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.
Founder & CEO of Be Ready Training | Strength & Conditioning Coach