If you internally groan when you hear the word “cardio,” let us be the first to say that we can definitely relate to that. No matter how well aware we are about the benefits of aerobic exercise, the same-old routine on the stepmill/treadmill/rower/elliptical/etc. can get a little boring sometimes. Good news, though. Meet your new gym bestie: The AMRAP.
The AMRAP Explained—Plus 5 Reasons Why You’ll Love It
AMRAP stands for “as many rounds as possible” or “as many reps as possible,” depending on what you’re doing in the particular workout. It means you go through as many rounds of a given workout sequence or circuit as possible in a set amount of time. Most AMRAPs involve at least two distinct exercises or movements, and running through one set of each (with however many reps you decide to do) completes one round.
We love this style of training for a handful of reasons:
1) It’s endlessly versatile.
You can do an AMRAP workout with just about any type of exercise under the sun: sit-ups, wall balls, push-ups, squats, jumping lunges, pull-ups, ring rows, jump rope, box jumps, rowing, running sprints, swimming laps, etc. Likewise, the options for duration, number of reps per movement, and number of movements per round is endless as well. AMRAPs can be as short as 2 minutes or as long as 45 minutes plus…it’s really up to you (or your personal trainer).
2) It’s interesting.
By stringing together a sequence of exercises in your AMRAP circuit, you’ll likely be way more engaged in the workout and get much greater enjoyment and brain-healthy “in the zone” feel out of it.
3) It’s easy to modify depending on the goals of your training session.
Looking for some active recovery? Go slow and steady, simply to get the heart rate up. Want to just breathe heavy and sweat? Come up with a circuit, set the timer for 30 minutes, and flow. Want to hit some HIIT? Go through a shorter AMRAP and really push the intensity. You can even try a “cluster” of short AMRAPs interspersed with timed rest for a truly intense interval session (think 3-minute AMRAP, 3-minute rest, times 3). If you’re tight on time, this last option is perfect.
4) It makes for an excellent way to track your progress.
Intermittently repeating the same AMRAP workout and noting the difference in number of rounds or reps you achieve gives you another performance-based way to measure your improvements in the gym.
5) It’s fun to do with a pal! Nothing like a bit of healthy competition to get you going.
Doing AMRAPs with your friends allows you not only to cheer each other on but race each other as well and see who gets the most amount of work done!
Put It To the Test: Try This 8 Minute AMRAP and Get Your Body Moving
Rest as needed, make sure you’re moving as safely as possible, and let ‘er rip!
In 8 minutes perform as many rounds as possible of the following circuit:
– 15 burpees
– 30 bicycle crunches
– 15 jump squats
– 30 V-ups
A quick we-learned-this-the-hard-way tip: if you care about your score, have something handy to log your rounds or reps (like a mini-whiteboard, a pile of pennies, or a pen and paper), especially on longer AMRAPS. You’d be amazed at how easy it is to forget what round you’re on!
Be sure to share this article with your fellow fit friends and consider giving an AMRAP a shot on your next trip to the gym!