Following an exercise routine can be a tedious process. If you are a beginner, it can be frustrating when you’re not yet fit enough to do the required number of repetitions and disheartening when it takes you forever to complete one set of exercises. If you are more advanced, the same number of exercises may be limiting your progress rather than advancing your gains.
Fitness trainers who hold group training classes also face the same dilemma. How can they hold group exercise classes when the people they are training have different fitness levels?
The concept of the AMRAP actually resolves this issue. This style of working out gives you the flexibility to still perform the same workout at your individual maximum capability. But in order for you to level up your fitness gains, combining a cardio and calisthenics routine AMRAP style would be a great option.
What is an AMRAP?
The term AMRAP is an acronym for “as many reps as possible” or “as many rounds as possible” depending on the structure of the workout. What usually happens is that you are given a set of exercises and you are to perform those exercises at maximum intensity as many repetitions or rounds as you can within a given time.
4 minute bodyweight AMRAP – reps
When the focus is on reps, you are usually given shorter time frames where you perform the same exercise within a given period.
An example of a routine using as many reps as you can would be:
- 60 seconds squats
- 60 seconds push-ups
- 30 seconds walking lunges
- 30 seconds burpees
- 30 seconds mountain climbers
- 30 seconds plank
20 minute AMRAP – rounds
When the focus is on rounds, you are given a number of exercises with a set number of reps to perform. You have to cycle these exercises within the given time frame. The difference is you have a goal to complete the different exercises before repeating the cycle again.
An example of a routine using as many rounds as you can would be completing as many rounds of the following exercises in 20 minutes.
- 15 squats
- 15 push-ups
- 10 burpees
- 10 mountain climbers
Advantages of a Cardio and Calisthenics AMRAP
While an AMRAP can be done using just about any exercise, it can be practiced without any equipment at all and without signing up for any gym or exercise training class. The way to do this is by using calisthenics exercises as the foundation of your AMRAP routine.
Calisthenics exercises are bodyweight exercises that do not require any equipment or complex technique. These exercises include classic strength-training moves such as push-ups, squats, lunges, and pull-ups. The routines indicated earlier in the article are examples of a calisthenics-based AMRAP. To level this up into a cardio and calisthenics AMRAP, the routine will look like this.
45 minute Cardio and Calisthenics AMRAP
- 400 meter run
- 20 push-ups
- 400 meter run
- 20 full-body squats
- 400 meter run
- 20 burpees
- 400 meter run
- 20 mountain climbers
While many people may already be doing a calisthenics-based AMRAP routine, there are still many who do not recognize the massive benefits of supplementing their routine with cardiovascular exercises. Here are some of the reasons why you should definitely consider doing it.
1. Combines cardio and strength-training benefits
Combining cardio and calisthenics is a great way to reap the benefits of both exercises in a single workout. Cardiovascular exercises increase fat metabolism, reduce the risk of diseases like heart disease and diabetes, plus they are great for your overall health. When combined with the strength-training benefits of calisthenics, you are able to maximize your gains and accelerate your health.
Time is probably one of the most common excuse in skipping a workout. By doing a cardio and calisthenics AMRAP, you know from the very start how long your workout would take. There’s no guessing game on whether you’re going to finish late or early because you are exercising within a given time frame.
3. Track your progress
Following an AMRAP routine is an easy way for you to monitor your progress. You can follow the same set of exercises and track your gains by the number of rounds or reps you are able to achieve compared to your previous workout.
4. Reduce Injury risks
One of the best benefits of a cardio and calisthenics AMRAP is that it you are only required to use your bodyweight as resistance in performing these exercises. With AMRAPs, you are recommended to do as much as you can but you are allowed to take rests when you feel like you need it. This makes it easier for you to listen to your body and perform at your maximum without overextending yourself.
You are not required to swing a kettlebell or lift heavy weights which can cause injury if you are not strong enough to do so. You can workout at your own pace depending on your individual fitness ability.
You do not need an expensive gym membership or access to fitness classes to do an AMRAP. You can run and perform bodyweight exercises anywhere you like. This eliminates the excuse of the gym being too far away or not having enough cash to join a fitness class.
Even beginners can do this type of workout because there are many calisthenics exercises such as jumping jacks, squats and lunges than even fitness novices can start with. There are many resources online like tutorial videos that can instruct you on the proper form when performing these bodyweight exercises. Make sure to watch your form in the mirror or ask another person to check your execution to get the most of these exercises.
In terms of cardio exercises, running is the most convenient option. If running is too difficult for you due to joint problems, choosing a lower-impact exercise such as swimming or biking would be good too.
Practicing a cardio and calisthenics AMRAP routine is not complicated. All you need is the right motivation to start, plus a timer of course, then you’re good to go!