EMOM Training Explained: Watch the Clock for More Gains


If there’s a method most lifters can enhance their coaching plan, it’s not about fixing their time spent coaching. It’s about fixing their time spent not coaching. Relaxation between units is a particularly undervalued variable in program design.

Many lifters know that resting for a couple of minutes permits higher restoration and lets them transfer heavier weights with better depth. On the flip, slicing the remaining time quick amps up the demand on the guts to check their conditioning. However what about resting briefly whereas additionally transferring fairly heavy weights? That kind of exercise can redefine what coaching depth means.

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One of the crucial efficient methods to do that is to work in opposition to the clock with a programming methodology generally known as EMOM — each minute on the minute. Right here’s how this high-intensity method to coaching might be the important thing to building strength, bettering approach, packing on size, and burning fat. Yep, one approach can do all that.

EMOM Coaching: Each Minute on the Minute

An EMOM exercise requires you to overlook what you suppose you already know about units, reps, and relaxation intervals, as a result of it builds an entire new perspective. As a substitute of performing one set, resting for a sure period of time, and performing the subsequent set, EMOM coaching has you performing one set each minute on the minute. Re-read that. Each minute on the minute. E.M.O.M.

Whether or not you obtain one of many numerous apps that observe EMOM exercises (SmartWod Timer and Interval Timer — HIIT Exercises are two you possibly can strive) or just monitor a clock with a second hand, when the time hits 0:00, you start your set and carry out your goal variety of reps, whether or not it’s a single repetition or a set of 20. Whenever you end your set, you place the weights down and relaxation.

When the second hand hits 0:00 once more, you start your subsequent set. Proceed this sequence all through the exercise, sometimes eight to twenty minutes whole. It’s important that each set begins proper on the minute.

You don’t begin setting your grip and stance at 0:00 and start your rep at 0:06. You begin the carry transferring at 0:00, whether or not you wish to or not. Spoiler alert: Only a few minutes into any session, you’re not going to wish to.

person standing with barbell across shoulders
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The genius and brutality of this methodology is that the clock is essentially the most unforgiving coaching accomplice you’ll ever have. It’s going to tick-tick-tick regardless of how exhausting you’re respiratory. It’s going to say, “Stand up and transfer” whether or not or not your muscle tissue are nonetheless burning. It can preserve you on observe and accountable.

Additionally, your particular relaxation occasions will change relying on the length of your earlier set. Because the exercise progresses and also you fatigue, every set might take barely longer as your relaxation intervals turn out to be shorter.

For instance, a set of 5 reps may take 20 seconds at first of the exercise, so that you get 40 seconds of relaxation. After a number of minutes, nonetheless, cumulative fatigue units in and people 5 reps might find yourself taking 25 or 30 seconds, whether or not the person reps are transferring slower otherwise you’re sneaking additional breaths between reps. This implies you get much less relaxation for the subsequent set and the exercise will get tougher as you progress.

One key, nonetheless, is to not rush by means of with quick, sloppy reps simply to finish the set sooner and sneak in additional relaxation time. That’s counterproductive. Carry out your reps correctly and with management, and admire that the quick relaxation intervals are integral to outcomes.

This progressive method to coaching was first applied by Olympic weightlifters as a strategy to construct energy in technical lifts, and extra just lately popularized by CrossFit athletes as a strategy to get critical conditioning in minimal time.

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EMOM coaching builds energy, energy, and strength-endurance — the flexibility to take care of energy output for an prolonged time period. (1) Due to this endurance-related profit, it’s typically used as a conditioning or fats loss methodology, moderately than strictly for strength-building. It additionally has muscle-building functions, as a strategy to enhance coaching quantity and stimulate development.

Sometimes, EMOM units are carried out with actions like squats, deadlifts, Olympic carry variations, presses, and different multi-joint workout routines for low-rep units. One essential programming precept is to keep away from muscular failure throughout the exercise.

As a result of the remaining finally ends up being inadequate for full restoration, taking any set to failure will lead you proper right into a brick wall. Start the exercise with units two or extra reps shy of failure and permit the quick rests to supply the issue. Towards the top of the exercise, you’ll notice the burden was loads.

EMOM Variations

EMOM is often carried out with one to a few reps per minute for 10 to fifteen minutes, however there are a number of very efficient variations that may present completely different stimuli for quite a lot of objectives. The precise programming might be tailored to numerous objectives. Consider EMOM as a sandbox — there are a number of alternative ways to play inside this protocol.

Longer exercises with heavier weights and decrease reps are well-suited for constructing energy. Manipulating the whole exercise time and reps per minute will decide the outcomes.

