Workouts
What Are EMOM Workouts and What Makes Them So Great?
Aug 29, 2019
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What Are EMOM Workouts and What Makes Them So Great?
EMOM stands for Every Minute On the Minute, says Tony Milgram, level 1 CrossFit trainer at ICE NYC in New York, and it's a popular workout structure in both CrossFit and group fitness classes that involves starting an exercise at the top of every minute.

"They're an interval-based workouts where the goal is to repeat the same number of reps every minute, while also working for and resting for the same amount of time as the workout progresses," Milgram says.

To do an EMOM workout, select a movement, a time and rep count that you'll complete every minute. "You might do a 12-minute jumping squat EMOM where every minute you complete 10 reps," says certified strength and conditioning coach Alena Luciani, founder of Training2xl. If finish those reps in 25 seconds, you have 35 seconds to rest. Then, at the top of the next minute, you'll start jumping again. If the jumps take you longer, you rest less, and if they take you less time, you get to rest more.

EMOMs are different than a Tabata-style workouts (which involve four minutes of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest) because, people usually complete fewer and fewer less reps as the workout continues, says Luciani. With EMOMs, you have to completely the same number of reps each time. The timer and rep-goal combination encourage folks to work harder, she says.

EMOMs are also different than AMRAP-style workouts (as many rounds as possible) because EMOMs have built in rest. With EMOM, rest periods rely on how quickly you complete an exercise.

Benefits of EMOM Workouts
"As a coach, my favorite part of EMOM workouts is that they are so versatile," says Milgram. You can create and do an EMOM that's geared toward improving your cardiovascular capacity, and you can also create one for strength gains, he says.

A cardio-focused EMOM could include body-weight movements (burpees, broad jumps, push-ups, mountain climbers and pull-ups) and machines like the rower or air bike. For instance, you might aim for 10 to 15 push-ups or 8 to 18 calories on the air bike. "And ideally, you'll have at least 10 to 15 seconds (or more) to rest every single minute of an EMOM so you can keep up the intensity from round to round," Milgram says.

If you're looking to build strength, pick a weighted movement like the deadlift, back squat, clean and jerk or overhead squat, use 70 to 85 percent of your one-rep max and complete two to five reps every minute for 10 minutes, says Tony Carvajal, certified level 2 CrossFit trainer with RSP Nutrition. This structure keeps the loads heavy while still giving you just enough time to recover before the next set, he says.

That also keeps you on pace, balancing your work and rest, Milgram says. "When you're not using a clock, you don't know how much rest you're getting or if you're under- or over- recovering between sets." Some folks will do strength EMOMS every E2MOM or E5MOM style, to force themselves to rest even longer, going every two minute or every five minutes.

You can also make EMOM workouts that include more than one movement. An EMOM could include alternating movements on even and odd minutes. Or entail cycling through five or six different exercises three or four (or more) times. There's no time limit or time max for EMOMs. Milgram says, "I've done and programmed great four-minute EMOMs and great 60-minute EMOMs."

How to Get Started With EMOM Training
If you're building your own EMOM, Luciani says it's most important to check your ego at the door. You need to pick a movement and weight that you can actually do with quality, consistently. "Yes, you're working towards rest, but you should value good form over rest the entire time," she says.

Next, choose some exercises. If you're going to do a two-move EMOM, Luciani suggests doing opposing muscle groups. On odd minutes, do a push movement (push-up, shoulder press, bench press or handstand push-ups) and on even minutes, do a pull movement (pull-up, bar muscle-up, bent-over rows or rope climbs).

You could also pair a hinge movement (deadlift, good morning, kettlebell swings) with a squat movement (air squat, box jumps, wall balls). "This way, you know you're exercising in a way that supports symmetry and good movement mechanics," she says.

If you're a few minutes in and find the workout too challenging, simply choose a lighter weight, reduce the rep goal or modify the movement. "Chances are, if you wait two months and repeat this workout, you'll be able to do it with more reps or weight," says Milgram.









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