Getting by with Half Monty


I’ve very recently found my way to SYSTM and enjoyed the two trial weeks with the system. After the birth of my daughter I haven’t been on the bike in a meaningful way in 5 months. :grimacing:

Before starting a plan SYSTM seems to highly recommend doing the Full Frontal test first.

After watching some YouTube video’s and reading some topics here on the Full Frontal test I’ve started to worry that my lack of recent training will not allow me to properly pace the test and thereby compromising my further training.

Is there anything seriously wrong with starting a block of training with Half Monty (even though this doesn’t seem to be recommended?) for now and only taking Full Frontal in a few weeks time when I’ve gotten a better handle on my cycling chops.



Not at all. Probably the right idea anyway for your situation. Think thats how I started out after the 14 day. The most critical # for workout planning is your FTP value anyway, and HM will get you started.

HM is decidedly less challenging to “get right” than FF, and less stressful. Do the HM, then pick maybe a shorter plan of 4-6 weeks to acclimate you to the program and your setup. Most plans Ive done end w a FF, but you could also just tack on the FF week after any plan.


I agree with @CPT_A. Your plans seems sound and reasonable.

Which, however, means GvA would be very disappointed in you. lol.

@Glen.Coutts Get outta my head!


Also watching the Vlog post from Sir Mac wouldn’t hurt either. It goes through how to get the most out of Full Frontal. It will still make you feel like you went through a wringer, backwards, but you’ll know why and when to go all out and when to hold some in reserve (who are we fooling, that’s for the recovery day, when you’ve finished and finally got off your bike). However, the vlog will prevent you from stalling on the five and 20 minute efforts though.


Another good resource is the recent Knowledge podcast about testing: :microphone: New Episode! The Knowledge - Why Fitness Testing Matters :microphone: - The Knowledge Podcast - SYSTM Forum (

Since you’ve been detrained your numbers might change pretty rapidly. When you do feel up to FF, consider a Half Monty in the same week to give you “fresh” baselines to aim for pacing in the 5 / 20 min–this is something suggested in the podcast linked above. The “Fitness Test Prep” training plan gives you this option.


@jmckenzieKOS do you have a link to the Vlog?

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I heartily recommend doing the 7 Day Fitness Test Prep plan which includes a HM in the middle and has the FF at the end. That’s how I started SYSTM and it worked very well for me. If at the end you feel the FF didn’t go well, just do the 7 days again, spacing it out a few days with some recovery workouts.

I find it useful to think of the HM and FF as just being really hard workouts rather than something uniquely different. I figure the 7 day prep consists of legit workouts so is not a throwaway.


Oh, we’ve had MUCH discussion about this one. If I can make a suggestion - get your HM numbers, then do FF once as exactly that - just a hard workout. Do it in ERG mode, meeting the power targets w/o trying to follow the script, just to get a feel for the pacing of the thing.

Don’t let FF get in your head. :smirk:

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It’s mentioned several times here in the forums. Maybe a coach can supply it as well.

This is Sir Dylan giving a video rundown:


Yeah. When I first joined I searched the forum on the FF subject and saw the discussion about using ERG mode. I figured I’d follow the instructions and do it in Level Mode, which worked well for me. I’m an experienced cyclist and experienced on a trainer as well so that might figure in. Somebody who’s new might find using ERG mode a good way to start out.


Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I found out that the “Transition Plan - Ramp it Up” does exactly what I intended to do (starts with Half Monty ends with Full Frontal after 6 weeks) so I’ll be following that!


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