AMRAP Workouts

AMRAP - As Many Reps As Possible

AMRAP workouts are a great mix in at any point in an individual workout, or overall program.  AMRAPs get a lot of pub via Crossfit but they have been around forever as a technique to pump in a ton of work in a short amount of time.  This cranks up the density of your training as you will pound a specific movement for X amount of minutes.

How to AMRAP

For wheelchair lifters I prefer to AMRAP on lifts you have to do with a single arm.  I use them most often on 1 arm barbell rows where I am lying face down on a bench.  I will do my right arm for X amount of minutes at Y weight.  Then I switch to the left arm.  Really F-ing simple, which is usually the case for things that actually work in a gym. 

AMRAP Progression

The first time you do an AMRAP exercise, count your reps for that set amount of minutes.  Next time you do this lift, try to break that rep count in the same amount of time.  Thats it.  The rest time should be very short, nothing over 20 seconds unless you are going really heavy.  This is the secret sauce that makes it work.

Why AMRAP Works

If forces you to compete with yourself to knock out extra reps than you normally would in say a 3 or 4 set approach.  When you continue to add reps in the same timeframe you are forcing UP your workload and your body must adapt, by building muscle and strength.  Lets say you row 100 LBs for 4 sets of 10, with a 1 minute rest between sets, where you hit 10, 10, 8 and 7 on those four sets.  Attempting an AMRAP on that same weight you would probably get something like 10, 5, 3, 3, 3 ,3, 2, 2, 2, 2, 1, 1 ,1 ,1, 1. before 4 minutes are up.  Which would equate to 40 or so reps, vs the 35 reps you hit with the conventional method.  Now next week you try to hit 42 and so on.  After to get to a target, such as 50, bump up the weight.

I am a big fan of this approach, but don't overuse it.  I would recommend only using it on 1 exercise per training session as it can wipe you out a bit if you overapply it.   I also like it a ton for fellow wheelchair lifters since we can get setup on one exercise and bang this out without changing weights 3-4 different times.  Load up, rep out, go home.