By James Frew
We all know it can be hard to find time to fit a workout into our day. After all, getting ready, heading to the gym, and post-training recovery adds to the time it takes to exercise. Fortunately, thanks to modern training principles, there are ways to stay active even on those busy days.
If you're looking how to get fit on a tight schedule, you could give AMRAP a try. This is a form of exercising based on doing As Many Rounds As Possible, or as many reps as possible, in your available time.
AMRAP workouts differ from standard routines, where the goal is to achieve a certain number of rounds or reps without a specific time restriction. Instead, AMRAP exercise ups the intensity by focusing you on the time constraint and getting as much out of your exercise as you can.
The harder you work out during your session, the more calories you'll burn as well. Personal trainer Sarah Pelc Graca, founder of Strong with Sarah, has put together a six-move routine for when you only have 10 minutes free.
So, lace up a set of the best cross training shoes, set a timer for 10 minutes, and complete as many rounds of the following exercises as possible, with breaks whenever you need them.
- Jumping Jacks: 20 reps
- Lunges: 30 reps
- Bicycle Crunches: 40 reps
- Burpees: 15 reps
- Squats: 25 reps
- Mountain Climbers: 20 reps
This AMRAP routine is ideal for any time of day, but if you want to fit it into your routine, you could schedule it daily in the morning or evening. If you do this regularly, you'll find that you can do more in the 10 minutes, and it's easy to track your progress over time too.
"You get the choice to choose the intensity of the workout. If you're having a day where you're a little bit more tired or maybe your body isn't feeling as strong, you can choose to do fewer rounds in the same amount of time," notes Sarah.
"On the flip side of that, if you're having a day where you're feeling super strong and like a warrior who is ready to tackle anything, you can bump up the intensity and really challenge yourself!"
As you're working out in short periods, AMRAP is often confused with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). However, HITT routines often include a break between exercises, whereas AMRAP encourages you to work out intensively throughout the time.
If you'd prefer to vary your routines, Sarah has also filmed an alternative AMRAP session, which you can watch in the video below. The concept remains the same, but she incorporates a few different moves into the workout.
Quite often, when we start to find a move challenging, our mind gets in the way, and we end the set prematurely – even when our bodies and muscles could keep going. This AMRAP routine helps you get used to overcoming this mental barrier, which has a positive effect on your traditional workouts as well.
According to Sarah, "alongside the AMRAP workout, you can supplement in some active recovery days with some low-intensity yoga or walking... [or] incorporate different workouts based on specific goals like gaining muscle mass or marathon training."
Of course, while you want to push through the reps as quickly as possible, you need to keep a good focus on your form to avoid injury. But this type of training is ideal no matter your level of experience as you can adjust the intensity of the exercise based on your current fitness level. Make sure you check out our how to warm up guide to avoid any injuries or niggles in your training.
Once you've nailed the technique and you want to challenge yourself, consider holding a set of the best adjustable dumbbells while doing the lunges as well or mixing the moves up with the best exercises for weight loss for some variety.
James is a London-based journalist and Staff Writer at Fit&Well. He has over five years experience in fitness tech, including time spent as the Buyer’s Guide Editor and Staff Writer at technology publication MakeUseOf. In 2013 he was diagnosed with a chronic health condition, which spurred his interest in health, fitness, and lifestyle management.
In the years since, he has become a devoted meditator, experimented with workout styles and exercises, and used various gadgets to monitor his health. In recent times, James has been absorbed by the intersection between mental health, fitness, sustainability, and environmentalism. When not concerning himself with health and technology, James can be found excitedly checking out each week’s New Music Friday releases.
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