October 14, 2016


app exclusive ›   minion blog ›   thin air ›  

The forty minute climb you begged us NOT to make...

it was a dark and stormy night

It all started off as a bit of a laugh really. One cold, dark and miserable evening, while bouncing ideas for new workouts around SUF HQ, I turned to David "Chief Suffering Officer" McQuillen and said "You know what's really missing is a 30 minute climb." To which he replied "Why stop at 30 minutes?"

(Incidentally, this is a prime example of why the man is continually brought before the United Nation to answer questions about Human Rights violations.)

As soon as my legs stopped twitching in the conditioned fear response our videos inspire in me, I naturally agreed that a 40 minute climb would be an AWESOME ideas. So, we set about making this twisted idea into a reality.

After Sir Neal Henderson got involved we settled on our first 'summit finish' video, a session truly designed by Sufferlandrians for Sufferlandrians.

it's all well and good to dream up this stuff...

...but then you have to follow through with it. Once you realise that "If we make this we're going to have to do it too!" you start to understand why the average resting heart rate of a Minion is 220 BPM...

The story for the climb began to come together as we worked with footage from the 2016 Giro d'Italia. The race was packed full of attacks, breaks and amazing scenes of epic Suffering. Once GvA knit the footage together and the Minions programmed the workout into the app. it was ready for initial testing. Dave, being the brave one, was first.

While doing the workout, he looked like he was being beaten with a sledgehammer on fire. As soon as he got off (and that did take a little while) and stepped into the not-insignificant pool of Sufferlandrian Holy Water beneath him, he said only three words: "It's too easy.

The Minions knew what they had to do.

The surges became longer and harder, the attacks more frequent. More testing and more refining took place. Then, one day, it was my turn... 

Altitude sickness

I found myself in Hobart, Tasmania for a test run of Thin Air at one of two local Sufferlandrian Embassies.

The instructor that night was a real hard ass, but he kept the class motivated and focused on absolutely CRUSHING the climb, dropping Fireball and destroying The Shark (you'll find out who they are in the video). With Courageous Sufferlandrians by my side I knew I had to put my best effort in. Holy water was shed, curses muttered, efforts grovelled, lakes of Sufferlandrian Holy Water filled... it was sublime!

here's what your fellow sufferlandrians are saying about thin air

It may take awhile before you feel the full effects of Thin Air...

When you're compared to one of cinema's all-time best villains, you know you're doing something right! 

Allow us to paraphrase for Kelly: "I'm not crying! Pain is just leaving my body through my tear ducts!"

the workout 

Thin Air was unleashed onto the world after countless emails and posts on social media BEGGING us not to make anything like it. This inspired Sir Neal Henderson to no end.

A hallmark of Sir Neal's workouts are that you are constantly brought to the edge and walked back just a bit. Then you're shown that edge again, walked back, to the edge again, maybe over it, then back...and so on. Here's how he does it:

  • Thin Air features a generous warm up with a few brief efforts to stoke a Sufferlandrian's legs & lungs.
  • The warm up graduates to short, punctuated supra-threshold efforts as you battle for the Misery Prize in the foothills of Mt. Sufferlandria.
  • The 40 minute climb, the piece de resistance of Thin Air, features long efforts at, just below and just above threshold. GVA threw in multiple surges for good effect.
  • As you begin to fatigue from the repeated attacks, surges, cadence changes and cumulative effect of this endless effort, that's just when it starts to get HARD.
the story

We won't give much away, but just be on the lookout for The Shark. If he senses blood in the water he'll attack and shred every chamois in sight... and remember, Sufferlandrians don't get dropped! 

the footage

This year's Giro d'Italia featured some epic climbing stages and attracted some of the world's strongest climbers, including Esteban 'Chavito' Chaves, Steven Kruijswijk & Vincenzo Nibali. Here's a sample of the action:


 the music

If you're not in a hypoxic state you'll love the soundtrack for Thin Air, which is dominated by one of our favourite finds of late, the artist Paris Burns. "Bombs Away" kicks it at just the right time. Enjoy!


Why you should do thin air right now

It's your duty as a Sufferlandrian to soak up as much pain, misery & agony and convert it into honour, glory & VICTORY. Thin Air is 60 minutes packed with the goods, so stop reading this and start SUFFERING!

Seriously, Thin Air is great for...

