4DP Profile and Power Results in Workouts

I am finding that the power results in Sufferfest workouts (20min, 5min,1min, 5sec) are consistently lower than my 4DP profile numbers. I’m hitting power targets during the workout pretty well. The workouts are easy enough to finish and not leaving me depleted afterwards. Today I rode The Tool Shed and I suffered an appropriate amount, was glad to be done. The comments in the header say that if you can ride this in one session without cursing or resting, you should redo Full Frontal and get new numbers. Meanwhile, the power I’m producing never exceeds my 4DP profile numbers. For example, the 20min power from today’s session was 12% less than my 20 min power in my 4DP profile. That’s pretty typical.

What is the expectation for generating power during the workouts in excess of 4DP profile numbers?

You wouldn’t really expect to hit your 4DP numbers in a workout. Your 4DP numbers are your max efforts, and it wouldn’t be productive to try and hit those every workout. There are a few exceptions though; if you to The Trick in level mode you may exceed your 1 min effort from FF, as that 1 min efforts comes at the end so if your fresh you might do better - and that’s ok but doesn’t mens you need to update your 4DP numbers. Long Scream and Hell Hath No Fury used to push the 20 min numbers too, having said that there is a long thread on here about the workout intensities being scaled back based on up to date sports science so thing as may be difference to how they used to be.

There used to be an article and when and how to update your numbers but basically if you think things are too easy you’re beat scheduling a new Full Frontal or Half Monty.


@jkorngold I don’t think your experience is atypical. You don’t need to train at threshold all of the time to make gains and your ability to handle a workout versus another rider will also be dictated by your overall strengths and weaknesses - ability to sustain power, VO2 max, etc.

As an intermediate step try increasing the ride intensity within the workout player a few percentage points for your next ride and see how that feels.

Regarding the last question about being over threshold - note that it is going to depend on the workout. For an endurance workout you may never get there. For climbing, racing or speed workouts you should definitely be above threshold at some point during the workout.

Hope that helps!


Thanks to both of you. Makes perfect sense.
Suffer on!

@JSampson and @TTDragon are spot on. During the winter months, I prescribe training as is for 12 weeks, with a Half Monty Test at the 6 week mark, and at the end of a solid 12 week training plan, hammer out another Full Frontal and reap those gains!!!

@JSampson @TTDragon @WahooCoach_Corey So, if you were steadily improving, would that be reflected in the increasing trend of power performance numbers for successive workouts?

No because your power targets/4DP values won’t change until you do Half Monty or Full Frontal again.

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To expand on @TTDragon , SYSTM doesn’t continually measure and update your performance. It feeds power numbers from your last fitness test to you trainer (ERG more) or just displays the power targets (Level mode). It doesn’t do anything with your performance except to record it UNLESS you are taking a fitness test.

It is best practice to take a fitness test (after a few days or week of less intense work) every 6 to 12 weeks. The longer plans build that in. Each time you do a fitness test, SYSTM updates your 4DP numbers and feeds the updated numbers to your trainer for subsequent workouts. If you’re progressing, the workouts will get harder with the fresh numbers after a test. You won’t be surprised that the fitness tests should be taken all (Full Frontal) or half (Half Monty) in level mode so the trainer isn’t controlling you power—you are: by shifting or changing cadence.

On any given workout, if it feels too easy (or too hard) you can adjust intensity up (or down) a few percent in settings. That will cause SYSTM to feed higher (or lower) power numbers to your trainer.


@jkorngold Your actual 4DP numbers won’t change but you probably will feel a bit stronger or recovery a bit quicker as you make adaptations. It won’t come all at once. Sometimes it is hard to tell as the workouts will vary too - sometimes sprinting, sometimes low torque, sometimes just general endurance riding.

Did you just start using the platform and take the Full Frontal for the 1st time and were you doing any prior training before SYSTM?

Generally riders see faster gains when they are new to training. Also Full Frontal is a challenging test - hard to get just right when you are starting out. I had an experience like that where my numbers felt easy for a while until I retested but it is still good to follow the plan as you are still making adaptations - training your leg muscles to respond, working on core strength and better bike position, working on recovery after efforts. All of those little things will help build a solid base for further gains.

As noted in my prior post, make small changes and keep notes after each workout on how you felt.


@JSampson @AkaPete @TTDragon I think you misunderstood the question. I know the 4DP profile doesn’t change unless you do a fitness test. I was wondering if, as a rider gets stronger (between fitness tests), is that reflected in the workout statistics such as 20 minute power reported in the Power section of the Activity Details? In other words, If I’m getting stronger, will the 20 min power I generated in November be greater than the 20 min power I generated in September? (looking at the data - it bounces around a lot - different workouts focusing on different things I guess). I’m definitely not going to do Angles every day for a month and plot the trend…

If you increase the intensity of your workouts or ride in Level mode, then yes.

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As @Sir_Brian_M said, not unless you increase the intensity or ride in level mode and go on RPE.

Just say your FTP is 200w, and a work out is a simple 20min block at 80% FTP ie 150w. Your 20 min power for that work out will be 150w. That won’t change no matter how strong you may be getting until the app updates your FTP to a new higher value which is either manually (not really recommended) or via one of the fitness tests, Half Monty or Full Frontal.


@Sir_Brian_M @TTDragon
Got it!