By now many of us are well aware that High-Intensity Interval Training workouts are the new black. The workouts are shorter and more intense. They are constructed with segments of hard work followed by segments of rest or lower intensity work that fires up the body to build strength and endurance, crazy fast. If you are not doing them, you should be and if you are doing them, good on ‘ya.
You may have even heard of Tabata workouts. Tabata has been embraced enthusiastically because it allows the participant to get a super intense workout in as little as four minutes. Working at 90% max for 20 seconds, and then a rest period of ten seconds for eight cycles is the basic design of the Tabata program.
But recently I discovered two other interval-style workouts, borrowed from the Crossfit industry, that will infuse your workout with new interval vigor!
Learn more about Tabata here
EMOM – “EVERY MINUTE ON THE MINUTE”
This workout is simply structured but yields big payback in strength and muscle endurance. The rules are simple. You chose an exercise and the number of reps you want to perform. Starting from the top of the one-minute timer, perform your chosen exercise.
Once you have completed the number of reps you set for yourself, you have the rest of the minute as your rest period. If the exercise is 20 push-ups and they take you 35 seconds to complete you have 25 seconds left on the clock to rest.
EMOM is not about going to failure or pulling out crazy fast reps. It is intended to be a safe way to build strength and muscle endurance while still providing a hefty challenge. EMOMs are a great way to monitor progress as well. As you improve, you will see that you have more rest time available or that you can start increasing the number of reps or the weight of the exercise.
The Trick: The trick with this interval plan is setting the right amount of reps so that it is challenging but still allows a little time for a rest period.
How I do it: Let’s take push-ups as an example. Before beginning the interval set, I do a slow set of push-ups for the full minute. That will be my starting number for during the EMOM workout. Then I set the clock and do the push-ups a little faster, so there is some rest period at the end. I don’t like to leave more than 30 seconds rest, so if I need to increase my reps, I will.
EMOM Interval Workouts
Beginner– 10 rounds for 10 minutes
5 push ups
Advanced – 20 rounds for 20 minutes
2 High Knees
2 Jumping Jacks
2 25-step line runs (Run 25 steps and touch the line. repeat)
AMRAP – “AS MANY ROUNDS AS POSSIBLE”
This is definitely a more intense workout. When you are bringing your body to its maximum ability it is very important you NEVER sacrifice form. Remember the last rep you do should be as perfect as the first one, or you have gone too far. The premise is simple. You set a time period. You pick an exercise or series of exercises, and you perform as many of what you have chosen in your time period. For example, if I picked push-ups and a 3-minute interval, I would set the timer and then do as many push-ups as I could in that 3 minute period. Remember that your time interval is going to dictate pace. If your time interval is only 5 minutes go hard my friend. If your time interval is 12 minutes, you may want to pace down slightly so that you can make it all the way through the twelve minutes.
The AMRAP model is excellent to conserve workout time, build strength and endurance and increase mental toughness. It is an incredible fat burner as well.
The Trick: The reality is you are going to have to just play with this one. I tried a jump rope AMRAP once that I thought was going to be easy and I could not even make it through half! Remember if you don’t make it through that is okay! You have somewhere to work from for the next time through.
AMRAP Interval Workout
Beginner –10 minutes
10 bodyweight squats
ADVANCED – 12 minutes
20 wall balls
Rules to follow for any interval workout
- Listen to your body and don’t push yourself to the puke zone
- Always pay attention to form. With such intensity, my recommendation is that you watch yourself in the mirror as much as possible so that you don’t lose track of your proper alignment.
- Always perform some warm-up exercises so that you are not starting an intense workout cold.
- Stretch after every session.
- Stay on the un-injured list! This level intensity is not intended to be performed daily. Consider keeping your HIIT-style workouts like Tabata, EMOM and AMRAP to a few times a week.
This week I challenge you to incorporate an EMOM, or AMRAP, into your workout. Remember you can convert just about any workout into this style of interval madness. Have fun!
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