Circuit Training vs HIIT : Which One Is Better For You?

Everyone has different goals and reasons for doing a different set of workout training. Some want to increase strength and build muscle mass while others want to lose weight or burn fat, whatever the goal would be, the end goal is to be physically fit and healthy. 

In the universe of fitness, there are different types of workouts and training and in those, there are Circuit and HIIT training. (High-Intensity Interval Training).

Although many people think that both are the same and still there would be plenty of people who are still confused between the both of them. In fact, the answer is that both pieces of training are different. 


Circuit training is a combination of both strength and cardio and basically focuses on different muscles and movements. A conventional circuit training workout usually comprised 8 to 12 stations to target all the major muscle groups. You will work on each station for a certain period of time (for instance somewhere between 30 seconds to 2 minutes) or a certain number of reps.

In other words, moving from one muscle group to another makes the activity fun and effective like doing a chest press and after a period of rest then moving to squat for the lower body. Circuit training focuses on the upper body, core, and lower body.

In contrast, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)  involves short bursts of high-intensity effort (30-40 seconds) followed by short periods of rest (between 10 seconds up to 1 minute) depending upon the intensity level. Moreover, in HIIT either you can do it with body weight or with gym equipment to increase the intensity.

Hiit Training

In terms of rating from 0 to 10 then HIIT would be rated at 8 or more if we consider its effectiveness. In addition to this, HIIT training can take from a minimum of 10 up to a maximum of 30 minutes of time.

Circuit Training vs HIIT

Both of the training techniques look in some way yet different in many aspects which are briefly discussed below:

1. Time 

One of the major noticeable differences is the duration of the workout. Since circuit training targets all muscles, it requires more time ranging from 30-60 minutes as compared to HIIT which typically required 10-30 minutes.

2. Intensity 

As the name implies High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is pretty intense to do as compared to circuit training. High intensity means reaching at least 80% of the heart rate capacity during the exercise. As a result of this, it improves the muscle’s ability to use oxygen and in turn burn more calories in a short span of time. Whereas, in circuit training workouts are performed at a low or modest intensity over a longer period of time.

3. Exercises

In HIIT it includes anaerobic exercises

Circuit Training
  • Sprinting
  • Jump Rope
  • Burpees
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Planks

Circuit Training includes

  • Walking lunges
  • Push-ups
  • Pull-ups

Similarities of HIIT and Circuit Training

Although both the training is different in many cases, they have some slight similarities as well which include:

1. Improves Cardiovascular Health –

Both training techniques have the capability to improve cardiovascular health since both include intense activities.

2. Workout Place –

Another similarity is that they can be done indoors as well as outdoors with and without equipment.

Circuit Training vs HIIT

3. Weight Loss –

It is seen that while circuit training mainly focuses on building strength and endurance but it also helps in weight loss to some extent.

At last, the question arises, which Workout technique is best suitable for you then it totally depends upon your goal. If your end goal is weight loss or to burn fat quickly then a HIIT workout is the best. On the contrary, if you want to build muscle, strength, and endurance then you probably Circuit training would suit you best. 

And if your goal is just to be fit and healthy then a mixture of both would be best. 



Both circuit training and HIIT workout aims at a healthy body but the main distinguishing features are the time required, the target areas, and the intensity. HIIT workout provides more benefits than any other exercise. HIIT workout aims at increased cardiovascular activity leading to calorie burn and weight loss. Whereas circuit training works both on cardio and muscle strength targeting different areas of the body.

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