Fitness Friday - The EMOM

Every Minute on the Minute. (EMOM) It's a simple concept but very effective in its ability to build capacity and also teach you about effective ways to pace your workouts.

The basic concept of the EMOM is to set yourself a work volume to complete in a minute and this can change between minute.

A basic example of this would be:

10 burpees on one minute

10 wall balls on the next minute

repeat this for 10 minutes.

This is a very basic example of an EMOM but now I'll go into some more details.

So, how can you make an EMOM more effective for your purpose?

First, let's break them down into a few categories.

1. Conditioning - These are usually longer and have a manageable target to achieve during the time frame. Most of the time this would be a workout of 15 minutes or longer and have the objective to keep moving through the whole time domain.

2. Pacing - This type of EMOM will usually be a bit shorter between 10 and 15 minutes. This time-domain means that you can try and fill your minute up a little more and make it more of a challenge. This type of capacity should be a challenge and be a game to find the upper limit of your capacity.

3. Gymnastic/Strength - I have combined gymnastics and strength as they are a similar purpose, to build muscular strength, capacity and endurance. For this style of EMOM, they are consistently around 10 minutes long and have rep ranges that challenge muscular capacity over cardiovascular capacity.

So now you know the three main types of EMOM lets go into a bit more detail. Conditioning EMOM's are a staple of CrossFit and go hand in hand with pacing EMOM's. The objective is to pick movements and rep ranges that challenge you but keep you pushing through the entire time domain. Conditioning EMOM's are the main EMOM where you might have a larger variety of movements in them and will work a variety of muscle groups to really focus on lunge capacity over muscular capacity.

An example of a conditioning EMOM would be:

30 Minute EMOM -

Minute 1 - 20 wall balls

Minute 2 - 20 cal row

Minute 3 - 60 double-unders

Minute 4 - 25 sit-ups

Minute 5 - Rest

This WOD has a good mix of movements and muscle groups getting worked and the use of rest gives and incentive to push hard to complete all of the reps required. Alternatively, you could take out the rest and have it as a 24-minute EMOM to really challenge yourself. other ways of doing this style of EMOM is to try and complete as many reps of each movement as possible in the minute. the result of this is that you will start with a high score and have the challenge to complete that amount of reps every time. The only problem with this format is that depending on your enthusiasm you have less incentive to keep pushing really hard on each minute.

Pacing EMOM's differ from this as their goal is to find your maximum capacity of certain movements and improve on your ability to keep working through the pain barrier. A pacing style EMOM will usually consist of 1 or 2 movements. This means that you are pushing your ability to keep moving on these set movements. These are also great build capacity on ergs as you can set a calorie target and push your ability to keep moving and keep consistent on the ergs.

An example of this type of EMOM ould be:

12 Minute EMOM

Minute 1 - 20 cal row

Minute 2 - 16 burpees

Because of the small selection of movements, it challenges your ability to keep moving but also limits your rest between minutes as you don't want to start to hot and die off towards the end. This style of EMOM is really versatile and gives you a chance to push as hard as you can the whole way through. You can throw together movements that you dislike with movements that you like to keep you pushing while working on skills that you don't like.

Last but not least we have gymnastics and strength EMOM's. These are personally my favourite types of EMOM's because of how versatile they can be. Gymnastics EMOM's give you a chance to work on your gymnastic skill while not under too much cardiovascular fatigue. For this, you would set yourself a set number of reps that you know you can complete but is a challenge and pair it up with another movement.

For example:

10 Minute EMOM

Minute 1 - 10 pull ups

Minute 2 - 10 toes to bar

This is a very basic EMOM but really effective. It challenges your pull ups and toes to bar while working on the grip as both movements are on a pull-up bar. I personally have used variations of this EMOM consistently and have found a massive improvement in both of my pull ups, toes to bar and all other movements on the bar. but its not just limited to movements on the bar. You also have the opportunity to do any gymnastic movements, hands stand, sit-ups or muscle-ups all work well with this format.

Strength EMOMs fir in the same category as they are very similar. they can be used for any strength aspect whether it be Olympic lifting, powerlifting, strong man or bodybuilding. pick your reps and weight and go ham. For CrossFit, this is a great way to build capacity at moving heavier weights and building strength at the same time.

This could look something like this:

10 Minute EMOM

Every minute complete 3 power cleans at 75%

This is really simple but effective. Saying this though there are some issues that I have with strength-based EMOM's. Because of the sort time domains it means that technique can start to go out of the window and that is never a good thing. when planning strength-based EMOM's always consider technique and how it may be affected by having a short time domain. Always priorities lifting well over lifting fast and make sure that you are sensible with how you lift. know your limits and stick to them.

I hope you now have a good understanding of EMOM's and how to program for them in your own programming. They are an extremely versatile and useful tool to have if you are programming for yourself or others and can be adapted to whatever your needs are. If you have any questions about EMOM's or want me to program for you make sure you send me a message and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

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