AMRAP: A Rising Trend

AMRAP workouts have transformed from a niche form of working out and are now rapidly becoming a rising fitness trend. This type of training started as a part of CrossFit routines but has since become its own standalone regimen.

This rise has many good reasons for rising in popularity too. If used correctly, these workouts can offer a quick and effective way to increase strength and endurance.

For those who are not yet familiar with this new way of exercising, AMRAP workouts stand from “As Many Reps As Possible” or “As Many Rounds As Possible.”

In the As Many Repetitions As Possible workouts, you complete an exercise at a set intensity for as many repetitions as possible for a set time period.

In the As Many Rounds As Possible workout, a set circuit of a set number of repetitions of each exercise are laid out and you need to complete as many sets of the circuit as possible within a set timeframe.

Bodyweight AMRAP workouts and routines using free weights are the most common types that are used. 

These workouts can be useful for people who are looking to lose weight, gain muscle or work on their fitness. But, many people can confuse AMRAP workouts for High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

This is because the two types of workouts have quite a few similarities, and because HIIT is a more popular type of training at the moment. But, there are some notable differences and benefits to AMRAP training when compared to HIIT that should be considered.

These are discussed in detail below.

AMRAP Vs. HIIT

AMRAP and HIIT are two workout routines that have a lot of similarities. They are both focused on how working as much as possible in a set time. They are also usually set in intensity and frequently use bodyweight exercises. 

But, there are some differences between the two.

First, AMRAP workouts don't usually use set rest intervals. They instead have you move from the last exercise straight back to the first movement and rest as needed.

Second, HIIT training usually has a fixed amount of sets to complete of the circuit. In the As Many Rounds As Possible workout, the idea is to complete as many sets of the circuit as you're able.

This means you can use AMRAP workouts to complete a higher amount of volume than with usual HIIT workouts. This can then help increase muscle growth more than HIIT training.

Also, in an As Many Reps As Possible routine, an exercise is ended when a full repetition cannot be carried out.

This is also different to HIIT workouts, where the idea is to continue exercising until the time is up.

This means that you can maintain a full range of motion in each movement. It also means you can end an exercise when the quality of the movement drops.

You can then move on to an exercise that works a different body part as much as possible while allowing recovery of the exhausted muscles.

This can help prevent injuries and allow for better technique . This benefit adds to the above perks to show how AMRAP can be a useful type of training for a range of fitness goals.

The next thing to consider is what exercises are best to include in this type of workout.

We put together a list of the best movements that you can include in an AMRAP workout for the best results below.

The 15 Best AMRAP Exercises

As Many Reps As Possible Exercises

For these movements, the key is simplicity. This is because more repetitions are possible at a higher quality with simpler moves. 

This will allow for a higher number of repetitions to be carried out. This can then lead to greater improvements in endurance and fitness.

1. Burpees

This full-body movement is a popular choice for AMRAP workouts because it’s a great way to develop power and endurance. The exercise is also simple and easy to carry out for athletes of all experience levels.

2. Split Squats

This exercise is both very simple and highly adjustable. Common changes to this movement include raising the back or front foot to make it more difficult. To make it easier, the stance can be made narrower and speed can be reduced.

This exercise can also be done with bodyweight or by using a barbell or dumbbell for added intensity. So, this exercise offers a versatile way to increase strength and endurance in the legs that can be done by any athlete.

3. Push Ups

This exercise can also be easily be adapted to increase or reduce difficulty. Kneeling push ups can be used for greater ease. It can also be made more difficult by raising the feet from the ground or adding weight through a vest or band.

So, this exercise is a great way to work the triceps, front shoulders and chest with plenty of variation and options for progression.

4. Medicine Ball Wall Throws

For a greater emphasis on power, medicine ball throws are a great exercise. The rebound from the wall allows for a fluid and simple motion that can be repeated until another repetition is impossible.

Along with working the upper body, this exercise can also help develop power and endurance in the legs and abdominals. So, this exercise is another good full-body power movement that can be used by anyone.

5. Rows

This movement targets the back and biceps. It also has a lot of variations that can be used to increase difficulty or change the focus of your workout.

