The AMRAP: What it is and How to Plan it

The AMRAP: What it is and How to Plan it

We know what it means and we know it is going to hurt! AMRAP is an acronym for As Many Rounds (or Reps) As Possible. It is also a synonym for doing an insane amount of repetitions within a set time frame. The truth is, we usually feel fantastic after an AMRAP so what are the advantages of planning it as part of a workout and how should we do it?

Why an AMRAP?


Different options are available when it comes to planning a workout: EMOM, For Time, TABATA or AMRAP. The TABATA and EMOM (Every minute on the minute) are two styles which trigger our competitive side and forces us to push harder or at least to keep moving. As opposed to a For Time workout during which a number of reps are set, or TABATA workout (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off) which is too short to fit in an interval circuit workout.
An AMRAP comes close to interval training or HIIT. Typically, three to five movements are planned to be performed within a 5 to 15-minute window.

Keep Track of Progress

If our workout routine is consistently made of AMRAP’s then we can track our progress weekly, especially if the same movements keep showing up. Just like writing down the time it takes us to run a 5k, we can take note of how many reps or rounds we did and over the weeks it will most likely show that we have improved. Of course, the more reps or rounds, the better it is to assess our progress.

Push Yourself


The satisfaction we get following an AMRAP is even better than completing all the reps prescribed in a workout. The countdown is one of the main reasons why it is exciting and why it makes us feel pumped! It is impossible to track where the others are in the AMRAP if we are training in a class, so the only competitor we end up facing is ourselves. It becomes a fight against our own will to add one more round or rep.

Find Your Pacing Limit

AMRAP Pacing

If it is the first time introducing an AMRAP to your training routine there is a chance of rushing in the few first minutes. The key to a successful AMRAP is to find a rhythm which is neither a sprint nor a walk in the park.

We should be able to find the burn while ‘zoning out’. During this state, our head is empty of thoughts and our body moves mechanically like a robot would! This is the perfect scenario for this type of workout. If we are worried to catch our breath or need to take a break, we are going too fast. If we are bored and thinking about tonight’s dinner it means that we are going to slow!

How to Plan AMRAP?

Exercise Timer on CASIO PRO TREK Smart

Determine a time frame and select it in Exercise Timer.
Pick 3 to 4 movements which combine upper, lower body and core.
Get set, GO!

Examples of workouts:

AMRAP 10 minutes

Do 10 push ups
Add 10 squats
Then 10 hollow rocks

AMRAP 8 minutes

10 power snatches
10 wall balls
Rest 2 minutes
AMRAP 8 minutes
10 thrusters
10 pull ups



Tamara Akcay

Tamara is a journalist based in London. She is a specialist in fitness, writing specifically on the topic of CrossFit.

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