Wellness Fitness Workouts What Is an AMRAP Workout? 3 Routines To Try at Home They're super quick and effective. By Jenny McCoy Jenny McCoy Jenny McCoy's Twitter Jenny McCoy is a freelance health and fitness journalist in Boulder, Colorado. Her work has appeared in SELF, Glamour, Women’s Health, and Outside. She is also an ASCA Level 2-certified swim coach. In her free time, she enjoys running, buying houseplants, and doing word puzzles. health's editorial guidelines Updated on February 21, 2023 Medically reviewed by Cara Beth Lee, MD Medically reviewed by Cara Beth Lee, MD Cara Beth Lee, MD, is the current Assistant Medical Director in the Medical Affairs department at Comagine Health. learn more Share this page on Facebook Share this page on Twitter Share this page on Pinterest Email this page Most workouts are pretty methodical: You choose (or are given) a few select exercises—say, squats, push-ups, and lunges—with a specific number of repetitions and sets. Usually, those reps and sets are directly related to your fitness goals (more reps with lighter weights can help improve endurance; fewer reps with heavier weights can increase strength). But some workouts—like AMRAP workouts—aren't so meticulously planned, making them super versatile and accessible for fitness professionals and everyday exercisers alike. Getty Images AMRAP, which stands for "as many reps as possible" workouts might be a great option if you're looking to try something new. Here, you'll learn what they are exactly, what they can do for your health, and how to build a safe and effective AMRAP. Health rounded up insights from two experts, plus three AMRAP routines you can try at home. What Is an AMRAP Workout? AMRAP stands for "as many reps as possible" or "as many rounds as possible." The workout style is often associated with CrossFit (the notoriously difficult, high-intensity exercise program). In the most basic of terms, AMRAP workouts involve picking an exercise (or series of exercises) and then completing as many repetitions or rounds of that pattern as possible in a set amount of time. Typically that means you rest as little as possible. Beyond that basic structure, AMRAPs are very open-ended and scalable to different abilities. You can do AMRAPs with your body weight or add weights for more of a challenge. You can focus on cardio, strength training, mobility, or a combo of the above. You can also dial the difficulty up or down depending on which exercises you select and the amount of time you perform them for. For example, a 20-minute AMRAP of burpees will be a lot more challenging than a 10-minute AMRAP of bodyweight squats. Remember: "AMRAP doesn't have to be high-intensity," Yuri Feito, Ph.D., MPH, ACSM-CEP, education and professional development strategist at the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), told Health. (Note: Feito is not an ACSM spokesperson.) You can, for instance, do an AMRAP of gentle stretches as a warm-up or cool-down to your main sweat session. What your AMRAP workout looks and feels like will depend on your fitness level and goals. EMOM Workouts Can Really Up Your Training—Here Are 2 Trainer-Approved Routines to Try What Are the Benefits of an AMRAP Workout? AMRAP workouts vary widely in intensity and length. This means their benefits vary, too. Health Benefits High-intensity AMRAPs—where you're elevating your heart rate and working at max or near max effort with minimal rest—qualify as interval training, which can provide several serious health benefits. These benefits include increased muscle mass, improved aerobic capacity, and neuromuscular improvements. Efficiency These high-intensity AMRAPs are also super efficient. They allow "you to really get the most out of your workout in the least amount of time as possible," Erin Derrick, ACE-certified personal trainer and founder of iAm Fit in Charlotte, North Carolina, told Health. Independence On the flip side, yet another benefit to AMRAPs is that the structure allows you to work at your own pace and intensity, Feito pointed out. This can provide a sense of autonomy and independence that may make you more likely to stick with your workout routine in the short and long term. All that said, AMRAPs are just one style of interval training. And while there are legitimate benefits to interval training in general, there's no evidence that says AMRAPs are the best type of interval training, said Feito. So if you just can't find your groove with AMRAPs, that's okay. Plenty of other styles—like Tabata and EMOM, for example—provide similar benefits. Remember, when it comes to working out, the "best" exercise program for you is the one you're most likely to enjoy and do consistently. Cardiovascular Endurance Is a Huge Part of Any Fitness Routine Who Benefits Most From AMRAP Workouts? AMRAPs can be a solid option for almost every type of exerciser, so long as you don't have any injuries or health conditions that impact your ability to work out. High-intensity AMRAPs may be an especially great choice for busy exercisers who are short on time and thus want a lot of bang for their exercise buck. Potential Risks of AMRAP Workouts Because AMRAP is customized to work toward any fitness goal, working at your own pace, using just your body weight or any available equipment, anyone can modify it to their needs. You can incorporate weights into strength training or