Here’s exactly what an AMRAP workout is, plus a routine to try at home

Personal trainers and exercise class instructors seem to have an acronym for everything and it can be hard to keep up. Between gym lingo like PR (personal best), HIIT (high intensity interval training), and EMOM (every minute to the minute), a beginner can feel lost pretty quickly. If you recently heard the term AMRAP while hitting the gym and have no idea what an AMRAP workout is, don’t worry.

The acronym AMRAP stands for as many reps (or rounds) as possible. It is a type of workout that requires you to perform as many rounds or repetitions of an exercise as possible in a given amount of time. This relatively simple prescription has many benefits, but it may not be right for everyone.

Curious to learn more about AMRAP workouts? Keep scrolling for the benefits of AMRAP workouts and the potential risks of this exercise method, according to fitness experts. Also, check out a workout you can do without any equipment (bodyweight exercises!) if you’re ready to give the style a try.

What is an AMRAP workout?

An AMRAP workout is based on the goal of performing as many reps or rounds of an exercise as possible in a set amount of time. AMRAP workouts are a style of training done over a specific amount of time and build power, endurance and strength, she says Kate Lemere, Barry’s chief instructor. They consist of a series of exercises and reps (or rounds) that are repeated until the designated amount of time has elapsed.

AMRAP workouts are typically focused on HIIT-style exercises, according to certified personal trainer, on-air fitness expert, and celebrity fitness/nutrition coach, Heather Wilson-Phillips. She thinks: Quick, intense bursts of exercise that get your heart rate up.

When you set out to do an AMRAP workout, it’s really you against the clock, adds Wilson-Phillips, pointing out that the time frame can range from five minutes to an hour. Don’t forget that the R in AMRAP can stand for reps or rounds. If you’re counting reps, intervals can range from 60 seconds to several minutes, Lemere explains. If you’re counting rounds, intervals can range from five to twenty minutes.

Either way, AMRAPs are meant to be intense, quick, and performed with little to no rest, says Lemere. That’s why the working time is usually shorter. The goal, in essence, is to get the most work done in the prescribed amount of time, so you get the most out of your training investment, notes Wilson-Phillips.

Benefits of AMRAP workouts

As for why someone might opt ​​for an AMRAP workout, the design offers a number of benefits.

Build strength and cardio endurance

AMRAPs can help build strength and aerobic conditioning while helping you focus on form and movement integrity while under stress, Lemere explains. Makes training efficient, improves strength and cardio, [offers] neuromuscular improvements and is a great way to burn fat and condition your body, says Wilson-Phillips.

Accessible to all fitness levels

AMRAP workouts are customizable, making them relatively accessible to people of all fitness levels, both experts point out. You can adjust the interval times and decide whether to incorporate weights or stick to bodyweight movements, depending on your skill level.

Offer variety

The combination of exercises, durations, sets, reps and equipment is endless, says Lemere. AMRAP workouts can complement any workout, from long distance running to strength training.

Potential risks of AMRAP workouts

While fitness experts agree that AMRAP workouts can be customized for most people, there are some downsides to the training method that you should be aware of before trying it yourself. These are especially important to keep in mind if you’re new to training or recovering from an injury.

Difficult to maintain proper form

When you move that fast, the integrity of your movement can suffer, increasing your risk of injury, Lemere says. Some individuals become very focused on the allotted clock/time and end up no longer performing the exercise correctly as a result, adds Wilson-Phillips. This is where poor form comes into play, and when this happens you are often more prone to falls, slips and injuries.

Not for all

When in doubt, always listen to your body. Even if you’re racing against the clock, it’s still very important to listen to your body, especially if you’re a beginner, and move at a reasonable pace, says Wilson-Phillips. Like anything else, personal preference is everything, Lemere adds. AMRAPs are not for everyone!

As with any exercise regimen, you should consult your doctor and/or a personal trainer before trying anything new.

15 minute bodyweight AMRAP workout

If you’re ready to try an AMRAP workout (aka as many repetitions as possible), keep scrolling to see an example from Wilson-Phillips.

Complete the following exercises using body weight as many times as possible in 15 minutes, taking breaks when necessary:

  • 25 jump squats: Stand upright with feet shoulder-width apart, toes slightly pointing out. Keep your back straight, engage your core, and maintain good posture. Bend your knees and push your hips back, keeping your weight in your heels. Come down until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Push through your feet quickly, extending your hips and engaging your leg muscles for upward momentum. Swing arms for greater propulsion. Prepare to land by bending your knees and hips, absorbing the impact. Land softly on your toes with knees slightly bent for stability.
  • 20 push-ups: Start in a plank position with hands shoulder-width apart. Lower your body by bending your arms, keeping your back straight. Push back up to the starting position.
  • 15 knees high: Stand upright with feet hip-width apart. Lift one knee toward your chest and then repeat on the other side, quickly alternating knees and pumping your arms for momentum.
  • 10 crunches: Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Place your hands behind your head or on your chest. Contract your abdominal muscles and lift your head, shoulders and upper back off the ground. Lower your back to the starting position.
  • 5 burpees: Start in a standing position. Squat down and put your hands on the ground. Jump feet into a plank position. Jump your feet back towards your hands. Jump explosively high with arms raised.
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Christie is a writer, editor and content strategist based in New York City. She is currently senior commerce editor at Prevention.

Previously, she was News Editor at Shape, where she wrote and edited timely stories with a focus on celebrity, health, beauty and wellness news. She interviewed celebrities, celebrity fitness trainers, and other experts to provide advice and insight to readers on emerging wellness trends. Previously, she was a business editor at Meredith. She has written and edited commercial content for Real Simple, Southern Living, Better Homes & Gardens and Martha Stewart Living.

Christie has also written feature films for InStyle and Glamour, and her other previous work can be found at People, Travel Leisure and MyDomaine. She graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a BA in Humanities.

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