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6 EMOM Barbell Workouts to Forge Mental Toughness for CrossFit Athletes (Full Beginner, Scaled and RX Options)

Build a stronger and more resilient mind for CrossFit.

“EMOM” stands for Every Minute On the Minute, which is when you begin a specified number of repetitions of some movements or exercises at the start of one minute and then rest for whatever time you have left until the top of the next minute.

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“EMOM 12 min” means: every minute on the minute for 12 minutes, do the specified exercises.

EMOM workouts are usually short, 10-20 minutes long (but can be shorter or longer), and are typically designed to allow for some rest before the top of each work interval. These built-in work and rest periods make EMOM a form of interval workout. They can be great for practicing pacing and working on conditioning, but are also a good format for strength training, to force attempts of a lift on a specified cadence.

EMOMs can be every minute, every 2 minutes, every 3 minutes, etc. For example, “E2MOM” means each 2 minutes, where you have 2 minutes to perform some amount of work. This can also be written as EOMOM (every other minute on the minute). “E3MOM” means each 3 minutes, etc.

Depending on the workout an EMOM workout may be simply scored as the total number of full rounds completed, or the weight used.

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Browse through these EMOM Barbell Workouts and choose your next workout.

1. BERGERON BLEEP TEST

EMOM for as Long as Possible
7 Thrusters (75/55 lb)
7 Pull-Ups
7 Burpees
Each minute on the minute (EMOM), starting at the top of the minute, complete one round. Rest the remainder of the minute. Repeat and continue until no longer able to complete a full round in under 1 minute.

Score is total number of rounds completed before becoming unable to complete a round before the start of the next minute.

Tips and Strategy

Strategy for this one is slow down and aim to have each round done in 50 seconds. Don’t go all out at the start. Be ready to pick up the barbell as soon as the next minute starts. And remember to breathe!

Intended Stimulus

Creator, coach Ben Bergeron says the following about this conditioning test: “This test makes it easy to compare athletes across a spectrum of sizes, locations, and regardless of skill or equipment…This is also an incredible test of mental toughness, as it is very easy to give up on this workout mentally before your body actually reaches failure. Basically, this is a test of ‘Whatcha-got?’”

Scaling Options

Scale the volume as needed to get a minimum of 10 minutes of work. The athlete can also scale the skill level (see: Pull-Up Scaling).

Intermediate
EMOM for as Long as Possible
5 Thrusters (75/55 lb)
5 Pull-Ups
5 Burpees

CrossFit Games Burpee Workout

Beginner
EMOM for as Long as Possible
3 Thrusters (75/55 lb)
3 Ring Rows
3 Burpees

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2. MACHO MAN

EMOM for as Long as Possible
3 Power Cleans (185/135 lb)
3 Front Squats (185/135 lb)
3 Jerks (185/135 lb)
Each minute on the minute (EMOM), starting at the top of the minute, complete one round of 3 Power Cleans, 3 Front Squats and 3 Jerks. Rest the remainder of the minute. Take the barbell from the ground. Do not use a rack.

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Score is the total number of rounds completed before becoming unable to complete a round prior the start of the next minute.

Good Score for “Macho Man”
– Beginner: 7-9 rounds
– Intermediate: 10-12 rounds
– Advanced: 13-15 rounds
– Elite: 16+ rounds

Tips and Strategy

To get a good score in this WOD, go as unbroken as possible for as long as possible: 3 unbroken Power Cleans, directly into 3 unbroken Front Squats, directly into 3 unbroken Jerks. Anytime you put down the barbell during the 9 repetitions, you have to complete at least 1 unnecessary rep. This causes more muscular fatigue and takes away more of your (already limited) time. Go unbroken to find success in “Macho Man.”

Intended Stimulus

“Macho Man” should feel moderately heavy right from the beginning. It should not feel light. The first 5-7 minutes of this WOD should feel pretty doable but after minute 7, the muscular fatigue and breathlessness should be real.

