Class review: amRAP

21st May

For anyone who doesn’t want to read the whole review, let me start with my main takeaway from amRAP – if you’re going to get up at the crack of dawn for any class, make it this one.

amRAP is one of the new Gymbox creative classes getting us ready for summer, and combines an endurance-based workout with a truly outstanding soundtrack. Old school rap and hip-hop, from Dr Dre to House of Pain, has an impressive way of making that first set of burpees far more bearable, and if dance-squats are a thing, I was probably doing them.

The class starts with ten minutes of mobility work to get things moving. My 6:30am brain was expecting some pleasant stretching; my 6:30am body got walking lunges, star jumps, walk-outs and rotating side planks. A shock to the system, but it certainly did the trick of warming us all up and set the scene for what was to come.

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The next section saw two rounds of HIIT (high intensity interval training), mixing up bodyweight exercises with kettlebell work. Compound exercises featured heavily to make sure every muscle got a tough workout, with goblet squats, burpees, jumping lunges and push ups all making an appearance. Instructor Geraldine never stopped moving round the class throughout, correcting form, shouting encouragement and assuring you that you really, really could do it, even if the wobbly legs suggested otherwise.

The class rounded off with the AMRAP workout of the title – as many rounds as possible of a mini-circuit in 8 minutes. I’d been nervous about showing up my limited fitness in front of a class of keen early morning gym-goers, but by the end of 8 minutes, everyone was in the same position – hands on knees, sweat pouring down faces, gasping for air.

One of the many things I loved about this class was how scalable it was. Whatever your level of fitness, from beginner to athlete, you’ll get an awesome workout. Variations are given for the exercises so that you can work safely at a level that suits you, and you get out of HIIT and AMRAP what you put in. If you give it your all – whatever that looks like – you’ll get a lot back out!

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Geraldine warned us at the start of the class that she was a stickler for form, and she proved true to her word at the end with a five minute burpee-form masterclass. If we weren’t all exhausted before, we definitely were after that – though with outstanding burpees, so ‘every cloud’.

Given that I finished amRAP absolutely shattered and walking like a baby giraffe, I was surprised that I was already looking forward to the next one before I even made it back to the changing rooms. The music made it so much fun, and the balance and variety of exercises was exactly right. It’s the kind of class where if you go regularly, you’ll quickly see improvements, and Geraldine outlined her plans to provide increasingly challenging variations to keep those gains going as the weeks progress.

Make the most of the light mornings and set the alarm for this one. It’s so worth getting out of bed for.

You can follow Louise on Twitter

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