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12 AMRAP Workouts To Shake Up Your Gym Routine

Circuit training
(Image credit: Unknown)

It’s good to have a routine. It means you can never skip the gym just because you don’t have time to decide on or find an appropriate workout. Something like this straightforward, but progressive gym routine for beginners will suffice for months, but after a while you may feel things getting a bit stale. Maybe you stop working out as much because the thrill is gone.

Well, if it’s a muscle-shaking, heart-pounding, sweat-pouring thrill you want, then you want an AMRAP session. The “as many rounds as possible” format scores high on the rate of perceived exertion scale because the whole idea is to you push yourself until the timer goes. This makes these workouts great for burning calories and improving muscular endurance.

Not only that, they’re quick by necessity – as a non-stop workout it wouldn’t safe to sustain it for too long – so if you’re after a “get in and get out” session, AMRAPs should be your go-to. Make sure you give yourself time to properly warm-up though, going from zero to 100mph is a surefire way to do yourself a mischief.

Finally, AMRAPs are a great way to put a marker down. Try the same session again in a month or two and see if you can beat your score from last time.

How To Warm Up For These Workouts

AMRAP sessions are great for those short on time, but even if you’re looking to get in and out of the gym quickly it’s worth taking a few minutes to warm up before starting your workout. That’s especially true if you’re aiming to max out your reps or rounds, and since you’ll be doing exercises at speed, a proper warm-up is also needed to reduce any risk of injury.

Start with dynamic stretching – this gym warm-up routine covers all of your body’s main muscle groups – and then go into some workout-specific exercises. The easiest way to do this is to look at the exercises you’ll be doing in the AMRAP workout and then do a couple of sets of those at a lower intensity. That could mean you use light weights or no weight at all when doing the exercises, or just perform them more slowly and really concentrate on perfecting your form. Gradually increase the intensity of your warm-up sets until you feel primed and ready to go.

12 Challenging AMRAP Sessions

1 Barbell fives

Time 15min Equipment Barbell (we recommend loading it up with one third of your weight)

2 Catch your breath

Time 20min Equipment Treadmill (ideally a self-powered one if your gym has one) or 400m track

ExerciseReps
Sprint400m
T press-up20

3 Up and down

Time 15min Equipment Pull-up bar, workout bench or raised platform

ExerciseReps
Pull-up5
Bench dip20
Knee raise10

4 Bodyweight bomb

Time 15min Equipment None

5 Strong medicine

Time 15min Equipment Medicine ball

6 Life (AKA pulling your weight and cleaning)

Time 10min Equipment Barbellpull-up bar

ExerciseReps
Clean and press10
Pull-up5

7 Knockout

Time 15min Equipment Two dumbbells

ExerciseReps
Clap press-up10
Squat to rotating press10
Dumbbell uppercut10 each side, alternating sides with each rep
Dumbbell woodchop lunge10

8 Jumping jackknifes

Time 10min Equipment Gym ball

9 Hop along

Time 15min Equipment Kettlebellpull-up bar, workout bench

ExerciseReps
Kettlebell swing (16kg)20
Chin-up10
Bunny hop20

10 Bar to floor

Time 10min Equipment Pull-up bar

11 Chop chop

Time 15min Equipment Medicine ballpull-up bardumbbell

12 Kettlebell flow

Time 10min Equipment Kettlebell

Jake was formely an intern for Coach and now contributes workouts from some of London’s top trainers. As well as training in the gym and running, he’s competed in the eight-hours-long overnight event Europe's Toughest Mudder twice and the 24-hours-long World's Toughest Mudder once.