All In Suffering

After having been a Zwift user for the past couple of years, I have just transferred over to “The Dark Side” to give Sufferfest a go.

I completed the Full Frontal test last week , and just loaded up the “All In Training Plan - Cycling” as am used to doing x5 workouts per week, but was surprised yesterday by how easy the workout was (The Wretched) then realized after reading the notes it was reduced intensity due to " These 4-week plans place less stress on your immune system while leveraging cross-training and mental toughness sessions to improve full-body strength and help you develop new skills." It was show that I should be in Z5 HR on the video, when I’m not even in Z3…

What’s the thoughts on doing them at 100% of 4DP as full training. This week should be:
Tues - The Wretched, Weds - GCN - Max Efforts Minimum Time, Thurs - Nine Hammers, Fri - Who Dares.

I’m assuming, that because I haven’t moved the order of the workouts they should build, but not destroy me? Worst case I give it a go and crash and burn?

Hi @caashford, and welcome to The Sufferfest. :slight_smile:

You could try to go with a higher intensity for these workouts, but it will be difficult to judge at which point the coaches would recommend a lower intensity on purpose. Most “normal” plans work on a 2:1 schedule (with two harder “on” weeks and a recovery week).

If you plan your training load too high, you are risking injury and won’t see the progression you are probably hoping for. After all, rest periods are vital to your gains.

Is there any reason why you are already set on the All-In plan?

You can select plenty of other plans with only indoor riding and 5+ days of training. The most popular for first timers will probably be the All-Purpose Road plan - my personal favorite.
It‘s a 12 week plan with a fitness test (half monty) in the middle and another 4DP at the end. You can scale the plan to your desired level: novice/intermediate/advanced.

Make sure to also try the excellent yoga, strength and mental toughness programms. It will help you become an even more well rounded athlete.

I am sure we will find a fitting plan and get you to really suffer. :wink:

I am not familiar with that plan but generally when a plan has strength and/or a higher volume of training the intensity may be reduced. All in Cycling appears to be a one month plan that perhaps is a stepping stone to some of the longer plans.

Here is a link on what to do on good / bad days that might help with intensity adjustments.

Also, depending on the type of workout you were doing, heart rate may not be as good of an indicator for the situation. Here is a link to SUF’s info on HR.

I would suggest continuing and making small adjustments and get the hang of the program. Don’t worry - Gunther Von Agony will definitely find you at some point.

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Hi @caashford,
Welcome to the dark side. Those “All-In” Plans came out in the early stages of CoVid and were intended to be all-“indoors” as opposed to all-in as far as effort. During this time most people were faced with a couple of scenarios. Not being able to go outside to ride, run, swim or lift as well as the uncertainty of risk for illness. With that in mind, many sessions have reduced intensity parameters around them allowing more variety in the plan. I would not recommend doing the plan at 100%. In fact, even though I admire your ambition to do the week that you mentioned at full gas, this would leave most folks broken and whimpering. Beyond that it would not be a good training stimulus.

However if you want to keep the plan and make it a bit more challenging I would consider doing one of the workouts early in the week at 100% then reducing the next. With the week you described, The wretched at reduced intensity as it won’t fully blast you, then coming back to GCN Max efforts at 100%- You want to be fresh for this! Follow with Nine hammers at reduced intensity (this is a MAP workout that you need to be fresh to get the gains for if you are doing it full gas) Then Friday, Starting Who Dares at full intensity depending on how you feel - then backing off if you can’t hold the targets.

I hope this is helpful. There is not just 1 right way to do it but there is a wrong way. That would be doing all of them at 100%.



Speaking for myself, trying to do The Wretched and Nine Hammers at 100% within two days of each other would make me cry and curl up into a ball.


Cheers all! I’m just going to stick with the sessions (and target power) as per the plan. I have had to move some around based on personal availability (weekends are for outdoor riding), but letting the plan adjust the intensity of the 4DP. I’m sure it will be challenging enough by the end of each week that I will appreciate the rest!


