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HIIT vs Sprints

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  • HIIT vs Sprints

    Hey all,

    I'm wondering if someone can clarify the difference between sprints and HIIT for me. I have been looking through past articles, and one outlined a training week which included one sprint day, and one HIIT day. I'm not sure what the difference is... I would have thought that sprinting is high intensity interval training.

    Any insights? Thanks!

  • #2
    Basically they are the same metabolically, or they can be. The goal in sprints is to get the heart rate up to max from the sprint and then give a short rest period. Well, you can do the same with weights if you are using compound movements. Granted, shoulder pressing isn't going to be as effective as a sprint because your using less muscle mass. If you get on a leg press machine, however, and use a weight that allows for 20-30 reps you'll find that way more taxing than sprints.
    Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?


    • #3
      sprints are HIIT, but HIIT isn't necessarily sprints. like scott said, they are metabolically similar. that's why i like to think in terms of sprint workouts where i am still employing a lot of muscle and breathing and pumping blood hard, but i may not be running. i don't do actual sprints in the winter, but i do intense cardio HIIT (usually stationary bike or burpee sets) and get a lot of the same benefits. i consider that a sprint workout.
      i may also do a body weight circuit on another day that is technically high intensity and done intervals, but i don't consider that a sprint workout. personally, i feel like it's only a sprint workout if you are moving your body, or simulate moving your body, through lots of space: running, biking, swimming, jumping (running being the best)...where you go for max effort for about 20 seconds, then rest and repeat. i don't consider weights or body weight strengthening exercises to be sprinting, which creates the difference between sprinting and HIIT...for me anyway.


      • #4
        Thanks for the responses. That's pretty much what I was thinking, but wanted to double check. I think running sprints + a high intensity circuit will fit the bill for me.