When a trainer gives you a particular move, and tells you to do as many reps as you can in, say, 30 seconds, how do you know how fast to go?
Well, that's up to you. Often called AMRAP workouts (for "as many reps as possible"), this way of structuring a training session allows you to easily adjust the intensity level to wherever your fitness is at, and however you're feeling that day. You're in charge of how much energy you give it. An AMRAP can be a chance to completely fatigue your muscles, or to take it slow and steady to zero in on your form.
“AMRAP workouts are about achieving your goals—big or small—through dedication, hard work, limited distraction, and focus,” Jason Khalipa, author of As Many Reps As Possible: Succeeding In Competition, Business, and Life By Making The Most Of Every Single Minute previously told Well+Good.
Certified personal trainer Elisabeth Akinwale, founder of 13th Flow Chicago, gives a series of AMRAP intervals in this new eight-minute, full-body workout video to kick off Well+Good's four-week ReNew Year movement program. "You can take it however fast or slow you want—that's up to you," she says.
Akinwale designed this multidirectional strength workout specifically so that it can be easily customized to your fitness level. You'll be circling through reverse lunges, Supermans, windshield wipers, and a handful of other exercises to work multiple muscle groups in multiple planes of movement. She spends 30 seconds on each move, allowing you to do as many repetitions as feels comfortable in that timeframe. "Any speed that works for you, works for me," she says. "It's your workout, so you can make what you want out of it."
Some exercises will inevitably come easier, and you'll be able to flow through them quickly. Others may force you to slow down to get the hang of proper technique. Just make sure you're not rushing so fast that you aren't going through your full range of motion, or your form starts to fade, or you get so exhausted you have to stop all together. Akinwale says, "Our goal is just to move consistently throughout the interval."
If you sign up for the ReNew Year plan, you'll get a week's worth of daily workouts like this one delivered to your inbox every Sunday this month, all programmed with Akinwale's expertise as a trainer, former gymnast, Olympic weightlifter, CrossFitter, and social worker.
One thing she underscores: Don't feel like you're being "soft" if you have to ease off the gas during a workout. True strength is being in tune enough with your own body to know what it needs, and honoring that. "If it's feeling like too much, just slow it down a little bit," she says.
If you're following the ReNew Year program, we'll be coming back to this same workout multiple times so you can not only get more comfortable with each of the exercises, but also so you'll get a solid sense of your progression as the month goes on. "You can push it even further next time," Akinwale says.
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