"Older" Workouts vis New Workouts:

I am with the SUFFERFEST since 2015 and the days of video downloads. Its played a huge part in my training.

Lately I have been thinking about the older workouts (9 hammers, AVDP) reading comments about 9th hammer, upcoming changes to HHNF intensity etc.

All the newer workouts regardless of focus FTP, MAP, AC push me but never break me. I think this is a good thing, I come back ready for more.

However the older workouts like 9H and AVDP … break me, pick me up and smash me again!!! Regardless of how good I am feeling. I am reasonably fit with ftp of 3,75 w/kg and MAP of 4,8 but these seasions crack me … consistently!!

I know this is not the case for everyone and I am not trying to generalise but I would love to know what others think of the newer sessions vrs older. Maybe @David.McQuillen.KoS @Coach.Mac.C might row in?

  • List item
  • Has the introduction of the sports science team in recent years results in adaptations to workout structure and targets?
  • Is is just me or do others have similar experience ?
  • Should I just suck it up and try harder :slight_smile:
1 Like

Couldn’t agree more. It;s been fascinating watching the evolution of the workouts in recent years and the Sports Science approach is a revelation. As you say, in the last couple of years the workouts have been challenging (extremely so at times) but do’able and without completely destroying me. This, in turn, for me personally has resulted in a level of fitness I could only ever dream about previously.


@washsaint Glad its not just me :slight_smile: !! I do enjoy going back through the older vids but today AVDP had me in pieces.

Often times it actually puts me off doing them and I have moved to newer workouts / No Vids for most of my sessions

Fully agree with you, my gains and energy are in much better place with the evolution of the app.

I blew up just before the end of Hammer 6 of Nine Hammers just 2 and a half weeks ago. Now after a retest I’ve increased all my numbers, so I’m definitely not trying Nine Hammers again any time soon!


Since the workouts are relative to your abilities, your numbers, by themselves, do not tell you how easy or hard the workout is.

I have lower numbers than you, but I completed AVDP just last month, and I usually complete 9H. I probably have different strengths and weaknesses.

My feeling is that if I do a workout at 100% and I fail at some point, I am improving.


I’m of the mindset that you don’t “fail” if you can’t finish nine hammers, I love sessions where i have a number of reps at a certain intensity that I probably won’t reach, I plan these for running swimming and biking.
And I feel that every session I gave it everything I had I must be better then yesterday.
So be proud for even starting nine hammers, many mortals shudder just thinking about it.


I’m finding exactly the same. The newer videos just seem to be that little bit more “forgiving”. Some of the older ones just seem intent on smashing you to pieces! I wonder if the older videos are as science based as the newer ones or just kept for posterity? I tend to prefer the newer ones because they seem more achievable. First time I attempted 9 Hammers I was in top form and barely made it halfway before stalling! Is a 0.98 IF for an hour with a super hard ending really achievable?

1 Like

@Peteski Maybe not but I keep telling myself it is achievable.

1 Like

It does feel like Sufferfest/SUF is maturing and I really like seeing the changes come. Less about all out, no pain, no gain, and more into a more “moderate” approach. The aim for me is to train myself and get stronger and faster, not to smash myself every session, and I feel like these new workouts and video’s really are great to keep me going for longer and with more consistency.

It’s nice to have a heavy hitter once in a while, AVDP, 9H, The Shovel, … But if I’m getting those sessions every week it becomes detrimental, both physically and mentally. So it seems like the team is getting the balance right, where they would overdo it a little in older sessions, but at the same time, sometimes overreaching is just what you need.


Science is an evolving discipline.
The older workouts correspond to the state of the art at that time.

It also depends on your abilities. Nobody is going to be good at everything, nor can you train (relative to your peers) to be good at everything. Since the workouts are adjusted to your abilities, there will always be workouts that break you that others can finish.

If you try your best, there are no failures here, just learning experiences.


@Peteski I think we found your answer. See Coach Mac’s post on 9H as a benchmark workout:

1 Like

Many thanks for this link. That makes sense now.

As it happens I had 9H pop up on my plan again last week and again I “failed” in the middle of the 5th hammer and then only managed about a minute in each of the remaining 3 MAP hammers. But managed to complete the remaining threshold hammer.

This time I didn’t try to dig massively deep in the MAP intervals as I knew they were beyond me at 100%. I threw in the towel slightly earlier than I might have done previously to avoid completely blowing up.

Based on all my other sessions I think my FF numbers are pretty accurate. I just think 9H is ridiculously hard! I think to get through it at 100% I would need to treat it like a FF test with a prep week and be prepared to absolutely smash myself! Last week’s plan was already tough enough with GCN Aerobic Endurance the day before and 2 big weekend rides following. So I’m glad I didn’t bury myself too much on this occasion.