The 4-Week Training Rotation

Matt Vann Les Mills RPM certified instructor

Matt Vann
Les Mills RPM certified instructor

I am currently working on my training plan for this summer and I wanted to share some information with you that might help you with your own training regimen!

The schedule that I’ve found to work really well for my body is the 4-Week Rotation.

The basic premise is that for the first 3 weeks your training load builds – increasing the time, distance, weight, or a different variable – and on the 4th week, you lower your training load so that your body can recover. 

Whether or not you’re training for a competition, using this rotation will yield great gains for your fitness! 

During your rotation, it is best to limit the increase in the training load by 10-20% weekly. Anything more than this increases the risk of injury and over-training. When making a training plan for an event it is best to take the last 1-2 weeks before the event as a taper period where you do very light exercises to allow the muscles time to rest and be ready for the event.

Here’s what the rotation looks like:

Week 1 - 80-90% training load
Week 2 - 90-100% training load
Week 3 - 110-120% training load
Week 4 - 60-70% training load

The following rotation is an example of how to use time as a way of manipulating your training load:

Week 1 - 50 minutes (Initial)
*Week 2 - 60 minutes (Build)
Week 3 - 70 minutes (Build)
Week 4 - 45 minutes (Recover)

*Week 5 - 60 minutes (Initial)
Week 6 - 70 minutes (Build)
Week 7 - 80 minutes (Build)
Week 8 - 50 minutes (Recover)

I’ve starred weeks 2 and 5 to highlight something: Notice how in my first 4-week rotation, Week 2 is 60 minutes. In my second 4-week rotation (weeks 5-8), the FIRST WEEK (Week 5) is the SAME as the SECOND WEEK (Week 2) in the first rotation. This is to ensure that you keep progressing.

Now you won’t always be able to increase time forever, so instead of going up to 1000 minutes, you can adjust a different variable like speed or weight or distance.

This is a great outline to follow if you’re ready to get serious about progressing in a sustainable way!