Create your own EMOM:

A buddy and I text regularly about our workouts. (My text history is actually chocked full of fitness conversations with a number of people.) Today an EMOM workout was brought up; EMOM comes up quite regularly with this person, in fact. That spurred me to create this post.

First, what is an EMOM? For those unfamiliar with the acronym, it stands for “Every Minute On the Minute”. How it works: you select an exercise or two and an accompanying exercise scheme. For example, push-ups for 10 reps and sit-ups for 10 reps. Next, you choose a timeframe. For example, 15 minutes. Now, the fun part — the work! Start your clock and execute 10 push-ups followed by 10 sit-ups, then rest the remainder of the minute. At the start of the following minute, again execute 10 push-ups followed by 10 sit-ups, and once again rest for the remainder of the minute. You’ll continue this process until your allotted time (in this example, the 15 minutes) is up. If you get to a point where you can no longer perform the listed work, decrease the number of repetitions; this will rest the muscles some and provide the body with a little more time to recoup.

Create your own EMOM: my friend and I love to incorporate one moderate-weight compound exercise followed by a bodyweight exercise. Why? The weighted exercise provides an excellent stimulus on the entire system while taxing a particular group of muscles. The paired bodyweight exercise does the same, but not to the extent the weighted movement does. In addition, this back-to-back, weight-bodyweight pairing heightens the cardiovascular system, thus increasing the heart rate (you take in more oxygen and burn more calories).

Some favorites: 5 deadlifts followed by 10 push-ups. (If you want to torch the back, replace push-ups with pull-ups; you’re unlikely to make it long with this combination.) Or, there’s 5 overhead presses followed by 10 air squats. (Going from upper body to lower body — or vise versa — enables the system to recoup some, even though you’re working.) There are a TON of combinations, and a number of good combinations. One exercise at a time can be used; three exercises at a time; a weighted exercise and a run... The list goes on and on. It simply comes down to what you want out of the workout. I’ll say this: if you’re picking a weighted compound movement — deadlift, squat, power clean, etc. — err on the side of caution with the rep scheme; when it comes to bodyweight exercises or dumbbell/kettlebell exercises, there’s room for higher reps.

Choose wisely, friends... And #growstrong!

Jason Harle