Various Rep Ranges

As a substitute of low-rep energy constructing, EMOM can be utilized for a muscle-building exercise. (2) This works effectively with single-joint (isolation) workout routines carried out for eight to 10 reps EMOM for 5 to 10 minutes.

Isolation workout routines might be carried out extra shortly than heavier compound workout routines, so a set of eight to 10 ought to take lower than 30 seconds to finish. This method retains the tempo fast and the depth excessive.

Average to increased reps will also be used with multi-joint workout routines so long as the reps don’t find yourself taking too lengthy to carry out. If the length of labor is simply too excessive to start with (greater than 30 seconds or so), the already valuable relaxation time can have nowhere to go however down and your general efficiency will undergo.

For instance, if a set of 12 squats takes 40 seconds (which permits 20 seconds relaxation), after just a few minutes fatigue will naturally lengthen the coaching nearer to 50 seconds and the remaining drops to 10 seconds. This shifts the exercise focus away from muscle-building and extra in direction of cardiovascular conditioning.

Each 30 Seconds

Performing reps each 30 seconds might not movement as simply off the tongue — E30O30 or E30S— but it surely’s nonetheless an efficient variation of EMOM coaching, significantly for drilling approach on an train. Performing one or two reps each 30 seconds for six to 12 minutes means that you can give attention to picture-perfect kind, engrain good lifting habits, and build skill in addition to energy.

E30S additionally works effectively as a transition out of your basic warm-up into your work units as a result of you possibly can obtain high-quality reps and straight put together your joints and muscle tissue in minimal time.

This methodology will also be tailored as a high-intensity conditioning drill with low to reasonable reps. Performing 4 to 6 reps each 30 seconds for 5 to 10 minutes on the finish of a exercise can enhance anaerobic endurance and fat-burning.

For this to be only, the reps have to be accomplished shortly with sufficient time for relaxation. Explosive workout routines like kettlebell swings or easy body weight workout routines like push-ups or burpees are perfect for the sort of exercise.

EMOM with Totally different Workout routines

Whereas EMOM sometimes makes use of one train all through the exercise, you should use a distinct train every minute relying in your objectives. That is a particularly environment friendly strategy to train the upper body, decrease physique, and even your complete physique with a quick exercise. Select one train per physique half and carry out 4 to eight reps EMOM for 15-25 minutes.

This methodology permits better restoration between every repeated train, extra in step with conventional coaching, as a result of the coaching stress is dispersed between a number of actions. You could get two to 4 minutes between units of a single train, so you possibly can assault that motion with increased depth, however you’re nonetheless performing an train each minute, which retains the general coaching depth excessive as effectively.

As a result of this method requires utilizing extra tools concurrently, select workout routines that require little to no transition time. Free weights or cable stations might be extra helpful than specialised machines. If you wish to use the leg press, but it surely’s a 15-second stroll out of your earlier train, you’re spending valuable time getting there.

Full-Physique Exercise

  • Minute One: Deadlift
  • Minute Two: Overhead Press
  • Minute Three: Entrance Squat
  • Minute 4: Barbell Row
  • Minute 5: Deadlift
  • Minute Six: Overhead Press

Higher Physique Exercise

  • Minute One: Dip
  • Minute Two: Pull-up
  • Minute Three: Seated Dumbbell Press
  • Minute 4: Dip
  • Minute 5: Pull-up
  • Minute Six: Seated Dumbbell Press

Decrease Physique Exercise

  • Minute One: Goblet Squat
  • Minute Two: Romanian Deadlift
  • Minute Three: Reverse Lunge, Proper Leg
  • Minute 4: Reverse Lunge, Left Leg
  • Minute 5: Goblet Squat
  • Minute Six: Romanian Deadlift
shirtless person performing push-ups outdoors
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Splitting a exercise into two workout routines and alternating even minutes/odd minutes is one other easy and efficient strategy to match much more whole coaching quantity into a ten to 20-minute exercise. For instance, performing squats on minutes one, three, 5, seven and 9 whereas performing push-ups on minutes two, 4, six, eight, and ten.

Combining any of those EMOM variations with bodyweight exercises is a dependable go-to every time you possibly can’t get to a health club, you’re touring, desire a mid-day train break, or want a fast lunch-hour exercise.

Programming EMOM for Your Objectives

EMOM exercises are perfect for lifters with tight schedules due to the finite begin and finish time. As a substitute of going to the health club and hoping to be finished in lower than 90 minutes, you stroll in figuring out that you simply’ll be working in eight, 10, or 12-minute chunks — no matter your coaching plan requires.

Long-haired person in gym performing barbell deadlift
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All it’s good to do is observe the clock and also you’ll get a productive session finished in that given timeframe. Nonetheless, EMOM coaching is a flexible methodology that may be utilized to any aim.

