Get a Great Workout in 8 Minutes

By , Gerren Liles, Acacia TV Contributor
AMwhat? You might have heard the term "AMRAP" floating around on fitness blogs in recent years as CrossFit has surged in popularity. AMRAP is an acronym for "as many rounds as possible" and is a component of many CrossFit workouts in gyms (or "boxes") around the world. In an AMRAP, you are given a circuit of exercises to do, and you must complete as many rounds of those exercises within a given time frame. It's a time-efficient way to work up a sweat, and it can be done virtually anywhere with minimal equipment! 
Benefits of an AMRAP Routine
  • Because you are moving nonstop, AMRAP workouts tend to incorporate some elements of aerobic conditioning. It's much more effective (and more fun!) than slogging away on cardio equipment for hours.
  • You can use AMRAP workouts to measure your fitness progress over time. Repeat the workout every few weeks to note how many rounds and reps you complete to track improvement.
  • You can execute a quality full-body workout within a short period of time.  Ideally, AMRAPs should be designed so each exercise targets a specific muscle group. This way, that group can recover as you rotate to the next exercise.
  • Alternating between cardio movements and strength movements is a great way to torch maximum calories in minimum time.
Want to try your hand at an AMRAP? Check out the routine below! Set a timer for 8 minutes. Do each of the following moves consecutively to complete one round. Do as many rounds as possible before the clock runs down. So, the workout will look like this:

5 Squat Jumps
5 Plank-Ups
10 Split Jumps
15 Straight-Leg Crunches

Start over at 5 squat jumps and REPEAT until 8 minutes is up.

Disclaimer: If you're new to exercise and have never attempted high-intensity training, start with the modified versions of the exercises, making sure you're comfortable with the form, and slowly work your way up from there. Always consult with your doctor before beginning a new fitness program.
1) 5 Squat Jumps

Slowly lower your body and remember to bend slightly at your hips. Keep your weight back on your heels and your back as upright as possible. Make sure your knees don’t cross the plane of your toes. From the bottom of the squat, jump up to a standing position to complete one rep.

Modification: Squat, as above, but straighten legs (no jumping) and come up to the starting position to complete one rep.

2) 5 Plank-Ups

Instructions: Begin by lying on your stomach with palms on the floor next to your shoulders, feet and legs together, toes down. Come up onto your forearms and toes, lifting your belly off the ground and making sure weight is balanced evenly between forearms and toes, keeping body as straight as possible. Move from forearm plank to hand plank and back down to your forearms. Alternate the hand that leads. Completing both sides equals one rep.

Modification: Stay in plank position and tap opposite hand to opposite shoulder. Tap both sides to equal one rep.

3) 10 Split Jumps

Instructions: Stand with legs hip-distance apart, toes pointed forward, back straight, hands on hips. Take a big step backward with your right leg, keeping upper body as straight as possible. Bend both knees lowering your body and back knee toward the floor. Jump up from lunge and switch leg positions as you jump, landing in a lunge on the opposite side. Completing both sides equals one rep.

Modification: Do alternating lunges without the jumping movement. Complete lunge on one leg, then straighten legs and push off back leg to step forward to standing. Alternate sides. Completing both sides equals one rep.

4) 15 Straight-Leg Crunches

Instructions: Lie on floor with legs together, arms extended overhead, belly button pulled in toward spine. Keeping head between arms, raise upper body and legs off floor until arms and legs are reaching toward the sky. Aim to touch your toes. Lower back down to the ground to complete one rep.

Modification: Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle instead of straightening your legs, or keep your feet on the floor for the entire movement.
Have you ever tried an AMRAP workout before? What did you think of it?
Gerren Liles is AcaciaTV’s interval training instructor and is also a popular Equinox instructor and ReebokONE ambassador. Based in NYC, he is one of the Top 20 Bootcamp/Strength instructors on Gerren has helped launch several of Equinox’s signature programs, including ViPR and Shockwave.

AcaciaTV is a leading subscription-based streaming fitness service easily accessible on a variety of platforms/devices. Members have complete access to more than 100 workouts in a diverse range of disciplines which they can stream anywhere at any time. AcaciaTV now features new themed 20-minute workouts each month from trainers Kristin McGee, Amanda Young, Deazie Gibson, Gerren Liles and Liz LeFrois. Consumers can visit Acacia TV at US.Acacia.TV and easily try out the service with its 10-day free trial. The channel is for all fitness levels, offering workouts from beginners through advanced. Subscription to the service includes access to AcaciaTV’s Facebook fitness community which offers additional support and a group forum for all members. SparkPeople members can receive 25% off any membership for a year with the code ACACIASPARK.

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RO2BENT 7/10/2020
Oh yeah Report
CECELW 1/24/2020
i love this workout. Reminds me a bit of HIIT Report
KHALIA2 12/5/2019
Great workout!!! Report
thanks Report
I would have to modify these exercises, but in general, I like these suggestions. Report
Don't think my knees would allow me to do these but they look like a good workout. Report
Love this at-home workout option. Thanks! Report
Great tips! Thanks! Report
Helpful, thanks Report
Awesome! Report
I need to get to work on these. Report
Thanks for the info. Report
AWESOME! Thank you! Report
Gratitude builds a bridge to abundance. ~ 3/27/18 Report
Yep, awesome! Report
Great workout! Report
Great ideas! Thanks! Report
Short and intense. Nice Report
These are a little tough for this little old lady. Report
I've tried some of these before and my knees almost buckled...if you've had previous knee injuries, these are NOT for you. Report
My knees can not handle these exercise. Report
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This is a good way to taste AMRAP and see if you like it. For people who aren't at Gerren's level, there are some reasonable modifications suggested. Not every workout is for every body, but I'm glad to have this new hot thing brought to my attention. I'll make it work for me and give it a shot. Report
A nice article for fitness freaks. Report
AMRAP are killer but very effective especially when weights are added like they are in crossfit WODs. Report
These are great exercises for our young people but too much for me as an older person and I am very active walking and doing Zumba. Report
I like the idea in principle, but would need something modified for a low impact version. Per doctor's orders no high impact on the joints. 2 of these moves I wouldn't be able to do at all. Report
Haha! 8 minutes of exercise...a lifetime of pain and disability. Please...think about some of us older members from time to time. Report
Where are the exercises for the older Spark People. Most of us will be sore and more trying to do these exercises.
Please look at the big picture and see how many senior teams are in here. Pat in Maine. Report
Only if I want to kill myself. These are not for the beginner or the physically impaired. Report
I did three off these moves this morning at Crossfit! Excellent workout. Report
These exercises are part of my current workout routine. They are part of celebrity trainer Shin Ohtake's Max Workouts, which is HIIT. Great exercises for body sculpting, muscle toning and weight loss all in about 20mins! Report
this is very similar to the HIIT/Tabata class that I take, and the Functional Fitness class.
Nice to have something laid out that I can do at home...probably starting tomorrow morning. Report