Breaking Down EMOM vs. AMRAP Workouts

Our Gold’s Gym expert compares these popular fitness approaches and explains how they can help you reach your goals.
by goldsgym

As strength and conditioning programs have gained popularity in recent years, so have two commonly used fitness acronyms:

EMOM (every minute on the minute)
AMRAP (as many reps as possible)

These are terms for workout methods that will help increase your strength, endurance and volume of movement to improve your mobility and general physical preparedness.

According to Gold’s Gym fitness expert Steven Harris, you’re likely doing one of these types of workouts in your own fitness routine without realizing it.

“Whenever you think, ‘I’m going to do this number of moves in a minute,’ or when you push yourself to do more reps in the same amount of time, you’re doing a version of EMOM or AMRAP,” Harris says.

EMOM workout: Every minute on the minute

In an EMOM workout, you perform a specific move at the start of every minute. Then you repeat the pattern a designated number of times for the duration of the routine.

For example, if the workout is four moves done 10 times each, you might have a minute to complete each set of 10. If you finish the set before the minute is up, you are allowed the remaining time to rest.

“This workout teaches you to move well and focuses on correct form and quality reps to build strength,” Harris says. “It’s also good for dedicating time to areas where you need improvement.”

Are you aiming to do an unassisted pull-up, for instance? An EMOM workout with moves that target your arms, shoulders, back and abdomen will build up those muscles to help you reach that goal.

AMRAP workout: As many reps as possible

In an AMRAP workout, you perform a specific move as many times as possible within a designated amount of time. Using the previous example, you would have a minute per move to do as many of the four moves as you can, resting along the way as needed.

“This is more of a conditioning approach, teaching you to move well, fast,” Harris says. “A lot of people call this a circuit.”

He recommends that beginners consult a Gold’s Gym expert when planning an AMRAP workout to make sure the moves target a variety of muscle groups.

“Be careful not to do too much of one thing, because it can increase the likelihood of overtraining and the potential for injury if you aren’t doing the moves correctly.”

Beginner-level workouts

Try this eight-minute bodyweight workout in both styles to see which of the fitness acronyms you prefer.

Bodyweight Squat
Squats (minutes one and five)
Push-Up
Push-ups (minutes two and six)
Burpee
Burpees (minutes three and seven)
Sit-Up
Sit ups (minutes four and eight)

EMOM goal: Do each move 10 times per designated minute.

AMRAP goal: Do as many of each move as you are able per designated minute. Keep track of how many you do.

“Focus on being competitive with yourself,” Harris says. “These workouts are designed to measure your output and to use again to see how you’ve improved.”

 

Now that you know what these fitness acronyms stand for, see how you can apply an EMOM or AMRAP approach to some of our other workouts:

5-Minute Stress Reliever Bodyweight Workout
Activate Your Glutes In 7 Moves
Your 25-Minute Lunch Break Workout

Learn about GOLD’S STUDIO® training options, including  GOLD’S FIT®. Follow our GOLD’S STUDIO® Instagram Page to see the workout of the day.