This EMOM Workout with Amanda Butler Combines Cardio and Strength Training

All you need to knock out this EMOM workout are a pair of dumbbells and 18 minutes.

How you set the intensity of your reps can help strengthen not just the muscles you see in the mirror but also one behind the scenes that provides power — namely, your heart.

Consider how you're constructing your workouts. With EMOM workouts — every minute, on the minute — you try to complete a set as fast as you can within a minute to maximize the breather you get before the next minute (and set) strikes. The best EMOM workouts will give you a cardio challenge you without taking up a lot of your time. (

You can also focus on increasing the intensity of your exercises. In an American Council on Exercise (ACE) study, former nonexercisers who did six weeks of heavier lifting, using weights they could perform only five reps with, got as strong or stronger than those who did 10 reps with moderate weights, and they were the only group who significantly lowered their blood pressure and LDL ("bad") cholesterol. That translates to a fitter ticker. "Plus, these results took less than half the time to accomplish than with the moderate-intensity training," says Cedric X. Bryant, Ph.D., the chief science officer for ACE.

Another way to hit the high-intensity spot in strength training is by doing reps for speed. You won't crank your heart muscle quite the way you would doing pure cardio sprintervals on a treadmill, but you do net a "happy compromise," says Bryant. "You're going to get some muscular training benefit and a fair dose of cardio," he explains. "If the exercise is challenging enough where you can talk but not sing, you are in the heart-strengthening zone."

To help get you there in your next sculpt session, Shape went to Amanda Butler, a trainer in New York through Aaptiv, whose specialty is high-intensity strength training. "For me, I like to mix up my routine," she says. "I dedicate one day to upper-body heavy lifting, another to lower-body heavy lifting, and another to HIIT-style training with weights such as this EMOM workout."

For the EMOM-style dumbbell circuit she created exclusively for Shape Studio, Butler built in compound movements that will work all your major muscles. Think a lunge-curl and a sumo dead lift to a high pull. The EMOM exercises are "not only an efficient use of time but also an effective way to build muscle and stamina at once," she says. (

Trying EMOM workout exercises is a simple yardstick for seeing your progress. "If you're able to finish your reps faster and don't feel as out of breath as you did before, that indicates you are progressing cardiovascularly — and that it's time to up the weight or reps," she says. Ready to set a personal best?

Cardio-Strength EMOM Workout

How it works: You'll do this workout EMOM style. Start with the first move; you have 1 minute to crank out the reps, then rest for any time you have remaining. At the top of the next minute, you do the next move, etc. until you're done with all six moves. Try to complete 3 rounds for a total of 18 minutes.

You'll need: A set of medium-weight dumbbells.

Push-Up to Renegade Row

A. Start in a high plank position with hands on dumbbells and feet slightly wider than hip-width.

B. Do 1 push-up, lowering chest toward floor, keeping core engaged.

C. Row the right dumbbell up to right ribs, keeping hips square and pulling elbow toward ceiling. Lower right dumbbell to the ground.

D. Repeat on the left side. That's 1 rep.

Do 10 reps.

Front Rack Squat

A. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, racked on tops of shoulders so the dumbbells are parallel to the ground. Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and toes turned slightly out.

B. Inhale to lower into a squat until thighs are parallel to the ground (or lower, if possible).

C. Press into feet and exhale to stand, squeezing glutes at the top.

Do 20 reps.

Lateral Lunge Curl

A. Hold a dumbbell in each hand by sides to start.

B. Take a big step out to the right, bending right knee to 90 degrees and sitting hips back, left leg straight but not locked. Lower dumbbells on either side of the right leg.

C. Push off the right foot to return to start. Hammer curl the dumbbells up to shoulders, keeping palms facing in. Lower dumbbells to sides. That's 1 rep.

D. Repeat, lunging on the left side and then doing another bicep curl. Continue alternating.

Do 10 reps.

Sumo Deadlift to High Pull

A. Start standing with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes turned out. Hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of hips, palms facing towards body.

B. Keeping a slight bend in the knees, hinge at the hips with a flat back to lower dumbbells along the front of thighs to shin height. (Stop when you feel a stretch in the hamstrings.)

C. Squeeze glutes to return to standing, then drive elbows up to pull dumbbells up to chest height.

D. Lower dumbbells to return to start.

Do 20 reps.


A. Start standing with feet hip-width apart, toes slightly turned out, with a dumbbell lying horizontally on the floor between feet.

B. Squat and reach down to grab the dumbbell with the right hand (arm is fully extended).

C. Stand up explosively, pushing through legs then driving the right hand up the front of the body body with elbow wide, extending arm overhead, bicep by ear, with a flick at the top.

D. Reverse the movement to lower the dumbbell between feet, keeping it close to the body throughout movement.

Do 10 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

Dumbbell Plank Pull-Through

A. Start in a high plank position with a dumbbell lying on the floor off to the left side of the body, perpendicular to body.

B. Keeping core engaged and hips square, reach the right arm underneath the body to grab the dumbbell and drag it to the right side of the body. That's 1 rep.

C. Repeat, using left hand to drag the dumbbell back to start. Continue alternating.

Do 20 reps.

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