Wednesday 6.10: What’s in a WOD : EMOMs

We are still very early into our Phase 1 of re-opening and I know everyone is very much on their own level and pace with their training. I very much advise following the programming here as best you can. If you are coming and working out around the facility you have everything you need at your disposal. Regardless of how fit you stayed in the quarantine you need to ease back into using barbells, other weights. Also on the other end of it, there is such a thing as over training. I will leave you with this…I coached multiple high level athletes through years of CF Games training and never did I ever have them do more than 1.5 hours of training at a time and more than 3 hours of training in a day and that would happen (3 hours) only 1 time in a week. Otherwise it was 1.5 hours or less of efficient, effective training.

Enough with that. Let’s talk about today’s WOD and the reason behind it. First just a little bit of background info on EMOM in general. EMOM, or Every Minute On the Minute, is a time domain used for a variety of reasons. In strength work using powerlifts (squat, deadlift, press) I use it to try and push people to lifting heavier weight than usual in high rep settings. You won’t be able to max out like normal because of the lessened rest, but you will be able to lift more weight than you would in a WOD setting. The idea is trying to get a healthy mix stimulus of moving heavyish weight under the strain of not being able to fully recover. I like this to help athletes break through barriers they might have with certain weights because you can often get up past the 80% line of “working” and really get the body into growth mode with this type of training.

This is why I usually program it in the middle of our strength cycles when we are through the more normal sets and reps way of lifting and are gearing up for the heavy weeks ahead setting up max out weeks. When talking about olympic lifts it is mostly used by me to help athletes break through mental barriers. When we lift this way we don’t have all the time to sit and think about the lift when it gets to difficult weights, so often times I have found that people are able to hit PRs when lifting in EMOMs because it gets rid of that mental part. Also because us functional fitness lifters tend to lift very much under our absolute max strength we are able to get our EMOM weights close to our maxes every time we lift relative to the rep scheme.

Now using EMOMs for conditioning work is a different story. When I program for our community I am programming for a lot of people. A lot of different people, different in skill and fitness level but also different in where they are currently in their fitness relative to their usual fitness. In a time like this I assume that most people coming back to the gym are going to need some time to build up their fitness with this type of training to not hurt themselves.

EMOMs are great because it allows for both slowly easing into training while also allowing for breaking yourself, all depending on your ability. If you came into the gym still trying to get yourself back into shape then today’s WOD gave you plenty of work with plenty of time to rest after each work set. Even in the slowest, worst set you probably had at least 20 seconds to rest. This gave you the chance to take your time and stay under control while still getting some intensity by doing the sets unbroken thanks to the rest.

The same concept applies, however, to people who are coming in with high fitness and ability to apply intensity. This type of person was probably able to do every set unbroken in 20-30 seconds max. This would certainly tire them out over time but the rest they got allowed them to maintain this over the entirety of the workout.

This is why the EMOM is special. Think about a “normal” workout like an AMRAP or a for time thing. Once you get your heart rate up and you are breathing for life you rarely perform for 30 seconds straight for unbroken sets. This is simply due to fatigue and your ability to recover and keep working. Once we are at our peak intensity, however, is where we gain the most fitness from the work we do, so doing unbroken work pays the biggest dividends possible. Since the EMOM from today gave us that 30 second or so of rest, the people going balls to the wall intensity wise were probably able to keep going unbroken sets of Wall Ball and KB Swings the entire 14 minutes all the way through.

Since most people reach their V02 max, a sign of being at max capacity intensity wise, by round 4, that meant people pushing hard today were able to get 10 minutes of work in their highest capacity possible and still do unbroken set of about 30 seconds. Again this rarely happens when we are in this peak level of our capacity in other types of time domains, making the EMOM truly unique when programmed the right way.

That last line is probably the most important part of all of this. Just because something is an EMOM doesn’t mean it’s going to work this perfectly for everyone as today’s could have. Movements, reps, preceding and trailing work all factor into how a day of programming is going to go. This is why I suggest you stick to the programming as best you can regardless of your ability or your intentions because that is what guarantees you to get the most out of your training. Deviating from the programming randomly only leads to overtraining, off training, or missing the virtuosity that comes from a day like this if it is approached with the right intention and preparation.

Obviously there is room for other work to be done that doesn’t fall into the day’s programming, such as olympic lifting work, skill work, or conditioning work. I’m not saying you can or should ONLY do the programming I lay out, I am just saying one runs the risk of losing out on getting the absolute most out of the programming each day if they overtrain without intent. Which brings me to mention I will be announcing a great new programming program that will be offered at CrossFit Lando for individualized weakness work of any kind. More on that another day.

So anyways. That is that on the EMOM. Whenever there are EMOMs programmed for strength remember the idea is to try and lift the heaviest weight you can for the most reps you can on that day. When it’s the WOD it is meant to allow for max intensity regardless of your fitness ability. When scaled properly an EMOM that is quality programming will always give you enough rest to be able to keep your intensity during your work usually higher than other times since you can often times keep sets unbroken.

And that’s that!


Strength: Deadlift

WOD: 4 Rounds
Row 500m
7 Wall Climbs

S: Row 400m, 4 Scaled Wall Climbs
L1: 5 Wall Climbs
Rx+: Row 600m

Extra Work
1. Low Bar Back Squat
EMOM 12m: 1 Rep w 5s pause in bottom. Heavy but focus on perfect form/torso position

2. 50 Step Back Barbell Lunges, heaviest able to do at least 6 reps

Core: 2:00/1:00r each couplet
10 Situp and Reach (5/5) legs apart
10 Leg Circles (5/5)

10 Hollow Rocks
10 Plank Push-ups

10 Mountain Climber Toe Tap (each)
10 Plank Knee to Elbow (each)

Hollow Hold
5 Side Plank Leg Raises (each side)

WOD: 1:00 each element, 4 Rounds
Double Mountain Climbers
Overhead Squat March
– Rest