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10 New NoVid Workouts Available Now!

With many people unable to ride outdoors, our Sports Science team burned the midnight oil to add 10 new NoVid workouts to our already impressive library of structured workouts. NoVid workouts are those without an associated video, soundtrack, or storyline. That means you can follow the on-screen prompts or watch your own videos while getting seriously fast.

There are NoVid workouts to build every aspect of your fitness, ranging in length from 30 minutes to over 3 hours. If you find that you're doing the same Sufferfest workouts, now's the time to mix it up and check out one of these killer new sessions:

 

 

FTP / MAP Builds: 8 x 3

Duration: 57 minutes

What It's About:

This session packs a punch with eight 3-minute intervals, all starting at 100% of FTP, and ending at 95% of MAP. Not only is this a great workout physiologically, but it's also great for learning how to ride a negative split.

When we talk about a "negative split" we mean completing the second half of an effort at a higher speed/power than the first half. While the first few of these might not feel so bad, the repetition and 1:1 work to recovery will ensure your heart rate and breathing stay elevated for the second half.

As you complete each effort, holding 100% of FTP will feel harder and harder. This in itself is excellent mental practice for "feeling" how your RPE for the same power can drift up as fatigue sets in. Knowing what 100% of FTP feels like when your legs are nearly spent is a great reminder of why starting an effort too hard will bite you in the end.

This dishes out a respectable 24-minutes of intensity. The fact that your heart and lungs are pumping by the time you start each MAP effort maximizes the gain you'll get from those 8-minutes at 100% of MAP.

Regardless of your chosen discipline or event, this is a session that will benefit everyone, both regarding learning good pacing and giving your aerobic system a big training boost.

 

 

Tempo Cadence Build: 1 x 60

Duration: 3 hours

What It's About:

While the single tempo effort you complete in this session is steady in terms of power, it is the specific cadence targets that set this session apart from other tempo workouts.

Even though an effort at 80% of FTP might seem "easy" the truth is your body is working at processing oxygen and metabolites at nearly the same rate when you are right at FTP. The difference is that the overall stress on your system when riding tempo is considerably less than riding at FTP. That means you can either have harder days before or after a tempo session (compared to a Threshold session) or you can increase the duration of those tempo efforts to make the overall training stimulus equal (or greater) than completing several repeats right at your FTP.

This tempo effort is divided into 3 segments of equal duration. While the power is the same across all segments, your target cadence starts and low and increases with each new segment. Starting with a long block of low cadence should fatigue your muscles from the start of your effort. As the effort builds and you create more fatigue, the increased cadence targets will place a greater demand on your cardiovascular system. That will, in some way, feel like a nice break given the load you have been putting on your muscular system. The cadence targets in the final segment will force your fatigued muscles to maintain good coordination as the faster cadence requires your muscles to switch "on" and "off" at a faster rate. Between the low rpm sections, and the high rpm work under fatigue, this tempo session not only helps train your FTP, but it has a training benefit to your neuromuscular system.

You can expect your Heart Rate to remain low for the power targets during the low cadence segment at the start. As the effort progresses and you reach the final 10 minutes of the high rpm segment your heart rate might go over Z3, which is not something to worry about. While this session appears "easy" at first glance, don't be surprised if your legs are feeling it the next day.

 

 

Micro Intervals: 3 sets 10 x 20s "Tabata"

Duration: 33 Minutes

What It's About:

Most people who have read or talked about High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) have probably heard the term "Tabata" being thrown around, and for good reason. In the mid 90's Professor Izumi Tabata set out to study the training impact of HIIT compared to a more traditional lower intensity high volume training. While both groups saw a similar increase in VO2max, only the HIIT group improved their Anaerobic Capacity, which is often associated with an increased ability to repeat hard efforts.


The HIIT protocol that Professor Izumi Tabata used was 4-minute blocks broken into what we refer to as "Micro-Intervals" 20sec efforts well above VO2max power (similar to what we refer to as MAP) and 10 seconds of recovery.

This was one of the first widely recognized studies that promoted HIIT, and since HIIT is The Sufferfest's Specialty, we would be crazy not to include this session.

During this session, you are looking at 3 sets of Micro-Intervals in 5-minute blocks, with each 20sec power target exceeding 100% of your MAP. While the targets we have set are slightly lower than Tabata's original study, those subjects only completed one 4-minute block of their high-intensity session, and you get to complete 3 of them! That means if you finish the first set feeling fine, increase MAP intensity by 5%, or just switch to slope mode and get back to using RPE; these are MAX intervals after all, so just give it what you've got!
This session really does pack a punch, and being mentally prepared for it is more important than being physically prepared. By design, this session will completely drain your AC and max out your aerobic system. No one gets to that point and feels "good." You need to mentally brace yourself to get into the hurt locker and stay down there until the bitter end.

