In this day and age, it feel’s like every minute really does count. We all lead different lives, but a common trait shared amongst the majority is our need for more time…It’s often the first excuse you might hear when chatting to family, friends, colleagues or clients about their fitness escapades and how they tend to struggle to fit it in a couple of sessions a week. Rather than having the time, how about reframing the time available?
Enter EMOMS. You’ve more than likely heard of this simple method where the focus is completing a certain amount of work in a specific time frame. (Eg. E3MOM = Every 3 Minutes on the Minute complete X). They’re an ideal means of helping you to get decent work done, especially when training time is limited. Additionally, they can be altered easily to fit your goals. Here are the main reasons I regularly use EMOMS both with my own clients and in my own training.
Work Capacity is the ability to perform and recover from meaningful work. Let’s be honest, a lot of time is wasted during workouts. There are simple tweaks you can use to get more out of every block of your training session. Programming EMOMS allow you to squeeze in a high volume of quality work into your session benefitting you in the long run. By knowing you have a a certain amount of reps to hit in a given time frame, will help you remain dialled in and reach the intensity required to improve your fitness. You also won’t feel the need to do those extra random sets which just count as junk volume. There is also a super psychological component to building work capacity via EMOMS, particularly when in a high volume phase of training. In the later minutes of the EMOM, things can get very challenging and there is a great conditioning aspect. Holding on and keeping movement quality high throughout is one win, progressing each week and boosting your capacity is another!
Training often helps us de-stress and escape from the rigours of life. However, by having the awareness to stay present throughout your session can actually be far more liberating. Being in the moment is a skill and it’s something that we probably don’t pay enough attention to when it comes to our workouts. What I find useful is asking questions after each exercise/set such as; Where did I feel the tension? Where didn’t I feel the tension? Where did my thoughts go? Were they positive/negative? Write it all down during your rest times and see your fitness journey change for the better. Although this can be done without any EMOM, I think the limited time available after your reps to take action push you to get your thoughts together and help you to refocus prior to the next set. For me it makes a worthy difference. Rather than chasing a workout just to get a sweat on, there is purpose to your session. Try it out, it’s a worthwhile exercise.
Of course rest periods are vital and an element of training that often get overlooked. However, as we are all pressed for quality training time as it is, we can be far more efficient with our rest. This ties in nicely with the above points. Particularly for the general population, active rest periods are a must, and serve as a great time to work on lagging muscle groups, mobility or core work or as discussed above, taking notes! EMOMs allow for this. By using your rest periods wisely, rather than scrolling/chatting, you’ll be sure to achieve a far higher workload than you have before. Super-setting/tri-setting are excellent alternatives, but I have found in my experience that by when EMOMS are on the agenda, there is more of a focus on making the most of the time available and in turn a greater training effect is achieved. Additionally, rest times can also serve as a super means of progression. Shaving 5-10 seconds every fortnight off your rest will be sure to add intensity that you crave.
Thank you for reading this piece. As always if you want to discuss further don’t hesitate to reach out.
Move Often, Feel Good.
3 Simple ways to Bust some stress!
Stress is our brains response to demand. Every day, everyone deals with some form of stress. It comes in many forms and can work for us or against us.
The stats are striking. In 2019, 33% of people report being extremely stressed while 77% of Americans suffer from physical health issues linked to stress! Two common stress management tools are exercise and meditation.
In addition to exercise acting as a distraction from stressors, it triggers the release of endorphins that result in feelings of wellbeing and pleasure. Exercise also stimulates chemicals (serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine) in the brain that play a significant role in regulating our mood.
Meditation practices and mindfulness in particular has been shown to be hugely effective in coping with stress, anxiety and depression. This occurs through positive changes being made to the brain structure associated with controlling emotions and boosting focus.
Along with incorporating both exercise and mindfulness, somedays we need something else when we feel a bit snowed under. Here are 3 things that you can do if this is case, that could prove useful!
You may be throwing your eyes thinking how these suggestions could possibly work?
We’ve all seen wild animals or even dogs shake uncontrollably after a stressful event…An act of letting go, shaking is a way of releasing built up tension from your body and mind. Seeing as you can shake however you please, you can’t get it wrong! Simply put, shaking taps into the parasympathetic nervous system signalling the brain to relax. As a bonus, shaking is a method of freeing toxins from your body due to the tremors activating the lymphatic system. For a quick demo, check out this video . Along with slotting it into your day, you could perhaps include 60-90secs of shaking into your warm ups for training sessions as a ‘wake up’ call to your body before you start!
Next up we have shouting, or more specifically ‘Primal Scream Therapy’. This is quite simply standing in a strong, warrior like stance and letting it rip which is said to release anger and frustration from the body. Believe it or not shouting is an ancient form of Chinese medicine. The Chinese believe that daily shouting benefits both the lungs and liver! Another reason to get to grips with shouting is that it can increase physical strength…If you are familiar with power lifting, weightlifting, tennis or play a contact sport, you will know it is not uncommon to release a grunt or shout upon exertion. Research has found this act can be a powerful tool in force production. Worth a bash the next time you find yourself biting your lip or after a long day. I would suggest you do this within your own four walls for obvious reasons!
Swimming is trending since Covid made its presence felt and will continue to do so. We all know someone who took it up over the last 2 years. Aside from the invigorating feeling one gets from a dip in the ocean, studies have shown that cold water immersion can boost immune system functioning! In addition to this, there was one study completed in 2008 that researched the role of hydrotherapy and its effects on depression. The suggested time is 2-3 minutes. The results stated that cold water sends impulses from nerve endings to the brain which could result in an anti-depressive effect! A trip to the beach is not required, hit the showers or at least finish your morning scrub cold! The way I look at it, no matter what happens during the rest of my day at least something has been achieved through a quick test of mental fortitude and staying present!
Move Often, Feel Good!
Founder & CEO of Be Ready Training | Strength & Conditioning Coach