What is EMOM?

EMOM is an abbreviation for Every Minute On the Minute and is a common type of workout found in CrossFit WODs.

It is included in the title/heading of the workout and it means that the athlete is to perform the specified exercise and reps every time the clock beeps to a new minute. The remainder of each minute is used for rest.

For example:

 EMOM 8 minutes
 2 Deadlifts at 80% max 

Here, the athlete would perform 2 deadlifts as soon as the timer started. He would then rest until the clock beeped at the 1 minute, at which point he would complete 2 deadlifts again. This would be repeated for all 8 minutes, resulting in a total of 16 deadlifts performed.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • EMOM stands for Every Minute On the Minute.
  • EMOMs are used to control rest intervals.
  • EMOMs are popular for strength training at submaximal levels.
  • EMOMs can have more than one exercise.

Understanding ‘EMOM’

EMOM’s are popular for strength training at submaximal levels because they facilitate a good volume of lifting with controlled rest intervals. In the deadlift example above, completing two deadlifts should only take 10-20 seconds, giving the athlete at least 40 seconds of rest.

EMOM’s are also often used for sprint efforts because they dictate the amount of rest allowed – almost functioning like a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout.

Examples of EMOM’s

A coach could choose to program more than one exercise in an EMOM workout. Generally speaking, there is no one right way to write an EMOM workout, as long as the work prescribed allows the athlete some rest in between minutes.

When there are two exercises, the instructions typically refer to Even minutes and Odd minutes. When there are three or more exercises, it will say Minute 1, Minute 2 and Minute 3, and so on. Here are some examples:

 EMOM 10 minutes
 Odd Minute: 3 Power Cleans @ 70% max
 Even Minute: 5 burpees 

In this example, the athlete would start with 3 power cleans as soon as the timer began. When the timer beeped at 1 minute, the athlete would do 5 burpees, and continue in this pattern.

Once the 10 minutes are over, the athlete would have done 5 sets of 3 cleans and 5 sets of 5 burpees, for a total of 15 power cleans and 25 burpees.

 EMOM 15 Minutes
 Minute 1: 3 Front Squats @ 75% max
 Minute 2: 4 strict pull-ups
 Minute 3: 5 handstand push-ups 

In this example, the athlete would start with 3 front squats as soon as the timer began. Once the 15 minutes were up, the athlete would have done 5 sets of 3 front squats, 5 sets of 4 strict pull-ups and 5 sets of 5 HSPU, for a total of 15 front squats, 20 strict pull-ups and 25 HSPU.

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Amanda Chismar
Amanda Chismar is a seasoned wellness and fitness professional with over 14 years of diverse career experience in both the public and private sector. Amanda earned her degree in Kinesiology from the Pennsylvania State University and has held numerous certifications including NSCA CPT, NASM CES, CrossFit Level 2 Trainer, USAW Sports Performance Coach, YogaFit Instructor, Johnny G Spinning Cycle Instructor. Additionally, Amanda was co-owner and coach of a CrossFit facility for five years, has completed five marathons for charity and competed in Olympic Weightlifting.

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