Updated: Sep 23
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Armed with these CrossFit AMRAP workouts, you will develop devastating strength and explosive muscle endurance. Plus, because the AMRAPs involve a mixture of training methodologies, they possess the power to enhance whole-body fitness conditioning and physical functionality.
And don’t think that just because they’re CrossFit workouts you’ll need Hulk-like muscles to get through them. All the AMRAPs have been crafted to accommodate a broad range of abilities and fitness levels.
So, whether you’re a beginner or an aspiring CrossFit competitor, there’s a workout here for you. And as I discuss in the hints and tips section below, there are loads of ways that you can customise the workouts to suit your training and fitness objectives.
Before you get stuck into the AMRAPs, you might want to review the fitness benefits they aim to promote. This way you'll know what's up for grabs if you integrate them into your training routine. (Just want to start the workouts >)
AMRAP CrossFit workouts benefits
A chief benefit of AMRAP CrossFit workouts is the development of a wide range of fitness components. Unlike other exercise disciplines, such as rowing, cycling, or powerlifting, which are hyper-focused, CrossFitters must cultivate complete fitness.
For example, to stand a chance of getting within a Murph of the podium, CrossFit competitors must possess an abundance of strength, muscle endurance, and cardio conditioning. In this sense, CrossFit athletes are analogous to mixed martial artists – that is, consummate Jack of all trades.
To develop such a broad spectrum of physical attributes, CrossFit workouts incorporate multiple training methodologies. Take the Murph workout as an example. This is a core event of the CrossFit Games. It consists of a one-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 press-ups, 300 air squats, and another one-mile run. I’m sure you’ll agree, that’s tough going. But, while transitioning through cardio, strength, and muscle endurance exercises, CrossFitters must also wear a 10kg weighted vest!
These CrossFit AMRAP workouts build complete fitness
In the spirit of CrossFit and to remain consistent with its guiding ethos, the AMRAPs below have been crafted to forge complete fitness. Defined simply, ‘complete fitness’ is about building strength, muscle endurance, and cardio in equal measures.
Another benefit of this style of training is the enhancement of general athleticism. That’s the ability to turn your hand to a diverse set of exercise disciplines. The events selected in CrossFit Games illustrate this point.
Take the 2019 Games as an example. The first event consisted of a row marathon. Days later competitors were battling through a series of strongman events followed by powerlifting, gymnastics, and military-style assault courses.
While you won’t be required to crawl under cargo nets or carry strongman equipment, you should expect the AMRAPs to test every dimension of your fitness.
What is an AMRAP?
In this Complete Guide, I provide a comprehensive overview of the AMRAP training method. So, instead of going into detail here, I’ll briefly outline the key features.
AMRAP is an abbreviation for as many reps as possible. When you undertake an AMRAP, your objective is always the same: to amass as many repetitions as possible in a given time.
To create your own AMRAP, first, you need to select an exercise or series of exercises. The exercises could be resistance or body (and cardio – but you would cover as many metres as possible). Next you must determine the duration of the AMRAP. In my experience, five-minute increments work best. But that’s not set in stone and you can set shorter time scales or ones that increase in different length increments.
Once you’ve established these key requirements, and after a warm-up, all that’s left is to start the countdown timer and get going.
AMRAP CrossFit key points
Select an exercise – resistance, bodyweight, cardio or a combination of the three.
Warm up well before starting.
Aim to complete as many repetitions as possible.
Make a note of your score as you can use it as a benchmark to compete again next time.
4 AMRAP CrossFit workouts
The following four AMRAP CrossFit workouts have been crafted to cultivate complete fitness conditioning. If you integrate them into your training routine, they can facilitate strength, muscle endurance, and cardio development.
Each AMRAP features a workout explanation followed by a list of key points and a session plan. In addition, a suggested warm-up has been provided. To improve your performance in the AMRAPs and reduce injury risk, it’s important to warm up thoroughly first.
AMRAP CrossFit workouts #1: Project power
Comprised of just four compound exercises, our first of the four AMRAP CrossFit workouts looks a little easy on the surface. Don’t be disarmed by its polite demeanour. This is a fiery workout that cooks every muscle in the posterior chain.
Deadlifting for even a few minutes induces a chronic burn in the glutes and lower back. Thus, when you transition to the next exercises, you’ll already be wading knee-deep in lactic acid. In less than tip-top shape you’ve got to go toe to toe with squats.
To stand a fighting chance at remaining competitive, you’ll probably have to adjust the bar weight between exercises. When I completed this workout, I selected 80kg for deadlifts, 60kg for squats, and 50kg for both the hang cleans and push presses.
AMRAP key points
Complete the suggested warm-up: 500m row → 2 reps deadlifts, squats, hang cleans, push presses → 500m row → 5 reps deadlifts, squats, hang cleans, push presses → 500m row → 7 reps deadlifts, squats, hang cleans, push presses → 500m row → 10 reps deadlifts, squats, hang cleans, push presses.
Organise your training area before starting the AMRAPs. This should be reasonably straightforward as the workout requires only a barbell and an assortment of weights.
Select the AMRAP duration that’s appropriate for your level of fitness.
