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Ultimate AMRAP Workout Guide (To Crush Your Fitness Goals)

Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers | Senior Coach
Last updated: June 29, 2023

I first got interested in AMRAP workouts about five years ago when a good friend of mine started working at a CrossFit gym. And while it can be a very effective way to build up strength and endurance, there are a few things you need to be careful with.

So, I decided to get my friend, who’s now a CrossFit instructor, to help me put together the best AMRAP workouts to help our readers get started with this kind of approach.

We spent two days going through different AMRAP workouts to determine which kind of movements are best suited.

Quick Summary

  • AMRAP is short for “as many reps as possible” or sometimes also “as many rounds as possible”.
  • The whole idea with AMRAP is to build muscular endurance through high-intensity workouts where there are only very short rest periods between sets.
  • You can do anything from push-ups to kettlebell AMRAP workouts as long as you push yourself beyond what you think your pain threshold might be.

What Are The Best Exercises For An AMRAP Workout?

Doing seated dumbbell curls

The best exercises for an AMRAP workout are any kind of movements that don’t require a lot of changes for setting up machines or weight plates.

You can do anything from bodyweight exercises to dumbbell curls, and it’s best to choose a few that you can set up as a circuit.

An AMRAP workout routine should also consist of different exercises that target your entire body.

Here’s why that’s important.

When you do as many reps as possible, your heart will be pumping, and the muscle group you’re moving will burn from a build-up of metabolites [1].

Normally, you would wait 45 to 60 seconds between sets, but with AMRAP workouts, it should only be 15 to 20 seconds.

“Muscle fatigue and burning during high-intensity exercise result from an accumulation of intracellular metabolites such as inorganic phosphate and hydrogen ions that impair the contractile function of the muscle.”

- Gregory Minnis, DPT

The only way you can keep that up is by switching between free weight and bodyweight exercises for different body parts in each exercise.

How Do You Structure A Workout?

Kettlebell workout routine with circle of friends

You can structure effective AMRAP workouts with a simple approach to planning different workout stations.

Here is a sample that we tested out with a few clients, who all said that they had never worked so hard before. And remember, don’t pick massive weights, and do as many reps as possible for each set.

Here’s what our Amrap workout consists of:

  • Military push-ups
  • Standard kettlebell swings
  • Kettlebell sumo squats
  • Close-grip pull-ups
  • Ab crunches
  • Biceps curls
  • Goblet squats or lunges
  • Side-stepping kettlebell swings
  • Wide-grip pull-ups
  • Calf raises

Don’t be surprised if this pushes you to your mental and physical limits, but always make sure you stick to the proper form for each movement. This will push your heart rate higher for great fat-burning and fitness improvements [2].

And if you want to seriously step things up with AMRAP workouts, then do as many reps as possible at each station, and then do as many rounds of the circuit as possible as well.

What Equipment Will You Need?

Different equipment used during workouts

The great thing is that for these kinds of HIIT cardio workouts, you’ll need very little equipment.

There are push-ups that don’t require anything, and for other exercises, you’ll get away with a dumbbell set or some resistance bands.

But it’s important to note that AMRAP workouts depend on you pushing your heart rate as high as possible.

And that doesn’t have to involve any machine or set of weights.

So, here is a list of things I would suggest you have to do AMRAP workouts on a regular basis:

As you get used to these AMRAP workouts, you’ll be able to switch things around a bit.

But I would advise you not to start using complex machines. These can slow you down in between AMRAP workouts, and the idea is to keep your heart pumping.

In CrossFit gyms, you’ll also see that stations are set up close enough to each other. This allows you to walk to the next station in 5 - 10 seconds, catch your breath, and be ready to go.


How Long Should An AMRAP Workout Be?

An AMRAP workout should be at least 30 minutes. But it all comes down to your level of fitness, and if you’re not totally exhausted after half an hour, then keep going until you’ve got nothing left to give.

How Many Calories Does A 20-Minute AMRAP Workout Burn?

A 20-minute AMRAP workout can burn up to 300 calories, depending on how hard you push and your fitness level. AMRAP workouts are classed as high-intensity, and the more you push your heart rate up, the more calories you’ll burn in the process.

Plan Your AMRAP Workouts For Muscular Endurance

If you get started with the best AMRAP workouts above, you’ll quickly find that your strength, endurance, and fitness levels will greatly improve.

And because your muscles will be aching and strained after such a killer workout, you’ll also want to get some supplements to help your recovery.

Here are some protein supplements that we have fully tested: 

These are the best quality products we’ve ever used, and our clients all rely on them for cardio and strength training recovery.


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