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.
...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...
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!
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!"
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:
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!
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:
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!
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...
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!
Hey good lookin' pic.twitter.com/vslwKyC4ho— The Sufferfest (@TheSufferfest) October 14, 2016
Here's a few things the Minions have learned about 'conquering' 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!
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.
The Sufferfest App for Mac, iPad and iPhone is the most affordable, and powerful, way to turbo-charge your fitness. Get unlimited access to our entire video library. Connect to your power meter, heart rate strap or smart trainer, and train to specific fitness targets exactly the way our coaches intended. You can even train with virtual power. Try it free today.