  • ...calorie burn. Right up there with The Long Scream & The Wretched for burning kcals.
  • ...triathletes - we all know how much you slow-twitchers love to grind one out in the "big dawg". This 40 minute effort has your name written all over it.
  • ...mountain goats AKA "stupid skinny climbers" - you know, the kind that just float away when the road tilts up? Well, all Sufferlandrians are on equal footing with Thin Air. #EverybodyHurts
  • ...time triallists. Build up some serious strength and threshold tolerance with this beauty.
  • ...non-Sufferlandrians! Convert one today by introducing them to The Sufferfest #MiseryLovesCompany
tips for getting the most out of thin air

This is the STEEP SIDE OF MT. SUFFERLANDRIA PEOPLE !!! Prepare yourself mentally and physically for a lung popping, leg burning, teeth clenching, fist pumping rollercoaster of a ride. You'll feel so bad it'll start to feel good, we promise!

Here's a few things the Minions have learned about 'conquering' Thin Air...

  • ...fuel up early and often. Drink up during the warm up because when those surges and attacks come fast & furious you don't want to be grasping for your bidon (though you may be praying for a sticky bottle!)
  • Know thy systems check! By staying composed and by focusing on efficiency not only will you have more energy to jump The Shark but it will give you something else to think about besides the abject terror of knowing there are still 39 minutes left of this climb! If you asking yourself, "System's Check - what's that?!" you need to check out Elements of Style.
other ways to ride thin air

Let's face it. The road to glory is paved in many ways and sometimes "less is more". If you need a good tempo or sweet spot effort after a hard day or during an easier phase of your training, don't hesitate to dial down the intensity.

OR, if it's been a while since your last visit to the Doctor and you're feeling particularly fresh and frisky, you can turn it up to 11 and test your limits (and sanity). Grunterspeed! 

now what?

Destroy the inner Couchlandrian with Thin Air! Thin Air is exclusive to the Sufferfest Training Centre app. Learn more and start your free trial today.



October 06, 2016

1 comment

Omnium: The Backstory - or - How An Evil Thing Was Brought into the World

Just released in the Sufferfest app, The Omnium is a very special video indeed. Not only does it have a spot where you're supposed to lay down in all of that Holy Water you just spilled, but we also had to create some new graphics to deal with the MAX effort you have to make in a couple of the intervals.

However, what's at least as interesting about the Omnium is how this evil beast was brought into the world. It started innocently enough when I (David McQuillen, Sufferfest Chief Suffering Officer here) was at the UCI Track World Championships in London, England. I was there attending some UCI meetings. One evening, I was able to get trackside and watch some of the races.

It was there that I started to have bad thoughts.

Amongst the races that night were a couple from the Omnium competition. I'd first followed the Omnium at the London Olympics. Here is what it's about (from Wikipedia):

"The Omnium is a multiple race event in track cycling in which all contestants compete against each other in six different disciplines. The omnium determines the best all-round track cyclist, as the disciplines feature both sprint events and endurance events. Riders must have the ability to combine and be competitive in all disciplines to finish well in the event. Generally, the omnium suits endurance riders with higher top speed and a strong sprint. It is also carefully balanced between 3 time trials and 3 mass start events."

The Omnium takes place over two days. As a Sufferlandrian, I was disgusted. "Two days?" I said to myself. "WTF do they need all that time for? A Sufferlandrian could do all that in an hour."

One man could put this right. From my seat up in the velodrome stands, I sent a text message to Sir Neal Henderson who was in the middle of the track as a coach with the USA national team*.

"Can you meet for a beer tonight?" I asked.

"Absolutely." came the reply.

Later that evening, Sir Neal and I met up at a local craft beer bar. Over a local bitter, he told tales of the national team's races, the hopes for BMC Racing in the World Tour and how he was working with Evelyn Stevens for her upcoming World Hour Record attempt. Although I never tire of hearing Sir Neal's stories, I felt that I needed to get serious about more pressing matters: namely, the Suffering of Sufferlandrians across Sufferlandria.

I went to the bar and ordered two bottles of Belgium's fine Chimay Bleu. Returning, I poured the glasses and looked Sir Neal straight in the (bleeding) eyes.

"Listen, I want to make a Sufferfest video based on the Omnium."

"What, like all six events?"

"Yes. All six," I said staring into the darkness of my Chimay.

"But you know events like the Kilometer are the most destructive efforts a cyclist can make, right?"

"Really? Even better."

