Never heard of an EMOM workout before? It’s hugely popular in CrossFit training, but you don’t necessarily have to follow the “sport of fitness” to try one.

Here’s how it works:

EMOM stands for “every minute on the minute.” So, 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.
As an example, here’s a 10-minute EMOM of 5 push-ups and 10 squats: at time 0:00 on the clock, perform 5 push ups and 10 squats, then rest the remainder of the minute. When the clock hits 1:00, perform the two movements again. Repeat 10 times. Your final round will start at the 9: 00-minute mark since your first round technically started at 0 and not 1.

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EMOMs: Why We Love ‘Em
(& We’re Pretty Certain You Will, Too)

  • They serve as the perfect example of high-intensity interval training (HIIT)—and since the faster you go, the more rest you get, there’s no sense in not putting the pedal to the metal and ramping up the intensity.
  • Done another way, EMOMs can also be great for practicing a new skill. The forced rest ensures you’ll be fully rested and able to maintain high-quality movement.
    EMOMs are fun to do with a group of people, especially if you have limited space since you can start your minutes at a different time (e.g., at time 0:00 vs. 0:30) so half of you are resting while the other half is working.
  • EMOMs can be done with virtually anything: sprinting, weightlifting, odd objects, bodyweight movements, etc. They’re perfect for if you’re pressed for time and aren’t able to get to the gym. The choices are endless!

3 Ways to Tackle an EMOM Workout

The trick to creating an EMOM workout is selecting movements, weights, and rep schemes which you can confidently complete in less than a minute; around 15 seconds to 45 seconds of work is typical. That said, here are a few ideas for creating your own EMOM:

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. Can we say “grind”?