The Interval Workout You Can Do Anytime, Anywhere
Meet your new favorite exercise buddy: the EMOM—a workout designed to push your body to the limit.
You think you’ve done every kind of workout in the book, but until you’ve tried the EMOM, you really can’t say you’ve done it all. Shorthand for “every minute on the minute,” the EMOM is an interval training routine that features repetition-based bursts of intensity interspersed with timed rest. The beauty of this workout is that you can do it anywhere, anytime. Stuck at home? This 25-minute routine will give you a major sense of accomplishment with minimal equipment.
Here’s how it works: Set a stopwatch and at the start of each minute, perform the exercise and number of reps listed below. When you complete the prescribed number of reps, rest until the start of the next minute. Then go again, with the next exercise listed. The trick: The faster you can complete your reps, the more time you have left over for resting.
After you complete the circuit once, go back to the first exercise and do it all over again. “You can see how much time you needed to get through your reps and then try to beat it next time around,” says trainer Andrew Abt, founder of ABTsolute Training Systems in New Rochelle, New York. “You’re always competing with yourself, which is the boost of motivation we all need to commit to a challenging routine.”
“The EMOM challenges you to stay strong as your body tires,” Abt says. Don’t confuse EMOMs with the other popular interval styles, like Tabata, which involves 20 seconds of all-out intensity and 10 seconds of rest, for a total of four minutes. “With Tabata, people usually start to falter and perform less reps in their final minute,” Abt explains. “But with an EMOM, the number of reps is already set.” It’s that combo of time and reps that encourages you to constantly work harder.
To try this workout, dress to sweat, and plan for your EMOM to last around 25 minutes total. This will be plenty, because unlike your usual circuit, each five-minute set in an EMOM is done at warp speed. "You’re pushing as hard as you can, because you have predetermined reps that you have to finish in that time," explains Abt. The best way to see progress: Aim to add more reps each session, or even each set. (If your first set starts with 10 reps of squats per minute, try doing 12 the next time around.) "One approach is to make your goal getting the same amount of rest each minute, but squeeze in more reps if you really want to challenge yourself,” he says.
Perform the five 60-second exercises below in five minutes. After five minutes, do it again. Complete the entire circuit five times through for a 25-minute session. Since you’ll be doing box jumps and mountain climbers, be sure to wear sneakers that provide stability and a supportive top.
Move 1: Mountain Climbers x 50 reps
How to: Get into an extended plank position, balancing on your hands and toes with arms and legs straight. Keeping your body in a straight line, pull one knee in toward your chest, then return that leg back to the start and pull other knee in toward your chest. (Keep one foot on the floor at all times to serve as your base.) Continue alternating the movement with both knees until you hit 50 reps total.
Move 2: Kettlebell Swings x 15 reps
How to: Grip the handle of a single kettlebell with both hands, palms facing in toward body. Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, bend your knees slightly while pushing your hips backward and leaning forward until your torso is parallel with the floor. Allow your kettlebell to drop between your legs, arms extended, without it touching the floor. Push your hips forward and return to a standing position, swinging the kettlebell overhead as you do. Allow the kettlebell to fall back down between your legs and repeat the movement.
Move 3: Dumbbell Thruster x 10 reps
How to: Stand with legs slightly wider than hip-distance apart. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, bend elbows and raise hands to shoulder height, and palms facing each other. Bend your knees, lowering into a squat position (as if you were going to sit in a chair). As you straighten knees and return to standing, press the dumbbells overhead so arms extend fully. Repeat.
Move 4: Suitcase Crunch x 15 reps
How to: Lie down on the floor with your legs out in front of you and arms extended behind your head. Raise your head and shoulders off the floor, bringing your arms directly overhead then down towards your legs as you simultaneously bend your knees in toward your chest, lifting feet off the floor. (Your goal is for your hands and feet to touch.) Extend back to the starting position and repeat.
Move 5: Box Jumps x 10 reps
How to: Stand facing a one-foot-high plyometric box (or similar). Keeping feet together, bend knees and jump on top of the box, then jump down to the other side. Turn around, face the box and repeat.