"And the pursuit is something that even the best riders in the world fear, you know? These events are absolutely maximum intensity, high cadence, high concentration, brutal, brutal, brutal efforts that lay waste to the morale and determination of even the most elite of track cyclists."

"Oh, that's awesome. Sufferlandrians will just love that. I know them. They will. Can you design it?"

"But you know these events take place over two days and that riders prepare all year to ride them. You want to simulate them in an hour? That's not even humane." said Sir Neal with an unnerving grin on his face.

"Yes. Exactly."

"So you don't care if the United Nations smacks Sufferlandria with more sanctions due to the clear human rights violations that such a video would bring about?"


"Oooooooo....." And with that, Sir Neal broke into an evil laugh that carried through the bar and down the halls of the adjacent mall.

* Yet again, Sufferlandria did not get invited to a World Championship event. Shameful.


The Omnium, with workout designed by Evil Genius Sports Scientist Sir Neal Henderson of Apex Coaching, is available exclusively at Sufferlandrian Embassies and in The Sufferfest Training Centre App. You can get the app, and all the Suffering contained therein, here.


October 06, 2016


The Sufferfest App for Windows - Beta Release



The Minions have been Chamois Dancing all night to celebrate the release of our Sufferfest Training Centre Windows Beta App. It does have our three newest videos (Thin Air, The Omnium and Igniter), but it doesn't yet have quite all the features of our Mac/iPad/iPhone app. That will come on the 4th of November with our full release. It's still a pretty awesome and effective bundle of Suffering, though. Want to sign up?

Here is what IS in the Beta.

    • Stream our entire library: You'll have fully integrated, streaming access to every one of our 37 (!) videos, including our newest ones, Thin Air, The Omnium and Igniter, as well as app-only exclusives like our Mash-Ups, Open rides and updated versions of older videos as we release them!
    • Connect your devices by ANT+: Hook up power meters, power pedals, cadence and speed sensor and heart rate monitors. You will need an ANT+2 stick for your computer. Here is more about that.
    • Smart trainer control: With the correct ANT+ USB stick, the Windows app will pick up your smart trainer data and display it on screen and control your smart trainer.
    • Take a fitness test: Run Rubber Glove and the app will set your FTP (Functional Threshold Power) and LTHR (Lactate Threshold Heart Rate) targets for all your other workouts going forward.
    • Virtual power: Don't have a smart trainer or power meter but still want to train like the pros? No problem. Connect your speed sensor and tell the app what trainer you're using and you can train with our Virtual Watts. Here are our compatible trainers.
    • Store and analyse all your workouts: You can see all your workout data in your Passport.
    • Sharing to other platforms: You can share to Strava and TrainingPeaks from the workout completion page. You can also share the .tcx file by email and upload that to other platforms. After Nov 4th, you'll be able to share workouts in your passport.

    Here is what's NOT YET in the Beta.

    If these features are essential to you, then wait until November 4th when we make the full release:

    • No downloadable videos: You'll only be able to stream videos into the app. The November 4 release will allow you to download and store our workout video on your PC. If your Torture Chamber is out of WiFi range the beta is not right for you.

      Ready to Suffer? Here is what you need to do to start your 7 day free trial:

      1. Create an App account here. If you choose to continue after your 7 day free trial, the subscription is just $10 USD/month (you can easily cancel at anytime if you want to head back to Couchlandria). One account will work across all of your devices, including Windows, Mac, iPad and iPhone.
      2. Download and install the Windows Beta here.
      3. If you have any problems, have a look at our Help Centre FAQ resource first. Then, if you still have trouble, drop a line to TheMinions@TheSufferfest.com and they'll sort you out.
      September 14, 2016


      iwbmattkyt ›   motivation ›  

      What's Next For Phetetso & the ACE-The Sufferfest- MTB Team?

      The Rio Olympic Games and Future Plans

      I could easily write an article on how disappointed we were on the outcome of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.  We could include accounts of the negative responses in the Lesotho press and social media reactions to the DNF.  It has been difficult to pick ourselves up, but the Sufferlandrian community is full of examples of people who have gone through much worse situations and come through triumphantly.

      For both Phetetso and I, our most lasting memories of Rio will always be the support and encouragement that we received from our #DreamMakers all over the world.  We really got a sense that we were not just representing the tiny Kingdom of Lesotho, but a much larger community.

