SIT vs HIIT: Which Workout Suits Your Fitness Goals?

Anju Mobin - Writer for Trim Down Club
By Anju Mobin
Davor Štefanović - Editor for Trim Down Club
Edited by Davor Štefanović

Updated April 26, 2023.

A woman performing pushups in SIT intervals, observed by a professional trainer

Whether you aim to improve endurance, build muscle, or lose fat, most of us are searching for the perfect workout to help us reach our fitness goals. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is often considered an effective method to achieve most fitness objectives. However, sprint interval training (SIT) has been gaining popularity recently.

HIIT involves training at high intensity for 30 seconds to one minute, alternated with short rest periods. In contrast, SIT consists of short bursts at maximal intensity, an all-out effort for about 10 to 30 seconds, followed by longer periods of active rest.

Here's some information about SIT and HIIT to help you decide which workout best suits your fitness goals.

High-Intensity Interval Training - HIIT

Let's take a closer look at HIIT. Is it a cardio workout, strength training exercise, or both?

High-Intensity Interval Training is more about the intensity and duration of a workout than the specific activity. You can choose a cardio workout such as running or a muscle-building exercise like lunges with dumbbells. Other options include jumping rope, riding bicycles, or climbing stairs.

During a HIIT workout, you perform the chosen activity with intensity for 30 seconds to one minute. For example, you might pedal on a bicycle at high speed for a minute, followed by 2 to 4 minutes of slower pedaling. Once your heart rate feels comfortable, you increase the intensity for another minute, repeating this pattern for up to 20 to 30 minutes.

Performing HIIT workouts 2 to 3 times a week can yield optimal results.

Benefits of HIIT include:

  • Improved stamina
  • Healthier heart
  • Stronger bones
  • Increased strength

HIIT is best for:

  • Beginners: For example, if you are not a runner, you can run for 30 seconds and then walk for 4 to 5 minutes before running again for another 30 seconds. Gradually, you can increase the running period to 1 minute and decrease the resting period to about 3 minutes. This progression will provide you with the benefits of a HIIT workout, and eventually, you will be able to run for much longer.
  • Overweight or obese individuals: With HIIT workouts, they can exercise at a comfortable pace and only increase intensity for short durations.
  • People with high blood pressure: Since the high-intensity portions are brief and rest intervals are long, this workout does not unnecessarily elevate heart rate and blood pressure compared to longer endurance workouts.

SIT - Sprint Interval Training

Sprint Interval Training workouts are designed for individuals with a solid fitness foundation but have also been found effective in reducing fat and increasing lean muscle in postmenopausal women.

As the name implies, sprint interval training involves alternating sprint intervals with rest periods. The sprint segments are brief, followed by much longer periods of active rest/recovery.

The term 'sprint' refers to any exercise performed with maximal intensity. In HIIT, you alternate between running and walking, with the high-intensity running portion varying from a moderate pace to a slow jog. In SIT, you sprint, running as fast as you can while giving your maximum effort!

Thankfully, this lasts for only 10 to 30 seconds. You should maintain no lower than 80 to 85% of your maximum heart rate. After the short sprint, you can slow down and allow your heart rate to decrease during one to two minutes of active recovery.

SIT offers several benefits, including increased VO2 max, improved coordination and balance, and enhanced day-to-day health and fitness.

SIT is best for:

  • Postmenopausal women: SIT workouts effectively target stubborn fat deposits and build lean muscle in postmenopausal women, improving overall health and countering age-related muscle decline.
  • People who want to improve their fitness level: SIT exercises promote increased calorie burn, fat loss, and muscle gain, helping individuals efficiently work towards their weight loss goals and achieve a toned physique.

Choosing the Right Workout

Both HIIT and SIT workouts can help you lose weight and build muscle. The key is consistency in your workouts to see results.

If you are overweight or in your 40s, SIT workouts may be a better choice for you. TDC's 7-minute workout is designed using SIT exercises that specifically target stubborn fat deposits common in postmenopausal women.

This low-impact workout is ideal for beginners. Consisting of a short routine lasting just 7 minutes, this workout can easily be incorporated into even the busiest schedules. You can perform these exercises anytime and anywhere.

One&Done Workout

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