What Is An EMOM Workout? And Why Is It Effective?

EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute) workout programs are effective, time-efficient, and can be scaled to meet the needs of every level of lifter/athlete depending on their training goals and abilities. Most EMOM workouts include a few exercises done in a paired fashion, however a creative coach/athlete can utilize these time-sensitive training protocols for nearly every aspect of their training.

In this article, we will introduce the EMOM protocol, discuss the benefits of utilizing EMOMs in your training programs, and offer coaches/athletes some top-notch EMOM workouts for a variety of training goals and abilities.

What Is An EMOM Workout?

An EMOM workout, which stands for (Every Minute on the Minute) is a workout protocol that can be used to program most levels of fitness, training goals, and effectively done so in most settings. Every minute frame has a programmed work amount (such as, 10 push ups) with the remaining amount of time to be take as rest. For example, if 10 push ups took an athlete 17 seconds, they would have 43 seconds to rest until the next minute frame.

As you can see, coaches and athletes can get creative with EMOM workouts (see below for a few examples), allowing them to deliver high amounts of training volume in short amounts of time.

Why Are EMOMs Effective?

Below are five (5) reasons why EMOMs are not only effective at building muscle, strength, fitness, and work capacity, but they can be applied to nearly every aspect of one’s training. The only limitation with EMOM training is a coach’s/athlete’s creativity and understanding of the work to rest ratios necessary for positive adaptation.

Time Efficient

EMOM workouts are one of the most efficient ways to add quality training volume into a session, as the work and rest periods are systematically programmed to force lifters to stay moving and not lose time in-between sets.

Builds Work Capacity

Work capacity can be defined as, “one’s ability to produce work in a given amount of time, and recover adequately to continue to produce relative work output”. In short, if you can perform the same amount of reps per set with relative quality as someone, yet recover between sets 50% faster (and still produce quality work), you have the opportunity to perform more quality work per session. Over time, this means more training volume, stimulus, and often indicates your overall heighten fitness and recovery abilities. This is critical as an athlete advances in their training and career in most strength, power, and fitness sports, as well as increasing the effectiveness of every workout.

Great for Team/Group Settings

EMOM formatted workouts are great for large group/team settings as they can be set up in stations (movement one is first minute, movement two is second minute, etc), done at varying intervals to help coaches watch athletes better (group one performs reps first, the rest, while group two rests first, then performs reps).

Scalable Format

EMOM formatted workouts allow coaches to have various levels of lifters/athletes training together, building camaraderie and teamwork, yet still delivering individualized programming. By using regressions, weight adjustments, and such in a EMOM format you can have lifters/athletes of all levels training together and benefiting from the group workout dynamic.

Adaptable to Most Training Goals

Depending on the creativity of the coach/athlete, EMOMs can be programmed using a wide array of exercises, cardiovascular protocols, skill-based movements, and more. By simply inputting movements into standardized work to rest windows, workouts can be efficient and effective. Check out the sample EMOM workouts below for some ideas on how to integrate your favorite exercises and training goals in your training today.

Sample EMOM Workouts

Below are four (4) sample EMOM-based workouts that can be modified and integrated into most fitness levels.

Bodyweight EMOMs

Below is a basic 18-minute EMOM integrating three bodyweight movements. Accompanied with the movements is a regression and progression. Note, that for this style of workout the repetitions ranges are in the 12-15 rep range, give or take, and the goal is to provide quality training stimulus and volume, with short (15 seconds) rest periods. Repeat the below circuit for six rounds (18-minutes).

