What is EMOM in CrossFit 2024? Experts Explain

Discover the method behind the CrossFit madness with “What is EMOM in CrossFit? Experts Explain,” and learn how this high-intensity timing protocol can revolutionize your workouts.

What is EMOM in CrossFit?

EMOM stands for “Every Minute on the Minute,” a training style beloved in CrossFit for its efficiency and intensity. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Format: At the start of each minute, complete a set number of reps for an exercise, then rest until the next minute begins.
  • Rounds: The workout continues with the same or different exercises at the start of each new minute.
  • Duration: Typically ranges from 10 to 30 minutes.
  • Purpose: Designed to increase work capacity, muscular strength, and endurance while managing fatigue.

Keep your eyes on the clock and get ready for rapid improvements in fitness!

Types of Exercises in EMOM

EMOM workouts can be tailored to suit various muscle groups and fitness levels, incorporating various exercises. Some popular EMOM exercises include:

  • Cardio: Thrusters, double unders, and burpees to get your heart rate up.
  • Strength Training: Squats, kettlebell swings, and deadlifts to build power.
  • Skill Work: Pull-ups, muscle-ups, and push-ups to refine technique.

Executing EMOM Workouts Effectively

A timer counting down as a person performs a series of exercises, with a clock in the background showing the time remaining for each set

Incorporating EMOM into Your Fitness Regime

To start with EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute) workouts, you’ll choose a movement, like front squats or push-ups, and perform a set number of repetitions at the start of every minute. The time remaining within that minute becomes your rest period. This approach ensures you maintain form and focus on quality over quantity.

EMOM Workout Examples for Beginners:

  • Barbell EMOMs: Try power cleans, front squats, or push jerks with a manageable weight. Aim for 3-5 reps each minute to work on form and function.
  • Bodyweight EMOMs: Rotate through movements such as squats and push-ups, focusing on precision and control for about 6-10 reps.
  • Kettlebell/Dumbbell EMOMs: Pick an exercise like kettlebell swings or dumbbell snatches and set a target number of reps that leaves you 20-30 seconds of rest.

Advanced EMOM Strategies

Once you’re comfortable with EMOMs and your fitness level has increased, you can push your boundaries with more complex structures:

  1. Mixed Modality EMOMs Combine strength movements with metabolic conditioning. Alternate a strength exercise with a HIIT-style sprint or bodyweight circuit. This approach spikes the intensity and challenges your metabolic thresholds.
  2. Skill-Focused EMOMs: Use this time to refine complex movements or skills. Include exercises requiring coordination and practice in a less tired state, such as incorporating interval training elements in your EMOM routine.
  3. High-Intensity, Shorter Rest EMOMs: Reduce rest periods gradually and increase the weight or repetitions to test your limits safely while maintaining proper form.
  4. Benchmark Workouts: Take established CrossFit WODs like ‘Helen EMOM’ and apply the EMOM format to intensify interval training. These are precise goals to measure progress.

Variations and Scaling of EMOM Workouts

A clock with 12 intervals, each representing a minute, surrounded by various workout equipment such as kettlebells, barbells, and jump ropes

EMOM for Different Fitness Levels

For Beginners: If you’re new to CrossFit or fitness in general, start with shorter EMOM workouts to accustom your body. Your initial focus should be on form and consistency rather than intensity. For instance:

  • 10-minute EMOM
    • Minute 1: 5 Deadlifts (lightweight to focus on form)
    • Minute 2: 7 Push Presses (PVC pipe or an empty barbell)

As your confidence and abilities grow, you can increase the duration and complexity of your workouts.

Progression: Gradually scale the intensity by increasing the duration, weight, or complexity of the exercises. Progress to 12, 15, or 20-minute EMOMs, and include compound lifts like the bench press or muscular endurance challenges incorporating multiple reps or exercises.

Adapting EMOM for Specific Goals

For Specific Fitness Goals:

  • Strength & Conditioning: Choose exercises that target the whole body and increase the weight while keeping reps lower. For example:
    Minute Exercise Reps
    1 Heavy Back Squats 3
    2 Bench Press 3
  • Fat Loss & Endurance: Focus on high-intensity exercises with minimal rest, such as burpees or kettlebell swings, to keep the heart rate up. Consider practicing AMRAP (as many reps as possible) within each minute.
  • Muscle Tone: Incorporate a variety of movements that engage different muscle groups, ensuring a well-rounded approach to muscle development.

Advanced Variations:

  • E2MOM (Every 2 Minutes on the Minute) is ideal for integrating heavier lifts or high-skill movements that require more recovery.
  • Mixing It Up: To promote overall fitness, combine strength exercises like deadlifts with conditioning exercises like rowing within the same EMOM.


What is an example of an EMOM?

An example of an EMOM is doing 10 push-ups at the start of every minute for 10 minutes, resting until the next minute starts.

What is the difference between EMOM and HIIT?

EMOM is a specific interval where exercises start every minute; HIIT involves varied high-intensity periods followed by rest or low-intensity periods.

What does EMOM mean in CrossFit terms?

In CrossFit, EMOM means “Every Minute On the Minute,” a workout where you perform a set task at the start of each minute.

What is the difference between EMOM and Amrap CrossFit?

EMOM workouts are timed to start every minute, whereas AMRAP stands for “As Many Rounds As Possible” within a set time frame, focusing on volume.

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