      Phetetso & Suffer Prize winner Jolanda Neff of Switzerland

      That support manifested itself so evidently through the fundraising project towards Phetetso’s dream bike – but it was so much more than that as we continued to receive inspirational messages from well-wishers both before, during and after the Games.  The fundraising project raised almost double the amount we were hoping for, totalling $7,683. 

      In addition to the funds raised, we received great support from the cycling industry with a sponsored frame from Giant Bicycles South Africa, wheels from Token, suspension from SR Suntour and other sponsored items from Pactimo, Limar Helmets, DMT Shoes, Maxxis Tyres, C-Bear Ceramic Bearings, E-Thirteen, Absolute Black, Ritchey and Stages Cycling.  If you haven’t already done so, take a look at what Singletrack mag had to say about the bike

      It was very emotional for me to see Phetetso riding that bike around the Deodoro Olympic MTB Park.  In his very capable hands, the bike coped with all the obstacles and technical sections with ease.  One of our objectives as a team is to provide our riders with equipment that they can race with – equipment that they could not normally afford, but there is always a trade-off between price and functionality.  For the first time, I was in a position to give one of my riders top-of-the-range parts and components.  It was a very proud moment!

      what's next?

      The whole experience of qualifying and being part of the Olympics has taught us so much. It was one the goals we set when we first formed the team less than three years ago. Now we are even more motivated to set even higher goals.

      One goal is Durban 2022 -The Commonwealth Games hosted on African soil for the first time.  Our long-term goal is to win a medal at these Games.  We have almost six years to achieve it!  We have also set ourselves the goal of not just one, but two qualified riders for Tokyo 2020.

      how are we going to achieve this?

      We know we must step up our game another couple of notches.  We have already acquired some Stages Cycling power meters to improve our training and performance testing techniques.  We need to increase the financial support to our current pool of riders and be more aggressive in recruiting future talent.  We need to look ‘outside the box’ to see if there are emerging riders from other developing African countries that could also benefit from our support.

      We have already started.  With the funds remaining from Phetetso’s bike, we have acquired another carbon bike to be used by one of our younger team members, Tumelo.  We have also put aside some funding as monthly subsistence allowances for the whole team to be able to get proper nutrition and support their families.  We have guaranteed that each rider will get a minimum of $70 each month right up to December this year.  It may not sound like much but we have found this to be a very profitable use of funding. The allowance frees up time to follow effective training programmes, which radically improves performance.

      short term goals

      Next up for the team is the awesome Lesotho Sky 6 Day MTB stage race.  This year is going to be doubly exciting as we have the prospect of watching Sir Stephen Gallagher (Dig Deep Coaching and designer of “Rubber Glove”) suffering.  We look forward to the prospect of Phetetso with a realistic chance of winning this UCI Class 1 race for the first time.  He has teamed up with South African, Stuart Marais, in a partnership which we believe will bring out the best in both riders. Look out for our young team of Tumelo and Malefetsane and our first women’s team of Likeleli teamed up with young Botswana rider, Bakang.

      We are also about to embark on a talent identification programme together with the Lesotho National Olympic Committee and hopefully this will help us to discover new talent.  Our programme is about helping young African riders rise above the poverty, enabling them reach their dreams and a hope of a better future.  If we can find and develop more world-class riders, it also raises the profile so that many more can benefit.

      We would like to thank everyone at The Sufferfest for your support.  You are a very important part of our team as well.  There is an old adage that speaks about the links in a chain … but let’s not go there! 

      The Sufferfest is the principal sponsor of the ACE-The Sufferfest MTB Team, based in Lesotho. Team Manager Mark West will be updating us with an inside look at this underdog team and Phetetso Monese's quest for glory. Words and photos by Mark West. 


      August 25, 2016


      The Sufferfest is going APP-ONLY and here's why...

