Traffic Light Training

How to Manage your Yearly workout calendar.

I know that most people rarely think of their workout in terms of the year, in fact most only think of the upcoming week

The calendar is the single greatest training tool you have for success. The training diary and the food journal are also absolutely necessary, but these two tools both tell you your history:

What you ate and what you worked (input and output)

The calendar is proactive. The calendar gives you ideas about where you want to go and a bit of a roadmap to this destination.

I first heard Dan John teach about the idea of traffic light training back at perform better in 2012. The traffic light idea, is diving your yearly calendar into Green light workouts, Yelllow light workouts and red light workout.

Green you can focus on challenges and programs that demand focus, drive, and intensity It’s not a lifetime commitment! It normally is 6 days of workout 60-90 minutes long, and perfect clean eating for three or six weeks, you can pound through the pain

Green light training you can be a little crazy, with long hard workouts, followed by lots of sleep and recovery, and modalities to keep you healthy. This phase is very hard to sustain past 6 weeks.

Yellow means caution, slow down and get ready to just punch the clock (your typical average joe workout) Its an opportunity to understand that  perhaps for long stretches, where you need to get your workouts finished, eat fairly clean, and take care of basic recovery. This is normally 3-4 workouts a week and good eating.


Red, of course, means stop… well sort of… you never really stop ;o) There are certain situations that come up in life that don’t allow for time at the gym. But movement and activity (like brushing your teeth and good hygene) need to be a constant. So these peropds have short sporadic workouts.  Ideally it is 2 45 min  workouts a week and one activity

Every person has a natural red,yellow and green period in their life.

School teachers for example. Green months are end of June- middle of August, September is almost a red month. October and November are yellow. 2 weeks in December are red, while christmas break is a green. Jan-March is yellow. Apr-beginning of June is red. And so it goes. so there is never really falling off the wagon. But prioritizing everything.

Now what if you currently only workout 2-3 days per week? You my friend are in a red/yellow holding pattern… if you really want to make big changes you better step it up to Green for 6 weeks. Now that holding pattern is also just fine, and you deserve a big congratulations! You have figured out how to make a sustainable lifestyle change! But just know where you are and where you are heading, and be realistic with your goals.



Download a calendar here to get you started. Traffic Light Training

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *