HIIT vs CrossFit: What Is The Difference?

HIIT vs CrossFit: Which one should you do? They are both very popular, very intense forms of exercise. Let's find out if one is better for you than the other...

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You’ve no doubt come across both CrossFit and high intensity interval training. There is lots of hype about both of them.

You may be wondering if you should have a go. Maybe HIIT? Maybe CrossFit? Maybe both?

So you want to know if one is better than the other, right? If one is going to get you better results. Sky rocket you to your goals.

Well, unfortunately there’s not a clear cut answer.

The short answer would be….do the one you prefer. The one you enjoy the most.

That’s the best way to sky rocket you to meeting your goals.


Because if you enjoy the workout you’ll do it. And you can’t meet any of your fitness goals without doing the workout.

But, if you’re really not sure which one is for you, how about we look in depth at both. Look at the key differences, and some of the similarities. And hopefully that will help you make up your mind.

HIIT vs CrossFit. What is the difference? Is one better than the other? Which one should you do?

HIIT vs CrossFit: Is Time A Factor?

Yeah, us mamas don’t have a lot of time do we?

We have to get our me time when we can.

So if you’re looking for something that doesn’t take much time then opt for HIIT.

It’s true that some CrossFit workouts take less time than others, but with HIIT you can be precise. You can set the amount of time you’re working for and stop when you hit it.

CrossFit is usually, it’s done when you’re done. When you’ve reached the required number of repetitions. It might take 15 minutes, it might take an hour.

If you can spare an hour, then great. But if you need to be a bit more precise with your timings, opt for HIIT.

HIIT vs CrossFit: Are You After Efficiency?

HIIT is predominantly a cardio workout whereas crossfit is everything. If you're after efficiency Crossfit might be for you...

You may think I’ve already covered this because I mentioned above that HIIT is, on the whole, quicker than CrossFit.

The problem with HIIT is that it mainly, and I say mainly because there are exceptions, works your cardiovascular fitness.

Yes it is good at maintaining the muscle mass that you’ve built, but you have to build that muscle mass with good old weight training.

A CrossFit session, however, is designed to work many many systems of your body.

It’s a variety of workouts in one.

It’s cardiovascular exercises, strength training, mobility, Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics, callisthenics. It not only improves your cardiovascular fitness, it will increase your muscular strength and endurance.

In short, CrossFit is the only thing you will have to do. And in my book that makes it efficient.

HIIT vs CrossFit: Which One Can You Do At Home?

Is location a factor for you? HIIT you can do anywhere whilst CrossFit really needs to be done in a gym.

This has got to be a big factor. After all you’re on a website dedicated to home workouts so I’m assuming that’s what you’re interested in.

Working out at home is just easier isn’t it?

You can do it at nap time. After the kids have gone to bed. Or when they’re distracted for 15 minutes.

No need for a babysitter. And no added time required getting to and from the gym.

So, if you’re main consideration is what you can do at home, it’s going to be HIIT.

CrossFit is a cross between Olympic lifting, gymnastics, callisthenics and mobility. In short, it’s all of the workouts. That’s why it’s called CrossFit.

But it also needs A LOT of equipment.

It uses everything and anything.

Barbells. Dumbbells. Kettlebells. Gymnastic rings. Sandbags. Sleds. Tyres. Treadmills. Rowing machines. Jump Ropes. TRX. Box step.

If you can think of it, CrossFit workouts, or the WOD (workout of the day) will potentially use it.

So, unless you’ve got oodles of space and an unlimited budget for equipment, you’re going to need to head to CrossFit Gyms.

HIIT on the other hand is more versatile. You don’t need anything to have a really great workout. And you can do them anywhere.

The comfort of your own living room. Your spare room. Your garage. Your garden. Your local park. Or even your local gym.

They can be done anywhere.

So, if location is a key consideration to you, you’ll want to opt for HIIT.

If you want to try a CrossFit style workout you can do at home, check out my CrossFit Bootcamp Workout.

HIIT vs CrossFit: Are You Looking for A Strong Community?