      Sufferlandrians - if you haven't yet subscribed to our app, you're going to want to soon. Aside from dramatically changing your visits to Sufferlandria by allowing you to train to power (or 'virtual power'), cadence and heart rate targets based on your current fitness, here are a few reasons why you'll want to sign up:

      1. Our WINDOWS (!) app launching on October 7th.
      2. A single subscription gives you access across your iPhone, iPad, Mac and Windows machines.
      3. Fitness Equipment Control (FE-C) is in beta testing and will be implemented shortly.
      4. FIVE new videos launching in the app ONLY on October 7th. They are The Omnium (50 minutes simulating the track races in the Omnium), Thin Air (60 minutes - with a 40 min climb), Igniter (20 minute warm-up based on British Cycling's warm-up routine), Open: 30 and Open: 60 (two 'free' rides of 30 and 60 minutes so you can just ride tempo while watching the un-cut on-board camera footage from Col Collective or from within the Tour of Switzerland). You won't be able to buy these for download. I'll explain why further down.
      5. Fitness Equipment Control (FE-C) launching in a matter of weeks if not days so you can control your smart trainer. It already works great with the Wahoo KICKR and KICKR Snap!
      6. It will still be only $10/USD a month. That's about three cups of coffee or a few spare inner tubes. Not a bad deal for a service that supports and nurtures your inner BADASS.

      And starting in November, we'll be:

      1. Providing free access to 10 and 3 week training plans.
      2. Adding entirely new content that will complement your cycling training. Can't tell you what it is yet, but it's going to give you a whole new arsenal of tools to blow non-Sufferlandrians away.

      All of this on top of a beautiful, easy-to-use design, sharing to Strava, TrainingPeaks, etc. and a full record of all your workouts. It's absolutely the most easy, hassle-free to use The Sufferfest videos to train effectively (no more trying to synch workouts and videos!). I'm really, really excited about what we're working to provide to you guys and hope you give it a try (it is free for seven days).

      You can get the app here: https://thesufferfest.com/pages/app

      Now, before you go any further, here's a quick FAQ:

      • Subscribers without internet in their bike torture chambers (or the hurt locker where they do all their Suffering) will be able to download and store the video workouts to their device or PC - as many as can fit and as long as you have a valid subscription. This means you can suffer ANYWHERE - there are even Sufferlandrians on submarines!
      • You can export and share your workout file directly to Strava, TrainingPeaks, Facebook, Twitter and as an activity file (in .TCX form) sent to your email.
      • You can train with the app using ANY indoor cycling set up - from the basic trainer all the way up to 'smart' trainers. If you do not want to connect your devices you can disable the target fields and SUFFER old skool using RPE. If you have a fancy trainer or power meter you can connect those too! So many ways to SUFFER!
      • ANDROID... *sigh*... Android devices and their near-infinite variety of screen sizes are very complex to design for. Furthermore, though Android devices are a large part of the market, they represent a small overall portion of our app subscribers. We've had to make a tough call to prioritse the Windows release, but we are looking at an Android app in Q1 2017.
      • We've been building a full knowledge base to help Sufferlandrians troubleshoot common problems. Check out our Help Centre.
      • We have an extensive feature roadmap for the app, with many already in the pipeline and more under consideration.
      • We're keen to be responsive to implementing more features, adding your trainers virtual power curve and we want to hear your constructive feedback (even the angry-constructive kind!). Myself, Sir Jared, Sir Reid, Sir Aaron and the rest of the team are standing by to help with your needs. EMAIL US: TheMinions@TheSufferfest.com 

      Here's how the app works on a Mac (with very similar functionality on iOS devices and the Windows version):


      The Sufferfest App Demo for Mac computers from The Sufferfest on Vimeo.

      So, why are we going 'app only' with our new videos? There are a few reasons, but three in particular stand out.

      Firstly, we strongly believe that this app is the best way to deliver enterPAINing and uniquely Sufferlandrian experiences. Quicker video downloads, seamless integration of video and data, an excellent platform for creating and delivering more content - the app is elegant, it's dynamic and it allows us to help you SUFFER better. You know we're all about that!

      Secondly, we are the only player in the market that doesn't have a subscription model. For the long-term viability of The Sufferfest, we need to move to that model in order to survive. Although some of you who have Suffered at the hands of a particularly brutal Revolver session would surely like to see the 'fest six feet under, I imagine most of you would like to see us survive.

      Finally - piracy. This has become an ever greater problem and we estimate that 25% of our business is being lost to pirated/shared videos. We're constantly chasing torrent sites that are giving our videos away for free, forums where people (clearly not real Sufferlandrians!) are sharing the vids, etc. We can't keep going on that way. I know that going app only isn't going to please everyone, but we're working incredibly hard to create enough value in our app that even if you have all the videos, you'll find it compelling enough to come over and Suffer there (and you'll be amazed at how it changes your training.)

      Yours in Suffering, David McQuillen

      PS - Here's what we have in store for you in October...

