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The Benefits of AMRAP Workouts + This Week’s Workouts

Hi and welcome to the weekly workout recap!

I regularly consider whether or not to keep writing this post every week because sometimes it feels a little “all about me” and redundant but then I receive feedback that it’s really helpful for some of you and gives you ideas and inspiration. As a compromise, I’ve been working to up the quality of these posts a little lately. That’s why you’ve seen more Pinable workout graphics and I’m trying to include a different discussion topic every week that is fitness/workout related.

Today we’re going to talk about AMRAP-style workouts. I first learned about them a little over three years ago when I started doing CrossFit and have enjoyed using them for my own training and client programming ever since.


What is does AMRAP mean?

AMRAP means “as many rounds as possible.”

You are typically given anywhere from 2 to 5 exercises to cycle through in anywhere from 3 to 20 minutes. Sometimes AMRAPs are little longer but usually you want to keep this type of high intensity training to 20 minutes or less.

4 5 minute AMRAP Workout

Occasionally, AMRAPs will be broken up into sets, as pictured in the workout I programmed above and the one you’ll see in my workout recap below.

What are the benefits of AMRAP-style workouts?

The primary reason I love AMRAP workouts is that they allow everyone to do the same workout but at their own pace. So one person might finish 5 rounds in a 20-minute AMRAP while someone else finishes 7. It doesn’t mean that one person worked harder than the other. In fact, they probably worked at the same intensity! I usually find that the person who finished 5 rounds is just as fatigued at the end as the person who finished 7. AMRAP workouts accommodate all levels of fitness.

I also love AMRAP workouts because there’s something nice about knowing your workout is going to last 18 minutes. It motivates me to work hard! I find with the short 3, 5 or 7 minute AMRAPs, I can really work at a high intensity.

How to score AMRAP workouts.

You score the AMRAP workouts by the number of rounds + any reps you get within the set time frame. They’re great for tracking improvements in strength and conditioning because you can repeat the same workout and see if you’re able to get more rounds or reps.

Let me know if you have any other questions about this style of workout!

Here’s my weekly workout recap.


Hot yoga


Circuit Training + Strength

5-minute AMRAP Circuit Workout

I did this circuit workout with the class at Metro and then a little extra strength work on my own. The bear crawls were the worst part of this workout! They burned! (Don’t know what a bear crawl is? Watch this video. You’re welcome!)


5 rounds of 10 deadlifts (95#) and 20 ab mat sit ups



Just a walk with the pups…which we do most days and is the highlight of summer evenings for me!


Circuit Training + Strength


I did this tabata workout with the class at Metro. (Read all about tabata-style workouts and their benefits in this post.) It was super challenging for a few reasons.

First, our trainer gave us no rest between exercises so after you finished 8 rounds of one exercise your 10 second recovery was the transition to the next. It was full out effort for 20 minutes.

Second, our trainer designed this workout to build in intensity so we started out slow and pretty easy with the ab mat sit ups and then got into anaerobic training with the kettlebell swings. Your heart rate came down a bit for the push ups but tabata push ups are notorious for getting you to muscle failure. Having to throw up a wall ball after that was pretty miserable! The first round of wall balls were impossible and I’d say that it was the toughest exercise of the whole workout due to the structure of the workout. Push followed by push was intense! We finished it up with burpees without the push up and they surprisingly burned my quads more than anything.

This was a good one!

Strength (before the circuit workout!)

5 rounds of 10 back squats at 95# and 10 pull ups (first 3 sets of pull ups kipping, last two band assisted)



Hot Yoga

I took my friend Rian’s class after teaching my Friday morning class. I love Rian’s because he appreciates handstands as much as I do! πŸ™‚ I’ve been working on my wide leg forward fold handstand and press lately.



Beach Yoga Girl Inversion and Core Strength Workshop

Full recap soon! But let me just say that two hours of core strength drills, shoulder drills and balancing on your hands makes a girl tired!


3 mile run + hot yoga

This was my first run since being sick. Running when you have something going on in your chest is no bueno. I think it had been something like 10 days since my last run. Overall, it felt pretty good and I’d say my chest felt at 90%. I’m going to try to catch a yoga class later because my practice has been feeling really great lately.

Let me know if you have any fitness/workout topic requests for my weekly workout posts.

