Bootcamp 101: The Workout Rotation

I’m adding a new topic to this blog about delivering awesome bootcamps. In addition to the other great information about kettlebells, nutrition, weight training, yoga, and cardio, I’ve decided that I should write about the amazing bootcamp program that I have at my fitness studio in Portland, Oregon. Today’s topic is the workout rotation.

This article should be helpful to you if you are a trainer and trying to figure out a way to design and structure your program, or if you are a home workout enthusiast, and need a safe and effective way of planning your workouts.

Workout Rotation

What Is A Workout Rotation?

In my program, the workout rotation is the way that I plan all of the bootcamp workouts that will be delivered throughout the month. The workout rotation serves several purposes:

  • The workout rotation ensures that we workout different areas of the body throughout the week.
  • It allows the members of my studio to know in advance what part of the body they will be working in class.
  • The workout rotation helps prevent injury.

Add Variety


I’m sure that you’ve all seen the fitness lunkheads. You might even have a few of them at your gym. These guys (typically guys) tend to only work out their upper bodies, and have bird legs.

The workout rotation ensures that this doesn’t happen to you. In my program, I break down the heart of the workout into what I call “Focus Areas”. These focus areas include: upper body days, lower body days, cardio days, and core days. The order of this workout rotation always stays the same, however, they are stacked so that if you are the type of person who only works out on certain days of the week, you’ll get different workouts throughout the month.

  • I consider upper body to include everything from the hips up.
  • I consider lower body to include everything from the ribs down.
  • Even on non-cardio days, the pace, intensity, and types of exercises often add an element of cardio.

The focus areas ensure that you receive a well-rounded program, and don’t overtrain any particular region of your body. Overtraining regions of your body creates imbalances, and can lead to injuries down the road. I’m a big proponent of finding balance in all things.

Finding balance in your workout involves consideration of the types of exercises that you do, and the locations of the body that are being worked. In order to find balance in your fitness, you have to work all regions of your body. You need a variety of focus areas.

Create Expectation

Another good thing about having a workout rotation is that the members of your studio or program will have an expectation of what they’re getting themselves into. No one likes to be blindsided by a workout surprise! You’ll discover that the people you train will have favorite focus areas, and actually look forward to certain ones.

Additionally, the people taking your program can look ahead on the calendar and plan their weeks and months accordingly. My clients look at the workout rotation so that they can determine which workouts they need to fit in this week, and arrange their schedules accordingly if necessary.

Prevent Injury

Overtraining parts of your body, and creating imbalances is no laughing matter. I had my own overuse injury last year when I developed tendonitis in my biceps. It took me months and months to get over it. Just read through the internet to find stories of Crossfitters injuring themselves through too much of the same repetitive movements.

Having a set schedule of focus areas can ensure that all of the body’s regions receive sufficient time to recover between workouts.

Does your routine involve a workout rotation? Let me know! Also, if you have any questions about my workout rotation or group fitness class planning, I’d be happy to have a conversation about it in the comments below!

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