      THIN AIR: A brutal 40 minute climb with surges, steep ramps and the shark!

      The Sufferfest: Thin Air: Sample Footage from The Sufferfest on Vimeo.

      THE OMNIUM: Two days and six track cycling events condensed into a chaotic 50 minutes!

      The Sufferfest: The Omnium: Sample from The Sufferfest on Vimeo.

      IGNITER: A 20-minute warm up to fire up for an event and unleash your inner Sufferlandrian.

      The Sufferfest: Igniter: Playing at Sufferlandrian Embassies & The Sufferfest App (from 7 October) from The Sufferfest on Vimeo.



      August 19, 2016


      hiit ›   motivation ›   revolver ›   suffer365 ›  

      Revolver - It's simple, it's brutal and it lies to you!

      Revolver... hello, old friend! Do you remember that time we first met? I certainly do. It was a sunny miserable day outside and I was yet unacquainted with the joys of Suffering. This was a sad and dark time in my life. But there you were, Revolver, and there I was. Standing uncertain at the threshold of my bike torture chamber, Legs naively unaware of the pummelling about to befall them. I had purchased my first turbo trainer with the best intentions, but I hadn't used it in the three months since. ENTER SUFFERLANDRIA, you beckoned. And I, like a lemming, obliged. 

      I was never so enterPAINed (to, what felt like, within an inch of my life) and I never felt more motivated to get back on the bike and try again. But don't take my word for it... 

      here's what your fellow sufferlandrians are saying about revolver

      This statement is both so right and yet so wrong at the same time:

      Counting has never been Grunter von Agony's forte either:

       It's simple, it's brutal, and it was my first too!

      Sufferlandrians, like elephants, never forget. Sir James Tyson is referring to Stage 2 of the 2016 Tour of Sufferlandria. Grunter said do Revolver twice and we did. It was beautiful!

      Few chamois will ever be the same after that day.

      the workout

      Simple. Brutal. Effective. You're on. You're off/sobbing. You go hard and then do your absolute best to bring down your heart rate before it's time to obliterate yourself again. This workout stresses your VO2 and anaerobic system, so it's ideal for building your top end speed. Mercifully, all this happens in about 45 minutes, so you can easily crush it before work, at lunch or after the kids go to sleep.


      the footage

      Revolver combines footage from the track, downhill MTB, men's and women's road World Championships and Cyclocross World Championships. It was hard, but we packed in more Badass Visuals Per Cubic Second than ever before. Not that you'll get to see much of it, because you'll be blind from all the agony. 


      Just remember, you're being chased by Fluffy the -T-Rex at all times (so whatever you do don't look back).

      the music

      The soundtrack to Revolver is a fan favourite, with classics like "Stand and Deliver",  "Romeo Returns" and "Whiskey" that keep Sufferlandrians coming back for more Revolver. Here are all the songs the Minions could find on Spotify - almost the entire soundtrack!

      Who should do revolver?

      Revolver is a fantastic first Sufferfest workout. It will blow you up into a million little pieces and help you understand what we're all about here - we know you'll be hooked! Revolver is PERFECT for criterium, track and cyclocross racers and non-serious cyclists who just want to get an enterPAINing workout in under an hour.

      We also recommend that Revolver be used when one of your friends casually says "Pffft... Sufferfest?! How hard could it really be?" Keep the gleeful laughter to a minimum - until they've tried it, that is.

      tips for getting the most out of revolver

      Revolver is a perfect analogy for the theory of relativity. One minute* alternately feels so brief (during the recoveries) and yet SO F@C4!%G LONG (during the interval). My strategy has always been to break down the high intensity segment into two chunks of 30 seconds or four blocks of 15 seconds. Survive each mini-portion and then survive the next (and so on).

      You'll also want to...

      • Make sure your energy stores and hydration are quite high prior to starting Revolver.
      • Have a bucket and 2-3 towels at the ready - much holy water will be spilt!
      • Pace yourself by not killing yourself in the first 30 seconds but finishing STRONG. We want you to be strong throughout the entire high intensity interval. 

      *The recovery intervals are generally a bit shorter than one minute... Grunter's gift to you!

        other ways to ride revolver

        Just because the intervals are all the same doesn't mean you can't get a little creative...

        • BEGINNER: Just finish it - nail EVERY interval.
        • INTERMEDIATE: Build your cadence from 100 RPM to 110 RPM in the final 15 seconds, all while maintaining the highest possible output.
        • ADVANCED: Ride the intervals at 110-130 RPM - but keep your hips stable and do not rock in the saddle.