I have similar question; after first some (not very fulfilling) Zwift experience for a few months, I started with Sufferfest about 2 months ago, for the structured training approach. Completed 4DP test, and now in the Fitness kick starter 10-week (?) program, with approx 4 one hour sessions a week. Really looking forward to the sessions, but some are at reduced intensity and feel too easy. I am not experienced enough to know how important rest is (I’ve read there is a rest week every 3 or 4 weeks), so often I find myself increasing the intensity, or doing extra rides outdoors easily (also bc of nice weather, these are not at all structured training, e.g. more touring). Maybe I am also looking more often to swap an indoor session with an outdoor ride, so I can also enjoy nice weather etc. Though especially in that case, I would like the remaining indoor sessions to be real sessions, rather not reduced intensity.

Hi @piekpower. How far into the Fitness Kickstarter plan are you? I’m on week 2 and had Butter and The Way Out on successive days and that was plenty hard enough for me. Week 1 is meant to be an easy transition. Week 2 works on strength and Week 3 is a normal recovery week. The next 3 follow the 2:1 hard/recovery pattern with Half Monty check-in at the end. There’s then a 3:1 pattern to get you to the final FF session

If you’re past week 1 and not yet suffering on the non-reduced intensity sessions you can follow the advice in the link about good days vs bad days above and wait until HM resets your targets after week 6. Alternatively you could do an cheeky extra HM now. FF can be tricky to pace correctly (check out the threads on that in the forum) so your 4DP might not be spot on. HM is more guided and can be easier to measure your FTP and MAP this way

It would be interesting to know what works for you and good luck with getting some true suffering!

hi! I have the Half Monty end of next week, so far I remember one week with really hard workouts, e.g. 1.5 week ago with The Downward Spiral, Blender (mini) and Tool Shed. This week most workouts are on reduced intensity, so I have a bit of a feeling I am missing opportunities… but maybe that is just how planning of training should work. Thanks,

Ah! So you’re ahead of me on the plan. I have that hard week in the week after next. I agree that the reduced intensity rides can seem a bit pointless. I’ve started to do them without the video and storyline as they don’t match what I’m being asked to do but the advice around here is to trust the plan. Here’s one such comment from someone who should know what he’s talking about:

I would still advise manually adjusting the intensity of the non-reduced intensity rides according to if you’re not getting sufficient suffering when recovery is not the intention

Thanks for the reply! Yes about the reduced intensity rides, indeed the video’s etc are a bit pointless; often I just watch Netflix or sth. Two improvements could be: 1) make some targeted recovery video’s without all the mentioning of YOU NEED TO SUFFER :slight_smile: , and use these in the training programs. These could be focused more on enjoying mountains (like some with the Col Collective, where they explain about a region etc.) Maybe also to make more explicit in the schedule what is (and was, looking back) a recovery week/training. If you open a completed workout, I think it is currently not possible to see that it was reduced?

Other than that, I like the platform so far, keep up the good work.
Looking forward to the Half Monty in a week, and following that I see some intense workouts :smiley:.

I must say, after the Half Monty last weekend where my FTP and MAP values increased significantly (+45 and +30), I am looking forward to a reduced intensity session now :hot_face:… oh men the Nine Hammers were almost Nine Hammers too much…

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I’m glad to hear that the suffering has truly commenced for you. It’s the Revolver, Downward Spiral, Blender &Tool Shed week for me atm. They’ve been so close to the edge of doable that I’m dreading Half Monty pushing my numbers up any further :disappointed_relieved:

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And how did it go for you?

Must say even the ‘reduced intensity’ rides are also less boring since my update half monty numbers; not anymore the feeling I am pedalling in the air (just did Angels with reduced %).

Now I am just hoping I can show (at least) the same numbers in the 4PD test in two weeks.

Luckily(?) a modest (2-3%) increase in FTP and MAP from HM at the halfway stage of the Fitness Kickstarter. So hopefully the rest of the 100% workouts will be maybe doable (Nine Hammers, 14 Vice Grips, Omnium, Violator? :scream: - ok maybe not - we’ll see)

Top tip for a good HM performance: don’t suddenly take up running and lifting heavy weights the day before. Primers was “interesting” after that, to say the least

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