CrossFit is responsible for introducing a wide range of training methods to the general exercising public. Before CrossFit, things like plyometrics, the Olympic lifts, metabolic conditioning, and kipping pull-ups were all-but unheard of outside of competitive sports. Fast forward to today, and all of these methods and more are much more mainstream.
One of the best training methods to come out of CrossFit is EMOM sets, short for Every Minute On (the) Minute. What makes this type of workout so effective? Let’s investigate!
What are EMOM sets?
With traditional strength and interval training, your rest period starts when your set finishes. You might rest anywhere between 30 seconds to five minutes between sets, depending on the type of workout you are doing.
With EMOM sets, you start each set at the top of each minute. Your rest period is the amount of time left until the start of the next minute. For example, if your set takes 20 seconds to complete, you get 40 seconds rest before it’s time to start again.
EMOM sets are very easy to manage. Simply set your Gymboss timer so that it sounds every 60 seconds and start your next set when you hear the beep. Use the lap counting feature to track the number of sets you have done.
Why use EMOM sets?
EMOM sets are a novel, challenging way to work out, and offer several advantages and benefits over less structured training methods. The SIX main benefits are:
Time-efficient – with EMOM training, you must start each set at a predetermined time. You can’t dilly-dally; when your CrossFit timer beeps, you have to get back to work whether you are ready or not. With less rest between sets, you’ll soon find that you can get a lot of training done in a relatively short time.
Increased work capacity – your work capacity is your ability to exercise and recover. EMOM training forces you to start your next set sooner than you usually would. This all-but forces you to get fitter, faster. Increased work capacity will have a big knock-on effect to other aspects of your workouts, allowing you to train harder and longer.
Great for calorie burning – even if you do EMOM for strength training, you’ll soon find that your heart and breathing rate remain elevated for the duration of your workout. This increased metabolic demand will boost your calorie expenditure, leading to faster fat loss.
Movement mastery – with most EMOM workouts, you do lots of short sets of the same exercise over and over again. This is an excellent way to practice and improve your technical performance of your chosen exercise. By the end of your EMOM workout, you will have clocked up a lot of technique-perfecting reps; far more than for a non-EMOM workout.
Ideal for busy gyms – for most EMOM workouts, all you need is one training tool or just your body weight. You’ll then stick with your chosen exercise for 10-20 minutes before moving onto something else. EMOM training works great in busy gyms.
Suitable for home use – you can do EMOM CrossFit workouts at home. In fact, they are ideal for home exercisers because you don’t need a whole lot of fancy equipment to get a great workout. All you need is your Gymboss timer, a little space, and the willingness to work hard.
EMOM workouts to try for yourself
Here are SIX tried and tested EMOM workouts to try for yourself. Grab your CrossFit timer and set it to beep every 60 seconds. Start each set of your workout when you hear the beep. Rest for whatever length of time is left, and then start your next set when your timer beeps again. Adjust the number of sets based on your fitness.
Workout 1 – push-ups
Do 10 push-ups every minute on the minute for 10 minutes. Can’t manage ten full push-ups? Bend your legs and rest on your knees or do fewer reps per set.
Workout 2 – jump rope
Do 50 jump rope turns every minute on the minute for 15 minutes. Go as fast as you can! If you are a proficient rope jumper, do high-knee sprints. Pump up the intensity even more by doing double unders – that’s two rope turns per jump.
Workout 3 – deadlifts
Load a barbell with 70-80% of your one-repetition maximum, 1RM for short. Don't know your 1RM? Just pick a weight you can lift no more than 4-6 times. Do one repetition every minute on the minute for 12 minutes. You can also do this workout with squats, bench presses, or power cleans.
Workout 4 – sprints
Using a rower, treadmill, bike, or elliptical, do a 20-second sprint every minute on the minute for 20 minutes. You can also do this workout outdoors.
Workout 5 – burpees
Do 5-10 burpees (depending on your level) on the minute every minute for 10 minutes. If full burpees are too challenging, drop the push-up or jump to make them more manageable.
6 – Chelsea
Chelsea is one of the best full-body CrossFit workouts around. It’s based on EMOM sets and is ideal for home use. Do five pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 air-squats on the minute every minute for 30 minutes. If that sounds a little daunting, do 20, 15, or even just 10 EMOM sets. Alternatively, reduce the number of reps to suit your abilities, e.g., 3 pull-ups, 6 push-ups, and 9 air-squats.
CrossFit may have popularized EMOM training, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a CrossFitter to use this awesome workout method. Whatever your fitness goal is, EMOM sets can help! EMOM training adds a new dimension to any workout, and all you need is your Gymboss timer.