The term AMRAP stands for ‘as many rounds (or repetitions) as possible’. Broadly speaking, AMRAP is a form of high intensity training, similar to HIIT (high intensity interval training), designed to train cardiovascular fitness, endurance and strength, along with mental resilience and determination.
The aim of an AMRAP session is to complete as many rounds of a circuit as possible in a certain period of time. Although the focus should be on pushing yourself as hard as possible for short bursts, like any other type of exercise, a heavy emphasis should be placed on good form, to prevent injury.
How to construct your own AMRAP session
AMRAP workouts could either form part of or the whole of your workout. Personally, I prefer to perform an AMRAP circuit as a workout ‘finisher’, after having done either a weights session or HIIT session.
To create your own AMRAP circuit is reasonably simple: simply pick a time limit and some exercises! The best time limits are usually about 10-15 minutes – this will allow you to go ‘all out’, while also improving your cardiovascular endurance. In terms of exercise selection, targeting a variety of muscle groups is the best approach, in order to focus on cardiovascular exhaustion rather than muscle fatigue. Exercises with simple movement patterns, such as the squat or press up are much easier than those with complex movement patterns such as a snatch or clean & jerk, so try to select simple bodyweight or lightweight exercises which are simple and you are familiar with.
What are the benefits of AMRAP?
AMRAP workouts reap many of the same benefits as HIIT sessions, including burning many calories in a short period of time (which will help you get into a caloric deficit if weight loss is your goal), targeting different muscle groups, and building mental toughness – to name just a few.
AMRAP sessions are best performed in programmes alongside weight training, so that you achieve a balance of muscle strength, coordination, and hypertrophy from the weight training, in addition to cardiovascular fitness and caloric burn from the AMRAP sessions.
AMRAP sessions are also a great way to track your fitness progress. If you perform, for example, 4 rounds of a circuit in 10 minutes one week, and then 5 rounds of the same AMRAP circuit the next week, then you know that your fitness is improving. Finally, AMRAP sessions often involve creating a strategy: do you take a short break in between each round of the circuit and go ‘all out’ on the exercises, or will you perform more rounds if you take no breaks and perform the exercises at a slightly lower intensity?
Here is a great AMRAP session to get you started!
If you fancy trying out an AMRAP session, here is a quick example, designed as a workout ‘finisher’, performed at the end of your workout:
Timing: as many rounds of the circuit as possible in 10 mins.
- 20 bodyweight squats
- 10 push press with dumbells
- 10 lunges each leg
- 20 TRX or resistance band rows
GUEST BLOG WRITER Josh Law
Rachel Law is a personal fitness trainer based in New Malden, Surrey. Qualifications: ActivIQ Level 3 Personal Training; Burrell Education Pregnancy Exercise Prescription; Burrell Education Advanced Pregnancy Wellness Practitioner; Burrell Education Advanced Post Natal Exercise Prescription; Burrell Education 3rd Age Women Optimal Health and Nutrition; Burrell Education Peri Natal Athlete; Burrell Education Pelvic Flow and Freedom; Olympic Weight Lifting; Premier Global Kettlebells; FIE Level Assessment and Mentoring