How to Use EMOTM Training

by FitStaff

Push UPs

To get a proper result producing metabolic resistance training workout you need to follow certain exercise principles.

However, even when sticking to those principles there is opportunity for a lot of variety in your workouts.

This will keep you from getting bored and allowing your workouts to be something really important for long term success…


One great technique for a training circuit is to use top of the minute rounds (aka, EMOTM or Every Minute On The Minute).

One example of this is to do 10 push ups. You start the clock then do your push ups.

However much time is left of a minute is your rest period. Every time a new minute starts you do your next set of push ups.

In fact, one of my favorite push up programs (other than my own, of course!) is from Jim Stoppani.

Jim uses two of my favorite techniques, density training and the every minute on the minute device to improve push up performance.

Basically, you start out doing “x” number of push ups every minute for a certain number of rounds.. You can add push ups per minute or add minutes to the workout (eventually adding both).

You might start with 8 push ups a minute for 8 minutes and work up to 8 push ups per minute for 12 minutes. Then you drop back to 8 minutes but do 10 push ups every minute (round).

Over time, you reduce the number of minutes (rounds or sets) but increase the number of push ups you do each minute, which reduces your rest period.

This is done in a staggered fashion of planned progression. You periodically take steps backward in order to improve your performance over time.

Over time, you will be getting about the same number of push ups per workout (it will go slightly up or down every workout with a long term upward progression) but doing so in less time (density training).

So at one point in your progression you might be knocking out 10 push ups per minute for 12 minutes (120 total push ups) and eventually work toward 15 push ups per minute for 8 minutes (still 120 push ups total but in 33% less time!)

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Okay, back to the metabolic resistance training circuit!

A great way to use the minute on the minute technique is to do it with a circuit. And you can use 2 minutes instead of 1.

Exercise Bikes

“This is SO boring! We should start doing
that EMOTM Training. Sounds like FUN!”

An example straight out of my metabolic training certification manual is to do 10 bodyweight squats followed by 10 push ups followed by 10 swings. You do this every 2 minutes (so it’s 10 rounds over a 20 minute period).

So it would be:

Start the clock.

  • 10 Bodyweight Squats
  • 10 Push Ups
  • 10 Two Hand Kettlebell Swings (or Dumbbell)

When two minutes are up, start round two and go for 10 rounds.

You can do this workout in a very small space, with minimal equipment, a dumbbell or kettlebell. Heck, the resistance might be lighter than you need but you could use a medicine ball or two gallon jugs of water (and do skier swings!).

The great thing about this workout is the almost limitless tweaks you can make to adjust it to your goals and fitness levels.

There are a large variety of push up and squat options.

With swings you can increase the resistance you use (either a dumbbell or kettlebell) and you can also use a variety of swings such as one hand (switch every five reps or alternate hands each time you do 10) or hand-to-hand (switch hands after every rep).

You can also work up in levels by doing more work in the same amount of time, thus increasing the density and intensity of the workout.

    Beginner: 10 reps per exercise
    Intermediate: 12 reps per exercise
    Advanced: 14 reps per exercise

If you adjust the exercises as well and perform versions that take more time, you might want to increase by only one rep per exercise – 10, 11, 12.

Push ups include:

    Kneeling Push Ups
    Feet wide push ups (easier than feet close together)
    Close grip (hands closer together) push ups
    Feet elevated push ups
    Hands elevated push ups
    Clap push ups
    Explosive push ups
    T Push Ups

Bodyweight Squats include:

    Prisoner squats
    Narrow stance squats
    Wide stance squats
    Low jump squats
    Jump Squats
    One legged squats
    Half squats
    Full squats
    Bowler Squat
    Bulgarian Split Squat
    Staggered Squat

You can do fewer rounds and use more difficult versions of the exercises or you can do more rounds for more endurance work. You could do explosive power work such as clap push ups, jump squats and heavy swings, doing fewer reps (say 5 per exercise per round) and taking more rest.

Like I said, within the principles, there is a lot of variety!

It’s can also be a way to get a solid, refreshing workout that burns calories but doesn’t wipe you out.

Give the Every Minute on the Minute metabolic resistance training circuit a try! Let me know what you think!

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Play Hard, Have Fun, Get Dirty!

IYCAA Endorsed Kettlebell Instructor
Author, Flat Belly Blueprint (Rated 5 out of 5 STARS on Amazon – only $2.99)

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