AMRAP Workouts – Try As Many Reps As Possible Workout Rounds?

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AMRAP training has been growing in popularity the last few years. Many people credit AMRAP training with giving them amazing conditioning and physique.

What is AMRAP training? What are the best AMRAP workouts? Find out today in our AMRAP workouts guide.

What is AMRAP Training?

AMRAP workouts are a type of high intensity interval training (HIIT). Like other types of HIIT, AMRAP emphasizes going “all out” for a short period of time.

AMRAP stands for As Many Reps/Rounds As Possible. The goal, as you guessed from the name, is to push yourself to the limit in a short period of time.

Just like HIIT, AMRAP is popular with those who live the infamous “busy modern lifestyle”. Do you feel like you just don’t have time to go to the gym? AMRAP can help you complete an intense workout in 10 to 30 minutes.

How Does an AMRAP Workout Work?

Typically, this is how you perform an AMRAP workout:

Step 1) Choose one or more exercises for your workout. If you choose more than one exercise, then you’ll want to create a small circuit with a fixed order and number of reps per exercise.

Step 2) Choose a fixed amount of time. Use a stopwatch or your phone.

Step 3) Perform as many reps/rounds as possible in this time period. Make sure you maintain good form throughout your workout, otherwise you’re just going to injure yourself.

Step 4) Wait for the stopwatch to end, then rest as needed after your workout.

Benefits of AMRAP

-It doesn’t take very long. Workouts can last as little as 10 minutes, or as long as you like. Of course, the longer you spend on your workout, the better your gains will be.

-It’s a proven fat burner. HIIT workouts are famous for burning fat more effectively than other types of exercise, and a growing amount of scientific evidence is backing this up. Some believe that AMRAP workouts are even better for fat loss. If you are doing AMRAP workouts correctly, then you’re pushing your body to its limits, forcing your body to use every energy resource – like fat – available.

-Target cardiovascular and muscular endurance simultaneously. Conventional HIIT workouts often involve running or biking at a high intensity for a brief period of time. This is a great way to boost your cardiovascular endurance, but it doesn’t have as much of an effect on your muscular endurance. AMRAP lets you target both of these qualities at once, helping you save even more time.

-Increase your mental toughness. Do you think you’re tough? AMRAP workouts will help you prove it. AMRAP workouts toughen you up. Suddenly, ordinary workouts won’t seem so hard after you’ve done a few AMRAP workouts. Some AMRAP gyms or training programs – like the ones used by the military – are famous for having “The Bucket” in the corner of the room, where you’re expected to puke multiple times during your workout.

-It’s easy to track your progress. One of the most satisfying parts of AMRAP exercises is that you can easily see your results as you improve. You have a fixed amount of time to perform as many reps as possible. You might start by doing 10 pushups in 20 seconds before progressing all the way up to doing 20 pushups in 20 seconds.

What’s the Difference Between AMRAP and HIIT or Circuit Training?

One of the confusing parts about AMRAP is that it seems similar to conventional circuit training or HIIT. So what makes AMRAP unique? Here are some of the qualities:

-Circuit workouts have a fixed number of reps and sets, while AMRAP has a fixed time frame.

-You can train with any number of exercises, as opposed to circuit workouts where you’re performing two or more exercises with each round (otherwise, it’s not a circuit).

-AMRAP is typically for intermediate to advanced athletes, while circuit training is appropriate for beginner athletes.

Ultimately, circuit workouts and AMRAP workouts are very similar, and there’s a lot of crossover. Some workouts will combine the best parts of circuit training and AMRAP training.

The Tabata Pushup Workout (Combination Between AMRAP and Circuit Training)

Looking for an easy introduction to AMRAP? The Tabata pushup workout is one of the best combinations of AMRAP and circuit training. It’s a great way to introduce yourself to the AMRAP world. Here’s how the workout works:

-20 seconds of AMRAP pushups (do as many pushups as you can in 20 seconds, as quickly as possible while maintaining good form)

-10 second break

-Repeat 8 more times

AMRAP Versus AFAP Training

AMRAP is also compared to As Fast As Possible (AFAP) training. You may have engaged in AFAP training in the past, like the burpee challenge, where you need to perform 100 burpees as fast as possible.

So what’s the difference between AMRAP, where you do as many reps as possible, and AFAP, where you workout as quickly as possible?

Well, AFAP training is best for endurance and conditioning. Meanwhile, AMRAP is best-used for increasing your muscular endurance, work capacity, and overall strength.

With AFAP, the goal is to break your previous time record. With AMRAP, the goal is to increase your rep record.

Best AMRAP Workouts for Conditioning

Some people use AMRAP workouts to improve their conditioning, while others use it to improve their strength and muscular endurance. If you’re focusing on improving your conditioning, then here are the most popular exercises to use:

-Squats

-Lunges

-Pushups

-Any exercise where you can perform 20 reps while maintaining good form

If you’re already well-trained, then you might find that you can perform more than 100 reps of a certain move in under 10 minutes. In that case, you should choose a more difficult workout, or a more difficult variation of that workout. The goal of AMRAP is to challenge your body and train different parts, not to get really good at one specific workout.