        Have you ridden Revolver differently? Make sure to leave instructions in the comments.

        now what?

        Unleash your inner Speed Demon with Revolver! You can purchase Revolver here, and app subscribers can stream or download the video for the ultimate experience.



        BEHOLD! The Book of Suffering, Volume II

        We've witnessed more pain, misery & AGONY in our time as Sufferlandrian Task Masters than could be contained in one simple tome. With every Sufferlandrian National Day, Tour of Sufferlandria and new video release, the interwebs are flooded with glorious photos of Sufferlandrian Patriots doing what they do best - shedding holy water and crushing their turbo trainers to within an inch of its life (and beyond!).

        We've captured our favourites, and paired them with the finest meditations on Suffering from some of the greatest thinkers throughout civilisation. Get inspired to Suffer, by reading a minimum (and maximum) of one page of the great Book per day.

        Without further ado, please enjoy The Book of Suffering, Volume II.

        The photos have been selected from various social media platforms. If you see your photo and would like it removed please email TheMinions@TheSufferfest.com.

        August 12, 2016

        1 comment

        Show Me The Way Out!

        The forces of Couchlandria are strong and not to be underestimated. Just because they can't be bothered to do much of anything (except contemplate their navel) doesn't mean that they can't work their mind games on even the most devout disciples of Grunter von Agony. I mean, they have SOFAS and DONUTS!

        But Sufferlandria is well-equipped to combat the forces of the enemy. This is the story about how The Way Out may be Sufferlandria's greatest secret weapon for destroying the Couchlandrian within.


        here's what your fellow sufferlandrians are saying about the way out

        It lulls you into a false sense of security:

        The Way Out couples nicely with To Get to the Other Side, which is, like, double the Suffering!

        We're not immune to some criticism, either:


        the workout

        Designed by Coach Sir Neal Henderson of BMC Racing and Apex Coaching, The Way Out is a 'sweet spot' workout that gives you an hour of efforts just below threshold and at a series of different cadences. Says Coach Neal, "The benefit of training just below FTP is that you can accumulate a fair amount of time there with minimal rest required. The recovery from the workout will be more rapid compared to above threshold intensity workouts and we find that there are great improvements in lactate clearance that occur from training just below threshold...even more so than when training above it."

        Wait... hold the phone! Working a bit less hard for the same (or better!) training stimulus? If that's not sneaky, Couchlandrian destroying suffering, than what is?!

        Even though a lot of the work is below threshold, the intervals and cadence targets are just tough enough (to earn another donut).

        the footage

        Quite simply, it's stunning. Just feast your eyes on this:

        All footage was painstakingly pieced together by Grunter von Agony himself, but all the hard work of riding the damn mountains and getting the gorgeous footage fell on the capable shoulders of The Col Collective. Mike Cotty suffered so that we could too!

        the music

        Mellower than your typical Sufferfest, but still extensively curated to suit the workout. We comb through hundreds (if not thousands) of songs across numerous licensing sites to bring you great tunes you wouldn't find anywhere else. Feelin' Alright by Bogan Via is a particular favourite. 

        Who should do the way out

        Recovering Couchlandrians, aspiring Sufferlandrians, stage racers, fondo riders, group ride ninjas, fans of Mike Cotty and the #CowCollective - cyclists and fitness enthusiasts from all walks of life should absolutely work this hour-long workout into their routine. It hits the right zones, transports you to another place and will help dramatically transform your fitness. 

        tips for getting the most out of the way out

        Seriously, stick to the script. This is a well thought out workout, so don't go too hard, that's not what The Way Out was designed for.

        • A reminder that Elements of Style is a key video that were refer to time and again, so if you haven't already check it out and learn your systems check. Keeping your hips stable is essential to nailing The Way Out.
        • Prepare for long and sustained efforts and a low cadence - they're a doozy (but in a totally fun way!).
        other ways to ride the way out

        There are a lot of low cadence/high pedal torque segments in The Way Out. If you suffer from anterior knee pain, or simply want another way to experience this workout, increase the low cadence targets (50-70 RPM) by ~ 20-40 RPM, depending on your comfort level and ability.

        Oh, and...

