What are AMRAP workouts and what are they good for?
If you're short on time, but still want your workout to be effective, you need to know about AMRAP.
In this kind of workout, any combination of strength or cardio exercises can be performed.
AMRAP workouts typically have 3-4 exercises where you perform a different amount of times for each. You are given a time limit to complete as many rounds of that group of exercises as you can.
If AMRAP is used in reference to an entire workout, "R" stands for rounds of exercises with a dedicated number of reps for each movement. You are then given a set amount of time to complete as many rounds (also known as circuits) of that group of exercises as you possibly can.
Example AMRAP Workout
Set a timer for 15 minutes and complete as many rounds of the following:
10 Lunges per leg
In the example above, a timer is set for 15-minutes and the exercises are performed one after the other for as many rounds as possible. You will record how many rounds you were able to complete within the time frame. Over time, if you find yourself being able to complete more rounds in 15 minutes than when you first started, this shows you have improved your fitness level!
Due to the rapid-fire nature of these workouts, there is a large cardiovascular component. That's probably not surprising given the goal is to pretty much do as much work as possible in the time provided. But AMRAP workouts can also build muscular endurance, and even muscular strength, especially in people who are new to exercise.
How long is a AMRAP workout?
AMRAP workouts are designed to be time efficient, so they're generally fairly short. They can be less than 5 minutes or up to 20 minutes. Longer than 20 minutes is not recommended due to the high-intensity of the cardio. Sustaining high intensity effort for a long time really wears you out. Since fatigue accumulates pretty rapidly with this kind of workout, it's best to keep them short so you don't compromise your technique and form. Attempting to push through high intensity exercise with less than stellar technique can result in injury. So trust your body. Work hard. But don't go overboard.
Who should do AMRAP workouts?
Anyone with limited time and an appetite for effective exercise can benefit from AMRAP workouts. Intensity is relative to the person performing the work. So the pace of an AMRAP workout can scale with the level of challenge you're comfortable with. Pick a few of your favorite exercises and set a timer - boom! You've got an AMRAP workout.
Take this AMRAP workout for a spin
10 minute timer
Perform the following exercises and complete as many rounds as possible
20 Second Plank