14 Vise Grip difficulty depending on rider type

This turned up on my plans 6 time last year and did it for the 1st time this year last night, and I’m starting to notice a pattern of failure.

The 1st 30s - 90s intervals are doable, they feel almost too easy to start with( but this is to be expected according to the workout description) , but the 2min one has me on the limit (almost max HR) the first time around and has me dialling down the difficulty 5-10% to be able to make it through the following 90s interval (erg spiral of doom). I start the 2nd set on the reduced numbers then barely make it through the 2nd 2m interval but am able to recover so well during the 90s rests that I can dial it right back up for the final 1m and 30s intervals.

My rider type is time triallist with a repeated effort weakness, the intervals in the workout are color coded yellow so assume they are based off a % of my MAP. Perhaps I should try dialling down the workout 5% from the start as I’ve never not had to dial it back? Maybe if the efforts were set as a % of my AC I might make it through?


Same rider type as you, never had to dial it back :person_shrugging:t3:

I do include a fair amount of VO2 work in my (own) plans. And do ride off fresh numbers regularly, at most 14 weeks old, otherwise 6-7 weeks apart between HM and FF testing.

You are wise enough to know whether you are going in with fatigue or low nutrition.


My profile is a sprinter. My MAP is pretty good compared to my FTP, but my AC is not and I usually have a repeated efforts weakness. The longer efforts of 14 VG really nail me. Like you I feel great through the first 90 sec interval. And then once I hit that first 2 min interval I spend the rest of the workout barely hanging on.

edit: I’m pretty sure what I need is to do more repeated MAP and AC workouts to help improve my AC and repeated hard efforts.


Yellow bits are not my friend. My MAP capabilities fluctuate a fair bit depending on many things. Length of prior sleep, food, time of day and mental state included… It can be quite the disappointment in workouts.

What works for me is to ride these type of workouts in level mode. You avoid the ERG spiral and can continue at lower levels without having to touch the buttons and dial down.

Best case scenario, you feel great and absolutely smash it.


I find 14 VG really tough too. It’s that 2 minute interval that’s nasty. I’m usually strong on AC with VO2 or sustained weakness.


Crap, I’ve never done 14VG, but have it scheduled today. Challenge accepted.


Hi @JGreengrass ! Yep! 2 min intervals on 4 Vise Grip could definitely be your challenge… Did you do 14 Vise Grip 6 times last year? Did you have a significant change in your 4DP values since the last time you did 14 Vice Grip?

I suggest next time completing the workout in level mode and compare your metrics between modes- or stay in erg mode with the goal of get farther into the 2 min intervals before the spiral of doom!


I added 3% just for the hell of it last time I did it at the end of November and it was grim!! but I did get through it albeit with an extra few seconds rest at the end of interval 11, got through it though… tough!!

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Yep! 12 min intervals on 4 Vise Grip could definitely be your challenge…

is that a typo, did you mean 2min? 12min intervals I could probably manage… at FTP

Did you have a significant change in your 4DP values since the last time you did 14 Vice Grip

I peaked at the start of last summer, did lots of low intensity volume while the weather was good and had a fair bit of time off the bike Nov-Early Jan due to “life stuff” and illness.

2022 Jan 30 HM FTP 269 MAP 338 (1st test on my new smart trainer, completed the ramp but didn’t switch to level mode on the last step so possibly an underestimate)

2022 Feb 12 FF FTP 253 MAP 331

2022 Feb 23 14 Vise Grips, completed at 100% average HR 150bpm

2022 Apr 10 HM FTP 276 MAP 347

2022 May 01 14 Vise Grips, I got about 1m10s through the 2m interval in the 2nd set before erg spiral of doom, held 70rpm for about 5sec before my legs gave out, took a 10 second breather while I dialled down the intensity to 90% and finished the interval. Dialled back up to 100% and completed the workout, Average HR 152bpm

2022 May 09 FF FTP 275 MAP 345

2022 May 19 14 Vise Grips, managed 1m30 of the 1st 2m interval, 10s breather, dialled it down to 90%, was feeling recovered enough by the 30s interval at the end of the 1st set to dial it back up again, big mistake was dying by the 1st 1m30 interval in the 2nd set, it all fell too pieces, but as always, has enough in the tank for the final 60s and 30s interval at 100%. Average HR 156bpm

2022 Jun 10 14 Vise Grips, Made it through the 2nd 2m interval at 100%, but it was an all out max HR effort to make it to the end, 90s recovery wasn’t enough and my legs gave out 1m into the next interval. Average HR 154bpm

2022 Sep 22 14 Vise Grips, Managed 1m20 into the 2nd 2m interval, took a complete rest to the end of the interval and completed the workout at 100%, Average HR 150bpm

2023 Jan 18 HM FTP 263 MAP 328

2023 Jan 24 14 Vise Grips, dialled down to 95% after the 1st 2m interval, couldn’t even hold that for the whole of the 12th Grip, Average HR 156bpm

I noticed looking back that the the last 2 times I didn’t start my workout until 7pm and hadn’t eaten since lunch, so fueling was possibly an issue even though I’m drinking 80g/hr of carb.

I’ll try dialing down my next MAP workout to 95% from the start, have something to eat 2-3hrs beforehand and see if I can make it through.


It wasn’t that bad. I even added extra shot on at the end at 85% for the first 5 min, then 5 min at 90%, 5 min at 100% and 5 min at 50% to cool down. Definitely hard, but I gravitate to cross and mountain biking anyway, so it’s fitting for what I like to do.


Good to hear you got on well, I find the video and music engaging its just the intervals that crush me.
What is your rider type, strength, weakness out of interest?

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Right now, I’m an attacker. I’ve also been classified as a climber, a sprinter and a rouleur in the past. Probably really more of a rouleur when I’m in decent shape. Never a time trialist. lol

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Impressive training @JGreengrass! As I was reading and noting dates with times I was going to ask about external factors: time of day, life stress, prior sleep, and nutrition- due to the consistency of your numbers, I am guessing ,as you deduced it is a time of day and fueling variable.

Also, what kinda training have you been doing?

I ask bc people will be like, oh I do MAP to improve MAP but that only works up to a point, after a certain point, more MAP just makes you tired

14 VG is a tough workout. I’m an Attacker so it’s right up my alley but sustained efforts are my weakness so when I do Cobbler or HHNF, I’m hurting.

We can work on both our weaknesses and our strengths.

I’ve done a couple of 12wk MTB race plans, when not following a plan my riding is mostly Z2, with 1 cadence drill a week and 1 hard interval session like revolver or 9H. Last time I did a MAP focused workout was Downward Spiral in mid December.

The only thing that’s worked for me doing MAP (or long threshold intervals) is keeping cadence ~85-95…sometimes higher. If I don’t maintain that cadence, then it’s ERG death. Of course there are low cadence exercises, but those are a different can of worms.


Last nights schedule was Igniter to warm up followed by Nine Hammers, dialled both down to 95% difficulty felt about right, but did stop pedaling after 2m of the 9th hammer (there’s that 2m weakness again) took a 15s rest to get my breathing under control and finished it off.


I’ve only done 14VG once (climber profile at the time) - hardest workout in the library imo.
I completed it on 100% but doing so took me a week to recover from.
9H and AVDP are hard for me but 14VG was just brutal - have avoided it ever since

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