We recently introduced you to a new type of workout in Tasha’s Strength and Cardio EMOMs (Every Minute on the Minute) Workout and then followed it up with another routine, Weighted EMOMs with Bodyweight Strength and Cardio Circuits. While EMOMs may be new to the Fitness Blender platform, they have been around for a while.
When used correctly, EMOM workouts might make sense to add to your training program. They offer a ton of benefits, can be done almost anywhere, and are one of the most efficient workouts that you can do. What’s not to love about that? So, let’s learn a little more about this style of training.
What Are EMOM Workouts?
EMOM, which stands for “Every Minute on the Minute,” workouts have gained increasing amounts of interest in the workout community as a form of interval training. The goal of an EMOM is to do an allotted number of exercises and reps within a minute’s time. Basically, the harder you work during each interval, the more time you will have to rest until the next top-of-minute. It’s a powerful way to structure your workout, and it introduces a new way to format the work-rest periods.
As you can see, how much rest time you have is determined by how quickly (but safely) you move through the reps. EMOM workouts that incorporate higher reps and intensity are considered to be a form of high intensity interval training (HIIT). But, to truly be a HIIT workout, you’ll need to work hard enough to elevate your heart rate to about 85% of your max heart rate (MHR). During rest periods, your heart rate should not drop below 60% MHR.
Benefits to EMOM Workouts
This may get a little science-y, so bear with us. The biggest secret behind EMOM workouts is their ability to improve nearly every aspect of fitness. With EMOM workouts, you can build muscle strength, endurance of the muscles, power and explosiveness, and even balance. Thus, you can see why EMOM workouts are considered to be one of the most efficient and effective workout formats.
One of the main benefits to EMOM workouts is being able to train multiple energy systems at once as you increase your skill with each exercise. Think of energy systems as different types of pots in your kitchen. You have multiple kinds of pots (energy systems), but only pull 1-2 out depending on the meal (workout). With EMOM workouts, you may use all three energy systems in one workout.
Other benefits to EMOM workouts are:
- With an EMOM workout, it’s likely that your muscles will work as hard as they do during a traditional, 45+ minute strength workout. And, in addition to that, you’re maintaining an elevated heart rate, which enables you to burn more calories than usual. But that doesn’t mean that EMOMs are any less effective at building strength. Practice your favorite strengthening exercises (like squats or lunges) at 50% of your 1 rep max (1RM) and increase by 5% every minute on the minute as long as you can maintain proper form. During the lighter loads, concentrate on improving your technique.
- EMOMs can also help you develop better technique while exercising. Contrary to popular belief, not all EMOM workouts are designed to be high intensity. Don’t hesitate to take a few seconds’ rest between reps, especially when you’re doing heavy lifts or full body plyometric moves. This ensures that you’re maintaining proper form and avoiding injury.
- It’s possible to burn calories long after you’ve completed an EMOM workout. This afterburn, known as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC), explains how your body continues to expend energy even after you’ve finished exercising. Essentially, energy expenditure = calorie burn. In some cases, EPOC can last up to 72 hours post-workout.
- If you’re interested in tracking your progress over a period of time, EMOMs can help you do that. By taking detailed notes, you will be able to note your improvement via time left, amount of weight lifted, or effort.
How Should I Incorporate EMOMs Into My Workout?
EMOMs are rarely standalone workouts; instead, they are typically incorporated into an existing routine. Of course, this is not a steadfast rule.
One thing to consider when incorporating EMOMs into your workout is the type of exercises that you wish to complete. Most of the time, EMOM exercises are dynamic in nature, meaning they include multiple movements. Burpees, skater jumps, or squat jumps are ideal since you can move at your own pace.
Don’t forget about strengthening moves like deadlifts, squats, or push-ups. However, choosing these types of exercises means that you’ll need to choose a suitable rep range and weight that allows you to maintain proper form. Avoid the desire to power through these technique-heavy lifts as it may lead to injury.
EMOM Words of Wisdom
Understand that EMOMs are only one component of your fitness plan. They should not be used in solidarity but, rather, worked into your current regime. Its value is in revisiting that workout routinely and incorporating incremental increases in reps or time.
To make EMOMs easier to complete, choose exercises, reps, and a work time that won’t bring you to failure. By doing so, your workouts will be challenging, yet achievable.
What type of EMOM workouts are you hoping to see in the future? Have you tried Tasha's EMOM workout yet?
Written for Fitness Blender by Kayla C, PT, DPT
Board-Certified Neurological Clinical Specialist