AMRAP vs. For Time - what’s the difference?
These are possibly the two most iconic workout structures seen in CrossFit. Outside of knowing that these are differing workout structures, have you ever thought about how the stimulus (effect) of a workout changes based on whether it is an AMRAP (as many reps and rounds as possible) or a “for time” workout?
Before we get into how the structure affects the outcome, let’s define the two.
An AMRAP is what we call a task-oriented workout, where you are given a set amount of time to complete as much work as possible. Regardless of your ability level, what you are lifting, how fast you are rowing, you are locked in and working for the same amount of time as everyone else around you. The clock, in this scenario, can “save” you.
A “For time” workout - and this can be a one-round chipper-style workout or a multi-round workout - is a time-oriented workout. You are given a set amount of work and are asked to complete it as quickly and efficiently as you can. In this scenario, the clock will not save you. You get to dictate how long the workout takes you based on the effort you put forth and the efficiency with which you move.
Perhaps you’re already considering how these two styles create drastically different stimuluses. If you’ve participated in these two styles, you likely know the structure that potentially gets you to “push” more. That is the time-oriented workout. Because you control the end-point and you know how much you need to save up for to complete the work asked of you, it’s easier to gauge our output from the beginning to ensure that we get the work done. It’s also more likely that you’re going to push the pace earlier in the workout, because you know that if you do, you’re that much closer to completing the work and getting to stop.
The AMRAP is much trickier and it takes more experience and understanding of your individual capabilities for the movements in the workout for you to set a good pace and hold yourself to it. The hardest part of an AMRAP is the unknown of how round after round of work will affect your performance. It’s easy to go out too hot and fade quickly but it’s also easy to go out too slow and feel like you didn’t quite get the desired stimulus out of the work.
At the end of the day, they are both excellent fitness tools. Understanding their inherent differences and adjusting your approach accordingly can go a long way to you making the most out of both.
Strength - Snatch Complex: 2 Snatch pulls + Snatch @ RPE 6
Athletes will have 20 minutes to build to and complete successful reps of today’s complex. The focus is to remain technically sound. DO NOT MAX OUT!
Metcon - For time:
22 Pause HR push-ups
10 minute cap