include more cardio for endurance. You can (and should) start with basic movements until you have progressed enough. Any exercise can be selected based on your ability level, and you have complete control over the pace of the workout. For example, if you are experiencing knee pain, you would avoid jumping rope, squats, or running. If you have shoulder pain, leave pull-ups out. Regardless of your fitness level, it is important to maintain proper form throughout. Pay close attention to form and movement mechanics, especially toward the end of the workout when you are tired, and your form may weaken. And know when to end the workout. How To Build a Safe, Effective AMRAP Workout Good AMRAP workouts are those that appropriately match your fitness level and goals. Here are expert tips for building a safe, effective AMRAP routine. Pick Movements You Can Do Well An AMRAP is not the time to try out that complicated new exercise you saw on TikTok. Instead, "start with movements that you feel comfortable" with, said Feito, and that "don't require a lot of technique." For an AMRAP that's effective and functional, Derrick suggested sticking with exercises that mimic movements you do in everyday life, like squats, deadlifts, and push-ups. Focus On Form Speed is often emphasized in AMRAPs, but good technique should be your number one focus, said Feito. If you can't maintain safe and proper technique, take a breather, switch to a different exercise you can do proficiently, or just call it a day. Forging ahead with poor form only ups your chances of injury. Find a Sustainable Pace It can be tempting to go all-out when you start an AMRAP, but that approach will likely end in burnout. Instead, find a pace you can maintain the entire time, so you don't have to take breaks. "You want to be able to endure whatever duration it is," said Derrick. Keep It to 30 Minutes or Less Cap your AMRAP at 30 minutes or less, suggested Derrick, whose AMRAP "sweet spot" is 15 to 20 minutes. If that feels intimidating, consider stringing together several three- to five-minute AMRAPs. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS): What It Is, and How to Relieve It 3 Trainer-approved AMRAP Workouts To Try Here are three AMRAP workouts, the first two from Derrick and the third from Feito, that you can try at home with just your body weight. For the cardio and strength-focused AMRAPs, be sure to do a brief three to five-minute warm-up (think: dynamic stretches or jogging in place), so you don't start with stiff muscles. 16-Minute Cardio AMRAP Do as many rounds of this circuit as possible in 16 minutes. If you need to, rest up to 1 minute between each round. Adjust the number of reps and the total workout time to meet your fitness level, as needed. 50 high knees: Stand tall with your feet hip-distance apart. Quickly drive your right knee towards your chest, stopping when your right thigh is parallel to the floor. Lower your knee down and then immediately repeat with your left knee. That's one rep. Continue this pattern, alternating sides.40 plank jacks: Get into a high plank with your wrists directly under your shoulders, feet hip-width apart, and core, glutes, and quads braced. Your body should form one long, straight line from your head to your ankles. From here, quickly jump your feet together, then jump them back to hip-width apart. That's one rep. As you jump, keep the rest of your body as still as possible.30 skaters: Stand tall with your feet hip-distance apart, arms at your sides. Bend your torso forward slightly and press through your left foot to jump your right foot to the right several inches as your left leg swings back and across to the right. The left arm swings forward and across your body, and the right arm swings directly behind you. Touch your left toes to the ground and pause for a moment. Then, press off your right foot to jump your left foot to the left as your right leg swings back and across to the left. Right arm swings forward and across your body, and the left arm swings directly behind you. Touch your right toes to the ground and pause for a moment. That's one rep. Continue this pattern, alternating sides.20 burpees: Stand tall with feet hip-distance apart. Bend at the waist and place your palms on the ground, then jump your feet back into a high plank position with shoulders over wrists, feet hip-distance apart, and core, quads, and glutes braced. From here, bend your elbows to perform a push-up. At the top of the push-up, jump your fein towards your hands and then jump up, raising your hands overhead. That's one rep.30 squat jumps: Stand tall with feet hip-distance apart. Bend your knees and push your hips back to lower into a squat, bringing your hands together in front of your chest as you lower. Pause when your knees form 90-degree angles. Then, jump up as high as you can, throwing your arms behind you for extra momentum. Land softly with bent knees and immediately sink into another squat. That's one rep.40 sit-ups: Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet hip-width apart on the floor, and hands cupped behind your head. This is the starting position. Brace your core and push your feet into the floor as you lift your torso off the floor. As you lift, make sure your feet stay grounded and your core stays braced (don't arch or round your back). Pause when your torso is perpendicular to the ground, and; then