Which is Better: Tabata or Cardio?

To know which one is better between Tabata and Cardio it is 1st important to know what your fitness goals are. If you want to elevate your heart rate and burn many calories in a short amount of time then Tabata is better and if you want to strengthen your heart and blood vessels then Cardio is better.

Let’s compare Tabata and Cardio in different ways.

Tabata vs Cardio: A Detailed Comparison

1. Efficiency

The world’s most effective form of exercise, Tabata takes less time than any other fitness technique, approx 4 minutes.

Using the HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) principles, Tabata is presently regarded as the single most beneficial form of exercise for a variety of fitness objectives. 

There are more than 100 Tabata exercises designed for efficient fat loss, improved cardiovascular health, and enhanced sports performance. Though we recommend only these 14 Tabata exercises.

These Tabata exercises are quick and easy to perform anywhere, anytime. 

With Tabata, you may quickly burn calories, gain muscle mass, and recover for shorter periods.

Cardio, on the other hand, is designed to burn large quantities of calories slowly, keep you in shape, and allow you to take as much rest time as you need.

So efficiency-wise, Tabata is better.

2. Fat burning

Due to its high intensity, Tabata is really good for weight loss as it continues calories burn even several hours after the workout.

It makes it possible for the body to utilize fat stores rather than carbohydrates as a source of energy, making it simpler to lose more fat effectively. 

Cardio only burns calories when you exercise (the after-burn is pretty low), for reducing body fat and keeping the metabolism going.

It usually uses carbohydrates as fuel; thus, losing weight takes a while.

3. Metabolism

Your aerobic capacity will increase more effectively with a real Tabata workout than with conventional cardio-like running. It raises your aerobic capacity similarly to regular cardio. 

However, the warm-up and cool-down periods are very low between Tabata exercises.

This might assist in understanding that the two have equivalent aerobic capabilities.

The only difference is Tabatas are strenuous cardiorespiratory exercises that keeps your metabolism going even several hours after a workout.

Cardio also speeds up your metabolism while you exercise, but Tabata is next level thing.

Tabata or Cardio: Which One To Choose?

Some people might think that Tabata is better than cardio because it burns more calories in less time, but there are several factors to consider when deciding which one is better for you.

What’s ideal for you depends on your fitness goals and current fitness level.

Choose Tabata if:

  • you want quick results
  • want to workout for only 4 minutes a circuit
  • and you are physically fit enough to bear the strenuous exercises with a very short break in between.

Don’t forget that Tabata works better but has several potential downsides.

Choose Cardio if:

  • you can invest more time in exercising
  • you can wait for results a little longer
  • or you want to enjoy the exercise instead of getting super tired after every workout.

Though Cardio is also not good to be done every day. There are 12 alarming signs you are doing too much Cardio, but still it’s much more easier to do in comparison to Tabata training.


Cardio is the best choice for beginners because it is simple to perform and carries a lower risk of health issues and injuries. However, you must do Tabata if you’ve already reached a particular level of fitness.  

The Choice Is Yours! 

Also Read:

Can Tabata Replace Cardio?