EMOM for Energy

EMOM can be good for newbies or aggressive energy athletes who wish to drill train approach. Newcomers profit from repeated efficiency with out extreme fatigue, whereas extra skilled lifters can get acclimated to transferring heavy weights below near-contest situations, performing repeated near-maximal makes an attempt over a given time interval, whereas additionally refining approach.

That is one cause why the EMOM methodology was initially utilized by aggressive weightlifters. They have been capable of carry out explosive lifts one or two reps at a time, minute after minute after minute, whereas constructing energy, energy, and essential approach.

EMOM for Muscle

Lifters centered on growing muscular measurement will profit from EMOM exercises utilizing reasonable rep ranges, as defined above, as a strategy to enhance coaching quantity and set off extra muscle development in a shorter exercise. (3)

For instance, doing a bench press for 5 units of eight reps may take seven or eight minutes whole. Doing the bench press for 8 reps EMOM for 5 minutes takes 5 minutes. Multiply that additional time throughout a number of workout routines in a exercise and the effectivity of EMOM turns into extra clear.

EMOM for Conditioning

EMOM gained newer recognition attributable to its frequent appearances in CrossFit exercises. As a result of EMOM could also be seen as a sort of interval coaching, it may be useful for cardiovascular well being in addition to fats loss. (4)(5)

EMOM is, basically, alternating comparatively quick intervals of high-intensity train with comparatively quick intervals of relaxation. Should you have been working on a observe or pedaling a motorcycle, you’d think about that an interval exercise. The stimuli and results don’t change drastically simply since you’re doing 10 kettlebell clear & presses or 15 burpees as an alternative.

Pattern EMOM Exercises

EMOM might sound like a cure-all approach that may ship outcomes for any lifter with any aim. That declare is a bit hyperbolic, however not too far off.

Person in grey tank top performing kettlebell swing
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Implementing EMOM periods into your program, both as standalone exercises or included into extra conventional coaching, could be a game-changer. Listed here are just a few efficient methods to start out utilizing EMOM now.

Energy-Constructing EMOM

  • Energy Clear: Two reps EMOM x 10 minutes.
  • Squat: One rep EMOM x 12 minutes.
  • Flat Bench Press: Two reps EMOM x eight minutes.

Muscle-Constructing EMOM

  • Incline Dumbbell Press: Six reps EMOM x eight minutes.
  • Pec-Deck Flye: 12 reps EMOM x 5 minutes.
  • Push-Up: 5 reps E30S x 5 minutes.

Fats-Burning EMOM

15 whole minutes of:

  • Minute One: Goblet squat 10 reps
  • Minute Two: Overhead press 15 reps
  • Minute Three: Mountain climbers 20 reps

Simply One Minute

The rule was once “do a set, relaxation 90 seconds, do one other set.” By flipping that on its head and eradicating a selected relaxation interval, EMOM coaching takes you from resting passively to being actively concerned for all the exercise, strolling the road between uncomfortable fatigue and high-performance lifting. Should you have been ever curious how a lot self-discipline you actually have, go learn the way you deal with your self 14 minutes and 55 seconds right into a 15-minute squat EMOM exercise.


  1. Tufano JJ, Conlon JA, Nimphius S, Brown LE, Seitz LB, Williamson BD, Haff GG. Upkeep of Velocity and Energy With Cluster Units Throughout Excessive-Quantity Again Squats. Int J Sports activities Physiol Carry out. 2016 Oct;11(7):885-892. doi: 10.1123/ijspp.2015-0602. Epub 2016 Aug 24. PMID: 26791936.
  2. González-Hernández JM, García-Ramos A, Castaño-Zambudio A, Capelo-Ramírez F, Marquez G, Boullosa D, Jiménez-Reyes P. Mechanical, Metabolic, and Perceptual Acute Responses to Totally different Set Configurations in Full Squat. J Energy Cond Res. 2020 Jun;34(6):1581-1590. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002117. PMID: 28700515.
  3. Schoenfeld, Brad J et al. “Resistance Coaching Quantity Enhances Muscle Hypertrophy however Not Energy in Educated Males.” Drugs and science in sports activities and train vol. 51,1 (2019): 94-103. doi:10.1249/MSS.0000000000001764
  4. Ito, Shigenori. “Excessive-intensity interval coaching for well being advantages and care of cardiac illnesses – The important thing to an environment friendly train protocol.” World journal of cardiology vol. 11,7 (2019): 171-188. doi:10.4330/wjc.v11.i7.171
  5. Boutcher, Stephen H. “Excessive-intensity intermittent train and fats loss.” Journal of weight problems vol. 2011 (2011): 868305. doi:10.1155/2011/868305

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