One of my favorite ways to exercise is AMRAP (“As Many Rounds As Possible”).  The basic idea is to set a timer for 12-20 minutes, and then hit a workout with as much intensity as you can.  The more “rounds” of different exercises you can complete, the better.

Sample AMRAP Workout

As Many Rounds As Possible (AMRAP) in X minutes, where X equals 12, 16, or 20, of:

  • 4 pull-ups
  • 8 push-ups
  • 12 squats

Why It Works?

By performing the work in ’rounds’, we are able to more effectively train our muscles for strength and explosiveness. Much like the Tabata Interval, the idea is to go hard for short bursts, and then rest in between sets.  This produces both anaerobic AND aerobic capacity.

Unlike the Tabata Interval, however, here your “rest” sets will come while you are performing other MOVEMENTS.  While switching from pull-ups to push-ups might not actually seem like “rest”, you will be surprised how much fresher you feel coming back to the bar after a set of push-ups and squats than if you had just done a bunch of pull-ups back-to-back.  Different MOVEMENTS have different demands from different muscles. AMRAP workouts utilize this to maximum effect.

By the end, you should find that it’s hard to bang out a round as quickly, and you might even have to rest in-between reps of the same MOVEMENT, let alone in between ROUNDS!  That’s okay.  Just work as hard and as fast as you can safely, while maintaining good form. The stop-watch is a great training tool, but it often prompts people to forgo form in order to see a couple of seconds shaved off their time.  DON’T BE THAT GUY.

Finally, perhaps the best part about AMRAP workouts is that you can finish in under 20 minutes (#freefitrule) AND there is plenty of variety to be found in movement combinations to keep things fresh.


What are some movement combinations you could throw in to an AMRAP workout?  Post rounds completed to comments.  🙂

Stay healthy everybody.

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