Everything You Need To Know About EMOM Workouts

EMOM workouts are taking the fitness world by storm. This acronym stands for "every minute on the minute," and describes a type of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout based on reps and tips. During a typical EMOM workout, you have to complete a set number of reps in 60 seconds or less, rest for the remainder of the minute, and then start all over. The faster you move, the more rest you get between sets (via SELF).

HIIT alternates between short bursts of all-out exercise and periods of rest or low-intensity activity. This approach can improve overall fitness and burn stubborn fat, while increasing insulin sensitivity, per the American Council on Exercise. Plus, HIIT workouts are more time-efficient than steady-state cardio, and require little or no equipment. Depending on whether you're training at home or in the gym, you may use kettlebells, dumbbells, battle ropes, cardio machines, or your own body weight.

Unlike Tabata and other HIIT protocols, EMOM workouts require a specific number of reps for each exercise. For example, you can try to do 10 burpees, 15 push-ups, 20 jumping jacks, or 12 kettlebell swings in under a minute. All you need is a stopwatch. Still, there's much more to EMOM than meets the eye.

EMOM workouts provide better results in less time

HIIT workouts, including EMOM, can be a great choice for when you're short on time. It not only pumps up your heart rate, but it may also lower your blood pressure and blood sugar levels, leading to improved cardiometabolic health, per a 2021 study published in The Journal of Physiology. What's more, EMOM gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of exercise selection. "You can use an EMOM workout for pretty much any training goal, power, strength, aerobic, anaerobic, or skill," Gede Foster, a professional personal trainer, told Women's Health.

This training method also makes it easier to plan your workouts around your schedule. A typical EMOM session takes anywhere between four and 45 minutes, depending on what exercises you have in mind (via SELF). "The work/rest ratios are systematically programmed so you have the urgency to finish the reps in a given time, giving you adequate rest and not losing time in-between sets," explained personal trainer Lee Turkington (via Women's Health). You simply choose a few exercises, decide the number of reps you'll complete in 60 seconds or less, and start moving.

EMOM workouts are suitable for both individual and group training, and you can easily measure your progress. For example, you may complete 10 push-ups per minute during the first week, 15 push-ups per minute during the second week, and so on. Plus, you can try to do more reps in less time, or perform more advanced movements to push your limits.  

How to get started with EMOM training

This training style can be tailored to any fitness level, from beginner to advanced. For example, novices can experiment with bodyweight EMOM workouts consisting of squats, lunges, crunches, burpees, or jumping jacks (via Healthline). As they progress, they can either increase the number of reps or try more complex movements, such as kettlebell swings, dumbbell pullovers, or box jumps. If you're a complete beginner, you can pick just one exercise and complete the desired number of reps until you learn proper form.

Consider your training goals, too. If you're looking to build strength, it makes sense to incorporate free weights, gym machines, or plyometrics into your workouts. In this case, you'll complete fewer reps with heavier weights, as explained by personal trainer Jess Sims (via SELF). To burn fat, focus on cardio when you work out, and aim for a higher rep count. Also, it's perfectly fine to mix aerobic and strength exercises — just remember to maintain good form at all times.

Ideally, try to hit all muscle groups in a given week, and choose a variety of exercises that challenge your strength, endurance, and balance. Another option is to incorporate EMOM into your day-to-day workouts, as explained by certified strength and conditioning specialist B. J. Gaddour (via Onnit Labs). If, say, you're training your legs, start with barbell back squats, dumbbell lunges, and other strength exercises, and finish with a quick EMOM workout.