What is AMRAP in Calisthenics? (Answered)

With calisthenics, many people think the exercises aren’t challenging enough that is until they try a circuit-based workout. And one of those many types of workouts is called AMRAP.

Doing AMRAP in a particular set of exercises is a great way to challenge oneself who want to hit their fitness goals, especially in calisthenics.

The AMRAP acronym stands for As many reps as possible or as many rounds as possible. AMRAP is performed with a set of exercises and you perform these at an extreme intensity with as many reps or rounds as possible under a certain time limit.

Not to be confused with HIIT, which is High-Intensity Interval Training. They are similar in some ways but HIIT has a rest period in between whereas AMRAP does not. With AMRAP you would rest after a round.

AMRAP workouts break down your muscles effectively, the same as weight training. If you use this style coupled with calisthenics not only does it build muscle but will also burn fat as well.

AMRAP Workout Examples

It is hard for a beginner to find the right balance when starting out. Below are AMRAP workout examples. Down below is a beginner workout that can be done multiple times a week.

ExerciseAmount of Time
Inverted Row3 minutes
Standard Push-up3 minutes
Body Weight Squat3 minutes
Sit-ups3 minutes
Rest3 minutes
Inverted Row3 minutes
Standard Push-ups3 minutes
Body Weight Squat3 minutes
Sit-ups3 minutes

Related: How Long Should Calisthenic Workouts Be?

Different AMRAP Goals

As stated above there are two main factors that play into this approach, which makes it more flexible than the others.

With consistency and experimentation, the sky is the limit on what you can accomplish with this.

If you like to mix up the focus of each workout these two approaches will keep each session not only fun but challenging as well.

Cardiovascular/Conditioning Focused

This method focuses on your cardiovascular health and/or conditioning. Noticed a flight of stairs tire you out or having trouble on long walks and/or hikes

Here is a Four-Circuit endurance example that will greatly benefit you:

  • 5-minute warm-up Pull-ups for 2 minutes Rest for a minute
  • Push-ups for 2 minutes Burpees for 3 minutes Rest for a minute
  • Bodyweight Squats for 3mintues Rest for 3 minutes

As you can see we’re not going for maximum muscle damage. We’re going for cardiovascular endurance.

Afterward, you’ll be drenched in sweat with your heartbeat thumping like a bass speaker.

If this is too difficult then you can definitely modify some of the exercises by taking an easier variation of it.

Hypertrophy Focused

Hypertrophy is liked by most people because everyone wants to build nicely sculpted muscles to look good at the pool.

The best way to go about with this method is to do as many as you can without sacrificing form.

Once form starts to suffer, it’s a good idea to either move on to the next exercise or take a break because you increase your chance of injury if you keep going.

Here is a Hypertrophy Circuit Example:

  • Warm-up 5 minutes Pull-ups 5min
  • Push-ups 5min Squats 5min Situps 4min Rest for 2min
  • Rinse and Repeat

As you can see above this example is very taxing. It hits every major muscle group for each type of compound movement.

So, it will not just test muscle endurance but cardio as well. Damaging the muscles as much as you can is the focus of this circuit.

Instead of doing a full body circuit you can exchange the other exercises for one push or pull movement.

Single Exercise Focus

  • Warm-up 5 minutes
  • Push/Pull Excercise 10 minutes Rest – 3 minutes
  • Repeat one more time

When this gets easier you’ll be able to move on to a harder variation of the exercise.

Benefits of AMRAP

Because we’ll push our muscles to their extreme capabilities, with breaks after each circuit there’s a whole host of benefits waiting for us at the end of the workout.

  • Improved muscle and cardiovascular endurance. Don’t like to do cardio but want the benefits without running? This kills two birds with one stone. Not only are you building up the capacity for your muscles but you’re also challenging your cardiovascular system.
  • Save time for other things. These workouts spare you a lot of time when you don’t have any. Got a lot on your plate and only have 30min to spare? This workout is perfect, intense, and to the point.
  • Sheds fat fast. Because this style is similar to HIIT our cardiovascular system is being put to the test and because of that, we’re burning loads of fat.
  • Helps increase Mental Strength. The workouts are extremely taxing. It’s easy to give up and call it quits but sticking with it will develop mental toughness which is important in stressful situations.

Difference Between AMRAP and EMOM

EMOM stands for Every minute on the Minute. This style is similar to AMRAP but they also have their differences. For starters, they are both intense and will save you some time.

However, with EMOM each minute of your workout is programmed with an exercise. So, let’s say you time yourself for 5 minutes with the first minute being 15 push-ups.

You knock out those 15 pushups within 30 seconds to spare so you’d use those last remaining seconds to rest.

After that minute is up you’d go to the next exercise, 10 pull-ups. Then you’d repeat until the workout is finished.

The key difference with calisthenics is the amount of volume you’ll be able to do is way more whereas with weights you’ll have to use more time to rest because of the greater amount of work to lift those weights.

Difference Between AMRAP and TABATA

Tabata interval training is a style developed by Dr. Tabata. Each exercise is done for 20 seconds with a 10-second interval for rest after.

As you’ve already noticed there are definitely some similarities between these two, both are short and intense.

However, they do have their differences. One is the Tabata workout only allows 20 seconds for each exercise with a 10-second rest.

As for, AMRAP you’re able to time yourself as long as you want with a set amount of time in-between circuits.