HIIT vs CrossFit

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CrossFit is nothing new – it’s been taking the world by storm for years now. Neither is HIIT anything new – everyone in the fitness industry is well aware of it, and of the benefits it can bring. Yet there is still a question mark over them both: which is better, which is best for you, and what will each do for you? Read on to compare these two fitness classes!


Well, they both share a lot of similarities. They both look to help you make progress in various aspects of your physical fitness, including power, strength, stamina, speed, cardiovascular fitness and body composition. However, there are also some key differences that you should bear in mind. Search for a 'CrossFit class near me' and get started on your fitness journey! 



Where HIIT and CrossFit converge

There are plenty of ways in which both are similar. They can sometimes even be indistinguishable, especially by a layman. Some of the things that HIIT and CrossFit share include:


Offering cycles of exercise: both styles move quickly between sets and exercises, keeping the blood pumping, the heart working hard, and the boredom factor low.


Packing a lot in: you can expect to do far more in any HIIT or CrossFit session than might typically be seen in an average gym session. Most muscle groups will be used, as will most energy systems – you will have your strength, power and stamina tested through both.


Being on the tough side: neither HIIT nor CrossFit are for the faint of heart. Given the intensity of their programming – culturally for CrossFit, by definition for HIIT – they are gruelling. Though they can be short, with some HIIT protocols being less than five minutes long, and CrossFit giant sets being incredibly fast paced and explosive, they are intense.



Where HIIT and CrossFit diverge

However, as many things as they may share, there is still quite a gulf between HIIT and CrossFit. They are, after all, different fitness methods laid out by very different theorists. Some of the differences between them include: 


A difference in exercise variety: CrossFit seem to revel in the exotic. They will include anything and everything, from gymnastics to hammer throws, from Olympic weightlifting to Calisthenics, often all in one class. HIIT generally veers away from this kind of panoply, with often only a handful of common exercises involved in each session.


A difference in safety and form: CrossFit’s main goal is to get you to complete either a set number of exercises in a set time, or as many reps as possible in a set time. Form and safety are secondary, and injury can be commonplace. This is rarely the case with HIIT – exercises are often simpler and less frenetic, with emphasis placed on continuous movement over volume.


A difference in time efficiency: HIIT focuses more on timed intervals of high aerobic activity interspersed with periods of rest than the usual class-based structure of a CrossFit session. Workouts can therefore be completed very quickly, often in 15 minutes or less. The calorie burn is also higher in a HIIT class than pretty much any other form of exercise because of this.


A difference in competitive edge: HIIT is a very personal, solo adventure. CrossFit is competitive by nature, with leader boards and national competitions being commonplace. Neither is better, but this fact makes them both very different, with very different aims from their adherents.


Both have a great many positives and a few negatives, as well as many similarities and differences. But what does this mean for you? What is going on in the HIIT and CrossFit spheres in the Emirates? 



CrossFit in Dubai

CrossFit in Dubai is a big deal.


The Dubai CrossFit Championship is an epic, four-day festival of all things CrossFit. It all revolves around a four-day CrossFit sanctioned competition that pits some of the world’s fittest people against one another in a series of gruelling challenges in Dubai, UAE.


One of the main goals behind the Dubai CrossFit Championship is to bring together teams and athletes from all over the world, inspiring everyone so they can reach to get involved and adopt healthy, fit-loving lifestyle habits. 


CrossFit training is amongst the most gruelling physical endeavours that any of us can put ourselves through, and CrossFit gyms and competitions reflect this. Since it first began in 2012, the CrossFit Championship has consistently supported and garnered support from some of the highest calibre CrossFit athletes in the world.



The Dubai championship: a brief history

The Dubai CrossFit Championship began in 2012. Online qualifier athletes travelled to Dubai from all over the world to compete across the many CrossFit gyms, boxes and venues that the city boasts. The finals came a few weeks later, providing a great platform for the local fitness community to thrive and compete amongst themselves: the championship’s popularity was obvious from the word ‘go’ and it has flourished ever since.


By 2017, fuelled by the event’s mounting success and the ability to qualify online, athletes were beginning to flood into Dubai from all over the world. A total of 72 athletes took part in the 2017 championship, representing 19 different countries from 4 continents.


Dubai CrossFit Championship successfully host the 1st sanctioned event in 2018, setting a precedent and paving the way for the coming season.


HIIT in Dubai

There are a plethora of HIIT classes available in the Emirates. Anywhere that caters to fitness classes in Dubai will most likely host HIIT sessions – local gyms, leisure centres and training venues. Ask at your local gym, or check out some of the bigger fitness names in the city like GymNation – they will deliver plenty of HIIT classes near you.

Alternatively, Google ‘HIIT classes near me’, see what turns up, go along and give it a go.