AMRAP Workout + the Benefits

Have you ever done an AMRAP workout before? Did I just speak a foreign language to you?  🙂  AMRAP stands for “as many rounds as possible” and is always done within a set amount of time. The goal behind AMRAP’s is to take a short period of time, a challenging set of exercises (generally 2-4) and to work at your max effort for that set amount of time to get as many rounds as possible in of the exercises prescribed.

IMG_7821Benefits of an AMRAP workout? Well, first of all, they are fast. You know how long they are going to take and it’s a great way to quickly get a challenging workout in. Second, when you know the amount of time a workout will take, it’s easier to give it your all. For example, if you go to a group fitness class and have 60 minutes ahead of you, most people aren’t likely to go “all out” on every exercise because, well heck — you’ve got 60 minutes of exercises & work ahead of you for Pete’s sake! But, if I were to say, “here are your two exercises, do as many as you can in 7 minutes”, well, quite frankly, it’s a lot easier to wrap your head around working as hard as you can for 7 minutes vs. 60 right? The best AMRAP workouts combine full body movements that build not only cardiovascular endurance, but also muscular strength and endurance. And last, AMRAP workouts are a great way to track your progress! Record the # of rounds you get when completing the workout, then when you try the workout again, see if you can best your previous go at it.

In terms of pacing yourself, I like to think of AMRAP workouts like running a 400 on the track. There is a big difference between sprinting 100 meters (the straight away on a track) and running one full lap. A good 400 runner is able to stay right on the border between running as fast as possible at a consistent pace versus an all-out sprint. You’re balancing pushing the pace in order to maintain your speed throughout the entire race with knowing that there is some distance to cover and you’ve got to make it all the way around the track. I am sure you’ve seen the competitors that start way out front, then finish last — they go too hard right out of the gate and can’t maintain their starting speed. The pace you want  to find should be challenging throughout every rep & exercises – you should never feel like you’re recovering until it’s over, but when it’s over, your body is spent.

If you’re used to spending lots of time at the gym – either on cardio equipment or with your dumbbells, the concept of getting a complete workout in such a short amount of time might be hard to wrap your head around. I know – it sounds too good to be true. But think of it this way: take all the strength, all the effort, all the “muscle burn” and breathlessness you experience at various times throughout your 60 minute workout and pack ALL of that into your AMRAP time. I mean all of it. It’s not the quantity (i.e. amount of time you spend in the gym) that matters, it’s the EFFORT and the quality of reps that you do.

So, are you ready to try one? Here is a simple AMRAP workout with a “finisher” (a final blast of effort to finish). Two 10 Minute AMRAP’s with 2 min’s off in between = 24 minutes. Then you complete the finisher as fast as you can (shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes). Which makes your total workout time under 30 minutes. Now that sounds like something I can get behind — you?!

AMRAP #1: 10 DB Burpees + 20 DB or BB Bent Over Rows + 10 Hover Ups or DB V Ups

AMRAP #2: 10 DB Plank & Row + 20 Full Sit-Ups + 10 Flying Jacks

Finisher: Outdoor Option: 4x (rounds) of four 20 yd. sprint with 30 second forearm plank hold OR Indoor Option: 6x: 100 (total) high knees or 100 jump ropes with 30 second forearm plank hold.

Notes about exercises:


– Burpees with DB’s: When you hop back to plank & perform the chest-to-ground push up, the DB’s are underneath your hands. After you hop forward (landing in a squat), you hop up with the DB’s in hand, arms by your side. Land back in a squat, set the DB’s down to ground so you can repeat back through plank. Can do without DB’s as well.

– Hover Ups: Lay flat on your back with arms & legs extended. Imprint sacrum (lower back) into the ground, contracting the core, sweeping arms by your sides to roll yourself up to a modified boat pose; knees bent. Slowly roll back down to start, but let arms & legs “hover” above the ground for remaining reps. Head touches the ground every time!

Flying Jack

– DB Plank & Row: This exercise is less about the “row” itself and more about core stability. You want to keep

your hips as still as possible, trying not to move out of your original plank while you’re rowing. Regardless of whether you have 3 or 4 foundation points (FP = limbs; hands & feet) on the ground, your plank looks the same.

– Flying Jacks: Think “big jumping jack”. Start in a squat position with legs directly underneath frontal hips bones, arms in front of you. At the same time, circle arms from the inside-out and jump in the air, spreading the legs into an invented “V” (see Whoopi’s jump to the left), then land back in your squat position. Landing back in the squat is the most important piece here to protect knee joint & low back. Try to land softly, with hips back and butt low.

*Do you like our Macks Mo workouts? Want a custom designed workout of your own that’s built around the time you have & equipment you have access to? We do personalized online workout programming! Tailored to help you reach your goals and accessible from anywhere. Find out more by emailing us:

Special shout out to my girl Molly Scott – whose provided fit-spiration for me lately and put me through some pretty frickin’ tough AMRAP workouts, myself. xo.

About Whitney Mack of Macks Mo

Whitney Mack is a holistic nutrition health coach, fitness + movement specialist, feel good fanatic and founder of Macks Mo - a healthy living business that empowers busy women and mommas to connect to their desires and they want to feel daily in order to macks-imize joy, freedom, vibrancy, energy and ease. Through her programs + services, she uses real food, movement and signature health coaching strategies to guide clients in creating a more meaningful and fulfilled life (soulful, joyful, healthful) through nourishment and love. And turns out, as their love grows (for their life, themselves, their spirit), their body intuitively sheds the mental + physical weight holding them back from a life and body they're excited about.

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