Uncertain if you have that mental toughness or skill set to handle this session? Then check out the "Getting Positive" module on our Mental Toughness Program. While we encourage everyone to try MTP from start to finish (which takes about 10 weeks) just doing this one module can be incredibly beneficial.

 

 

Tempo: 7 x 3

Duration: 37 Minutes

What It's About: 

At only 37 minutes long, this workout is perfect for days when you want to rev the engine just a little and are short on time. This session has seven 3 minute long tempo efforts, with 1 minute of easy spinning in between. This is not a hard session, so don't expect to go into the red at all. Use this session to focus on your pedaling form, breathing techniques, and restraint, because you will feel like you can go harder!

 

 

FTP Progression 2: 5 x 7

Duration: 1 Hour

What It's About:

As the title suggests, this is the second addition to our FTP series, designed to help you accumulate time right at FTP. In simple terms, this session is 5 repeats of 7 minutes at 101% of FTP, with 3 minutes of easy recovery, making for a 60-minute session with 35 minutes of riding at FTP.

You should be getting comfortable with your fresh power numbers from your recent Full Frontal test and feel like you're gaining strength and fitness from completing the first FTP Progression workout a few times. This session has added one minute to the FTP intervals and removed a minute from the recovery sections, getting you closer to that final version of 5 x 8 min efforts with only 2 minutes recovery in between.

 

 

FTP Progression 3: 5 x 8

Duration: 1 Hour

What It's About:

As the title suggests, this is the last workout in our FTP series, designed to help you accumulate time right at FTP. In simple terms, this session is 5 repeats of 8 minutes at 101% of FTP, with 2 minutes of easy recovery, making for a 60-minute session with 40 minutes of riding at FTP.

By itself, this workout is not super hard, since you've likely gained some fitness throughout this progression. However, 2 minutes is not a lot of recovery time, so you may start to feel a little fatigue creep in toward the end.

 

 

Tempo Alternating: 1 x 40

Duration: 1 Hour

What It's About:

This hour-long workout is great for the days that you're looking for an aerobic stimulus with just enough up-tempo effort to wake up the nervous system and feel a little more alive! This session has you at 85% of FTP for six minutes, which is mid-tempo effort, then drops you down to 75% of FTP for four minutes of "recovery." Unfortunately, these recovery intervals aren't the really easy kind that we all love. No, today you'll have to maintain a high aerobic effort which requires you to keep some pressure on rather than getting an easy recovery spin. So make sure you're well fueled and hydrated for this one!

 

 

Tempo Alternating: 1 x 20

Duration: 36 Minutes

What It's About:

This short, 36-minute workout will get you in and out of Sufferlandria in no time, with a solid 20-minute tempo block to boot. This continuous tempo effort will have you alternate between 75 & 85% of FTP every minute. Not only does this help pass the time rather quickly, it will help improve your aerobic fitness. Time spent in this intensity range will help increase your stroke volume (amount of blood your heart can pump every minute), your lactate threshold, and the mitochondrial density of your muscles (mitochondria are the "power houses" of the cells that create energy). All of these things are very important parts of aerobic metabolism and performing your best- especially if you like group rides. This is the typical intensity range that most group rides fall into- not a leisurely pace, but not so fast that people are falling off the back within minutes. So if you find that you commonly struggle with group rides, gradually spending more time on workouts at this intensity will have you holding on longer and taking your pulls without missing a beat!

 

 

Sub-Threshold: 5 x 10

Duration: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

What It's About:

This workout contains efforts of 10 minutes at sub-threshold intensity. Packing five of them into a 90-minute workout is pretty efficient, but that would also indicate that the recovery intervals are only half the duration of the work intervals...so make sure you don't let intensity creep up. If you do, the workout will end up feeling more like a time trial, which is not the goal. At this intensity, you're able to clear the lactate faster than you're producing it, so you should never feel like you're pushing it that hard. This is also a good stepping stone workout to the sessions that have longer duration intervals at sub-threshold; like the 2 x 20, 2 x 20 with starting surge, and 3 x 20.

 

 

Tempo Alternating: 3 x 15

Duration: 1 Hour 10 Minutes

What It's About:

If you're looking for a session that will challenge and help build your aerobic fitness, this is it! With three sets of 15 minutes at tempo effort (alternating between 85 and 75% of FTP in 2-3 minute intervals, you'll end up with 45 minutes of quality aerobic work. This is a great session to help increase your endurance and bridge the gap between shorter tempo efforts and longer ones like our 2 x 25, or a 60-75 minute tempo build. In addition, this session will help build your muscular endurance as well as cardiovascular endurance as the cadence targets are set in the 80-85 RPM range, stimulating the muscular demand slightly more than the cardiovascular aspect.

 

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