Nothing gets our juices going quite like a new fitsphere acronym.
Now that HIIT (aka High Intensity Interval Training) has been discussed to death, there’s a trendier kid in town. AMRAP, which stands for “As Many Reps As Possible” has been around for years in fitness circles, only to re-emerge again today as the technique to adopt for maximum efficiency, both at home and at the gym.
Here, we take you on a guide to AMRAP, and how when done right, can make it possible to reap twice the benefits of your workout in half the time with such a simple concept.
What is AMRAP?
As its name suggests, AMRAP requires you to do as much as you can in a set amount of time. Like Tabata or a traditional HIIT workout, AMRAP is a form of high intensity training that’s designed to challenge you to your limits within a short session.
However, unlike it’s popular counterparts — which has fixed work and rest periods — AMRAP requires you to complete as many rounds of exercises as you possibly can within a set timeframe with no rest after each exercise. This pushes the body to its limits and creates a metabolic overload, which helps with endurance and muscle-building in the long run.
How do you structure an AMRAP workout?
AMRAP is a very fast-paced workout, so it’d be helpful to have a pre-determined routine before you start. Bodyweight exercises are a great starting point for beginners and can include the basic moves such as push-ups, squats, and lunges. The good thing about AMRAP is that you can choose exercises based on preferences or goals, and once you get the hang of it can start incorporating weights like dumbbells and kettlebells.
A good full-body AMRAP workout to start with, for example, is completing as many rounds of 15 squats, 10 burpees, 10 push-ups, and 15 mountain climbers in 10 minutes. Do this as many times as you can with no rest period after each exercise. The concept can also be applied to a single exercise, where you do as many reps as you can within say, 30 seconds. Sounds like a short period of time but trust us, it’s incredibly intense.
Because freedom to choose is key here, AMRAPs can be any time frame you want it to be, and can last anything between 30 seconds to 30 minutes, depending on your fitness level. To constantly keep yourself challenged and to see progress, switch up the duration of the AMRAPs in your training program. Incorporating compound exercises that work multiple muscles are also ideal for an all-rounded workout.
Whichever you opt for, the key is to go hard. That being said, the trick to reaping the long-term benefits here involve doing every single rep with good form, instead of simply rushing through them for the sake of getting it over and done with or beating a personal best.
When’s a good time to do an AMRAP workout?
AMRAP workouts are useful in that they’ll work whether you’re having a time-strapped day, or simply want to supplement your usual workout with a short challenge after. Ultimately, you want to be able to do more and more rounds within the same time period over time, and because it’s an immediate goal can make you more motivated to push harder and most importantly, stick to it.
What are the benefits of AMRAP workouts?
The good news is that AMRAPs can be tailored towards varying fitness goals. It might be associated with improved stamina and aerobic conditioning more so than strength, but muscle gain is still possible if you incorporate weights throughout the workout.
If building stamina is your goal, it’ll help you maximise workout efficiency since you’re finishing an intense workout in a short amount of time, and this pushes your muscular endurance, cardiovascular system and muscles to their limits.
Training at such high intensity also increases your post-exercise oxygen consumption, which enables your body to continue burning calories even long after you’re done exercising. The benefits aren’t all physical either; AMRAPs focus on efficiency, focus and mental toughness, and these are qualities that can be transferred into the real world, especially today.
(Hero image credit: Nike)