EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute): A Formula for Volume and Skill Development

Maximize your fitness with this training method.
CrossFit Muscle Ups

There are so many skills and drills in CrossFit. Athletes aim to develop elite capacity in weightlifting and gymnastics while layering over an obscene ability to perform these movements with efficiency and consistent mechanics to maximize their fitness. Many competitors in the sport of fitness have found a new way to accumulate the volume and practice necessary to develop skills while simultaneously working on capacity in some of the high-skill movements. The method is known as EMOM, or every minute on the minute. The way this type of workout formula works is as follows:

  • One or two movements are picked to do either on the minute or alternating on the minute over the course of 10 and 30 minutes.
  • Reps of two to five are done at a high percentage of the athlete’s 1RM.
  • Rest periods are kept to a minimum while the central nervous system is not overly taxed.

What this formula enables the athlete to do is accumulate volume and solid, consistent mechanics with loads or movements that require high levels of coordination. Here is an example:

EMOM alternating on the minute:

3 clean and jerks @ 225 pounds on the odd minute

3 muscle-ups on the even minute

If we examine this workout, we see an athlete executing 30 clean and jerks at 225 pounds with 30 muscle-ups in under 20 minutes. This is a fantastic amount of work that should allow for enough recovery of the CNS to maintain solid mechanics with limited rest throughout the 20 minutes. This is very time-efficient way to develop skill and capacity.

Many different variations of this formula can be used to get a desired effect. You could pick low-skill movements to bias more toward capacity. It is possible to pick only bodyweight movements or even just a single movement every minute. Lighter weights can be used for higher reps on the minute.

There isn’t only one way to effectively train. In the nature of variance, this should be one more tool to put in your toolbox. A truly rounded program will provide the greatest exposure to the different types of athletic endeavors, and as always, we should be looking to chase intensity, looking back and measuring benchmarks. Give EMOM a try every once in a while. Good luck and have fun!