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11 New NoVid Workouts Available Now!

Just in time for the indoor season, Coaches Mac Cassin and Neal Henderson at the SUF Sports Science Division have added 11 new NoVid workouts to our already impressive library of structured workouts. Unlike traditional Sufferfest sessions, 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 over and over and haven't dug into NoVids, now's the time to get out of your comfort zone and check out one of these killer new sessions:

 

Batman Intervals

 

Duration: 1:15

Category: Racing

What it's about: 

Du-nu-nu-nu-nu-nu-nu-nuh, BATMAN!

Despite these intervals only being 5 minutes long, they pack the same training punch as much longer sub-threshold efforts, with the added bonus of stimulating both your AC and your MAP. Each 5-minute effort starts with a 30-second MAP effort, followed by 4-minutes at 95% of FTP, with a final 30-second surge above 100% of MAP.

The first 30-second effort digs you into an anaerobic hole. Even though it's a MAP based target, your heart rate and breathing rate are still low so your body has to produce much of this power anaerobically. By the time you settle into the 4 minutes at just below FTP, your body will have produced an excess of metabolites (the stuff responsible for that burning in your legs). By holding you at FTP, your body is unable to clear out the excess, forcing you to deal with the associated discomfort for the next 4 minutes. Capping the effort off with a final 30-second surge makes you dig into what is left of your AC while pushing you close to your VO2 max––the point at which your body is using as much oxygen as it possibly can. The result is a session that is great for improving FTP, MAP, and AC, regardless of your strengths and weaknesses.

 

 

Sprints: 18 x 10 seconds with 10-minute Recoveries

 

Duration: 3:15

Category: Speed

What it's about: 

With short maximal sprint efforts, you'll recruit every muscle fiber in your legs for each effort. Just like cadence builds this session becomes one of the best ways to train your neuromuscular system. Even if the event you're training for doesn't require you to complete maximal sprints, there is a substantial trickle-down effect to longer duration power efforts when you train your neuromuscular system.

This session is a great alternate to cadence builds or standing starts for those completing our SUF Strength programme. On days you do strength work you want your on bike training to complement what you put yourself through off the bike. Short maximal efforts are the best workouts to pair with strength training sessions.

 

 

Sub-Threshold Alternating Cadence: 8 x 3

 

Duration: 0:55

Category: Endurance

What it's about:

Just as the name implies, this workout contains 8 3-minute long efforts right at or just below FTP. Looking at power demands alone you wouldn't expect this session to be too difficult. But in this session, cadence is key.

The odd-numbered intervals (1,3,5,7) will require you to ride at an exceptionally low cadence. Just like G.O.A.T., this will stress your muscular system more than your cardiovascular system. The even-numbered intervals (2,4,6,8) will require you to ride at 100+ RPM. High cadence has the exact opposite effect, producing less strain on your muscles but a greater strain on your cardiovascular system.


Alternating back and forth between low and high cadence will ensure both your muscular system and cardiovascular system get pushed hard. These large swings in cadence targets will also hit your Neuromuscular system. Your nervous system has to switch from recruiting your muscles at maximal force to recruiting them at maximal speed. Wrapping all of those training benefits into a single workout is what makes this session more than just a set of 3-minute, sub-threshold efforts, but only if you pay attention to those cadence targets.

 

 

Sub-Threshold: 3 x 20

 

Duration: 2:00

Category: Endurance

What it's about: 

This is one of the most classic workouts in endurance sports. The reason it's so popular is that it is easy to follow, it helps you learn good pacing, and it gives you a great threshold training stimulus. It's the old 3 x 20: repeated 20-minute blocks at 90% of FTP, an effort some call "sweet spot" but that we refer to as "sub-threshold". The idea behind sub-threshold work is to hold an effort just below FTP. This ensures that your effort remains at a workout rate you know your body can handle, but that's pretty close to your limit.

The key to making it through three of these 20-minute efforts is proper pacing. You might feel fine for the first 5-minutes of the first effort and be tempted to go harder. Don't. Overcooking your targets will have you blowing up spectacularly before the end of the second interval.

Getting a sense of how these efforts "bite" towards the end is vital to learning how to pace yourself over longer, steady-state efforts, whether it's a time trial, local climb, breakaway, the bike leg of a triathlon, or a good old power test. In each of those cases, pacing is key. You need to get a sense of how your RPE can steadily climb even though your power remains unchanged.

Nailing this workout is really about getting in tune with your body and understanding what it feels like to be right on the line between a sustainable and an unsustainable effort.

 

 

Standing Starts into MAP: 5 x 1

  

Duration: 1:35

Category: Speed

What it's about:

Each set in this session takes you straight from a max 20-second, high-torque standing start effort into 40 seconds right at MAP. The starting effort should just about completely drain your Anaerobic Capacity, which will leave you gasping for air as you start each 40-second MAP effort. By forcing yourself to maintain MAP after a maximal sprint, you are asking your body get oxygen to your muscles as quickly as possible by increasing both your heart rate and breathing rate. Being able to increase oxygen consumption rapidly means your body will better handle changes in pace both above and below threshold.

 

 

AC: 6 x 45 seconds

 

Duration: 0:45

Category: Speed

What it's about:

If you like The Trick, you'll love this session. On the plus side, the efforts are 15-seconds shorter than those in The Trick. To make up for it we added two more intervals. That means by the end of this session you will have plowed through four-and-a-half minutes of AC work. Not too shabby.

