20-Minute Workout: EMOM

Boost your metabolism and strengthen every major muscle group with this training method.

While you can carve a tantalizingly toned body in less than a half hour, we’re here to tell you what you already know: To reap the rewards—increased calorie burn, strength, power, blissful endorphin high—truncated workouts must be insanely intense. So we asked a team of Equinox trainers and group fitness instructors what they would do if they were given just 20 minutes to have at it. Here is the latest in the series:

The Pro: Joseph Sigismondo, Tier X manager at Equinox Columbus Circle

The Workout: You’ve done circuit training, supersets, and Tabatas. Switch things up by programming your workouts in an EMOM format. An abbreviation for “Every Minute On the Minute,” EMOMs involve completing a certain exercise, or multiple exercises, at the top of each new minute for a set number of minutes. The idea is that the faster you move through the exercise, the more time you get to rest. For example, you could do a 10-minute push-up EMOM where you do 15 reps at the top of each new minute. If you complete them in 40 seconds, you get 20 seconds to rest before starting again. If it takes you 55 seconds, you have just five seconds to rest.

“EMOM workouts are a fantastic way to build technique and skill, fit in a high volume of total sets and reps in a short amount of time, as well as to keep you accountable with rest so you get a conditioning effect,” says Sigismondo. “This workout combines those elements into one progressive 20-minute session.”

Minutes 1-5: Turkish Get Up

At the top of each minute perform 1 kettlebell Turkish get up per side with a KB that is 80 to 90 percent of your 1 rep max (a weight you could lift 2 to 3 times). “The work period for both repetitions will be about 30 to 40 seconds but intensity will be fairly low, leaving a short rest before the next minute,” says Sigismondo. “Repeating a technically challenging exercise for single repetitions with moderate rest at submaximal loads allows you to develop consistency with timing as well as optimize skill development. This primes the body to move efficiently through full ranges of motion in multiple planes, simultaneously enhancing mobility and stability.”

Minutes 6-15: Goblet Squat and Pull-Up

At the top of each odd minute, complete 4 to 6 reps of kettlebell goblet squats with a KB that is 75 to 80 percent of your 1 rep max (a weight you could lift 6 to 8 times). On the even minutes, do 4 to 6 pull-ups. “The work period of each minute should be less than 30 seconds, allowing for just enough rest before alternating to the next exercise,” says Sigismondo. “Using opposing movement patterns in alternative minutes allows for development of strength while also training different muscle groups in a short amount of time.”

Minutes 16-20: Kettlebell Swings and Cardio

In each minute complete 20 seconds of kettlebell swings (with a KB that you can confidently swing up to 20 times) followed immediately by 20 seconds of air bike, ski erg, or rower. “The work period here will be just longer than 40 seconds, and the intensity will be high, leading to incomplete recovery before the next minute,” says Sigismondo. “This trains your cardiovascular system to be more efficient at both low and high intensities, as well as increases the amount of calories burned.”