Tips for Mastering Your Next (or First) EMOM Workout
There are some fitness fanatics committed to spending hours in the gym going all out, all the time in order to build strength and burn fat. And then there’s the rest of us looking for similar gains, but whose training time has to fit in between long work hours, family time and other obligations. The solution may be incorporating an EMOM workout to your routine. This all-purpose training protocol is less intimidating than its aggressive-sounding acronym, but a surefire method for getting maximum results in minimal time no matter your skill level.
The EMOM—or Every Minute on the Minute—simply means that at the start of every minute, you’ll work for a prescribed amount of time (30 to 40 seconds) or a set amount of reps. When you hit that mark, you rest for the remainder of the minute, then start up again once the minute is up.
But unlike your traditional HIIT workout—an all-out session in which you’re expected to be hunched over in heaping, breath-heavy pool of sweat at the end. The goal with the EMOM isn’t working to failure—you’ll want to leave a little in the tank during each EMOM round—but to maintain as much volume as prescribed from beginning to the end.
“The EMOM is a very versatile piece. It doesn’t only have to be for conditioning,” Harris says. “I actually use EMOMs for a lot of my strength work as well.”
According to Harris, what makes this type of training such an underrated and highly effective workout is that an EMOM workout can be programmed for any person of any skill level and at a time that can fit anyone’s schedule. So no more excuses.
“The EMOM exposes people a little bit because the clock tells you when to go,” he says. “You can’t just rest when you want to rest. So once that minute, once that clock starts and we have to do X amount of work, we got to get it done. Once that next minute hits, you got to get it done. So it really holds you accountable for starting that work on time and keeping you on task.”
Because of the variety of exercise combinations an EMOM workout can have—from running, jumping, squatting, pushing, even climbing, the last thing anyone want to be thinking about is switching shoes between activities. According to Harris, the importance of functional footwear is essential to any types of activities you may be performing.
There are a few different types of EMOMs that can anyone can add to their routines. Harris usually mixes his EMOMs says it’s good to mix them up—some cardio types sprinkled with a strength session or two.
“I think if you can put one movement into each of those buckets you’ll have a very well balanced and program for yourself,” Harris says.
For example, for a 20 minute EMOM, you can add a treadmill run (gait), a KB snatch (hinge), burpee (conditioning push with a plyometric jump), wrapped with a goblet squat (squat). The more you spread out the movement patterns, the better for more balanced gains.
This means you’re going to do 20 to 30 seconds of work and then you’re going to rest for the remainder of the minute,” Harris says. ”We’re not going to put a number of reps on what you’re doing for today. We just want to work for this amount of time. So if I said we’re going to do as many air squats as you can in a 20 to 30 second window, you’re going to rest the remainder the minute. I want you to try to hold as close to that number as possible for the rest of the EMOM.”