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What is AMRAP and what does it mean?

Jaime Alnassim

Online Coaching | Strength & Conditioning

September 5, 2021

You may have seen the acronym AMRAP in your workout program before, and wondered to yourself, what does this mean? Maybe you’ve seen it before and learned that it stands for “as many rounds as possible,” or “as many reps as possible,” but still aren’t totally clear on why it would be on a workout plan. There is a good reach why you see it on programs and why it is so widely used in general. Knowing why it is used might help you push a little harder the next time you see one in your workout program.

There are two ways that you will see them in your workout programs, one will be by time (3 x:30 seconds) and the other will say something like 3 x AMRAP. They are the same but have one big difference, time. with the first example, 3 x:30 seconds, you do as many reps can you can within 30 seconds. The seconds one is a true as many reps as possible. This means you go till you cannot do anymore with good form. The goal is to making AMRAP workouts super effective for all fitness levels and become a favorite for you trying to push yourself to the next level.

How it is used

We will go over two main examples. first, there will be an AMRAP workout. You might have seen them if you have ever looked into or been to a CrossFit gym. There will be a set time with exercises with reps for the workout. An AMRAP session (workout) will focus you to push yourself to do as much as possible during a set time frame. Let’s say the workout is 10 minutes long, the goal is to do as many rounds (all of the exercise sets) as possible. How does this make for a good workout you may ask. Because during this workout each person can go at their own speed. Someone who is just starting may do fewer rounds and use less weight than someone who is more advanced, but they both are able to get a good workout during the same class.

The second way you will see them used is to replace the normal reps within a set. instead of saying 3 x 10 (3 sets of 10 reps), you might see 3 x AMRAP (3 sets of as many rounds as possible). Also, as mention above, you can add a time variable and set a time limit to the AMRAP for that one set. So rather than pacing yourself for a longer set, you know for 30 seconds you need to go all out.

Overview

Since there are so many repetitions, AMRAPS should not include any complicated exercises like Olympic weightlifting ( clean and jerk or snatch) or any exercise you may not have the best technique in. This type of training will leave you breathless and doing lots of repetitions. Allow recovery time in between sets or workouts and remember to focus on a wider workout schedule that includes focused strength work and active recovery like going for a walk.

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