Taking a Closer Look at The Rookie

I'll be the first to admit it - I love racing my bike. I'm addicted to it, to the thrill. During the summer criterium season I can easily race two to four times per week if I wanted to (and I do!). Nothing quite beats the adrenaline rush of shredding chamois in the name of glory!

If I need a racing fix during the winter (where the races are fewer and far between), something to really spark me up and get the mojo going, then I turn to The Rookie. It gets the job done. This race simulation workout can be so engrossing that you'll lean into the corners (good thing I'm not on rollers!).

Amidst all the serious business of the simulated racing, there are some genuinely funny and light-hearted moments too, and the 55 minute workout just flies by. When you're not laughing you're bearing down in the drops, following wheels and lining up to sprint your guts out. 


here's what your fellow sufferlandrians are saying about The Rookie

Sufferlandrians will wax poetic when asked about their thoughts on The Rookie.

Courtesy of Fust Uarium (which, we can only assume is (a) a really BADASS name or (b) a super cool alias).

Others just appreciate a good arse kicking when they see one:

 the workout

The Rookie is another workout by elite coach Neal Henderson of Apex Coaching. The Rookie, which lasts 55 minutes, is built around three 10 minute race simulations, complete with surges, covering gaps and holding wheels. It’s perfect for developing the strength, speed and endurance necessary for handling those critical ‘crunch time’ moments in races, such as the bunch sprint in a criterium or road race.

the footage

The Rookie is a workout of firsts. This was the first time we shot scripted scenes (hat tip to John Degenkolb & Wade Wallace, Editor-in-Chief at CyclingTips). This was the first time we featured footage using on-bike cameras. This was the first time anyone ever had the chance to drop The Jens.

The on-footage is what really elevates The Rookie to instant classic status. But instead of reading about how awesome it is, why don't I just show you?

The Sufferfest: The Rookie: Sample Footage from The Sufferfest on Vimeo.

"LEFT !!! LEFT !!! LEFT !!!" I think John Degenkolb wants us to go left! If you don't get the urge to drop serious watts after watching this preview then check your pulse because you might be dead!

the music

The Rookie is another example of how music can elevate a mood or experience. The soundtrack to The Rookie is a classic set from DJ GvA. The soundtrack has some real quirky tunes (to inspire you to drop Jens Voigt) and some great throbbing beats to help you knuckle down and drive the pace.

Some of my faves include Sun and Spear (Dhruva Aliman), Shine On Me (Proteus Noir) and State 808 (XXxXx). Listen away!

Who should do The Rookie

You should do The Rookie...

  • If you race, or are thinking about racing, the The Rookie is essential Suffering.
  • If you're looking to build the speed necessary to handle fast group or club rides.
  • If your motivation has flagged a bit lately and you need a bit of a pick-me-up.
    tips for getting the most out of the rookie
    • Wear your racing kit. This is race simulation, after all!
    • Turn up the volume. The ambient race noise and quality soundtrack will help you crush this workout.
      now what?

      Head to your bike torture chamber for some pure race simulation efforts with The Rookie and become the Sufferlandrian Speed Demon we all know you're capable of! App subscribers can stream or download the video and it's also available for purchase here. App subscribers can also do a mash-up that features the fast & furious second interval from The Rookie - check out "Told Off By Angels" in the app for a mash-up of Do As You're Told, The Rookie and Angels.


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