Every Minute on the Minute

Every Minute on the Minute
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There are lots of ways to level up your cycling—and not all of them involve spending more time in the saddle. One simple-yet-effective hack for becoming a better rider? Incorporate EMOM workouts into your routine.

EMOM workouts can be “very beneficial,” says Katie Piersona Denver-based certified spinning instructor and certified personal trainer. They’re a great training method for improving your stamina and continually challenging yourself, she explains. Pretty much any cyclist can benefit from EMOM workouts, whether you ride road gold gravel or if you clock centuries 10 mile gold.

Here, everything you need to know about EMOM workouts, including what they are and their benefits, as well as four EMOM workouts specifically crafted for cyclists.

What are EMOM workouts?

EMOM is a form of interval training that stands for “every minute on the minute.”

Here’s how it works: You pick an exercise (or group of exercises) and complete a set number of reps of the exercise(s) within one minute. You then repeat that sequence, or a variation of the sequence, every 60 seconds for a designated amount of time. How much rest you get is based on when you complete the designated number of reps within that minute, explains Darci Revier, CSCS, director of education at the National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA) and NETA-certified cycling instructor in Missouri.

For example, say you’re doing a 15-minute EMOM of 20 bodyweight squats. You would start a timer and do the 20 squats. If that takes you 40 seconds, you’d then rest 20 seconds before repeating the pattern again for a total of 15 rounds or 15 minutes.

The format of EMOMs encourages you to work at a rapid pace, because the faster you complete your reps, the more rest you get. Most often, EMOMs count as high-intensity interval training (HIIT)thanks to the alternation between bursts of max-effort work and short periods of rest.

Because EMOMs are typically intense, they’re usually workout shorts—think: 30 minutes or less, says Revier.

Beyond that timeframe and the basic 60-second format, there aren’t any must-follow rules for EMOMs. Which exercise (or exercises) you choose to do and for how many reps is totally up to you. You can stick with just one move, or alternate between multiple movements every minute—for example, five push upsfive squats, and five sit-ups. You can target one muscle group or your entire body. You can involve equipment or stick with just your bodyweight. You can even do an EMOM on the bicycle (more on that in a minute).

What are the benefits of EMOM workouts?

EMOM workouts may sound simple (and perhaps deceivingly easy), but the benefits are legit.

Like we mentioned, EMOMs typically qualify as HIIT training. And there are a slew of benefits that come from regularly doing HIITincluding improved fitness and lower heart rate variability, according to research. other research says its superior to moderate-intensity training to burn fat.

Moreover, EMOM workouts are great for anaerobic threshold training, says Revier. That’s because the EMOM format doesn’t typically allow you to get a full recovery period after each exercise. And when you’re trying to push your body to a high degree with minimal oxygen, that can help train and improve your anaerobic threshold. On the bike, that can translate to stronger hill climbing in an endurance event, or higher-intensity pedaling during a sprint race, she says.

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Additionally, EMOMs can help people who are new to interval training learn how to effectively push themselves and gauge the rest they need or adjust the effort level if needed. With EMOMs, “you’ll kind of naturally fall into a rhythm,” explains Revier. “If you’re pushing too hard and you’re not getting adequate rest, it’s going to force you to slow down during the next minute.”

Lastly, because EMOMs are most often high-intensity, they’re a super-efficient way to work out. They allow you to reap serious benefits in a short period of time, making them an ideal choice for the busy cyclist.


4 EMOM Workouts for Cyclists

Eager to try EMOMs for yourself? Here, four EMOM workouts designed specifically for cyclists. Revier designed the first three workouts; Pierson developed the fourth.

Workout 1: Total-Body Dumbbell EMOM

This strength-based EMOM specifically targets the backside of your body as a way to counteract the imbalances typically seen with cycling, which favors your anterior muscles (front of the body). You’ll need a pair of dumbbells.

Exercises:

  1. Deadlift
  2. renegade row
  3. bicycle crunch
  4. mountain climber
    1. How to do it:

      • Start your timer.
      • Do 8 to 10 reps of the deadlift. Rest for the remainder of the minute.
      • Do 8 to 10 reps of the renegade row (on each arm) at the top of the second minute. Rest for the remainder of the minute.
      • Do 8 to 10 reps of the bicycle crunch (on each side) at the top of the third minute. Rest for the remainder of the minute.
      • Do 8 to 10 reps of the mountain climbers (on each side) at the top of the fourth minute. Rest for the remainder of the minute.
      • Repeat 3 to 5 times, for a total of 12 to 20 minutes.

        Workout 2: EMOM cycle

        This EMOM takes place on the bicycle and is centered on extended sprints. It helps train your anaerobic threshold, which as we mentioned, can translate to stronger hill climbing and better performance in breeds. Your goal is to reach the same distance and intensity level every minute.

        How to do it:

        • We have stationary bike, set your resistance to a level that is challenging for you and pick a distance goal that’s doable in less than a minute. A quarter-mile is a good place to start.
        • Start pedaling and once you hit your distance goal, slow down for the remainder of the minute.
        • At the start of the next minute, increase your resistance and sprint again until you hit the distance goal.
        • Repeat for 5 total rounds or a total of 5 minutes if you’re a new cyclistor keep going for up to 10 to 20 rounds/minutes if you’re more advanced.

          Workout 3: Kettlebell Ladder EMOM

          You’ll complete this workout as a pyramid-style rep scheme, meaning you’ll gradually increase the number of reps, then gradually decrease the number of reps you perform. You will need a medium to heavy kettle bell.

          Exercises:

          1. kettlebell swing
          2. Upright row
          3. Goblet squat
          4. overhead press
          5. Bent-over double-hand row (hold kettlebell with both hands, in a bent-over position, palms facing you as you row)
            1. How to do it:

              • You’ll do all five exercises every minute. Start with 2 reps of each exercise, then rest until the next minute.
              • Do 3 reps of each exercise, then rest until the next minute.
              • Do 4 reps of each exercise, then rest until the next minute.
              • Do 5 reps of each exercise, then rest until the next minute.
              • Next, decrease the rep count until you’re back at 2 reps of each.
              • End here or repeat the ladder one more time, back up and back down.

                Workout 4: Bodyweight EMOM

                This EMOM workout combines cardio and lower-body strength work. The high-knees mimic the forward-driving motion of cycling.

                Exercises:

                1. High knees
                2. reverse lunges
                  1. How to do it:

                    • Do 40 high knees (20 on each side), then rest for the remainder of the minute.
                    • Do 20 reverse lunges on your right side, then rest for the remainder of the minute.
                    • Do 40 high knees (20 on each side), then rest for the remainder of the minute.
                    • Do 20 reverse lunges on your left side, then rest for the remainder of the minute.
                    • Continue this pattern for 4 to 5 total rounds or 16 to 20 minutes total.

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