AMRAP Top Set or AMRAP Back Off Set?

Based on your experience which one is better for strenght
A top amrap set or an amrap back off set after the top set?
3x70% 3x80% 90% amrap
3x70% 3x80% 3x90% 70% amrap

I do both.


Honestly, the best use of “amrap” sets I’ve seen has been in Jonnie Candito’s 6 week intermediate program, specifically week 2 (I say “amrap” but it’s actually Max Rep of 10, but basically the same idea). One both lower body days, the lifter begins the session by performing a max rep of 10 set and then, depending on the number of reps performed, will go on to complete a number of sets at either an increased or reduced weight (depending on the day).

Between the 2 options given, I’d probably go with a heavy amrap.


In my opinion, the AMRAP sets are not effective for powerlifters. Better is the strictly written and clearly defined number of sets for each training day.

What do you find is the issue? I like amraps or repeated sets (amsap?) as a very simple form of autoregulation.

I think that’s more of a personal preference, and also depends on training style. If you are doing submaximal work (as in each set is several reps away from failure) then it doesn’t make sense at all because it requires pushing close to failure.

Where AMRAP sets are appropriate depends on the objective. AMRAP sets are mostly useful for hypertrophy, so doing an AMRAP top set doesn’t really make sense if the main objective is strength or you are peaking for a meet. If you are working with 85-90% then I wouldn’t even consider that an AMRAP, you should already know more or less how many reps you can get. If it doesn’t go well you might cut it short by one, if you feel abnormally strong then you might do one extra, but how many reps can you really do with 90%?

1 Like

Motor units that are recruited, but are not fatigued are not trained. Vladimir Zatsiorsky

The problem with strictly written and clearly defined number of reps and sets for each training day is that it doesn’t take into account stressors outside of training, recovery and strength adaptation, “ebbs and flows” of life, etc. Such a rigid protocol doesn’t compensate for this. AMRAPS, RPE, working up/down, overloading, underloading (going beltless, when otherwise would normally lift belted, accommodating resistance, extended/shortened ROM, etc) are all tools of auto-regulation to account for such. To each their own, but having more tools in the tool box is never a bad thing.

Both. I hit 4 sets of 2 at my working weight (70-85%), then AMRAP on the 5th set, then drop down to about 50-65% of 1rm and do another AMRAP set. YMMV, but once I start creeping around and over 85% AMRAPs are used more for testing, rather then build. I would highly recommend reconsidering AMRAPS at 90% if I were you, at least until you can get a handle on RPE, bar speed and technique. Fatigue, shit technique and high intensity aren’t winning combinations.


Those are facts that some who are new to this tend to overlook.

1 Like

I think it’s a matter of the continents. For European lifters, you will not usually find the AMRAP sets. The Russians are doing maybe something a bit similar, but that’s with 70% of RM in about 8 sets and in parameter of reps 4 to 9 (only on the bench press and on the squat).

But you, as a lifter, are supposed to improve the performance of the tired motor units. Because adequate recruiting of the tired motor units is de facto involved in accelerating the bar. The longer the periods of wear have the tired motor units, the better.

You’re a little right. If you are a professional, you are using a sauna, massage, warming emulsions and possibly steroids… I think the strictly written number of sets and reps it removes and breaks down laziness. However, let everyone train according to their best consciousness and conscience.


We must not forget; the genius who wrote the strict and clearly defined chart of how many reps to do, Wanted Us to Do a Bunch More After That.

Script the main stuff slow and steady. That way, you don’t need drugs and saunas. Then, auto regulate and blast away on the other stuff. Main stuff, you could hit on your worst day. Then go Balls to the Wall on smaller stuff. If you feel off that day, it doesn’t have to be crazy.

So 90% x3, then 70% AMRAP.

Then, every once in awhile 90% AMRAP to see how Beast Mode you are becoming.

1 Like

That seems to be part of the difference between the western approach which is more similar to bodybuilding and the Russian/ Eastern European way which is mostly based on weightlifting.

I don’t really see that as AMRAP at all, it’s just higher reps than usual. AMRAP is where you load the bar with a particular weight and do as many reps as physically possible, maybe stopping a rep short of failure (RPE9-10).

Yeah, I agree.

Better: You are trying to make the maximum number of rounds… This what I have mentioned Sheiko denotes as a “stress pyramid”. Although Sheiko doesn’t usually use the term “pyramid” but “marathon”.

1 Like