EMOM stands for Every Minute, On the Minute, and is a type of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Popular with CrossFit, EMOM workouts can be adapted to train almost any fitness component, including muscular endurance, cardiovascular fitness, and strength. They’re also useful for burning fat.
With EMOM workouts, you have one minute to complete a predetermined number of reps. Whatever time you have left is your rest period, and your next set starts at the top of the next minute.
So, for example:
1- 15 push-ups (takes you 40 seconds)
Rest 20 seconds
2- 20 squats (takes you 45 seconds)
Rest 15 seconds
3- 10 pull-ups (takes you 35 seconds)
Rest 25 seconds
The more time it takes you to complete your reps, the less rest time you get between exercises or sets. But, while going faster means more rest, that extra speed may make the next exercise harder. You’ll need to experiment to discover the best approach for you, but, in most cases, faster reps and a longer rest will produce better results.
All you need for EMOM workouts is a timer set to sound every 60 seconds or a watch or clock with a visible second hand. A lot of EMOM workouts require very little workout equipment, and many involve just bodyweight exercises, so they’re ideal for home use.
The Benefits of EMOM Workouts
EMOM workouts are very effective and offer a number of benefits:
Time-efficient – like most forms of HIIT, EMOM workouts are short and sharp. EMOM workouts can last as little as ten minutes and rarely need to be longer than 30 minutes. This means they are perfect for anyone with limited training time.
Also, because EMOM workouts are controlled by time, you know exactly how long each one will last. That’s useful if you need to start and finish your workout at a specific time, such as your lunch break.
Convenience – you can do EMOM workouts almost anywhere. There are bodyweight EMOM workouts that are ideal for home use, and you can also do this type of training using barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, and even resistance machines. It’s a very versatile training method.
Flexible – most EMOM workouts can be customized to make them easier or harder. For example, if you’re tired, just do fewer reps per set to give yourself a little more rest. Alternatively, you can swap out an exercise you don’t like for a similar one you do. Hate lunges? Do step-ups instead! You can also use EMOM workouts to target any fitness goal, even muscle size, and strength.
Burn fat and boost your metabolism – like all forms of interval training, EMOM workouts are an effective fat-burning, metabolism-boosting workout. EMOM workouts not only use a lot of calories while you are doing them, but they also increase your post-oxygen oxygen consumption (EPOC), so you burn calories at an accelerated rate for 48-72 hours after you’ve finished (1). That’s good news if you are trying to get lean in a hurry.
A more structured workout – with EPOC workouts, your timer is your trainer. This type of training forces you to maintain your pace. If you lollygag between sets, you won’t be ready to start your next exercise, and your workout will soon fall apart. EPOC workouts make sure you stay focused on what you are doing. This is a useful benefit if you sometimes get distracted during your workouts.
EMOM workouts are largely beneficial, but there are a few drawbacks that you need to consider too:
Not as easy as it looks on paper – what looks like an easy EMOM workout can turn into a horrible nightmare when you actually do it. Take care when planning your EMOM workouts or following one designed for you. A workout that’s too hard for you could cause injury or put you off this type of exercise.
If in doubt, adjust any new workout so that you can complete it comfortably. Then, when you are happy, gradually increase the difficulty to make it more demanding.
Not respecting the rest periods – the reason EMOM workouts are so effective is that they have built-in rests. The rests allow your heart rate to drop so you can gather your energy for the next exercise. Doing too many reps will mean you don’t get the rest you need, your pace will fall, and the workout won’t be as productive.
Adjust the reps of your EMOM workouts, so you have at least 15 seconds between exercises. Doing back-to-back exercises with no rests means you are no longer doing “real” EMOM training.
The Best EMOM Workouts to Try
Here are TEN great home and gym EMOM workouts to try. Feel free to adjust the workouts according to your current fitness level. Remember, it’s better to finish an EMOM workout comfortably and make it harder next time than get crushed and never do it again!
Also, precede each workout with a warm-up to prepare your muscles and joints for what you are about to do. Five minutes of easy cardio, such as jogging or jumping rope, followed by a few dynamic stretches and mobility exercises will suffice. Finish your workout with some static stretches for the muscles you have just trained.