  • Movement 1 (First Minute) – 15 Push Ups (Perform kneeling push ups for regression, hand-release or plyometric push ups for progressions)
  • Movement 2 (Second Minute) – 20 Air Squats (For regressions/progressions, simply decrease/increase repetitions in minute frame)
  • Movement 3 (Third Minute) – 40 Second Plank (For regressions/progressions, simply decrease/increase repetitions in minute frame)

Muscle Hypertrophy EMOMs

Below is a 15-minute EMOM integrating two movements, and a programmed rest interval. This is a creative way to superset two bodybuilding movements to not only build muscle but also do so in a very timely fashion. Repeat the below protocol for a total of 5 rounds (15-minutes)

  • Movement 1 (First Minute) – Back Squat x 8 reps with 70% of max
  • Movement 2 (Second Minute) – Weighted Pull Up x 8 reps
  • Movement 3 (Third Minute) – REST

Olympic Weightlifting EMOMs

The below 16-minute EMOM-based workout is an effective way to keep lifters on a controlled clock to (1) keep them moving, (2) not allow them to overthink movements, (3) build work capacity, and (4) to prepare them for meets (such that the may have to go to stage before they “feel” ready. Perform the following protocol for a total of eight rounds (16-minutes)

  • Minute 1 – Clean + Jerk (3+1) at 50% max
  • Minute 2 – REST
  • Minute 3 – Clean + Jerk (3+1) at 60% max
  • Minute 4 – REST
  • Minute 5 – Clean + Jerk (3+1) at 70% max
  • Minute 6 – REST
  • Minute 7 – Clean + Jerk (3+1) at 70% max
  • Minute 8 – REST
  • Minute 9 – Clean + Jerk (3+1) at 75% max
  • Minute 10 – REST
  • Minute 11 – Clean + Jerk (3+1) at 75% max
  • Minute 12 – REST
  • Minute 13 – Clean + Jerk (3+1) at 80% max
  • Minute 14 – REST
  • Minute 15 – Clean + Jerk (3+1) at 80% max
  • Minute 16 – REST

Track (Running) EMOMs

The below 20-minute EMOM is a great way to increase cardiovascular fitness, running economy, and attack an athletes anaerobic and aerobic capacities. By performing interval-based EMOMs you can achieve a high amount of quality work, program sufficient rest periods, and increase fitness in a timely fashion. Perform the below protocol for a total of four rounds (20-minutes). Note, that rest intervals are programme within the 400m and 300m windows. The goal is to sprint the 400/300m runs, and rest with the remaining time.

  • Minute 1-3 – 400m Sprint
  • Minute 4-5  – 300m Sprint

Featured Image: @thej2fit on Instagram

Comments

Previous articleOrganifi Red Juice Review – Can It Really Boost Metabolism?
Next article5 Mobility Drills to Help You Through Lifting Sticking Points
Mike holds a Master's in Exercise Physiology and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Mike has been with BarBend since 2016, where he covers Olympic weightlifting, sports performance training, and functional fitness. He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and is the Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at New York University, in which he works primarily with baseball, softball, track and field, cross country. Mike is also the Founder of J2FIT, a strength and conditioning brand in New York City that offers personal training, online programs for sports performance, and has an established USAW Olympic Weightlifting club.In his first two years writing with BarBend, Mike has published over 500+ articles related to strength and conditioning, Olympic weightlifting, strength development, and fitness. Mike’s passion for fitness, strength training, and athletics was inspired by his athletic career in both football and baseball, in which he developed a deep respect for the barbell, speed training, and the acquisition on muscle.Mike has extensive education and real-world experience in the realms of strength development, advanced sports conditioning, Olympic weightlifting, and human movement. He has a deep passion for Olympic weightlifting as well as functional fitness, old-school bodybuilding, and strength sports.Outside of the gym, Mike is an avid outdoorsman and traveller, who takes annual hunting and fishing trips to Canada and other parts of the Midwest, and has made it a personal goal of his to travel to one new country, every year (he has made it to 10 in the past 3 years). Lastly, Mike runs Rugged Self, which is dedicated to enjoying the finer things in life; like a nice glass of whiskey (and a medium to full-bodied cigar) after a hard day of squatting with great conversations with his close friends and family.