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The Rolando Protocol


The Rolando Protocol has been refined through five decades of dose dependent peer reviewed double blind random controlled integrated sauna action from the rocky shores of Northern Minnesota, USA. Please check with your doctor before applying these protocols to your sauna regimen. Results may vary, as objects in your own mirror may be closer than they appear.

Round one: riding up yourself

As one looks at their WIFI app or pokes their head into the hot room for the first time, the thermometer shall not exceed 140f. (60c.) otherwise the experience will be “quite bad” and “not an authentic Rolando Protocol experience.” To the ire of orthodox sauna aficionados, It is perfectly acceptable to enter the hot room fully clothed and/or in work out gear.

Light stretching or sitting on the bench, as the heat comes up, you are able to de-clothing yourself slowly, and without regimen. More ire induction, it is acceptable to finish up a couple texts or emails on your smart phone device (Finnish Nokia or American Iphone/Android) while sitting on the sauna bench.

Instead of unwinding before you go in to the sauna, you are using the hot room as “street clothed unwind.” This is a long round. 3 times as long as a normal round. No less than 28 oz. of water shall be ingested during this round one. It is important NOT to drink filtered bottled water, as these brands are devoid of all minerals. Water shall be consumed throughout this first round. A good rule of thumb is to consume a large chug of water for each part of clothing is removed. Socks count.

Some might call this round one, some might call this a pre round. Either way, as you come up to heat, you come up to a Relaxed Sweat.*

If your average hot round is 10 minutes, this round can be up to 30 minutes. Finish a last minute text, a last minute note to yourself. This round within the Rolando Protocol allows for mistakes, like if you forgot your towel, or your water bottle. It is permissible to go in and out of the hot room during this round.

Round one is a dry round until complete nude up occurs. No water on rocks shall be doused or douse dependent until full de-clothe nude up is completed.

No waiver form is required for this round.

Rolando Protocol refinement along the shores of Lake Superior

Round one: cool down

Cold water plunging or immersion after this long first dry round is most often not administered, even with double negative speak. After round one heat up, yes, the body core temperature should be increased, but not to extent of seeking desired affects of cold water protocol administering.

Cool down could include some practical breath work such as sweeping of the sauna deck, playing with authorized children, vocalizing with partner, or myriad of other potential chores or busywork. Rolando Protocol allows for home improvement tasks or lifestyle choices that help one achieve mind and body calm. If partaking in sauna in cold climates with fresh snow, it is not uncommon to shovel the driveway whilst wrapped in a sauna towel during Round One cool down.

Round two: earn your steam

One enters the hot room for round two when the body is completely cooled. Hot room temperature for Round Two is such that the thermometer shall read approx. 160° – 180°f. (71°c – 182°c). Modifiable examples for maximally contracted positions on the bench may vary. Three syllable words next to each other are used to describe things that could be explained more simply. But then it wouldn’t be a sauna protocol.

“You go until you can’t take it anymore” explains Mr. Rolando. With this round, you can throw water on the rocks, yet it is important to earn your steam. Water shall be tossed on the rocks around the same time as sweat may begin to form on forehead. Deliberate steam exposure works in increasing dosages. It’s ok for some accidental steam over exposure, as measurable amounts of water can fall onto the floor instead of on the rocks. This is considered “218 over spray” named for the Northern Minnesota area code.

Rocks should be plenty hot for this round.

For wood burning sauna stoves: toss it on. For electric heated sauna heaters: sprinkle it on. Water on the rocks is dose dependent. 3/1 ratio of breathing vs. steaming is often a good rule of thumb. Be careful of possible Wet Noodle Syndrome as not all sauna stoves are strong enough to overcome dose dependent shit ton of water on rocks. (32 oz.).

Mr. Rolando refers to increasing amounts of water on the rocks as “slow rubber band theory” or The “relaxed rubber band.” Riding up the heat and the steam is the key protocol experience for Round two. We are able to take more steam riding the heat up to service temperature. A mantra can be: “Water, steam, take it.. hold. (repeat). Water, steam, take it.. hold. (repeat).” If one were to be paying $175 for a sauna session, it would be perfectly acceptable to have a guided experience whereby someone could be doing this for you. Rolando protocol allows for you to toss water on your own rocks, dose to your own dependence.

