I learned of the term AMRAP in the Crossfit gym, perhaps it originates there, or maybe it predates Crossfit. In any case, it's a very useful tool to have in your arsenal. AMRAP stands for "As Many Rounds As Possible" and a typical AMRAP workout has a time period (20 minutes or 30 minutes) and a list of exercises (with the number of reps of each) that makes up one round. One great thing about the AMRAP is that you know how long you're doing it for. Usually not more than 30 minutes, so you know you have a defined ending point. Another great thing is that AMRAPS are very trackable and measurable. If you did 15 rounds this time, and 18 rounds in three months with the same AMRAP workout, you know you're faster, stronger, etc.
If you know me, you know I'm all about things that are measurable and trackable. I like know if what I'm doing is making an improvement in my fitness. And if I'm coaching someone, I want to know if I'm helping them to get better. So the AMRAP is a perfect tool. Plus, they make you push yourself hard, and that's usually a good thing.
So today's Master's Swim workout was an AMRAP. And just for kicks and grins, I made my swimmers get out of the water and do pushups in every round. A lot of our team is going to be training for some long swims this year, including a 10k competition. The pushups in this workout help simulate the type of arm fatigue that you feel in very long distance swims. I was pleased to note that a lot more of the swimmers could do decent pushups than the last time I inflicted something like this on them!
Here's the workout:
DRILL: One-arm crawl. Emphasis on keeping the non-stroking arm straight and steady, turning head to breathe instead of picking it up, and hand entry on the stroking arm.
4 x 75 D/S/D (that's 25 Drill, 25 swim, 25 Drill)
100 Slow Corkscrew – concentrate on Body Position
4 x 75 IM Order Drills
4 x 75 S/D/S
Starts and Turns
10 x 50: Start Hard, good push off the wall, underwater dolphin, Good turn, cruise back
30 Minute AMRAP:
Pushups on deck: 5
6 x 50 Starts and Turns
Total Yardage: 2100 + AMRAP (8 rounds would be 1800 for a total of 3900 yards)