If you’re familiar with Reign Fitness Programming then you know that EMOM (every minute on the minute) workouts are a big part of our training strategy and commonly utilized to achieve different training stimulus goals.
Whether it’s a long 20-30 minute EMOM workout with different stations or a couplet (2 exercise) EMOM with Odd and Even set exercises, how you game plan your attack can really help you get the most out of your workout.
But before we get into some tips it’s important to remember a few basic facts about EMOMs that can help you understand what the goal of each workout is.
EMOMs will give you an opportunity to recover after each set based on the amount of time it took you to complete the reps.
You will most likely repeat a movement for multiple sets giving you the opportunity to practice.
There will almost always be a rep range for you to both scale and progress the intensity level.
You can control the intensity level with speed of completion but of course factoring in our philosophy of Mechanics, Consistency, and then Intensity.
Okay, now that we have some basic facts to help us understand EMOMs better, let’s get into some tips to improve your approach and attack these workouts!
Understanding Your Goal For The Movement
When you see that you’ll be repeating a movement for a set number of reps for a 5 -10 Minute EMOM, you have to get a little excited because it’s an opportunity to practice and/or push intensity but it starts with knowing yourself.
Do you need to work on the movement?
If so, maybe slow things down enough to have perfect mechanics and give yourself a chance to be consistent. Picking a moderate rep range will help you achieve this.
You may even need to scale the movement which is more than okay because it's helping you progress.
Do you know the movement with good mechanics/consistency and need to push intensity?
If this is the case, think about different ways for you to increase intensity.
Faster completion time
Progression of movement (Ex. KB Deadlift to KB Swings/ Pull-ups to Kipping Pull-Ups)
Self-Positive Talk ONLY
Again, EMOMs are very much so mental and it can be very easy to get into a negative headspace. Whether it’s one bad rep that throws you off or the anticipation of a movement you need to work on, negativity can quickly throw you into a “this sucks or I suck” attitude but it’s so important to stay positive.
“Positivity is a learned behavior” so you need to make it intentional.
For example you might say:
“OMG, I can’t believe I have another 8 rounds to go!”
Instead try telling yourself:
“I just need to finish my 10 reps and then I get a 30 second break to rest.”
Identify Your Resting Minute
Despite all workouts being slightly different, one strategy to help you attack EMOM workouts starts with identifying your resting minute.
Min 1: Max Distance Row x 45s
Min 2: Burpees x 15 reps
Min 3: Alternating DB lunges x 8-12 reps
Min 4: KB Swings x 20 reps
Min 5: Bodyweight Squats x 10 reps
In this workout, I’m going to identify my resting minute as Minute 5: Bodyweight Squats as it’s the least difficult movement for myself and a round I know that I can finish fairly quickly resulting in a longer recovery.
So, as I start this workout I have a little bit of confidence because I know the final round will be give me an opportunity to breathe. However, because I’ve identified a round to give me more break - it will also give me some extra motivation to hit all the other rounds with more intensity. I’ll make sure to still manage my recovery each round but I won’t shy away from unbroken reps and pushing myself to finish a little faster while staying with a higher rep range.
I’ll really be paying attention to where my brain wanders off around Minute 3 and just be on top of any self negative talk so I can shut it down quickly. As I approach Minute 5, I’ll anticipate the countdown (55,56,57,58,59…) then at the top of the minute I’ll knockout 10 squats a little faster then I want to because I know form will be solid and then I’m starting to recover and take advantage of all the extra time.
I’m still being mindful of what I’m thinking about during the break and making sure my body language doesn’t reflect negativity either (laying down, leaning against something). With big slow breaths I’m making sure to stay calm and prepare mentally for another time through.
The more workouts you do and experience you build, you’ll equally learn that mental strength is an acquired skill. It takes intentional practice to be positive and be able to channel your determination strategically in workouts. But every workout you do can help fine tune those skills.
Focus on small goals, one new thing you worked on for that workout and never forget that humility is KEY!
Leave your ego at the door and have fun putting in the work.