AMRAP CrossFit workouts #2: Modified Murph
If you’re a consummate CrossFitter, you’ll already be familiar with Murph. For the uninitiated, Murph is a core event in the CrossFit Games. It consists of a mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 press-ups, 300 air squats, and another mile run. If that’s not tough enough, competitors must also wear a 10kg weighted vest.
Our second workout breaks from tradition. Instead of the fixed distances and reps, here you will AMRAP the five stations. This modification makes Murph more accessible for those that find pull-ups a struggle.
One quick point before you get going. If you’re scratching your head over how to AMRAP a cardio exercise, you’re merely amassing as many metres as possible as opposed to reps.
AMRAP key points
Complete the suggested warm-up: → 250m walk/jog → 5 reps pull-ups, 5 reps press-ups and air squats → 500m jog → 5 reps pull-ups, 10 reps press-ups and air squats → 750m jog → 5 reps pull-ups, 15 reps press-ups and air squats → 1000m jog → 5 reps pull-ups, 20 reps press-ups and air squats.
Set your countdown timer. If possible, program intermittent alerts to notify you every minute that passes. This, I find, helps boost motivation while also enabling you to moderate your training intensity. Tactics, as well as work ethic, play an important part in AMRAPs.
Attack the five stations with the aim of achieving your best possible score.
If you’ve got a spare weighted vest kicking about, strap it on!
AMRAP CrossFit workouts #3: Combat conditioning
Our third workout has been designed with the fighter in mind. While it remains consistent with the AMRAP CrossFit methodology, the exercises selected are geared more toward improving combat conditioning.
Like CrossFit competitors, combat sports practitioners must develop multiple components of fitness. For example, during an MMA contest, a fighter will need power to deliver strikes, strength to control their opponents, muscle endurance to sustain output, and cardio conditioning to keep active. A fighter lacking any of these fitness attributes may well be exposed.
This workout features a diverse mix of exercises and training methods. And they’ve been organised so as to stimulate combat conditions.
AMRAP key points
Get in the groove with this suggested warm-up: → 2000m rowing → 10 reps of all the exercises in the plan.
Once warm and ready, start the countdown timer.
Progress through the six exercises.
For the boxing bag station, you will be applying your preferred strikes to the bag. However, if you don't have access to a punch bag, either shadowbox with weights or skip for the duration of the AMRAP.
Make a note of your scores should you wish for a rematch.
AMRAP CrossFit workouts #4: Hercules’ last Labour
To live up to its name, our final workout is the most challenging of the four. As well as featuring the greatest number of stations, the exercises selected mercilessly attack your forearms and the muscles of the posterior chain.
Surviving this AMRAP requires equal measures of cardio, strength, endurance and, arguably most important of all, mental toughness.
In addition to engaging all the major muscle groups and your cardiovascular system, and providing a whole-body workout, you’ll also enjoy a justified sense of achievement. But you’ve got to complete it first!
AMRAP key points
Prepare for combat with this warm-up: → 5 minutes rowing → 5 reps deadlifts, swings, and dumbbell snatches → 3 minutes rowing → 5 reps deadlifts, swings, and dumbbell snatches → 2 minutes rowing → 5 reps deadlifts, swings, and dumbbell snatches → 1-minute rowing → 5 reps deadlifts, swings, and dumbbell snatches.
Now that you’ve got a lick of sweat across your brow and some colour in those cheeks, set your countdown timer.
Get on the rower, hit go, and give it hell for 5, 7:30, or 10 minutes.
Apply the same process to the remaining six exercises.
AMRAP CrossFit hints and tips
As briefly mentioned above in the key points under AMRAP #2, being able to see the countdown timer can enhance motivation. There are few things worse (in a training context) than struggling through an AMRAP and not knowing how long you have left. Time seems to grind to a halt, and it feels like the suffering will never end. This can be avoided by making the timer visible. While it won’t make the AMRAP any less unpleasant, you’ll at least know how long you’ve got to hang on for.
Another advantage of having eyes on the timer is the ability to moderate your pacing/training intensity. Maintaining a consistent output is the best strategy for a successful score.
A great way to improve your performance through a challenging workout is to complete it with a training partner. Providing each other with support and encouragement is a surefire way to enhance motivation.
Don't hesitate to tailor the workouts to suit your ability and fitness objectives. Here are some suggestions of how you could do this.
Beginners may want to reduce the duration of the AMRAPs. Currently, they are all scheduled for 5-minutes. But skimming a few minutes off the top would still make for a tough workout. Try 3 or even 2 minute AMRAPs.
Advanced trainers, no doubt, will want to go the other way. Well, if your feeling fit for it, challenge yourself 10-minutes.
The exercises that feature in the plans can be chopped and changed at the drop of hat. Not quite confident enough to perform compound movements or handle twin kettlebells? Don't sweat it! Simply substitute those exercises for ones that you can comfortable perform.
Related: Try these 21 CrossFit WODs >
Enjoyed these workouts?
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About Adam Priest –
A former Royal Marines Commando, Adam Priest is a content writer, college lecturer, and health and wellbeing practitioner. He is also a fitness author and contributor to other websites. Connect with Adam via LinkedIn or firstname.lastname@example.org.