Keep'er Fit

Gary Wallace

Workouts you can do anywhere

IF you don’t fancy training for long periods of time, only have time for a quick workout or want something to finish your session off, then EMOMs, AMRAPs and/or TABATAs may be the answer to your prayers or even nightmares.

Before we break down what each individual one of these workouts stands for, they can all be classified as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT is a form of cardiovascular exercise in which extreme bursts of exercise are performed, which is then followed up by short recovery periods.

HIT is a fantastic way to get your recommended daily 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity. Sometimes we feel we don’t have the time, energy, motivation or will to hit this target every day. You might have a list of excuses like I can’t get away from work, it’s too dark, wet or cold, I can’t jog or the fire is lit and I can’t (don’t want to) leave the house! This is where these three types of workouts can come into play


An EMOM stands for Every Minute On the Minute. You pick a number of exercises, anything from four to six, a set number of reps for each exercise, and how many sets you are going to do. For example – three sets of squat x 25, lunge x 20, press-up x 15 and sit –up x 15.

You have one minute to complete each exercise and if you are done before that time is up, you use the remaining seconds to rest or add in a cardiovascular movement like jogging on the spot or star jumps. For example, if you perform 25 squats in 40 seconds you have 20 seconds to rest or do star jumps before you move onto 20 lunges. This example of a workout would take you 15 minutes, each set leading straight into the next. You can pick any type of exercise to do and can add in any equipment like kettlebells, bar bells, dumbbells etc.

The big plus of this method is that you can try almost every training mode using this in whatever time period you decide. A drawback is that it can be too easy or too hard if you don’t pick the correct rep range, resulting in too much rest or not enough.

An AMRAP stands for As Many Rounds As Possible. This method of workout will get you moving more towards your vigorous training load. There is prescribed rest between exercises or sets, you just keep going for a certain period of time.

Using the same exercise as above, you may want to change your rep range to reflect something like this. Squat x 15; lunge x 12, press-up x 10 and sit-ups x 10 for a total of eight minutes. This means that you keep repeating this set or round of four exercises without stopping for eight minutes. It’s a great way to get the heart rate up and for finishing any training session.

Unlike the other two styles of workout, Tabata isn’t a fancy acronym for anything. It originated in the research of Japanese scientist Dr Izumi Tabata and his team from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports at Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan, on high-intensity exercise during the early 1990s.


Their objective was to find out if short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by shorter rests might condition the body better than a continuous moderate-intensity exercise. The method they used for the high-intensity workouts, which I will explain below, helped increase participants’ aerobic and anaerobic capacities where the continuous moderate-intensity exercise had a mainly positive effect on just aerobic capacity.


The method they used consisted of a four-minute workout, four days a week, for six weeks; each workout consisted of eight sets of 20 seconds of exercise at maximum effort each followed by a ten-second rest.

To do the maths: (8 x 20) + (8 x 10) = 240 seconds (four minutes). The key for this method is to pick an exercise that you can push hard for 20 seconds for example a star jump or burpee. Sometimes I would choose four different high demanding exercises and repeat each one twice.

This is short and sharp but something you do a few times a week as a signal session or at the end of your workout.

So the next time you think you don’t have time to train or want to add that little bit extra into your training, try one of these workouts. Before you do that, please speak to a medical professional if you have an underlying health conditions or pervious injuries.

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