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Attacking those Longer EMOMs
Written by Cat Blatner

If you follow any of the Invictus online programs then you know exactly what I am referring to. The dreaded 30-minute EMOMs (every minute on the minute) that crush souls and make grown men flop on the floor at the 30-minute mark like they are dead, twitchy creatures that just completed an extended battle for their life. Sound dramatic? Well, you should see the aftermath.

You might ask..How does one push to that point? How can they look that miserable, be in so much physical pain and exhaustion but still push through?

Well, that is all in how you attack it. EMOMs are super mental but with a calm and collected mind you can make it through even the worst of CJ’s torture. Here is how to do it:

One Minute at a Time

If you are counting down the entire EMOM then you will just overwhelm yourself. Take each minute as it comes, focus on the movements and how much rest you get in that minute. For example, instead of thinking, “Ugh, I have 25 more minutes left!!” Try to tell yourself, “Ok, this minute all I have to do is 12 burpees and I can rest a bit.”

Be Your Own Cheerleader

As I said before, EMOMs are very mental to say the least. If you are constantly thinking about how hard it is or anticipating the challenge ahead, you will only demotivate yourself. Keep a positive mind and your body will follow with a boosted performance. Never allow self doubt or self destructive comments enter your mind. Ignore all negativity and replace those thoughts with encouraging reinforcement.

Find Your Resting Minute

Now, every workout is different, but often times you can find a minute that acts as your “resting minute.” For example, yesterday I did a workout that consisted of the following movements:

Min 1: 45 seconds of rowing
Min 2: 20 KBS
Min 3: 15 Burpees
Min 4: 12 Heavy Lunges
Min 5: 5 Strict Pull-Ups

Now, this workout is fairly simple to dissect. Looking at it you can see very clearly which station will be my “rest” and that will be the pull-up station. Knowing I had a minute where I could allow my heartrate to come down was very motivating as I completed each round. This also means you must make the most of this minute. If I hunch over breathing heavy or sit down and think about how terrible this workout feels, I won’t allow myself to rest in this minute. After finishing my 5 pull-ups, I stood tall and took big deep breaths with slow and steady exhales. As the next round approached, I walked calmly over to my erg to strap my feet in and prepared for my next round.

Know When to Push and Know When to Glide

Sometimes it is very important to push the pace on whatever task you have been given in order to fit all of the work into a minute and sometimes it’s better to work at a steady pace so you don’t spike your heart rate. Let’s take the above workout for example again. I know I must push the pace of the row because that is the point of that entire minute is max calories in 45 seconds. Because I know my heart will be racing when I come off of the erg, it will be important to go at a steady pace on the kettlebell swings. This will act as my “gliding” minute where I am not sprinting through the movement but just working at a moderate pace. I know that my next minute is burpees and I will need to move through those pretty quickly in order to give myself time to transition to my lunge. My lunge station will be very challenging because of the weight but because the rep count is fairly low I know that I can breath and move at a steady pace to finish the allotted reps in the one minute time period with plenty of rest before going into my “rest minute.”

The longer you do CrossFit, the more you will learn that mental fortitude is such an acquired skill. It takes lots of practice to lose self doubt and attack challenges with confidence and determination. Whether you are attacking a horrible metcon that just doesn’t seem to end or a challenge in your life, it is always important to focus on what you can control. Ease your mind by focusing on small goals throughout the workout and never try to bite off more than you can chew. A strong mind along with a solid attack plan can make all of the difference!

Also Check Out…

Breaking The Mental Barrier

Breaking It Down: How To Get Thru A Long Grueling Workout

How To Approach A Workout