person you were yesterday or say a week ago, you have the most realistic measurement for improvement over time: Yourself. Yes, there will be people that outperform you, you may be the slowest in the class. That doesn’t mean anything if you are simply trying to get more fit than you used to be.

4. Use a diary to remember your insights

Keep a diary of your accomplishments and be proud of them. Your workout diary will be useful to you as you workout and learn how different exercises affect you.