Do you like AMRAP workouts? Do you include them in your training?

{ 21 comments… add one }
  • Erika July 19, 2015, 3:38 pm

    Thanks for another great post Jen! Do you ever feel exercise guilt when you are unable to exercise for a few days? I ran my first 1/2 marathon 2 weeks ago and I have not been as active as I was prior to my race. Any advice, tips, personal suggestions would be so appreciated!!!

    • Jen July 19, 2015, 7:48 pm

      Hey Erika – this is a great question and I’m going to devote a post to it. If not sooner, I’ll make it next week’s workout recap topic.

      • Erika White July 19, 2015, 8:58 pm

        Thanks so much Jen! Can’t wait to read πŸ™‚

  • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine July 19, 2015, 4:12 pm

    I’ve never actually done an AMRAP, but I have always loved the idea of their high intensity”give it your all” type deal!
    Looking forward to the recap of the workshop! Ah, so much fun!

    • Jen July 19, 2015, 6:59 pm

      They’re perfect when you want a tough workout in a pretty short amount of time!

  • Keri Kruger July 19, 2015, 6:53 pm

    I love your workout posts, I usually incorporate at least one of your Crossfit/strength workouts into my weekly routine. Please don’t stop posting!!!!

    • Jen July 19, 2015, 7:02 pm

      It makes me SO happy to hear that. People seem to really like the workout recaps so for now they aren’t going anywhere!

  • Tara | Treble in the Kitchen July 19, 2015, 9:21 pm

    I love that you mentioned that just because someone completes 5 rounds while someone completes 7 rounds it doesn’t mean they are any less fatigued. Listening to your body and pushing yourself to your own limits is the BEST way to have a successful fitness routine πŸ™‚ GREAT post, Jen!

    • Jen July 19, 2015, 10:46 pm

      Thank you!

  • Sherri July 19, 2015, 10:42 pm

    Another vote to keep these posts coming! I have one question though – what is a burpee without the pushup? I don’t do them with a “push-up” per se (CrossFit style) so this one has me perplexed…

    • Jen July 20, 2015, 8:54 am

      You stop in a high plank position when you jump back. It’s more like a squat thrust.

  • Cassie July 20, 2015, 12:59 am

    All of these workouts look great!

    • Jen July 20, 2015, 8:55 am


  • Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves July 20, 2015, 6:39 am

    Looks like some awesome workouts! That tabata looks brutal, haha.
    I’m currently working on handstands, so I would be interested in how you learned/progressed your handstand, or just any tips on how to hold one for more than 3 seconds πŸ™‚

  • Emily @ My Healthyish Life July 20, 2015, 7:51 am

    I’ve always thought the same thing about posting my workout recaps, but I personally love reading other people’s (especially yours) so I figure there could be some benefit in it! I’ve done a few AMRAP this summer at crossfit-like classes and really enjoyed them…as much as you can enjoy a hard workout πŸ™‚

  • Ashley G July 20, 2015, 9:12 am

    I look forward to your workout recap posts every week! I love hot yoga, running & lifting & your posts always give me great ideas of how to fit everything in.

    • Jen July 21, 2015, 9:56 am

      Happy to hear it!

  • tara July 20, 2015, 2:11 pm

    i never thought of an AMRAP as a way for a trainer to program a workout to accomodate different fitness levels ! works with tabata and totally makes sense. i attend a boot camp class where fitness levels are now really varied and i feel like all we do are things that are timed and now it makes sense. we used to do more running and rep based things but then there were always stragglers and you either than have to just continue and the stragglers really stand out (which is horrible if you are new to exercise when all you want to do is blend in) or wait and the more fit people are waiting around. i need to do more of these workouts on my own. i too like that they are nice quick bursts.

  • Jeannie July 20, 2015, 2:24 pm

    Could you explain the difference between HIIT, Tabata and AMRAPs? To me they all seem pretty much the same haha. Thanks!

    • Jen July 21, 2015, 10:04 am

      Tabatas are four minutes broken down into 8 sets of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. AMRAPs are intervals during which your goal is to complete as many rounds of the movements as possible within the given amount of time. HIIT workouts can vary in duration but will generally be periods of high intensity effort followed by shorter periods of rest or lower intensity work.

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