At the end of “Macho Man,” you should feel almost as much mental exhaustion as you do physical: a WOD that requires such a fierce race against the clock will challenge your mental fortitude.

Scaling Options

Choose a load where you can complete all movements in 30 seconds or less for the first several minutes. The load should feel moderately heavy. If you’re brand new to these movements, scale the complexity (see: Beginner B) of the movements so you can get the metabolic benefits of a loaded barbell.

Beginner A
3 Power Cleans (135/95 lb)
3 Front Squats (135/95 lb)
3 Jerks (135/95 lb)

Beginner B
3 Deadlifts (95/65 lb)
3 Front Squats (95/65 lb)*
3 Push Presses (95/65 lb)*
*For the Beginner B option, set up 2 barbells. Take the Front Squats and Push Presses from a rack.

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3. PECAN PIE

Every 3 Minutes on the Minute in 15 minutes
3 Cleans (255/165 lb)
6 Bar Muscle-Ups
9 Bar Facing Burpees
Complete all 3 movements within a 3-minute window and rest the remaining time. Complete 5 total rounds.

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Scoring

Not scored. Just finished Rx, Intermediate or Scaled.

Scaling

Intermediate
Option A:
Every 3 Minutes on the Minute in 15 minutes
3 Cleans (225/115 lb)
6 Banded Bar Muscle-Ups
9 Step Over the Bar Burpees

Option B:
Every 3 Minutes on the Minute in 15 minutes
3 Cleans (185/95 lb)
6 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
9 Step Over the Bar Burpees

Beginner
Every 3 Minutes on the Minute in 15 minutes
3 Cleans (95/65 lb)
6 Ring Rows
9 Burpees

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4. BIRD BOX

For Time
5,000/4,000 meter Row
Every 4 minutes perform 20 Shoulder-to-Overheads (135/95 lb)
The athlete begins rowing until the 4:00 minute mark. The athlete gets off of the rower and performs 20 shoulder-to-overheads. After completing 20 reps, the athlete continues to accumulate meters on the rower. The workout is done when the athlete accumulates 5,000 m.

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Scaling

Intermediate
For Time
3000 meter Row
20 Shoulder-to-Overheads (95/65 lb)*

*Perform every 4 minutes.

Beginner
For Time
2000 meter Row
12 Shoulder-to-Overheads (65/45 lb)*

*Perform every 4 minutes.

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5. TTTTD35

EMOM For Total Load in 10 minutes
Odd Minutes:
25 Double-Unders
6 Bar Facing Burpees
1 Clean
Even Minutes:
Rest
Work must be completed within the minute. If you make your lift you MUST add weight with a minimum of 5 lb increase. If you miss you can try again at that same weight within the minute. If you fail to complete a clean within the minute, you can drop weight for your next minute.

Score is the sum of 5 successful lifts. Tiebreak is the heaviest lift out of the 5 successful lift.

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Scaling

EMOM For Total Load in 10 minutes
Odd Minutes:
25 Single-Unders
6 Bar Facing Burpees
1 Clean

Even Minutes:
Rest

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6. JACKHAMMER

Every 3 minutes For as Long as Possible
12 Deadlifts (205/135 lb)
6 Strict Handstand Push-Ups
12 Hand Release Push-Ups
18 Burpees
With a running clock, every 3 minutes perform the prescribed work for as long as possible. Once the athlete fails to complete the prescribed work in the 3-minute window, the workout is done.

Score is the total number of rounds and repetitions completed.

bodyweight emom workouts

Tips and Strategy

2-3 rounds will be a solid and worthwhile effort. However, many of you may achieve much more than that. Think of having the ability to get all the reps unbroken for a few rounds as a good starting point.

Scaling Options

Scale the loading and reps to allow 2:00-2:30 minutes of work and 1:00-0:30 minutes of rest to start. Kipping is not an option. If you need to scale the Strict Handstand Push-Ups, use a Pike Push-Up or a seated Dumbbell Strict Press.

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