        • When Mike Cotty stands, you stand!
        • When you see a cow, take a drink of water (Mike's favourite drinking game).
        We suppose you could also ride this as an above threshold workout, but only if you're very fresh and don't like listening to Sir Neal Henderson...he's only coached World Hour Record holders, yellow jersey holders and Olympians, what does he know about training?! 


        now what?

        Destroy the inner Couchlandrian with The Way Out! You can purchase The Way Out here, and app subscribers can stream or download the video for the ultimate experience.



        August 03, 2016


        Let Fate Choose Your 3 SUFDay videos!

        Not sure what 3 videos to take on for SUFDay? Why not let The Minions - and FATE! - decide for you? Use our handy wheel of Suffering -- just spin it three times and let your DESTINY WITH MISERY take it's proper course.

        Don't have the video selected by The Wheel? Subscribe to our app (which has a 7-day free trial) to access the complete Sufferfest catalogue, publish rides directly to Strava & Facebook, analyze your workout and sync your heart rate monitor and other sensors for live feedback. Learn all about it here.



        Once you have your results, leave them in the comments below, post them on Twitter (and tag us @TheSufferfest) or join in on all the fun at the official Facebook event page

        July 25, 2016

        1 comment

        The Global Dream Makers Behind Phetetso's Olympic Dream Bike

        The amazing story of Phetetso and his journey to qualify for Rio 2016 is eclipsed only by the story of the generosity and support of our DreamMakers across the globe.

        What started out as a wish to see Phetetso riding his dream bike at the Olympics is becoming visualised day by day as more and more people and brands add their contribution to the project.

        The mission started out with a boost from Day One, when supporters from around the world – mostly Sufferlandrians – began donating towards Phetetso’s new bike.  The Sufferfest founder, David McQuillen, together with Wattbike UK, kicked off the project by selling off a Wattbike and donating the money to the project ($1,000 AUD).  Within just two days, more than $7,000 (USD) was raised – almost double the initial target. (Editor's note: We're still accepting donations - the money raised will ago to the young men and women of the team and every $100 raised will help a rider to support their family for a month.)

        But it is not just the cash donations that have overwhelmed us.  We are so humbled by the support of our partners in the cycling industry – both here in Africa and globally.  Giant Bicycles South Africa has promised a fully sponsored, top-of-the-range Anthem Advanced frameset together with all the other Giant components.  They have also offered us a full SRAM groupset at a great price. 

        The bike will be completed with Forks and Shock from SR Suntour (Germany), two sets of lightweight wheels from TOKEN (Taiwan), Ceramic Bearings for the Bottom Brackets and Pulley Wheels from C-Bear (Belgium), wide-range (9-44) TRS+ Cassette from E Thirteen (USA) and Oval Chainring from Absolute Black (UK).  To cap it all off, Stages Power (USA) has sent one of its new carbon Powermeter Cranks to assist him in his preparations.  We already have saddles from Velo (Taiwan), brake rotors and cables from Ashima (Taiwan) and chain lube/sealant from Squirtlube (South Africa).

        It is not only the bike that will look fantastic at The Games – because our other DreamMakers have also contributed to make sure that Phetetso looks and feels great for the race of his life.  Pactimo (USA) have designed a new Team Lesotho cycling kit for the event, Limar Helmets (Italy) have sent a custom-made helmet, DMT (Italy) have supplied a pair of their top-of-the-range MTB Shoes and Oakley (South Africa) will make sure he has the best eyewear.  In addition, HIGH5 Sports Nutrition have promised a great selection of Energy products, including drink, gels and bars to keep him fit and healthy throughout his preparations.

        We are also proud of the support from our local NOC, Lesotho National Olympic Committee, who despite a limited budget, have promised some funding towards additional equipment needed.

        The amazing support we have received is a real encouragement to us and helps to validate the progress we are making as a team.  The cycling industry has a reputation of being elitist – but I think this exercise just goes to prove that there are a lot of brands and people who care about the underdog and are willing to make a difference.  It is very unlikely that Phetetso will come anywhere close to winning a medal at the Olympics, but what he will do is open the door for others to follow.  Maybe one day in the near future, a young boy or girl, inspired by his achievements, will rise up from the poverty and win a cycling medal at the Olympics.

        The Sufferfest is the principal sponsor of the ACE-The Sufferfest MTB Team, based in Lesotho. Team Manager Mark West will be updating us  with an inside look at this underdog team and Phetetso Monese's quest for Olympic glory. Words and photos by Mark West. 

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