Get a Great Workout in 8 Minutes

By , Gerren Liles, Acacia TV Contributor
AMwhat? You might have heard the term "AMRAP" floating around on fitness blogs in recent years as CrossFit has surged in popularity. AMRAP is an acronym for "as many rounds as possible" and is a component of many CrossFit workouts in gyms (or "boxes") around the world. In an AMRAP, you are given a circuit of exercises to do, and you must complete as many rounds of those exercises within a given time frame. It's a time-efficient way to work up a sweat, and it can be done virtually anywhere with minimal equipment! 
Benefits of an AMRAP Routine
  • Because you are moving nonstop, AMRAP workouts tend to incorporate some elements of aerobic conditioning. It's much more effective (and more fun!) than slogging away on cardio equipment for hours.
  • You can use AMRAP workouts to measure your fitness progress over time. Repeat the workout every few weeks to note how many rounds and reps you complete to track improvement.
  • You can execute a quality full-body workout within a short period of time.  Ideally, AMRAPs should be designed so each exercise targets a specific muscle group. This way, that group can recover as you rotate to the next exercise.
  • Alternating between cardio movements and strength movements is a great way to torch maximum calories in minimum time.
Want to try your hand at an AMRAP? Check out the routine below! Set a timer for 8 minutes. Do each of the following moves consecutively to complete one round. Do as many rounds as possible before the clock runs down. So, the workout will look like this:

5 Squat Jumps
5 Plank-Ups
10 Split Jumps
15 Straight-Leg Crunches

Start over at 5 squat jumps and REPEAT until 8 minutes is up.

Disclaimer: If you're new to exercise and have never attempted high-intensity training, start with the modified versions of the exercises, making sure you're comfortable with the form, and slowly work your way up from there. Always consult with your doctor before beginning a new fitness program.
1) 5 Squat Jumps

Slowly lower your body and remember to bend slightly at your hips. Keep your weight back on your heels and your back as upright as possible. Make sure your knees don’t cross the plane of your toes. From the bottom of the squat, jump up to a standing position to complete one rep.

Modification: Squat, as above, but straighten legs (no jumping) and come up to the starting position to complete one rep.

2) 5 Plank-Ups

Instructions: Begin by lying on your stomach with palms on the floor next to your shoulders, feet and legs together, toes down. Come up onto your forearms and toes, lifting your belly off the ground and making sure weight is balanced evenly between forearms and toes, keeping body as straight as possible. Move from forearm plank to hand plank and back down to your forearms. Alternate the hand that leads. Completing both sides equals one rep.

Modification: Stay in plank position and tap opposite hand to opposite shoulder. Tap both sides to equal one rep.

3) 10 Split Jumps

Instructions: Stand with legs hip-distance apart, toes pointed forward, back straight, hands on hips. Take a big step backward with your right leg, keeping upper body as straight as possible. Bend both knees lowering your body and back knee toward the floor. Jump up from lunge and switch leg positions as you jump, landing in a lunge on the opposite side. Completing both sides equals one rep.

Modification: Do alternating lunges without the jumping movement. Complete lunge on one leg, then straighten legs and push off back leg to step forward to standing. Alternate sides. Completing both sides equals one rep.

4) 15 Straight-Leg Crunches

Instructions: Lie on floor with legs together, arms extended overhead, belly button pulled in toward spine. Keeping head between arms, raise upper body and legs off floor until arms and legs are reaching toward the sky. Aim to touch your toes. Lower back down to the ground to complete one rep.

Modification: Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle instead of straightening your legs, or keep your feet on the floor for the entire movement.
Have you ever tried an AMRAP workout before? What did you think of it?
Gerren Liles is AcaciaTV’s interval training instructor and is also a popular Equinox instructor and ReebokONE ambassador. Based in NYC, he is one of the Top 20 Bootcamp/Strength instructors on Gerren has helped launch several of Equinox’s signature programs, including ViPR and Shockwave.

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