High Intensity Interval vs. Sprint Interval Training

body of a woman doing lunges in a gym
Both HIIT and SIT workouts can increase intensity and cut back on time to deliver a calorie-crushing workout that typically lasts less than 30 minutes.

by Mary Lambkin

 

If you're looking to get the most out of your gym visit in the shortest amount of time, you may want to consider exercising in intervals. Over the last few years, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) has gained popularity for its efficiency, accessibility, and numerous health benefits.

Fitness enthusiasts have also embraced sprint interval training (SIT) as a complement to their workout strategies. While it is similar to HIIT in many ways, SIT raises the intensity even more, which makes it a great workout for those who are looking to challenge themselves, save time, or simply switch things up.

How HIIT differs from SIT

Sprint interval training involves intense interval exercises that focus on raising your heart rate and "maxing out" each movement until you feel fully fatigued. To put it simply, a SIT workout may include the exact same exercises as a HIIT workout, but the intensity of the SIT workout is higher and the rest periods are shorter.

HIIT workouts often include short bursts of high-intensity, full-body movements — such as burpees, squats, and mountain climbers — with short rest periods between each exercise. SIT workouts often "amp up" exercises more than HIIT workouts do and incorporate moves like jump squats to ensure maximum effort.

Although a recent study showed that SIT workouts delivered slightly more results than HIIT, both are totally worthy of your gym time! Regardless of which style you choose, they can help you burn calories, build strength, and increase overall fitness.

Which Workout is Right for Me?

HIIT and SIT workouts can both make you stronger, faster, and drenched in sweat, so there's no need to stress about choosing which one is right or wrong for you. When you're planning your workout schedule for the week, try to pencil in one HIIT and one SIT session (along with some low-intensity and cardio workouts) so you can maintain a well-rounded fitness strategy.

If interval training is entirely new to you, try starting with some basic high-intensity interval training routines before you progress to sprint interval training. Also, avoid sprint interval training if you're sore from a previous workout or simply don't have the energy. Remember that rest days and low-impact workouts are good for you, too!

Ready to get started? Try experimenting with the HIIT and SIT workouts listed below. Feel free to modify the movements and interval durations as needed — and always warm up before , and stretch your muscles after the workout.

10-Minute HIIT Workout

Minutes 1-2: Burpees and jump squats. Complete each exercise for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds between each set.

Minutes 2-4: Mountain climbers and push-ups. Complete each exercise for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds between each set.

Minutes 4-6: Running in place followed by jumping jacks. Complete each exercise for one minute and rest for a few seconds between.

Minutes 6-8: Burpees and jump squats. Complete each exercise for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds between each set.

Minutes 8-10: Mountain climbers and push-ups. Complete each exercise for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds between each set.

10-Minute SIT Workout

Minutes 1-2: Burpees and jump squats. Complete each exercise for 30 seconds and rest for 5 seconds between each set.

Minutes 2-4: Mountain climbers and push-ups. Complete each exercise for 30 seconds and rest for 5 seconds between each set.

Minutes 4-6: High-knee running in place followed by bear crawls. Complete each exercise for one minute before immediately starting the next.

Minutes 6-8: Burpees and jump squats. Complete each exercise for 30 seconds and rest for 5 seconds between each set.

Minutes 8-10: Mountain climbers and push-ups. Complete each exercise for 30 seconds and rest for 5 seconds between each set.

As always, please consult with a physician prior to beginning any exercise program. See full medical disclaimer here.