Exercise....Have a Minute?

Posted Mar 1, 2022

Does your to-do list keep you distracted while at the gym? Is rest between sets your time to catch up on phone calls and emails? Have you planned to be at the gym for 30 minutes only to realize that an hour-and-a-half has passed? You think to yourself, “Surely there must be a way to make my workout more efficient and effective.”

There is. It’s called EMOM. An acronym for every minute on the minute, the EMOM workout is one of the most versatile, scalable, time efficient exercise protocols to help you stay accountable and on track in meeting your fitness goals. The concept is simple: You have one minute to perform your exercise. If you finish before the minute is up, you rest, then start again at the top of the next minute, and repeat until you finish.

Here's how it can benefit you:

Scalable: A great feature of EMOM workouts is how easily they can be scaled for as long or as short as you need them to be. Only have 10 minutes? No problem. Need 45 minutes to complete everything you have planned? That’s cool, too. Most EMOMs are usually between 10 to 30 minutes in length, but some are longer or shorter depending on the goal and routine. Any fitness level and any age can enjoy this format. The goal is to pick exercises and reps that are challenging but not work you to the point of failure. Adjust the number of reps or the type of exercises based on your abilities and fitness levels at the moment. As you get in better shape, you can add more reps or include more difficult moves. Because each round is one minute, you can tack on as many minutes as necessary to accomplish your goal. EMOMs are also flexible – you can perform an EMOM workout alone, with a friend, or in a group.

Versatile: Whether done alone or with others, the type of exercises you include in your EMOM workout can vary depending on the workout or movement you want to perform. You can include one or two moves for the duration of your EMOM, or string several together to form a circuit. The workout can be cardio-based if you want to work on endurance, strength-based if you want to do resistance training, or skill-based if you’re working on power or agility.  You can also include something from every category. Set exercises for reps (8 to 15 per move) or time (30 to 45 seconds). You can perform an EMOM for an entire workout or add it at the end of a routine as a burnout or finisher. Bodyweight only, free weight, machine equipment, or a combination of both … the EMOM is only limited by your imagination.

Effective: Because you only have one minute, the time constraints of the format forces you to stay on track and stay focused on your workout. Let’s say it takes 40 seconds to complete 12 push-ups. That only leaves you 20 seconds to rest before getting back to work again, which is not enough time to get distracted by your phone or social media. Since the rest time is short, heart rate stays elevated, calorie burn stays high, and you’ve completed your workout right on time. The short rest periods also work to keep your muscles under tension, building stamina and strength. EMOM can be a great tool to measure your progress. If it took you 50 seconds to perform 10 burpees the very first time, and a few weeks later it takes 30 seconds, it’s easy to see your improvement and progression.

Simple 10-minute EMOM workout using only two exercises:

  • 30 seconds of cardio on the Concept II Rower/30 seconds of rest
  • 30 seconds of body-weight squats/30 seconds of rest

Continue to alternate these two exercises for five rounds for a short 10-minute workout.

From beginner to advanced, anyone can do an EMOM workout. With spring around the corner, now is a great time to shake up your routine. Contact WK Fitness & Wellness Centers and let one of our experienced exercise specialists create a personalized EMOM workout for you and get you started.