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Workouts & Exercise

Functional Training vs HIIT workouts: What’s the difference?

By September 23, 2023No Comments

When it comes to choosing the right workout routine to achieve your fitness goals, two popular options that often come into play are Functional Training and High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

While both of these exercise styles have their merits, they offer distinct benefits and cater to different fitness preferences.

In this article, we’ll explore the key differences between Functional Training and HIIT to help you decide which one aligns better with your fitness aspirations.

Interval Training or HIIT

High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, is a fitness regimen that has garnered immense attention for its efficiency and effectiveness. The core principle of HIIT involves alternating between short, high-intensity bursts of exercise and brief periods of rest or lower-intensity activity.

Workout structure: HIIT sessions are typically short, making them ideal for individuals with busy schedules. These workouts can range from as little as 20 minutes to around 45 minutes, making them accessible to most people.

Intense metabolic impact: HIIT has been shown to significantly increase metabolic rate, particularly for fat burning. It’s noteworthy that this metabolic boost can persist long after you’ve completed your workout, contributing to calorie burn even during periods of rest.

Functional Training

Functional Training focuses on enhancing your physical abilities for everyday tasks and improving your overall functional strength. It involves exercises that simulate movements you’d encounter in daily life, such as lifting, bending, and twisting.

Practical movements: Functional Training emphasizes movements that have practical applications in your daily routine, helping you become more adept at performing everyday tasks with ease.

Strength and endurance: This approach not only strengthens your muscles but also improves your muscular endurance, which can be especially beneficial for activities that require sustained effort.

Combining the best of both worlds

Rather than viewing Functional Training and HIIT as competing options, many fitness enthusiasts find value in incorporating elements of both into their workout routines.

By combining Functional Training with HIIT, you can enjoy a well-rounded fitness regimen. This approach allows you to develop functional strength while also reaping the metabolic benefits of high-intensity intervals. Here are some ways you can merge these two styles:

  • Hybrid workouts: Design workouts that incorporate functional movements with intermittent bursts of high-intensity exercises. For example, you could perform a set of squats followed by a short, intense cardio interval.
  • Varied routine: Alternate between Functional Training and HIIT on different days of the week to keep your workouts fresh and engaging.
  • Circuit training: Create circuit-style workouts that blend functional exercises with brief, high-intensity segments. This provides a comprehensive fitness experience.
  • Active lifestyle: Embrace the concept of active living by incorporating brief bouts of physical activity into your day. Stand up, stretch, or do a quick set of bodyweight exercises to counteract long periods of inactivity.

The choice between Functional Training and HIIT ultimately depends on your fitness goals and personal preferences. While HIIT offers quick, intense workouts with notable metabolic benefits, Functional Training focuses on enhancing real-life functionality and strength.

Consider blending elements of both approaches to create a customized fitness routine that suits your needs and keeps your workouts exciting and effective.

Regardless of your choice, the key to fitness success lies in consistency and a commitment to a healthy, active lifestyle.