What Is an EMOM Workout? Why You Need to Give This Fitness Trend a Try

EMOM stands for “every minute on the minute,” and it’s a type of interval training that involves starting a new set of exercises at the start of each minute, explains Todd Nief, owner and founder of South Loop Strength & Conditioning. You can do the same movement for the entire duration of the session (say, do 10 push-ups every minute on the minute), or it can involve rotating through different exercises (start with push-ups, but the next minute do squats, and so on).

How to structure an EMOM workout

Set up each minute-long session so that you can complete the required work for each minute in 15 to 45 seconds—that way you have some time to rest before the next minute of exercise starts, Nief says. Plan your EMOM workout to last for 10 to 20 minutes total.

Why you should be doing EMOM workouts

EMOM workouts have two major benefits:

1. They’re efficient

Sure, a 10- to 20-minute workout may seem short—but because you’re starting every minute fresh, you’re ultimately able to work harder over the course of your full sweat session.

2. They’re versatile

The exercises you do in an EMOM can include any combination of strength or cardio moves. The workouts can be tailored to meet your own specific goals, whether you’re looking to build muscle, melt fat, or both. What’s more, whether you’re an exercise newbie or a seasoned gym-goer, EMOM can work for you—and grow with you as you build fitness.

“By either increasing the amount of work or the difficulty of the work done each minute, the athlete’s capacity to recover on shortened rest can be continuously challenged,” Nief says. With time, recovery will be easier and faster, and performance will improve.

Any drawbacks?

Here are a couple pitfalls to avoid:

1. Your body can get used to it

It’s possible for your body to get used to EMOM’s forced work/rest structure. Be sure to keep your fitness schedule well-rounded.

“The only major drawback of EMOM-style workouts has to do with their strength as well—if you do too much of one type of work, you can neglect other training areas that need focus,” says Nief. A solution? Aim for variety in circuits. Other training areas that may be neglected include things like max effort sprinting, short but uncomfortable sprints, longer paced work with consistent effort, and hard core strength work.

2. Some people go too hard

“One of the biggest errors I see in people training EMOM-style workouts is making each segment too difficult,” Nief says. “If people are struggling to complete the required work in efficient and unbroken sets, they are likely missing the point of the EMOM structure.”

Try these EMOM workouts

Want to give it a shot? Here are two EMOM-style workouts you can do, no matter your fitness level.

EMOM Style: Conditioning
Time: 20 minutes

Repeat 5 times:
10 burpees
10 rowing calories
15 wall balls
10 rowing calories
EMOM Style: Muscle endurance
Time: 12 minutes

Repeat 3 times:
30-45s side plank, right
30-45s side plank, left
30-45s double kettlebell front rack carry (heavy)
30-45s kettlebell farmer’s walk (heavy)


A front rack kettlebell carry involves holding two kettlebells in front of the body nestled between the biceps and the forearms. “The goal here is to keep the elbows tight to the body and the back neutral (avoid the tendency to arch back and lean into this movement),” says Nief.

A farmer’s walk involves holding two heavy kettlebells at your side (one in each hand) and walking around. “The goal here is to maintain good positions and avoid arching or rounding the back—or excessively rounding the shoulders or excessively pinching them back,” he says.

This article originally appeared on Prevention

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