How important is for me to hit cadence targets in SYSTM?

Hi everyone! I am new to proper cycle training. I’m on a kickr smart bike and i’m getting into SYSTM. I started the 14 day introductory plan and I did my half Monty test and have done 3 training videos, but although I can hit the power targets, my heart rate is in the low range of what is expected on the display, and I have difficulty meeting the cadence target… I can’t keep up 90-95 in what I suppose is my aerobic zone… I got FTP 163, MAP 197 and the test estimated NM 532 and AC 267. My cTHR was 145. The thing is, today I did the kayabike video workout, I could meet the wattage with a cadence of 70-75, but the target was often 90-95 which I found hard to sustain for any length of time. It seemed to me that this workout was designed as an aerobic endurance workout, but I was working a little hard all the time, it felt more like a tempo workout and I couldn’t hit the cadence with any ease. Is it worth tweaking the numbers that the half Monty gave me? Or should I ignore the cadence targets? Thanking you in advance for any insight!

Hi and welcome @Lijou i also struggle to hit cadence targets most of the time and although ERG workouts shouldn’t make any difference I now try to do a lot of workouts in the small chainring rather than the big ring, this makes it a bit easier to hit those cadence targets while hitting power targets as well but there are quite a few Threshold workouts where I’m at least 10 to 15 rpms down on the target cadence. I don’t worry too much about it as for me hitting Power Targts is more important unless your doing specific cadence workouts like Elements Of Style. Hope this helps and I’m sure you’ll get other responses which will help more than mine.

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Tack this to your wall. An updated version is supposedly inbound. In general, your focus should be power targets, though occasionally you’ll focus on cadence (usually cadence drills).

And welcome!


Just to clarify, this isn’t a function of the bike, right? I’m toying with upgrading from the KICKR to the BIKE and am not currently having problems meeting cadence or power.

Is soft pedal meet yet the watts and low cadence?

G.O.A.T. and Power Station are more cadence focused as well. The idea is to engage the muscle fibers used in those workouts. Less power may be acceptable, but try to stay within the zone requested to get maximum benefit.

Your body will learn how to sustain higher cadence with time and practice. When it does, you’ll find it helpful to be able to switch to faster and slower cadences. In the meantime, don’t worry about it.

I also suggest you take a look at the Elements of Style workout. You can substitute it for whatever is on your schedule or wait until your plan is over. It teaches proper form—both pedaling and body position. While it takes a long time for it to truly become automatic (it’s a work in progress for me), better form might help with higher cadence. It did for me. In fact, when I struggle to get cadence up (or struggle with hitting power targets), I often shift my focus to better form instead of just pushing harder.

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No, any smart trainer would likely be similar. Shouldn’t be a difference between the Kickr and Bike - other than the lighter wallet.


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If you’re newer to riding it’s okay to right at a more comfortable cadence for most of the sessions. I would suggest riding sessions like Cadence Builds, Cadence Builds and Holds, and Cadence Drills more often to help improve your neuromuscular coordination. After a while you’ll find you can more comfortably ride at higher cadences. For sessions like GOAT and Power Station you would also need to ride those at cadences lower than the ones prescribed since your current preferred cadence is in the low 70s.


I echo the suggestion of cadence drills (there are a couple of videos for that).

After doing 3-4 sessions, I’m guessing you will be spinning 10 rpm faster.


Hi. No issues with the kickr bike. For the cadence drills, I can soon at 130-140 with mod problem (for the bike. Tough for me )

Thank you @Shaned1972 ! It seems I am not alone! That is useful to know.

Wow, thanks @CPT_A ! That’s is very useful!

I don’t think so, I think it is a function of my results for the half Monty… on other workouts I have managed to pedal much higher cadences.

That is a very useful reply @AkaPete , I was wondering about that, I have a feeling that it’s just my endurance at high cadence is not there yet…

Thank you @Coach.Mac.C !
I will certainly do those workouts as soon as my 14 day intro plan is over. I need to pedal above my preferred cadence for sure!

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Thanks for confirming that @Joey_Roa ! I will definitely do them!

Those sessions really helped me at higher cadence, and as you say after only a handful of times too.