EMOM workouts are a fast-paced and fun way to improve your strength and fitness at the same time. Y
ou might also hear the term “CrossFit EMOM,” since EMOM workouts are popular in CrossFit programs. A CrossFit EMOM is just an EMOM workout that uses CrossFit exercises or is performed in a CrossFit gym.
However, even if you don’t do CrossFit, you can still do EMOM workouts with any exercises of your choosing.
But what is an EMOM workout, and what are EMOM benefits? What are the best EMOM workouts for strength and hypertrophy? Keep reading to find out!
In this guide, we will cover the following:
- What Is EMOM?
- The 6 Best EMOM Workouts For Endurance, Strength, and Muscle Growth
Let’s dive in!
What Is EMOM?
An EMOM workout is a structure of workout that involves starting your set “every minute on the minute.”
You will have a prescribed number of reps for each set of each exercise, and you will begin the reps at the start of every minute. As soon as you are done with the designated number of reps, you will rest for the remainder of the minute.
Once the next minute begins, you are right back at it with your next exercise.
For example, imagine you have a CrossFit EMOM that involves continuous rounds of 12 burpees, 25 bodyweight squats, and 15 kipping pull-ups.
You will start the 12 burpees when the timer begins.
If this takes you 35 seconds, you will rest for 25 seconds. When you hit the one-minute mark, you begin your 25 bodyweight squats.
If you blast through those in 30 seconds, you have 30 seconds to get ready before you start your kipping pull-ups.
Every minute on the minute you begin your next set.
An EMOM workout is an efficient and engaging way to build strength and improve cardiovascular fitness simultaneously, as EMOM workouts are fast-paced and involve very little rest.
Therefore, your heart rate stays elevated the whole time, which increases the metabolic demand of an EMOM workout vs. traditional weightlifting with longer rest periods.
There are no rules in terms of the specific exercise you should or should not be involved in EMOM workouts nor how long the EMOM workout needs to last.
Rather, one of the key EMOM benefits is that EMOMs are really just a style of workout structure rather than a rigid or specific workout itself.
The best exercises for EMOM workouts and the duration of an EMOM workout will largely depend on your fitness level, training goals, and the rest of your fitness program.
With that said, most of the best EMOM workouts involve performing just a handful of different exercises cycled through numerous times rather than a long list of different moves for the workout.
This makes it easier to remember your next move when you have very little rest, and you won’t have to keep setting up different equipment or checking your workout plan to know what comes next.
The 6 Best EMOM Workouts For Endurance, Strength, and Muscle Growth
Here are some examples of the best CrossFit EMOM workouts and EMOM workouts for beginners and those looking to increase strength, fitness, power, and calorie burn:
#1: Bodyweight EMOM Workout
When you are doing at-home EMOM workouts, it can be simplest to just use bodyweight exercises. That way, you don’t need any weights or equipment and can focus on getting a good metabolic, strengthening workout.
These types of EMOM workouts can help build muscular endurance because you can bang out a lot of reps.
In this way, a bodyweight EMOM workout for muscular endurance can be thought of as a high rep low weight approach to strength training.
It is generally recommended to use heavier weights (at least 65% of your 1RM) to build muscle, and at least 85% of your 1RM is recommended to increase strength.
However, evidence suggests that it is possible to build muscle by lifting light weights (or having low resistance like bodyweight exercises) even if you are an experienced, fit weightlifter as long as you perform your sets to failure.
With this bodyweight EMOM workout, your sets won’t necessarily be to failure, but you can do several rounds to really build muscular fatigue.
Here is one of the best bodyweight EMOM workouts for muscular endurance and strength:
- Minute 1: 25 Bodyweight Squats
- Minute 2: 25 Push-Ups (on knees for beginners)
- Minute 3: 20 V-Ups with toe touches (Lie down with legs extended and arms straight overhead. Use your core to bring your straightened arms and legs all the way up, folding your body in a V, as you reach up and touch your toes)
- Minute 4: 30 Up-Down Planks (leading with each hand for 15 reps)
- Minute 5: 20 Curtsy Lunges right leg
- Minute 6: 20 Curtsy Lunges left leg
It will take 6 minutes per round. Complete 3-6 rounds, depending on your fitness level.
