AMRAP Tabata Challenge

Sunday, April 10 2022

AMRAP stands for “as many reps as possible” and is a popular form of high intensity interval training (HIIT) that is based on counting reps in timed sequences.  Join Sharlie Peterson and her mom for a high-energy aqua class that will challenge your students to do one more rep in each round or even enjoy some friendly class competition.


  • Workout follows a Tabata pre-formatted playlist
  • Foam dumbbells and noodles are used, but other options can be incorporated
  • Reps are counted in this workout, which means participants can work at their own pace
  • This class can be lots of fun for members as they enjoy friendly competition
  • Where you can find Tabata pre-formatted playlists
  • Watch Sharlie’s fun video documenting her filming experience and trip to Florida

AMRAP HIIT is a 45-minute aqua fitness format that follows along with a pre-formatted Tabata music playlist that verbally cues each timed round.  Tabata workouts feature eight 4-minute rounds.  Each round includes 8 exercises timed at 00:20 of work and 00:10 of rest.  Tabata workouts are meant to be advanced because the short duration of the work cycle is typically performed with all-out effort. 

This AMRAP HIIT workout utilizes the water’s resistance, as well as foam dumbbells and noodles in the 8 rounds of exercises.  Options can be incorporated.  You can use webbed gloves or Aqualogix upper body belles in the segments that use only the water’s resistance.  Class participants can also choose to use no equipment, however exercise modifications will need to be offered to them. 

Each exercise in AMRAP HIIT is performed for 20 seconds, however, the unique twist is that the class participants are required to count their own reps in each set.   All exercises are performed twice, with a total of four exercises in each of the 8 rounds. The class members are encouraged to get one or two more reps the second time they do the exercise.  Counting reps allows the class participants to own their own pace, which makes AMRAP HIIT a class that is ideal for all fitness levels.  

AMRAP HIIT allows class member to challenge themselves to get more reps or to engage in some friendly competition with their class buddies.  Sharlie’s mom joined her on her trip to Florida so that she could be the student in the videos.  Watching Sharlie and her mom try to outdo each other in reps is sure to make this video a Fitmotivation favorite.  However, Sharlie emphasizes keeping the class motivational and the competition fun and friendly.  She also encourages giving clear directives for each exercise at the beginning of the round.  Beyond that, she says that AMRAP HIIT is an easy class to teach.  Watch her talk more about teaching this class format.

The music playlist used in the video was from Power Music Tabata 6, available to download in Power’s Virtual Class Music category for $14.95.   Power Music has several other pre-formatted Tabata playlists, as does Yes! Fitness Music and Muscle Mixes Music

Sharlie is the founder of Shockwave Aqua Fitness and a popular aquatic fitness instructor in Topeka, Kansas.  AMRAP HIIT was one of four aquatic fitness videos that she filmed in her first trip to Florida. Her second video, Aqua Turbo Kickboxing will post in May 2022.  Stay tuned as Sharlie shares a video in that blog about her journey into water fitness and her battle with a stomach condition that causes health issues and weight struggles.  Below, Sharlie documented her experience filming for Poolfit and Fitmotivation for the first time.   I absolutely love her creativity in making this fun video and her passion for water fitness.   



Author: Mark Grevelding is the founder of Fitmotivation. He is also a training specialist and consultant with the Aquatic Exercise Association’s (AEA). Mark has been active in the fitness industry for 22 years as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, international presenter and a continuing education provider for AEA, AFAA & ACE.