Meet Neal Henderson: Sports Scientist and Coach to World Champions & You
Workouts are only as good as the coach who designed them. That's why our workouts and training plans are designed and managed by a sports scientist who has coached his athletes to 47 (!) world championships, multiple Olympic medals, Grand Tour stage wins and leader's jerseys and classics victories.
Neal Henderson—coach to world-class athletes like Rohan Dennis, Kasia Niewiadoma, Adam Hanson, Taylor Knibb and more—is one of the most accomplished and well-respected sports scientists in the field.
With over 25 years of experience coaching endurance athletes, Neal is head of The Sufferfest Sports Science Division. He served as the Director of the Sports Science Department at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine (BCSM), during which time he worked with hundreds of elite athletes to develop cutting-edge training and testing methods.
A former professional triathlete, Neal is an Elite USA Triathlon and USA Cycling certified coach with numerous awards to his name, including the 2007 USA Cycling Developmental Coach of the Year, 2009 USA National Cycling Coach of the Year, and the 2011 Doc Counsilman Coach of the Year, awarded by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) for the use of science in coaching. Most recently, he was named the 2017 USA Triathlon Coach of Year.
Neal has been a staff member at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games as a cycling coach and has served on multiple coaching committees for both USA Cycling and USA Triathlon. He has coached some of the biggest names in endurance sports, including Taylor Phinney, Flora Duffy, Cam Dye and Keil Reijnen. He is the only coach in history to have ever trained athletes to the World Hour Record for both elite Men (Rohan Dennis) and elite women (Evelyn Stevens).
Under his guidance, Neal’s athletes have won multiple Grand Tour jerseys, Olympic medals, and World Championships, most recently Rohan Dennis' victory in the 2018 UCI ITT World Champs.
Neal himself is no stranger to performing at the highest levels, most recently taking the bronze medal at the age-graded 2017 Aquabike World Championships. He is also a former US National Champion on the track in the Masters Madison.
Neal first began using his evil genius in service of the Nation of Sufferlandria back in 2013 when he created the workout for the two-hour threshing machine we call Blender. He is the mastermind behind some of the most popular, effective, and brutal sessions in The Sufferfest library, including The Shovel, Getting Away With It, and The Omnium, just to name a few.
Neal—together with APEX Coach and Cycling Physiologist Mac Cassin—were instrumental in bringing the same comprehensive testing protocol and workout personalisation methodology Neal has used for over a decade with his elite athletes to The Sufferfest. Neal's athletes call it their secret weapon. We call it Four-Dimensional Power™, and it will make you faster.
But don't take our word for it. Check out just a few of the teams and athletes Neal has helped get to the top of their. When you use The Sufferfest you're using the same workouts and training methodology behind these titans of the sport. This is serious sports science.
Teams and Labs
- Team BMC -
- Team USA Cycling - Track Program Exercise Physiologist
- Boulder Center For Sports Medicine -
Director of Sports Science
World Championship and Olympic Coaching Experience
- 27 World Championship Events
- 3 Olympic Games (Beijing, London, Rio de Janeiro)
- Rohan Dennis
- Evelyn Stevens
- Taylor Phinney
- Keil Reijnen
- Allen Krughoff
- Meredith Miller
- Tayler Wiles
- Danny Summerhill
- Jamie Witmore
- Rohan Dennis - Tour de France yellow jersey winner, Giro d'Italia stage winner, Vuelta a España stage winner, UCI World Hour Record, 2018 UCI ITT World Champion
- Evelyn Stevens - UCI World Hour Record
- Taylor Phinney - Giro d’Italia pink jersey winner, U23 TT World Champion, Individual Pursuit World Champion
- Flora Duffy - Xterra World Champion, ITU World Champion
- Jamie Witmore - Xterra World Champion
- Rebecca Dussualt - 2010 ITU Winter Triathlon 1st place
- Taylor Knibb - 2017 ITU Junior World Champion
- Roman Kreuziger - Giro d'Italia stage winner
- Cam Dye
- Flora Duffy
- Taylor Knibb
- Joe Gambles
- Jarrod Shoemaker
- Alicia Kaye
- Yannick & Robin Eckmann
Neal sat down with us back in January of 2017 for the inaugural episode of The Sufferfest podcast, Everybody Hurts. Check it out and get to know the mad behind the method behind the madness.