EMOM, AMRAP, HIIT - What Are They?
Updated: Aug 6
Switching up your workout structure is a great way to increase your motivation and push yourself harder. Having a varied programme will keep your workouts interesting, meaning you’re more likely to stick them consistently and get the results you’re after. Below are three of my favourites for when I’m short of time, lack motivation or fancy challenging myself.
EMOM stands for Every Minute on the Minute. Simply put, you programme an exercise and set number of reps to complete within a minute and any time you have left you use for rest. For example, if you chose 15 squats and completed this in 35seconds, you’d then have 25seconds to rest. You can get creative by choosing different exercises and setting the time you’d like the workout to take. Here is an example of a 12min EMOM:
· Min 1 – 15 Squats
· Min 2 – 10 Push Ups
· Min 3 – 10 Burpees – at the end of min 3, you go back to 1 and repeat 4 times to complete 12minutes.
EMOMs are a great way to structure your workouts as they can be adapted to your level of fitness by reducing/increasing the required reps or progressing/regressing the exercise selected (i.e. progress push ups to hand release push ups, or regress them to kneeling push ups). You can get as creative as you like with your exercise selection, gearing the EMOM towards cardio, strength, upper body, lower body, full body or whatever your goal for the workout is. EMOMs are also time efficient as they force you to keep moving to stay within the minute time-frame. No time for texting and scrolling through Instagram between sets. You can progress your EMOMs by increasing the number of reps, the weight used, or the number of rounds, increasing the overall time taken. My advice is to keep track of every workout so you can ensure your challenging yourself more each time.
AMRAP stands for As Many Rounds (or Reps) As Possible and is a great workout structure for anyone of any ability as it can be as easy or as hard as you make it. To do an AMRAP you select an amount of time (say 20mins) and a selection of exercises (i.e. 15 squats, 10 push ups and 10 burpees as above) and complete the series of exercises as many times as possible within the time frame. As with EMOMs, AMRAPS are very versatile and can be programmed for cardio, strength or full body workouts etc., by simply basing your exercise selection on your goals for that workout. Unlike EMOMs you don’t plan in rest and the goal is to minimise rest periods. But this isn’t to say don’t rest at all, if you need to take a break do so and then continue from where you paused, but don’t stop the clock.
AMRAPs are great for tracking progress and challenging yourself. Keep note of how many rounds/reps you completed and try it again to see if you can beat this. This is a fantastic way to increase your motivation to push harder, by creating some healthy competition with yourself.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has become hugely popularised and is now known by the many. This isn’t surprising when one of the most common answers to why someone isn’t exercising is lack of time and HIIT can be completed in as little as 10-20minutes. However, HIIT is not simply performing an exercise for a set period of time, resting and then repeating and it’s not designed to be done every day. The working interval is a short burst of high intensity exercise, such as sprinting, cycling or skipping, that raises your heart rate. (You should aim for >80% of estimated max heart rate according to the American College of Sports Medicine. Max heart rate = 220 – your age). At the end of the working interval you should feel like you need the rest, if you don’t you need to push harder. You then have a rest interval usually either the same length or greater than the working time. The most common work to rest ratios are 1:1 to 1:5. For example, you could sprint for 10seconds then walk for 50 seconds and repeat 10 times for a total of 10minutes. Alternatively, you could skip for 30seconds, rest for 30seconds and repeat 15 times for a total of 15minutes.
Due to the high intensity of the workout and the stress this places on your body you should aim for no more than 2-3 HIIT sessions a week, with at least 24hours rest between sessions. You can also combine HIIT with other types of workouts during the week, but be mindful of your recovery so you avoid depleting your energy levels and reducing your performance in future workouts. If you’re feeling tired and sore, allow your body time to recover and perhaps switch to a walk or stretch that day.
Check out my Instagram @nicolaa_dale for videos of a sample EMOM workout.