For example, inverted bodyweight rows can be used for a more endurance-focused work. For a strength-focused workout, Seal Rows can be used with heavy weights for added results.

6. Hip Thrusts

This exercise is a safe and effective way of building strength and endurance in the glutes. They can also be varied by adding bands across the knees or by increasing the weight thrusted.

The glutes are also muscle that respond to higher levels of training volume. So, using this exercise in an AMRAP workout can be a great way of building muscle and toning the legs.

7. Thrusters

Like burpees, this movement is a simple exercise that works both the upper and lower body muscles. It is also a very simple move that can easily be progressed by increasing the weight lifted.



It’s also a very diverse exercise, with the use of medicine balls, dumbbells or barbells for adding resistance to the movement. So, thrusters are a good option for people looking for a change from burpees for a full-body, high intensity, movement.

As Many Rounds As Possible Exercises

Unlike the As Many Reps As Possible type of workout, more complex exercises can be used. This is because a set amount of repetitions and intensity allow for greater recovery from one round to the next.
This greater recovery also allows for a higher training volume to be completed in exercise and encourages muscle growth.

8. Barbell Squat

This move is easy to load up with a lot of weight and carry out. This makes it an ideal exercise for building strength in the legs and muscle in the quadriceps.

This exercise can also be safely used in high volume workouts, provided they are carried out with correct form. So, for those looking to improve their strength and size, squats are a good choice.

9. Clean & Jerks

This is an exercise that is best suited for more advanced athletes. But, this movement is also one of the most effective power exercises that benefits nearly every muscle in the body.

But, it’s complexity means it should only be used in As Many Rounds As Possible routines and only after it’s technique has been perfected.

10. Barbell Snatch

This is another full-body power exercise that can offer a lot of benefit in improving overall athleticism. But, it is also a choice that should be reserved for the advanced athletes.

This is because this move is more complex than even the clean and jerk and can cause injury if performed incorrectly. So, care should be taken when considering this move for your AMRAP workout.

11. Overhead Press

This is a great exercise for building strength and muscle in the shoulders. It may also be useful in helping prevent shoulder injuries. But, because the shoulder muscles are smaller, higher volumes can cause overuse injuries.

Nevertheless, this exercise is a good choice for AMRAP workouts and can help prepare athletes for more complex movements like the clean and jerk.

12. Deadlift

This exercise is a great movement for building overall strength, particularly in the glutes and low back. But, it’s also a very complex movement to perform and can cause injury if done incorrectly.

So, the use of this exercise in As Many Rounds As Possible routines is the most appropriate way of including them in your workout. Like the shoulder press, this move can also be used to prepare athletes for movements such as the snatch and clean and jerk.

13. Pull Ups

Pull ups can be used to develop the lats and pulling strength. But, it is also a tough movement that can be tough to perform for a high number of repetitions.

For this reason, this exercise is best used in As Many Rounds As Possible workouts to achieve all of their benefits with minimal risks.

14. Box Jumps

The box jump is a good exercise for developing power in the legs. However, the high level of impact the exercise places on the joints can increase the risk of joint and tendon injuries.

Completing a set amount of repetitions with rest between sets is a good way of getting the benefits of this move without risking injury.

Sample Workouts

As Many Reps As Possible Exercises

12 minutes of:
  1. Thrusters - 3 minutes with a 10 Kilogram medicine ball
  2. Burpees - 3 minutes at bodyweight
  3. Push Ups - 3 minutes at bodyweight
  4. Split Squats - 3 minutes at bodyweight

As Many Rounds As Possible Exercises

  1. Clean and Jerk - 5 reps at 75 Kilograms
  2. Box Jumps - 10 reps at bodyweight
  3. Barbell Squats - 10 reps at 50 Kilograms
  4. Overhead Press - 10 reps at 30 Kilograms

Conclusion

AMRAP workouts are quickly getting more and more attention from many athletes due to their versatility and time-efficient nature.

However, selecting the right exercises for each different type of AMRAP workout is an important factor in the results you get from the routine.

By using a combination of the above movements, you can tailor your program to improve your strength, power and cardiovascular fitness. This can improve both your physique and sporting performance and help you get closer to your goals.

Anne Ramos
Anne Ramos


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