1. Beginner Full-Body Bodyweight Home EMOM Workout
This workout requires no equipment, so you can do it at home, in a hotel room, or outdoors. It works most major muscle and takes just 12 minutes to complete, making it ideal for EMOM novices.
- Minute 1: Push-ups x 10
- Minute 2: Bodyweight squats x 10
- Minute 3: Crunches x 15
- Minute 4: Jumping jacks x 20
- Minute 5: Push-ups x 10
- Minute 6: Bodyweight squats x 10
- Minute 7: Crunches x 15
- Minute 8: Jumping jacks x 20
- Minute 9: Push-ups x 10
- Minute 10: Bodyweight squats x 10
- Minute 11: Crunches x 15
- Minute 12: Jumping jacks x 20
2. Kettlebell Swing and Goblet Squat EMOM Workout
This workout requires a single kettlebell. Simply alternate between kettlebell swings and goblet squats for ten sets each to total 20 minutes. This workout burns lots of calories and is useful for developing cardiovascular fitness.
- Minute 1: Kettlebell swings x 15
- Minute 2: Goblet squats x 15
- Minute 3: Kettlebell swings x 15
- Minute 4: Goblet squats x 15
- Minute 5: Kettlebell swings x 15
- Minute 6: Goblet squats x 15
- Minute 7: Kettlebell swings x 15
- Minute 8: Goblet squats x 15
- Minute 9: Kettlebell swings x 15
- Minute 10: Goblet squats x 15
- Minute 11: Kettlebell swings x 15
- Minute 12: Goblet squats x 15
- Minute 13: Kettlebell swings x 15
- Minute 14: Goblet squats x 15
- Minute 15: Kettlebell swings x 15
- Minute 16: Goblet squats x 15
- Minute 17: Kettlebell swings x 15
- Minute 18: Goblet squats x 15
- Minute 19: Kettlebell swings x 15
- Minute 20: Goblet squats x 15
3. Big Lift Strength EMOM Workout
You can do this workout with almost any strength training exercise, but it works exceptionally well with the big three power lifts: squats, deadlifts, and bench presses. Load up the bar with your eight-repetition maximum, and then do a set of three reps every minute for 15 minutes.
You can make this workout harder by doing more reps per set, more sets, or gradually increasing the weight.
4. EMOM Cindy Workout
Cindy is a popular full-body bodyweight CrossFit workout. We’ve modified Cindy and turned it into a 15-minute EMOM workout.
- Minute 1: Pull-ups x 5
- Minute 2: Push-ups x 10
- Minute 3: Bodyweight squats x 15
- Minute 4: Pull-ups x 5
- Minute 5: Push-ups x 10
- Minute 6: Bodyweight squats x 15
- Minute 7: Pull-ups x 5
- Minute 8: Push-ups x 10
- Minute 9: Bodyweight squats x 15
- Minute 10: Pull-ups x 5
- Minute 11: Push-ups x 10
- Minute 12: Bodyweight squats x 15
- Minute 13: Pull-ups x 5
- Minute 14: Push-ups x 10
- Minute 15: Bodyweight squats x 15
5. EMOM Burpee Ladder
This EMOM home workout is very straightforward but deceptively hard. On your first minute, you do one burpee. At the second minute, do two burpees. Keep adding a rep per minute until you are unable to continue.
Not finished yet? Good for you! Either:
- Work back down the ladder, doing one less rep per minute
- Start back at one rep and do another ladder
6. EMOM Core and Cardio Workout
Burn fat and sculpt your midsection with this home or gym EMOM workout. It’s a great way to turn a boring cardio workout into something much more challenging and time-efficient.
- Minute 1: Jump rope x 100
- Minute 2: Rollouts x 10
- Minute 3: Jumping jacks x 20
- Minute 4: Reverse crunch x 20
- Minute 5: Step-ups x 12 per leg
- Minute 6: Lying bent-knee oblique twist x 12 per side
- Minute 7: Jump rope x 100
- Minute 8: Rollouts x 10
- Minute 9: Jumping jacks x 20
- Minute 10: Reverse crunch x 20
- Minute 11: Step-ups x 12 per leg
- Minute 12: Lying bent-knee oblique twist x 12 per side
7. Twisted Cindy EMOM Workout
Pull-ups, push-ups, and bodyweight squats are perfect EMOM exercises. Between them, they work your entire body, and you can move quickly from one to the next to maintain your pace. This EMOM workout involves doing not one but three exercises per minute, making it a very fast-paced training session.
