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AMRAP Workouts 101 (Definition, Importance & How to Perform)

Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers
Last updated: May 9, 2023

As a certified strength and conditioning fitness trainer, I've been using fitness acronyms for exercise methods that may help my clients increase their strength, endurance, and volume of motion to improve their mobility and overall physical preparedness.

One of the acronyms I often use is AMRAP.

In this article, I will provide the meaning of AMRAP, the difference between HIIT and AMRAP, how to perform AMRAP workouts, and the importance of AMRAP training.

Quick Summary

  • In an AMRAP exercise, you repeat a particular activity as many times as you can in a set period.
  • AMRAP workouts are frequently performed in a circuit, involving cycling through various exercises that target different regions of the body.
  • AMRAP training is an excellent approach to pushing yourself while improving cardiovascular health and physical endurance.

What Is an AMRAP Workout?

man doing amrap workout

AMRAP is an abbreviation for "as many rounds as possible" or "as many reps as possible," based on how you apply it in your exercise.

In a round-based AMRAP workout, you may choose 4 to 6 activities (such as air squats, burpees, pull-ups, and deadlifts), a specified number of repetitions for each motion, and a time limit (five to 20 minutes).

Then, within that time limit, you'll do as many rounds of those workouts as possible.

During an AMRAP workout centered on repetitions, however, you can choose one exercise (such as push-ups) and a short time (30 seconds to 2 minutes), then complete as many reps of that action as you can within that time.

After a short break, you can execute a second round of that movement, then continue the procedure with a different workout.

However, round-style AMRAP workouts are typically seen in gym sessions and online exercises.

Regardless of the sort of AMRAP workout, the aim is to keep moving through each exercise, choose a demanding weight, and maintain proper technique, which is always the primary goal in any workout program [1].

"AMRAPs may be as challenging or as simple as you want them to be; the harder you work, the greater your outcomes. You may also repeat AMRAPs to see how much improvement you're making. Perhaps you feel more comfortable doing the same amount of reps and rounds. Or maybe you can do more rounds and reps."

- Alena Luciani, Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist

Difference Between AMRAP and Hiit

Performing AMRAP deadlift

If you're unfamiliar with AMRAPs, the workout may sound similar to high-intensity interval training (HIIT), another sort of brief, intense exercise that goes by its acronym.

The main difference is that HIIT has a built-in rest break.

In contrast, AMRAP stresses performing as many reps as possible with no resting and only resting when necessary [2].

How will you know when to take a break during an AMRAP exercise? If you can't finish the exercise with proper form, you should slow down or stop.

How To Perform AMRAP Workout

An AMRAP workout is an excellent way to quickly push yourself and enhance your cardiovascular health and muscular endurance.

You can measure your progress using bodyweight workouts, dumbbells, a kettlebell, and a timer. Remember to always warm up before performing an exercise to avoid injury.

  1. Choose your exercise: Select one workout to complete or a series of exercises to perform as a circuit. When selecting activities, keep your fitness level and objectives in mind. You can choose bodyweight or weighted exercises, and combine them to train cardio and muscles.
  2. Set a time limit: You should set a time limit for your workout or circuit. Beginners can start with a 5- or 10-minute AMRAP session, while experienced exercises can go up to thirty minutes. Choose a time that motivates you to train hard, and try to prolong the time as you grow.
  3. Execute the workout or circuit: Begin your activity or circuit of movements by starting your timer. Perform as many repetitions of every workout as you can. Then pause for a few seconds before repeating the same workout or moving on to the following motion in your circuit. Continue the activity or circuit until the timer goes out.

Importance of AMRAP Training

Showing and flexing back muscles

1. Works with a variety of workouts

AMRAP workouts involve bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, air squats, lunges, or mountain climbers; weightlifting or strength training exercises such as hip thrusters, kettlebell swings, and deadlifts, with a dumbbell or barbell for glutes; or cardio exercises such as box jumps, jumping jacks, and burpees.

2. AMRAP Workouts are Versatile

There is no single way to set up an AMRAP exercise, so they may be personalized to help you accomplish any fitness objective.

For instance, you may use heavy weights or execute plyometric maneuvers to increase your strength to do a cardio-focused exercise.

You may also train your whole body or a single muscle group.

3. Increases Muscle Growth and Endurance

Man with good muscle growth and endurance

An AMRAP exercise is designed to overload your muscle groups with back-to-back activities.

Many people feel that this workout routine allows them to work out different muscles and gain muscle mass quickly.

These workouts can also increase muscle endurance by increasing the number of reps performed in a given time.

4. Boosts Cardiovascular Endurance

AMRAP training is a high-intensity exercise that will exhaust your body.

This implies that an AMRAP workout might be a terrific method to raise your heart rate zone, which is good for cardiovascular health.

5. AMRAP Workouts Serve as a Benchmark

Lifting dumbbell on one hand

Aside from providing a killer exercise tailored to your skills and needs, AMRAP exercises also allow you to track your fitness progress.

Suppose you're starting a new fitness routine or ramping up an existing one.

In that case, you can begin by completing an AMRAP workout and documenting how many rounds or reps you accomplished, the amount of weight you employed, and how you felt afterward.

After 8 to 12 weeks, repeat the same AMRAP workout and observe how those numbers and feelings have changed.

6. Provides Efficient Training

Squeezing an activity into your schedule on certain days might be challenging. AMRAP has the benefit of providing a total-body exercise in 15 to 20 minutes.

You'll alternate between lower and upper-body workouts to engage your whole body.

Whole-body activities might be more time-consuming because you exercise all the major muscle groups.

If you work on one part of your body, your workout will be shorter (5 to 10 minutes).


What Is the Difference Between Hiit and AMRAP?

The main difference between HIIT and AMRAP is that HIIT has a built-in rest break, whereas AMRAP stresses performing as many repetitions as possible with no resting and only resting when necessary.

How Long Should an AMRAP Workout Be?

An AMRAP workout should be between 5 to 20 minutes long. The objective is to perform as many rounds or repetitions as possible to maximize the amount of exercise done in a short amount of time.

What Does 15-Minute AMRAP Mean?

The 15-minute AMRAP means that throughout 15 minutes, you should execute as many motions as possible from the provided exercises in the sequence given.

AMRAP Workout Supplementation for Increased Energy

AMRAP effectively gives a measurable peek into your fitness. AMRAP may be used as an introduction to working out or as a new approach to increasing your fitness level.

Since AMRAP workouts are demanding and energy-depleting, I recommend incorporating our best pre-workout supplements for the energy and pump required between sets.

Upon testing, our clients confirmed having gotten over their muscle-building plateaus and seeing tremendous results in their fitness journey.


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