3 Challenging CrossFit AMRAP Workouts to Try ASAP

If you're getting bored with your usual HIIT or CrossFit routine, it's time to amp things up with AMRAP workouts. The acronym stands for as many reps (or rounds) as possible, and basically, AMRAPs are circuits repeated over and over again for a set amount of time.

These CrossFit AMRAP workouts may seem simple and straightforward, but they get challenging quickly. (Image: xavierarnau/E+/GettyImages)

For example, do 10 front squats, 10 push-ups and 10 dumbbell lunges and repeat for the circuit for 10 minutes. Your goal is to see how many rounds of these exercises you can do before the timer goes off.

Ready to race the clock? Below are three go-to AMRAP workouts of the 2008 CrossFit Games champ Jason Khalipa, founder of NCFit and author of As Many Reps As Possible.

Try These 3 CrossFit AMRAP Workouts

As you do these, Khalipa suggests the following: "Complete the first round at 75- to 80-percent max intensity, then try to maintain that pace for the rest of the workout." Then, in the last three minutes as hard as you can, he says.

CrossFit WOD Cindy: 20-Minute Body-Weight AMRAP

In CrossFit, anytime a workout is named after a girl, you know it's going to be tough, so don't be surprised if this gets challenging quickly. "Twenty minutes is going to feel like a long time on this workout," Khalipa says. "Your goal should be to set a pace and stick with it."

Check the clock after the first round, if it took you 90 seconds to complete, it should take you the same amount of time to complete your third, seventh, and eleventh round. "A good goal is 14 to 20 rounds," he says.

The Workout

Repeat the following circuit as many times as possible in 20 minutes.

  • 5 pull-ups
  • 10 push-ups
  • 15 air squats

Move 1: Pull-Ups

  1. Hang from the bar with palms facing away from body, hands at or slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Engage your lats (upper back), lock your core and pull your body up until your chin is above the bar.
  3. Lower back down to start.

Move 2: Push-Ups

  1. Begin in a high plank with hands on the ground under your shoulder, feet together.
  2. Engage your core and bend at the elbows to slowly lower your body to the ground.
  3. Keeping body is straight line, push back up to the starting position.

Move 3: Air Squat

  1. Begin with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Hinge your hips back and bend your knees to squat back and down until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  3. Drive through your heels and return to standing, extending your hips all the way to standing.

Tip

If you already know how to do “CrossFit pull-ups” (aka kipping pull-ups), you can do that. Otherwise, stick to strict pull-ups. Scale the movement down with strict banded pull-ups or ring-rows as needed. Similarly, push-ups can scaled to knee, incline or wall push-ups.

CrossFit Open Workout 19.1: 15-Minute AMRAP of Wall Balls and Rowing

This couplet may seem simple (and it is!), but the second half requires serious mental and physical fortitude. Fifteen minutes is a long time to alternate between just two movements, says Khalipa.

"Pick a wall ball weight that you can perform 19 unbroken reps for at least two rounds, and find a pace on the rower that pushes you but is still sustainable for the workouts duration." A good goal is five to eight rounds, he says.

The Workout

Complete as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes.

  • 19 wall balls
  • 19 calories on the rower

Move 1: Wall Ball

  1. Pick up a medicine ball and stand arms length from a (sturdy) wall, feet hips-width apart.
  2. Position ball at chest-height and tuck your elbows in toward your body.
  3. Keeping your chest upright, push your butt back and bend your knees to lower into a squat.
  4. Next, drive through your heels to explode to standing while simultaneously throwing ball up to target on the wall (typically 10 feet for women and 14 feet for men).
  5. Catch ball at chest height on the descent and immediately drop back into squat for the next rep.

Move 2: Rowing

  1. Strap your feet into the rower so that the strap sits along your laces.
  2. Grip the handle with palms facing down, arms extended and knees bent.
  3. Keeping your chest upright, back straight and core engaged, push through your heels to straighten your legs.
  4. At the same time, bend your arms and squeeze back muscles together to pull the handle to your chest.
  5. Return to start position by straightening your arms and bending your legs.

Benchmark Workout Ava: 21-Minute AMRAP of Running and Barbell Ground-to-Overhead

A benchmark workout at NCFIT, one of the most popular CrossFit programming platforms, Ava will test your cardiovascular capacity and muscular endurance. "The goal is to pick a weight you can do all 21 reps of the ground-to-overhead unbroken on your first and maybe second rounds," says Khalipa.

The Workout

Complete as many rounds as possible in 21 minutes.

  • 400-meter run
  • 21 ground-to-overhead

You have two options for getting the barbell from the ground to over your head — the barbell clean and jerk and barbell snatch. "You can snatch the barbell, which involves bringing the bar from the ground to overhead in one smooth motion. Or you can clean and jerk the bar, which breaks the movement at the shoulder," Khalipa says.

Mix and match the movements between rounds and throughout the workout if you want to or sub the run for a 500-meter row.

Option 1: Barbell Clean and Jerk

  1. Begin with feet shoulder-width apart, the bar over your feet.
  2. Hinge your hips back and bend your knees to reach down and grip the bar with straight arms, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  3. Pull the bar straight up like doing a deadlift, moving your knees out of the way.
  4. Once bar passes over your knees, keep the bar close to your body and jump and shrug so that the bar comes as high as possible.
  5. Next, catch the bar in the front rack position by rotating elbows under the bar and plant feet hips-width apart.
  6. Finally, tighten your core, dip down, then drive the bar overhead as fast as possible.

Option 2: Barbell Power Snatch

  1. Start with the bar on the ground with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Keeping your back flat, bend over to take a wide grip on the bar with your hands one hands-width outside of shoulder.
  3. Keeping arms straight and bar close to your body, pull bar off the floor and shrug barbell as high as possible.
  4. Next, drop under bar as quickly as possible and lock your arms into place with bar overhead.
  5. Drive through heels to return to standing.
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