#2: Plyometrics EMOM Workouts
Plyometric exercises are a great way to build power and strength, and by doing plyometrics in the EMOM-style workout, you will keep your heart rate elevated the whole time since the rest will not be long.
In this way, an EMOM workout centering around plyometrics functions much like high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
HIIT workouts have been found to be especially beneficial for burning fat and losing weight, potentially boosting your metabolic rate for up to 14 hours or more after your workout is over.
Here is a plyometric EMOM workout for lower-body strength and power:
- Minute 1: 18 Burpees (15 for beginners)
- Minute 2: 18 Box Jumps onto a plyo box (15 for beginners)
- Minute 3: 20 Ice Skater side-to side jumps
- Minute 4: 20 Alternating Jumping Lunges
- Minute 5: 18 Tuck Jumps
Each round of this EMOM workout takes 5 minutes.
Complete 2-5 rounds, depending on your fitness level.
#3: CrossFit EMOM Workout
CrossFit training often incorporates EMOM workouts.
This CrossFit EMOM workout utilizes common CrossFit exercises to help you tackle some of the foundational CrossFit lifts and movement patterns.
You will need access to a squat rack and weights.
Here is an advanced CrossFit EMOM workout:
- Minute 1: 15 Back Squats
- Minute 2: 20 Kipping Pull-Ups
- Minute 3: 20 Kettlebell Swings
- Minute 4: 20 Burpees
- Minute 5: 20 Barbell Push Presses
Each round of this EMOM workout takes 5 minutes.
Complete 3-5 rounds, depending on your fitness level.
#4: Lower Body EMOM Workout for Strength
You can also do EMOM workouts for strength using heavier weights, performing fewer reps, but keeping the rest intervals shorter than with the traditional strength training framework because you will be going every minute on the minute.
When performing EMOM workouts to increase strength, because you will be doing just 3 reps per exercise, according to the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), you should aim to use about 93% of your one-repetition maximum (1RM) for the load.
For example, if your bench press 1RM is 165 pounds (75 kg), try to use about 150-155 pounds.
Although the rest intervals will be shorter than for standard strength sets, you won’t be doing each set back to back since the next exercise will use different muscle groups.
Here is a good EMOM workout for leg strength:
- Minute 1: 3 reps Barbell Back Squat
- Minute 2: 3 reps Barbell Deadlift
- Minute 3: 3 reps Bulgarian Split Squat right leg
- Minute 4: 3 reps Bulgarian Split Squat left leg
- Minute 5: 3 reps Barbell Hip Thrust
- Minute 6: 3 reps Leg Press Machine
- Minute 7: 3 reps Leg Curl Machine
- Minute 8: 3 reps Seated Calf Raise
Each round is 8 minutes. Try to perform 3 rounds, but start with just one round as a beginner.
#5: Upper Body EMOM Workout for Strength
Here is an upper body EMOM workout for strength:
- Minute 1: 3 reps Barbell Bench Press
- Minute 2: 3 reps Barbell Bent-Over Row
- Minute 3: 3 reps Barbell Overhead Press
- Minute 4: 3 reps Barbell or EZ Bar Curl
- Minute 5: 3 reps Barbell Skull Crusher or Cable Triceps Extension with the rope attachment
- Minute 6: 3 reps Cable Iron Cross
- Minute 7: 3 reps Trap Bar Shrug
Each round of this EMOM strength workout is 7 minutes. Try to perform 3 rounds, but start with just one round if you are a beginner.
#6: EMOM Workout for Muscle Growth
If your goal is hypertrophy (muscle growth), the recommendations are to use loads that are 70 to 85% of your 1RM for 8 to 12 reps.
Here is an EMOM workout for hypertrophy:
- Minute 1: 10 reps Kettlebell Goblet Squat
- Minute 2: 10 reps Dumbbell Chest Press
- Minute 3: 10 reps Lat Pulldowns
- Minute 4: 10 reps Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squat right leg
- Minute 5: 10 reps Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squat left leg
- Minute 6: 10 reps Parallel Bar Dips
- Minute 7: 10 reps TRX Inverted Rows
- Minute 8: 10 reps Dumbbell Curls
- Minute 9: 10 reps Triceps Overhead Extensions
- Minute 10: 10 reps Cable Crunches
Each round of this EMOM strength workout is 10 minutes. Start with two rounds but build up to three.
For more workout ideas, check out our guide to the alphabet workout here.