It is important not to leave the hot room until “the idea of an ice cold lake plunge is about the best idea you’ve ever heard.” (Royalty payments are available here). As you get to raise core body temperature in a slow pattern, you are building the effects of hyperthermia within the core of your body. Deep. At this stage, before exiting the hot room, It’s ok to be a low bench Larry, extending the hot round vs. rushing out the door from blasts of steam.

Round two: cool down

Cool down protocols must include some form of cold water or clean rinse, otherwise the dose dependent effects may not occur. Some may just want to towel off. For others, dumping 32 oz. of water over one’s head is enough. Still others may wish to immerse themselves in any one of 38 different cold plunge products being social mediazed by thousands of influencers. Alternative to all this, one may have invested into the gateway drug to cold plunge via a $72.99 stock tank (pre Covid pricing), ie. The Pyzyk Plunge™. Dejankification before cold plunge entry is required, either via outdoor shower or dumping 32 oz. of water over ones head.

In any case, the Round Two ool down is best experienced with fresh air. Shores of Lake Superior are said to provide 35% more endorphin release than basements. And it is not uncommon to enjoy a cold beverage as a possible norepinephrine transporter, but more clinical research may be needed to support this supposition.

If looking to try to impress others, one can slide in phraseology such as: “acetylcholine-mediated effects of the parasympathetic nervous system, which modifies most of the same organs into a state more conductive to rest and recovery.” Alternatively, for Rolando protocol, it is ok to just blurt out: “Gman, do you want a beer?”

Warning: Any alcohol consumption must be earned. Rolando protocol prohibits the dosages of any alcohol until at minimum end of round 2, as one “needs to earn it.”

The cool down shall be at least twice the length of Round 2 heat up. The introduction of music is permitted, and in some cases can contribute to parasympathetic recovery. However, heavy metal or lame ass country music is prohibited. For authorized music for Rolando protocol, check here.

Lake Superior Sauna
32 oz. of dose dependent cold water over one’s head after round two of Rolando protocol (photo: Brian Peterson)

Round three: hit it

The Rolando protocol is predicated on drinking a shit ton of water, in as much as tossing a shit ton of water on the rocks. However, as one enters the hot room for round three, steam is dose dependent and purely up to the discretion of the individual. This is where Northern Minnesota values of strength and fortitude may be shared either out loud or in one’s own mind. “You do what you normally like to do” is often a theme for round three. “Throw water if you want to” is Rolando Protocol. If someone (especially someone with a a German accent checking their waterproof watch) is telling you when it is time to make steam, that person shall be escorted to the property line.

A “guided experience” is not at all any part of Rolando Protocol. Anyone in the hot room looking to guide the experience for others shall be hit with 6-8 oz of cold water directly, aiming for their forehead is most effective location.

Time allotment for round three is generally 10-15 minutes. Toggling between upper and lower bench is dependent upon how one feels relative to the stratification of temperature within the hot room. Rolando Protocol supports hot room bench temperature differentials, with no reference to CAD drawings showing stick figure sauna bathers on the bench in cross section with arrows representing how air supposedly moves around the hot room. (and red X if feet are below rocks).

Round three: cool down

Follows same pattern as round two. Direct scolding for exiting hot room and into cold plunge tank without rinse is encouraged. No chores or physical activity is suggested for this cool down. Socialization potential is known to increase at this time. If partaking in a solo sauna, it is not uncommon for wires to become untangled in ones head. Reaching for cell phone is known to reduce goodness by 50%. Similarly, random cold exposure is more effective than deliberate cold exposure.

Random is more effective than deliberate

*Relaxed Sweat is also the name for a new fitness app. that comes with affiliate backlinks. The use of the term “relaxed sweat” is limited to Rolando Protocol with all rights reserved. Those that may experience a “relaxed sweat” may do so on their own, yet Rolando protocol should be acknowledged if sweat extends more than 30% of body area.

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