If you’re looking for a sense of community when you’re working out. People you can chat to about the WOD, your nutrition, then CrossFit is your thing.

You’re all working toward a common goal, getting it done. The WOD that is.

Everyone there is busting their best moves to get, let’s face it, a pretty tough workout done. Yes, some people will be slower than others. Some may need to modify the moves slightly.

But, when you’re all done, the feeling of accomplishment is immense.

It’s this sense of community that has led to the CrossFit games. A massive competition to see who can get the WOD done faster.

It’s great to have something to work towards. An ultimate goal that you’re training for.

So, yes, if you’re after a sense of community, a bit of camaraderie, then opt for CrossFit.

HIIT vs CrossFit: Something for Beginners

There’s no getting away from it, both HIIT and CrossFit are intense forms of exercise. Neither one is for the faint of heart.

But, that doesn’t mean you can’t do either if you’re a beginner.

In fact both HIIT and CrossFit can be scaled to your current level of fitness.

You do have to be careful though, the risk of injury is high with both, so if you are new to exercise, speak to your doctor first and then seek out a personal trainer who specialises in whatever you’ve chosen to do.

They can teach you how to do each move properly. So, when you’re doing it at speed, with weight, or both, you can do them safely.

Because the last thing you want to do is have your motivation dashed by injury.

A good thing about the intensity is that it will have you seeing results pretty quickly. Whether that’s fitness, weight loss, or whatever.

Intense exercise will have your body adapting quicker. It has to. It has to to keep up. And quicker results mean you’ll stick at it.

HIIT vs CrossFit: What’s Your Primary Goal?

What do you really want to achieve from your workouts?

Let’s face it, there’s a reason we want to do our workouts. And I mean a bigger, overarching reason. Something that keeps you going.

What’s yours?

Do you want to be in the best shape of your life?

Do you want to lose a few pounds?

It’s worth noting here that the main goal of CrossFit isn’t weight loss. It’s improved fitness levels. And that really comes across in the community.

Yes, CrossFitters have amazing bodies, but that’s more a ‘side effect’ than the main goal. You won’t here them talking about how much weight they’ve lost. You’ll here them talking about how long the WOD took them.

CrossFit is a lifestyle. It’s workouts, it’s nutrition, it’s a mindset.

Which is great. But, if you’re not looking for that sort of thing, and you just want to loose a few pounds, stick with HIIT training.

Yes HIIT will also improve your fitness and yes there’s the potential to loose a massive amount of weight if you so desire, but you can do your workout and leave it at that.

Again, you need to decide what you want to achieve from your workouts. What’s your why?

HIIT vs CrossFit: Are You Looking For The Health Benefits?

If you’re mostly concerned with health benefits, then you can take your pick.

CrossFit vs HIIT when it comes to health benefits, I don’t think there is really any difference.

Any type of exercise in fact, especially one that is going to raise your heart rate is going to improve your cardiovascular health. Lower your blood pressure, improve your blood flow, improve your mental health, stave off diseases like diabetes.

Yes, when it comes to health benefits, you can pretty much take your pick of exercises.

But, and it’s a big but, you have to do it to get the benefits. And that’s where we come back to enjoying what you do.

We spend so much of our life doing things we have to do, things we’re obliged to do, turn exercise into something you want to do.

Something you look forward to doing.

You’ll be reaping all of the benefits in no time.

HIIT vs CrossFit: Which One Are You Going to Choose?

Will you choose HIIT or CrossFit? Has one spoken to you louder than the other? No? Try both.

When it comes to popular fitness trends HIIT and CrossFit are certainly leading the way. They are showing no sign of going anywhere. They continue to take the fitness industry by storm, and probably will well into the future.


Because they both give results. Better results than any other form of exercise.

But which one is best for you? Which is your best way to get the results you want?

Well, that all comes down to personal experience, what you want to achieve and how that can fit into your lifestyle.

Remember you have to do the workout to get the results. And you will only do it if you enjoy it and it works for you.

So, try both. Do a few CrossFit Classes and see how they feel. Then try a HIIT routine.

Give both a try and see which one fits best.

Let me know how you get on. I’d love to know which one you choose.

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