This workout is one of the few sessions that we don't recommend you do in ERG mode if you are on a smart trainer. The goal is to hold on to the highest power you can for the full 45 seconds. Inevitably in the later sets your power will dip before you reach the end of the interval. What we want is for you to complete every effort having given everything for 45-seconds. Even if you drop down below FTP in the final 10 seconds of these efforts, as long as you are going flat out, you are doing it correctly.

Take this session one interval at a time and focus on giving your all for the effort that's in front of you. You can worry about the others when you get to them. If you finish this session without using some colourful language, you didn't go hard enough.

 

 

FTP Over / Unders: 3 sets 8 x 1

 

Duration: 0:47

Category: Racing

What it's about:

Over / Unders are one of those tried-and-true sessions that athletes have been using for years to improve their FTP and get faster. This session works on the same physiological principal as sessions like Who Dares and Fight Club. Those sessions hit you with short efforts well above FTP, followed by longer efforts below FTP.

The concept is simple: you alternate blocks of time just below your FTP with equal duration just above your FTP. For this session, each interval is 8 minutes in length, with 1-minute blocks at 95% of FTP (Under) and 1-minute blocks at 105% of FTP (Over). The real training benefit comes from that time spent just below FTP trying to "Recover." Physiologically, you train your body to be more efficient when working just below FTP. Mentally, it shows you that you can still "recover" (or at least hold on for dear life) as long as you are riding just a little below threshold.

 

 

Tempo Increasing: 30/20/10/5

 

Duration: 3:25

Category: Climbing

What it's about:

In this workout, the shorter the interval duration, the higher the power target. Starting from 30 minutes of low Tempo and finishing with 5-minutes of high-quality MAP work, proper pacing is crucial to success in this workout. While you could easily be above target power for the entire 30-minute effort, that would set you up to fail in the last two efforts. Be smart and pace yourself; you can always go harder in the final 5-minute effort if you're feeling spunky.

At any intensity above Endurance pace, the longer you ride, the more fatigued you become. Completing the final 5-minute target when fresh would be unpleasant, but hitting it after all of these other intervals makes it a near maximal effort. Proper hydration/cooling and nutrition are vital if you want to nail this workout.

If you are preparing for any longer ride or event where you will be required to keep on the gas from start to finish, this is the perfect session for you. Completing these efforts in this order not only gives a great physical training boost, but it also toughens you up mentally. Digging deep when fatigued is the key to good performance over longer distances, so expect to Suffer in that final 5-minute effort; it will pay off mentally and physically.

 

 

MAP Micro-Intervals: 3 Sets 40 / 20s

 

Duration: 0:48

Category: Racing

What it's about:

For any of you who have completed Blender, Mini Blender, or The Chores, you'll be all too familiar with the 40/20 variety of Pain Shakes that this session serves up. 40/20s are a go-to workout for Sir Neal Henderson when dishing out pain to the athletes he coaches. While the first few efforts in each set will feel "easy," by the end of each 8-minute block you'll be deep into the red. While the efforts aren't continuous, they are long enough that you will accumulate plenty of time near your VO2max, which is the goal of any MAP workout. The real kicker from this session is how much time you spend at 100% of MAP. Each 8-minute set gives you 5 minutes and 20 seconds of time at your 5-minute peak power. By the end of the workout you will have clocked 16 minutes of accumulated MAP efforts. Translation: this one might leave a mark.

 

 

FTP Progression 1: 5 x 6

 



Duration: 1:00

Category: Time Trial

What it's about:

This is the first of a series of NoVid workouts designed to help you accumulate time right at FTP. In simple terms, this session is 5 repeats of 6 minutes at 101% of FTP, with 4 minutes of easy recovery. In 60 minutes you'll spend a solid 30 minutes riding at FTP.

This session is great to fire up a couple of days after completing Full Frontal to get comfortable with your new numbers. It also makes for a great second afternoon or evening workout when doing two-a-day training sessions.

Over the next few months we'll be releasing the rest of the FTP Progression series.  Each new session will add a minute to the FTP intervals and remove a minute from the recovery sections. The final progression doles out 5 x 8-minute efforts with only 2 minutes recovery between. For now, enjoy the 1:1 work to rest ratio. You've earned it.

 

 

FTP / MAP Builds: 2 Sets 3 x 6

 

Duration: 3:00

Category: Racing

What it's about:

This  workout is perfect for developing both FTP and MAP while teaching you a Negative Split pacing strategy. 

When we talk about a "negative split" we mean completing the second half of an effort at a higher speed and power than the first half. By the time you hit the MAP portion of each interval, your heart rate and breathing rate will already be nice and high. Paced correctly, your heart rate should be increasing for the entire 6 minutes and hit your LTHR at the same time you increase the power output.

This workout ends up delivering a fantastic aerobic workload as you complete 12 minutes of MAP work with minimal help from your AC, making this an excellent session for those who have a strong AC, but weak MAP. You also rack up 24 minutes at 100% of FTP, which by itself would be a good training load. Add in these MAP efforts, and you multiply the training impact of those 24 minutes significantly.

This is a session that will benefit everyone, regardless of your chosen discipline. In addition to teaching you good pacing, this 3-hour workout will give your aerobic system a big training boost.

 

Say Yes to NoVids

To check out these workouts and the rest of our NoVid series, go to The Sufferfest app, click on the bike icon in the video library, and use the filter to select "NoVid Workouts". 

 

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Questions? Check out our Help Centre or email theminions@thesufferfest.com.

 

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