As a fitness enthusiast, you might find your social media feed filled with all kinds of acronyms—HIIT, LIIT, AMRAP, you name it.
You probably already know that HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts are one of the most efficient ways to burn fat and build muscle in a short amount of time. But how about EMOM? What do these four letters even mean?
EMOMs are basically HIIT-style workouts, in which you alternate between short, intense bursts of exercise with complete rest. You only got one minute to complete a certain number of reps. Keep reading to learn more about the exercises.
What is EMOM?
EMOM is an acronym for “every minute on the minute”. This popular form of cardio training offers you a fun way to make some waves in your typical cardio- or strength-focused routine. It’s also considered to be a solid way to keep you moving through your workout.
Don’t mistake EMOM workouts with AMRAPs (as many rounds as possible) because they have built-in rest. AMRAPs usually involve completing multiple exercises for multiple reps or rounds, in a set amount of time, without rest.
EMOM is also considered an effective style of training because it demands an intense effort to gain any recovery within the designated time. With this structure, you can get creative with your workouts and easily scale them to be more difficult as your fitness level increases.
Another benefit you can get from EMOM workouts is the way they’re great for metabolic conditioning. It helps your body to use oxygen efficiently and revs up your metabolism, so EMOMs are basically helpful for building power, speed, and endurance.
How does EMOM work?
EMOM got its name from how the workout works: for a given length of time, you perform a specific number of reps of a movement (or movements) at the top of every new minute, then rest until the next minute starts again.
For example, you’d do 10 squat jumps at the start of the minute. If it takes you 30 seconds to complete, you have 30 seconds to rest before the next round of jump squats.
Bear in mind not to skip the recovery time as it’s crucial to reset and prepare your body for the next round of exercise.
EMOM workouts to try
EMOM workouts are especially fun to do with a group of people especially if you have limited space since you can start your minutes at a different time. This way, half of you can rest while the other half is working.
To add EMOM workouts to your workout regime, pick one tough move like a kettlebell swing, burpee, or squat to press and aim to complete 10 to 12 reps in that minute. You can also opt for different moves to start on even and odd minutes. Another tip is to modify the time instead of by restarting your EMOM after a few minutes.
Here are some EMOM workouts you should definitely try:
1. Train multiple muscles in one HIIT
Minute 1: 15 dumbbell push presses
Minute 2: 15 dumbbell deadlifts
Minute 3: 15 weighted sit-ups
Complete three to four rounds in total.
2. Learn a new skill with ample recovery
EMOM for 10 minutes: 30-second jump rope with high knees
3. One exercise to exhaustion
Minute 1: 1 burpee
Minute 2: 2 burpees
Minute 3: 3 burpees
Minute 4 and beyond: Keep adding a burpee every minute until failure to complete the set.
4. Multiple exercises in four minutes
- 6 back squats
- 12 banded glute bridges
- 12 box step-ups
Complete four rounds total.
Create your own EMOM workouts
Another good thing about EMOM workouts is that you can personalize the programming and design it basically any way you’d like. Aside from the minutes, you can tailor the other aspects of the exercise to your fitness goals, including the number of reps or rounds.
To create one, select movements, weights, and rep schemes which you can confidently complete in less than a minute (around 15 seconds to 45 seconds of work). Here are some ideas to build your own EMOM workout regime:
1. Start with a single movement. Put 15 minutes on the clock and try an EMOM with one of these examples (or come up with your own): 40-yard sprint, 15 jumping squats, 10 burpees, 1 length of the pool, 20 wall balls, 10 dumbbell push presses.
2. Perform for quality. Learning how to do a double under, deadlift, split jerk, rebounding box jump, or some other technical skill? Put 10 minutes on the clock and perform 3-5 reps of the move as perfectly as you can. Approach this EMOM as a focused practice session rather than a workout.
3. Bottleneck yourself on purpose. Choose a difficult movement and rep scheme and perform your EMOM as much as you can until you can no longer complete the prescribed work within the minute time frame.