Why ‘On The Minute’ EMOM WODs Should Be Part Of Your Training

In CrossFit, there are AMRAPs, workouts for time, and plenty of other really specific rep schemes – but what about EMOM? A favorite of 2009 CrossFit Games Champion Jason Khalpia, EMOMs are a perfect addition to your training, whether you’re working out at an affiliate or in your garage. But what are they, and why are they important? Let The WOD Life tell you!

What are EMOMs?

EMOM stands for Every Minute On the Minute and the depending on the movement, combination of movements and length, can be either active recovery or a challenging test of endurance. In an EMOM workout, you perform the required movements at the start of the minute and then rest for the remainder. They often look simple, but can be one of the most valuable additions to your training program.

What are the benefits of EMOM training?

Designed to help you drill good technique under pressure, EMOM workouts are also an ideal opportunity to focus on intensity, high quality movement and regulating your breathing. With a solid ratio of work to rest, EMOMs allow you to hit the workout with one of the keys to success in CrossFit – intensity! When tackling an EMOM, focus on intensity, efficiency and consistency of movement. The harder you go, the more time you’ll have to rest before the next round.

What do EMOM workouts look like?

Here are two examples of EMOM workouts with slightly different aims:

EMOM for 10 minutes

1 clean and jerk (75%)

5 burpees

The goal here is to see whether you can keep good form on the clean and jerk, and finish the burpees in the same amount of time for all 10 rounds. A WOD like this is a great way to work on both speed and skill.

EMOM for 30 minutes

Min 1: 3 back squat (65%)

Min 2: 30-50 double-unders

Min 3: 10-15 kettlebell swing 24/16kg

In this workout, you need to be able to regulate your breathing and move at pace on both the double-unders and kettlebell swings, to allow you enough rest time to hit three good squats at a decent weight. After 10 rounds of each, you’ll be pretty beaten up, but with better awareness of how to take on very different movements under pressure.

Step up your mental game

EMOM WODs are also great for developing your mental game. There’s not a lot that’s fun about knowing you’ll be deep in the struggle for the next 30 or 40 minutes, but as any experienced CrossFitter knows, it’s more likely that you’ll give up mentally before your body is really ready to quit.

Turn it into a learning experience

Awareness is key to doing well here. In regular workouts, going out too hard at the start can mean perishing later on. Practice hitting 15 wall balls on the minute for 15 minutes, with no more than a few seconds difference between sets. This will give you an insight into how to breathe and recover, and how quickly you need to move.

How do I get started?

Almost anything can be turned into an EMOM, from sprinting and pull-ups, to deadlift and burpees. The best are often those which combine a strength piece, with an explosive aerobic movement, like in the example above.

Use this article as inspiration to hit up some EMOM WODs, and let us know which ones you tried, and how it went.