Fitness, Fitness

What’s an EMOM workout?

“For people who don’t like cardio, EMOM workouts are perfect because it works on their anerobic capacity. It’ll get your heart rate up, you can progress easily and step it up with heavier weights/more reps where needed”



We love a good fitness acronym and EMOM is up there as one of our fav’s. We’ve asked our resident EMOM expert Chris Pattison on what EMOM workouts are, why you should try them and how to incorporate them into your fitness routine.

Okay, first things first - what the heck does EMOM stand for?

EMOM stands for Every Minute on the Minute. Generally, “you prescribe a duration, it might be eight or 12 minutes and the way they’re structured you can usually do two or three exercises but no more than four within that timeframe,” explains Pattison.

The Personal Trainer is a massive fan of EMOM workouts, regularly working them into his sessions. “One of my favourites is a superset of two exercises and you work every odd minute and every even minute,” Pattison cheerfully reveals.

More specifically, the Personal Trainer explains EMOM workouts typically involve High Intensity Resistance Training (HIRT) so for example, medicine ball slams, kettlebell swings and deadlifts.

He clarifies, “essentially you should be looking to get about 30-40 seconds of work and then about 30 seconds break and you start the next one.”

We’re already pooped!

If you fancy a kettlebell workout, Pattison has one right up your alley.

“An example of a kettlebell EMOM workout you might do 20 kettlebell swings every even minute and every odd minute you’ve got to do 8 dumbbell snatches - that works out to be about 40 seconds of work and 20 seconds of rest and we’d structure that for 12 minutes nonstop.”

Why are EMOM workouts the toast of the fitness town?

As Pattison puts it, there’s good reason for the hype around EMOM workouts.

“These workouts are great for getting the heartrate up and because you’ve still got the resistance element it’s great for strength work.”

And the benefits don’t end there, as Pattison explains “EMOM workouts are also great for your metabolism and calorie burn.”

Hot damn, that’s pretty encouraging but what other benefits do these workouts offer? Errr, pretty much everything. If you’re into your strength work but traditional cardio isn’t your jam listen up.

“For people who don’t like cardio, EMOM workouts are perfect because it works on their anerobic capacity. It’ll get your heart rate up, you can progress easily and step it up with heavier weights/more reps where needed,” says Pattison.

The Personal Trainer adds that EMOM workouts really lend themselves to people doing strength work in other sessions and can almost act as their conditioning work.

And if you’re time poor (aren’t we all?) Pattison reckons these kinds of workouts are pretty much made for you: short, sharp and sweaty!

You won’t get bored - promise!

Get tired of the same workout routine? EMOM has got variety in the bag. Not only can you do these workouts by yourself, with a buddy or in groups Pattison says you can you can mix things up all the time.

Just make sure you incorporate compound movements. “The more muscle groups you use the more you’ll get out of it,” recommends the Personal Trainer.

Get fitter quicker

Uh-huh, you read that right.

“You’re going to burn more calories with this style of training purely because your heart rate and the intensity of the training is a lot higher,” says Pattison.

Essentially, because EMOM workouts force you to increase intensity your fitness can only improve. “The flow on effects are that you can recover quicker because you’re adapting to the short rest periods,” advises the Personal Trainer.

And if you find yourself plateauing, it’s good to switch it up and “put your body under a different style of duress, this will revitalise your metabolism and metabolic burn,” Pattison recommends.

Aqn gym session two 232 Aquahub gym 92

Check yourself before you wreck yourself

We can all get a little carried away when we’re trying to smash out a workout, but Pattison warns against going too heavy too quickly.

“Remember, never to substitute speed for technique, execute it correctly to get the full benefit out of it.”

 The personal trainer advises getting your form right before giving an EMOM workout a go.

“The idea is to be challenged and put your body under duress and as we fatigue, form tends to decrease so it’s important to be weary of this.”

When it comes to EMOM workouts, Pattison recommends choosing exercises that compliment each other with their intensity to avoid injury and get the most out of the workout. For example, a deadlift mixed with a dead ball slam.

“You might do low reps with your deadlift because that’s your traditional strength exercise and then high reps with your ball slams. So, for the higher rep exercise go for a lighter weight, but if you try and go too heavy with both exercises you might find you’re resting for too long,” he advises.

Want to give EMOM a try? K!

Friends who workout together stay together so Pattison recommends trying EMOM with a buddy or group first. “It’s a great way to push each other along a bit more.”

He adds there’s no need to overcomplicate things either.  “Pick an exercise you know you can execute first, make sure it’s a compound exercise and not an isolated movement so you can get the benefits out of it.”

So consider exercises like a dumbbell squat press rather than a bicep curl. To get the most out of your EMOM workout Pattison recommends incorporate them into your regular session, rather than just a single EMOM sesh.

“If you’re going to be doing a longer interval style session or a HIRT session, I’d do an EMOM session at the start because there’s less chance of injury with fatigue. If you’re doing a shorter session you might be able to do it at the end,” the Personal Trainer recommends.

So in a nutshell, EMOMs are speedy, have heaps of benefits and you can do them with your mates - We know we’re keen, you in?


Chris Pattison is an Aquanation personal trainer and has a Cert III and IV in Fitness, Level 1 and 2 Padwork for boxing and a Beck Health Certificate of Nutrition and Diet. Learn more.