To improve your conditioning even further, you may want to add light cardio exercises like jumping jacks into your workout, although these should be used as a bonus – not the core part of your AMRAP workout.

Sample AMRAP Conditioning Workout

AShotOfAdrenaline.net published three sample AMRAP conditioning workouts here. These are the workouts they recommend if you want to use AMRAP for conditioning:

Workout A

-Warm Up: 5 minutes

-Tabata Push Ups: 4 minutes

-Rest: 1 minute

-Tabata Squats: 4 minutes

-Rest: 1 minute

-Tabata Burpees: 4 minutes

-Cool Down: 5 minutes

Total Workout Time: 24 minutes

The “Tabata” training parts of this program are where you do as many pushups, squats, or burpees for that period of time. You don’t have to do anything special – just do as many reps/rounds as possible (which is always the goal of AMRAP training).

Workout B

Alternatively, you can do a simpler, shorter workout that looks like this:

-Warm Up: 5 minutes

-AMRAP Burpees: 10 Minutes

-Cool Down: 5 minutes

Total Workout Time: 20 minutes

If you find that you can’t perform more than 30 burpees in 20 minutes, then you should choose an easier variation of that workout (squat thrusts, for example). If you find you can do more than 100 burpees in 20 minutes, then you should move onto a harder exercise.

Workout C

This one is probably the hardest AMRAP workout on this page. Here’s how it works:

-Warm Up: 5 minutes

-Do As Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP) in 15 Minutes of: 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 20 squats

-Cool Down: 5 Minutes

If you try the workout above and you can’t do more than 2 rounds (10 pull-ups, 20 push-ups, and 40 squats), then you should choose an easier variation.

Best AMRAP Workouts for Building Muscle

Want to use AMRAP workouts for building muscle? AMRAP-style workouts are great for that. Once again, A Shot of Adrenaline has published two good AMRAP workouts for muscle building you can see below:

Workout A

This workout doesn’t involve a specific exercise or machine – it can be whatever you like. The first exercise is a pushing or pulling exercise, while the second is a leg exercise.

-Warm Up: 5 minutes

-AMRAP: Do AMRAP of your chosen pushing/pulling exercises in 15 minutes

-Rest: 1 minute

-AMRAP: Do AMRAP of your chosen leg exercises in 15 minutes

-Cool Down: 5 minutes

Total Workout Time: 41 minutes

You shouldn’t do one pushing or pulling exercise: you should do one pushing and one pulling exercise, switching it up between sets over a 15 minute period. For the leg exercise portion, you should also switch between quad and hamstring dominant exercises.

Workout B

This workout is a shorter version of the one listed above. If you don’t have 41 minutes to spare, then this workout will help you break it up into two different parts. You can do the different parts on the same day or alternating days.

Part 1

-Warm Up: 5 minutes

-AMRAP: Do AMRAP of a pulling and pushing exercise in 15 minutes

-Cool Down: 5 minutes

Part 2

-Warm Up: 5 minutes

-AMRAP: Do AMRAP of quad/hamstring leg exercises in 15 minutes

-Cool Down: 5 minutes

The total workout time is 50 minutes, which is longer than the workout listed above. However, by splitting it into two equal parts, you may be able to more easily incorporate it into your routine.

How to Do AMRAP Every Day

Many people treat AMRAP like a lifestyle, doing AMRAP workouts every day. You shouldn’t do the same AMRAP workouts on a daily basis, or else you increase your risk of injury. Instead, switch it up every day. If you do it right, then you can have 5 different days of AMRAP exercises, giving you a full week’s worth of workouts.

With all of the workouts listed below, you should work out like this:

-Warm Up: 5 minutes

-AMRAP: 20 minutes

-Cool Down: 5 minutes

Alternate between upper and lower body workouts in a 7 day cycle. It could look something like this:

Day 1) Pulling exercise

Day 2) Quad exercise

Day 3) Core exercise

Day 4) Pushing Exercise

Day 5) Hamstring exercise

Consider adding a rest day between days 3 and 4, and another rest day between days 5 and 1 (when you repeat the cycle again). That gives you one full week of workouts. Then, make every 4th week a rest week, just like you would in regular strength training.

Is AMRAP Right for You?

AMRAP is a strength, endurance, and cardiovascular training program designed for intermediate athletes. It’s not an ideal program for beginners. However, many people enjoy AMRAP for its excellent results and its challenge.

The best part of AMRAP is that you can literally count your progress over time. You might have done 60 burpees in 20 minutes when you started. Now, you’re up to 120 burpees in the same period of time.

Consider adding AMRAP workouts to your training program by following our AMRAP workouts guide above!

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