reverse the movement to return to the starting position. That's one rep.50 jumping jacks: Stand tall with your feet together. Jump your feet wide as you raise your arms to the sides and overhead. Without pausing, jump your feet back together as you lower your arms down to your sides. That's one rep. 20-Minute Strength-focused AMRAP Do each move for eight repetitions. Then, repeat the circuit but do 12 repetitions of each move. Then, repeat the circuit with 16 repetitions of each move. Continue this pattern of adding four repetitions each time you repeat the circuit. Do as many rounds of the circuit as possible in 20 minutes. If you need to, rest up to one minute between each round. Adjust the number of reps and total workout time to meet your fitness level as needed. One-and-a-half squats: Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees and push your hips back to lower into a squat; stop lowering when your knees form 90-degree angles. Pause, then press through your heels to stand up halfway. Pause, then lower back down to 90 degrees. Pause, then press through your heels to return to standing. That's one rep.Push-ups: Start in a high plank with your wrists directly under your shoulders, feet hip-width apart, and core, glutes, and quads braced. Your body should form one long, straight line from your head to your ankles. From here, bend your elbows slightly back (not straight out to the sides) and lower down into a push-up. Pause, then press through your palms to return to the high plank. That's one rep.Sumo squats: Stand tall with your feet wider than hip-distance apart, your toes pointed slightly out, and your hands at your sides. Bend your knees and push your hips back to lower into a squat. Pause, then press through your heels to return to standing. As you stand, lower your hands to your sides. That's one rep.Commandos: Start in a high plank with your wrists directly under your shoulders, feet hip-width apart, and core, glutes, and quads braced. Your body should form one long, straight line from your head to your ankles. From here, lift your right hand and place your entire right forearm on the ground. Repeat with your left hand. Then, lift your right forearm and place your right hand back on the floor. Repeat with your left forearm. That's one rep. Make sure your hips stay as still as possible as your arms move. Alternate which arm leads with every rep.Walking lunges: Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, hands on hips. Keeping your torso tall, step your right foot forward about two feet and bend both knees to lower down into a lunge. Stop when your legs form 90-degree angles. Pause, then press through your front heel to return to standing. From here, step your left foot forward about two feet and bend both knees to lower down into a lunge. Stop when your legs form 90-degree angles. Pause, then press through your front heel to return to standing. That's one rep.Side plank crunches: Start in a side plank with your right palm on the ground, directly under your shoulder, and your left hand pointing straight up. The left foot is stacked on top of the right. The core and glutes are braced. This is the starting position. From here, drive your left elbow and left knee toward each other. Pause when they touch, then reverse the movement to return to the starting position. That's one rep. Make sure to work both sides evenly. 5-Minute Mobility AMRAP Do as many rounds of this circuit as possible in 5 minutes. 4 squats: Stand tall with your feet hip-distance apart and hands at your sides. Bend your knees and push your hips back to lower into a squat as you clasp your hands together in front of your chest. Stop lowering when your knees form 90-degree angles. Pause, then press through your heels to return to standing. As you stand, lower your hands to your sides. That's one rep.6 inchworms: Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart, hands at your sides. Bend down to touch the ground and walk forward until your hands are directly below your shoulders in a high plank position. Pause for a moment in the plank position. (You can also do a push-up if you'd like, either from your knees or toes.) From the plank position, walk your hands back towards your feet and stand up. That's one rep.8 pigeon stretches (4 on each side): Start in a high plank with hands directly under shoulders. Then, bring the right knee forward toward the right wrist. Lay the shin flat on the floor, parallel to the chest. Keep the left leg extended. Hold for several breaths. Lean forward at the waist to deepen the stretch. That's one rep. Switch sides and repeat for two reps. A Quick Review AMRAP is a formula for a workout that stands for "as many reps as possible" or "as many rounds as possible." The workout involves picking an exercise (or series of exercises) and then completing as many repetitions or rounds of that pattern as you can in a set amount of time. Typically that means you rest as little as possible. AMRAP workouts vary widely in intensity and length, and benefits. However, this workout approach can be a good option for almost every type of exerciser, given the ability to tailor the workout to your fitness level and condition. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit 1 Source Health.com uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. American Council on Exercise. Amazing AMRAP.