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Which Workout Is Best?
Workouts to Help
You Reach Your
If you’re trying to find which workout is best for your body type, fitness level, and interests, it’s easy to get confused. There are so many workout programs out there, each with their own lingo, regimen, and specialized equipment. How do you know which one is best?
We’re comparing various workout programs, helping you choose which fitness program fits your life. We’ll give a quick overview of the most popular workouts. Then, we provide you with an easy-to-follow chart to help you compare workouts side by side.
The Most Popular Workout Programs
There are a multitude of workouts programs out there. Here, we are highlighting the five most popular workouts, all based on high-intensity interval training. And if we’re honest, these are our favorites, too.
However, many of these methods can be combined to help you reach your fitness goals. You don’t have to stick to one plan over another. For instance, much of CrossFit employs HIIT and MetCon techniques. Tabata and CrossFit use HIIT techniques. And you can certainly do an F45 workout in between your Tabata workout days. Each workout program overlaps with the others. But each also has distinct methods.
The point is to find which workout – or combination of workout methods – works best for your body and your life.
HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, has been around since the 1970s. Trainers and sports researchers have long recognized HIIT as an extremely effective way to increase aerobic stamina and increase muscle mass.
Most of the workouts below are a spinoff of HIIT techniques. HIIT workouts aren’t typically long-lasting (sometimes as short as 20-30 minutes). But these workouts are carefully choreographed, with extremely intense bursts of energy combined with short, lower-intensity rest periods.
CrossFit is perhaps the most widely-recognized workout program on our list. Created from a combination of gymnastics and weight training in the mid-90s, CrossFit has quickly become a fitness movement with a near cult-like following. In fact, there is even an international CrossFit Games that touts athletes from around the world, each trying to lift heavier, jump higher, and run faster than the person next to them.
CrossFit gyms, known as “Boxes,” help athletes of all ages, sizes, and abilities gain strength and confidence while pursuing better health.
Each day, athletes perform a different workout of the day (WOD), which includes a combination of aerobic activity, weightlifting, gymnastics-inspired skills, and other movements. While the workouts only last 30 minutes or less, they’re intense, and they’re designed to work every muscle in your body.
Tabata is another popular training method. It uses HIIT techniques to increase heart rate, boost metabolism, and increase both aerobic and anaerobic performance. However, unlike other HIIT workout programs, Tabata is short – just four minutes per exercise. The workout requires 20 seconds of incredibly intense activity, followed by 10 seconds of rest (no more!) You’ll repeat this cycle until you’ve completed eight sets (or four minutes).
Tabata has become increasingly popular among busy parents, professionals who are short on spare time, or those who want to squeeze in a workout before heading out the door in the morning. The short bursts kickstart your metabolism in just a few minutes a day.
F45 is short for “Functional 45,” and it’s an intense HIIT session. For 45 minutes, this training program focuses on circuit-style training. Anyone can do an F45 workout since athletes go at their own pace. However, the best results come when athletes push themselves to the absolute limit, using every muscle group during the workout.
Much like CrossFit, F45 incorporates skills from many different disciplines. Workouts might include running, jumping, weight training, core work, or various other moves. Each workout is unique, keeping athletes energized, engaged, and interested.
F45 is growing in popularity. Many celebrities use F45 to keep themselves fit, and the brand is going head to head with CrossFit to gain the top spot in the HIIT workout universe.
Metcon, short for “Metabolic Conditioning,” isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s often associated with CrossFit workouts, when athletes go all out, giving as much effort as they can possibly give, during each session (typically at least 20 minutes). We’re not talking 80 or 90% effort here. Metcon requires 100%, feel like you’re going to puke, push-your-body-to-its-ultimate-limit effort.
Scientists have found that Metcon doesn’t just increase muscle mass, but can also positively impact aerobic and anaerobic systems. While athletes can perform Metcon during circuit training, it’s also possible to do a Metcon workout during a single activity, like biking, swimming, or lifting weights.
Comparing Workouts: Which One Is Best for You?
There isn’t necessarily one workout that’s better than the others. Every person is different. You can use one, two, or all of these methods to create a healthy exercise program to help you meet your fitness goals.