Every minute on the minute, do:
- Pull-ups x 2
- Push-ups x 4
- Bodyweight squats x 6
Continue for 20 minutes.
8. Pull-up and Thruster EMOM
This ten-minute EMOM workout works virtually every muscle in your body using nothing more than a barbell and a pull-up bar. It’ll also get your heart pumping. It’s slightly unusual in that, instead of specifying how many reps you are going to do, you just do as many reps as you can in the allotted time.
Minute 1: Thrusters – maximum reps in 40 seconds
Minute 2: Pull-ups – maximum reps in 40 seconds
Minute 3: Thrusters – maximum reps in 40 seconds
Minute 4: Pull-ups – maximum reps in 40 seconds
Minute 5: Thrusters – maximum reps in 40 seconds
Minute 5: Pull-ups – maximum reps in 40 seconds
Minute 7: Thrusters – maximum reps in 40 seconds
Minute 8: Pull-ups – maximum reps in 40 seconds
9. Upper Body Size and Strength EMOM Workout
Just because EMOM workouts burn fat and build fitness doesn’t mean you can’t use this method to increase muscle size too. This short but sharp EMOM workout uses dumbbells to work all of your major upper-body muscles in 22 minutes. It’s ideal for when you need to get your workout fix but don’t have a lot of time.
- Minute 1: Incline dumbbell press x 10 reps
- Minute 2: Chest supported dumbbell row x 10 reps
- Minute 3: Standing dumbbell shoulder press x 10 reps
- Minute 4: Dumbbell pull-overs x 10 reps
- Minute 5: Incline dumbbell press x 10 reps
- Minute 6: Chest supported dumbbell row x 10 reps
- Minute 7: Standing dumbbell shoulder press x 10 reps
- Minute 8: Dumbbell pull-overs x 10 reps
- Minute 9: Incline dumbbell press x 10 reps
- Minute 10: Chest supported dumbbell row x 10 reps
- Minute 11: Standing dumbbell shoulder press x 10 reps
- Minute 12: Dumbbell pull-overs x 10 reps
- Minute 13: Incline dumbbell press x 10 reps
- Minute 14: Chest supported dumbbell row x 10 reps
- Minute 15: Standing dumbbell shoulder press x 10 reps
- Minute 16: Dumbbell pull-overs x 10 reps
- Minute 17: Zottman curls x 10
- Minute 18: Dumbbell skull crushers x 10
- Minute 19: Zottman curls x 10
- Minute 20: Dumbbell skull crushers x 10
- Minute 21: Zottman curls x 10
- Minute 22: Dumbbell skull crushers x 10
Adjust the weight or reps to ensure you are nearing failure by the end of each set.
10. Run, Jump, and Walking Lunge EMOM Workout
This 16-minute workout targets your legs, heart, and lungs. It’s also a superb calorie burner. You’ll need some space for this one, so it’s best done outdoors.
- Minute 1: Run 50 yards
- Minute 2: Box jumps x 10
- Minute 3: Walking lunges x 10 per leg
- Minute 4: Squat jumps x 10
- Minute 5: Run 50 yards
- Minute 6: Box jumps x 10
- Minute 7: Walking lunges x 10 per leg
- Minute 8: Squat jumps x 10
- Minute 9: Run 50 yards
- Minute 10: Box jumps x 10
- Minute 11: Walking lunges x 10 per leg
- Minute 12: Squat jumps x 10
- Minute 13: Run 50 yards
- Minute 14: Box jumps x 10
- Minute 15: Walking lunges x 10 per leg
- Minute 16: Squat jumps x 10
EMOM Wrapping Up
Whatever your training goal is, time-efficient EMOM workouts can get you there. EMOM workouts are flexible, versatile, and can be adapted for beginner, intermediate, and advanced exercisers. There are EMOM workouts for fat burning, fitness, and even strength and power. They can be done at the gym, but there are lots of EMOM workouts you can do at home. The only thing you really need is a timer and the willingness to start working at the sound of the beep!
PubMed: Effect of Interval Exercise Versus Continuous Exercise on Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption During Energy-Homogenized Exercise on A Cycle Ergometer (source)