Revolver - didn't seem so bad

So everything I’ve read and heard about Revolver is that it should be awful. I just did it and it wasn’t.

I did a 4dp test recently which I think I did properly.(except NM. I just can’t sprint on a Turbo and can easily do another 100// 150w on a real bike).
NM:928, AC:445, MAP:312, FTP:270
Haven’t done a test for 9 months and the numbers are lower than last time, but only by about 10-15w.

So revolver, most of the intervals were at 306. Even towards the end my HR was barely getting into Z4, and although it was a bit tiring it definitely never felt like a sprint or a max effort. Upping the cadence made it harder (I’m naturally a spinner, so 100rpm isn’t really very fast.).

Any suggestions? I was thinking of trying it again next week and either upping it by 5%, or maybe doing it on ramp mode and just doing each 1min max effort and seeing how the numbers look at the end


I’d do what you suggest. Just run it higher.

My guess would be (without knowing any of your history / strengths etc, so it IS guesswork) that your MAP is higher than what came out in the test.

You could always try another MAP workout with the MAP number a wee bit higher right from the start in your base numbers and see how you get on?

For example - add 5% to your base MAP number and then do Nine Hammers?
For some people that can help assess things.

Or, after you’re rested again also do the half Monty thing and wring every single watt out of the ramp … all the way … and see what that gives you as a ‘second opinion’)


I’d never thought of Revolver as awful. Hard but doable. Just a simple solid workout. Violator is awful. Half is Easy is awful. Defender is THE.WORST.WORKOUT.EVER (ymmv, I know it’s Sir @emacdoug’s favourite)


Hey @Leon_99 ,
From your 4DP numbers, it appears you have a Vo2 weakness which may make Revolver easier for you. Try 14 Vice Grips and see how you do with 322 watts. If that workout seems easy(ish), consider doing a HM and see how deep you can dig.



thanks for the advice- how do you mean by a Vo2 weakness making it easier?

I’ll give 14 Vice Grips a go next week and see how that pans out, and I’m up for a HM too

With your 4DP numbers, your rider profile will have Vo2 as your rider type weakness. For you, the IF (intensity factor) will be a bit lower for Revolver , so in effect, a bit easier. Does that make sense?


My 4DP numbers are almost identical to yours, although my MAP weakness is not so big, have you ever done a Half Monty to set a MAP? It took me a couple of Full Frontals to pace the 5min MAP test right having the target from HM really helped with the pain!

I found Revolver easy last time I did it, by interval 7 my HR was barely getting above my cTHR. I bumped up the difficulty of the last 8 intervals to 97% of my MAP and still finished the workout. TSS 73 and IF was 0.99!

I think that the tales of extreme difficulty of this workout date back to pre power meter days, and pre the intervention of sports science. I remember doing it to RPE on a dumb trainer and going 10/10 on every interval and rolling off the bike into a puddle of sweat at the end.


You could also try doing revolver on level mode. That way you’ll be able to ride by RPE instead of just power. Having said that, there were some pretty lengthy discussions about adjustments made to workouts, to make them more scientific, ie accomplishing the intended goal of the workout, instead of simply smashing yourself to bits on every one.


Your point about pacing is spot on. It may take a few FFs to get it down pat. Also if you have a nice AC relative to MAP, your ability to repeat the efforts makes it more tolerable.
Revolver is still a hard workout but you should always be able to finish with something left in the tank.


Yes I was going to add something to my post about how perhaps its not the MAP weakness that makes Revolver “easy” rather the AC strength relative to MAP that makes it easy?


You spelled The Shovel wrong……


Digging down is “fine”, it’s getting back out that usually kills me. :joy:


I just knew you would have mentioned this Sir :sweat_smile:
Oh and it’s also one of my favourite rides too.

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MAP weakness SHOULD make Revolver easy, this is to be expected. if it still feels counterintuitive why a workout that’s supposed to train your “weakness” feels easy, remember that the corollary way of stating “MAP weakness” in the Suff world is “FTP strength,” because strengths and weaknesses in the system are all relative to your other parameters, not to other people.

MAP and FTP are not physiological characteristics of you, they are performance measurements that are intended to proxy close enough to certain physiological characteristics, for use within the SUF’s simplified model. This isn’t a knock on SUF, all models are simplified, otherwise they wouldn’t be useful.

So then think, what physiological adaptations support a high FTP? here’s a couple i can think of, definitely folks please weigh in if you can think of others:

  1. high availability of the transporters that escort energy-rich but chemically complex fat chains across the cell membrane into the muscle cell so that it can be used
  2. high availability of the transporters that shuttle lactate back into the muscle cell to be burned for additional energy
  3. high mitochondrial density and function to chomp up those fats and lactate and turn it into ATP
  4. high capillary density to make sure all that good stuff (oxygen, fat, more lactate) gets to all the working muscles

Upshot is, this person is getting more power out of their most efficient motor units and getting more energy for less glycogen (bc more comes from fat and lactate). For a person with a MAP weakness, I’d think of this as they have FTP that is relatively high percentage of their VO2max and they have a tremdnous amount of the above-listed adaptations.

Imagine person 2, who has high MAP relative to FTP. the same adaptations listed above for high-FTP also support five minute power, but this second person, in our example, must have other characteristics too that make their MAP outpace the FTP, relatively. Like for example, maybe they have stronger, better trained large motor units and decent relative endurance of those motor units to support high short power, and central adaptations that let them churn more oxygenated blood through the system faster.

person 1 doing revolver: compared to person 2, for the power target, they are getting more power for each interval from fat and then from the recycled lactate. Means that between intervals, their recovery is easier (less used = less to replete), and by the end of the workout they have used less glycogen meaning they are less fatigued. They could finish this workout nose-breathing.

So yes, for MAP weakness person, i’d either increase the power targets or use different MAP-targeting workouts that are more sustained.


PS, @JGreengrass, to your question about, maybe it’s the AC strength that is driving the result, there’s a decent chance that we’re saying the same thing, because of how SUF determines the AC value. Because it comes at the end of the test, “high AC” in SUF is impacted by recovery and freshness at the end, so the same characteristics that give someone high FTP also lets them bounce back and/or stay fresh enough at the finish to really jam that 1 minute at the end.

Personal anecdote, i’m most often a MAP weakness guy. It gets more balanced when i really hit MAP hard, but more often than not, MAP is weak. Even with no sprint training, my AC consistently rises each season, some years it’s gotten as high as 63% of the NM value and not that far off of my fresh 1-min max. And i’m pretty sure a lot of that comes from the same things that make FTP high relative to MAP


Just did the remastered Revolver. Have done it 4 times previously, always in Erg and every time I was bumping intensity to 105% for the last few sets.

Did it in Level mode today. Brutal. But I also was able to exceed every target and I racked up an IF of 1.10. I do think I under-tested on my last FF, but I’m still pretty stoked.


So I went back and did a Half Monty. I found it much easier to pace (obviously ramp on erg), and got 340 MAP and 285 FTP!

I have been training, so some of that could be improvement. It’s also similar to my older numbers. I’m beginning to think maybe I just did a bad FF.

I’m not sure I’ll get another indoor session in this week unless it’s tomorrow (not sure the idea of back to back is a good one), but will be interesting to see how the adjusted values change the dynamic of the sessions I’ve been finding a bit easy.

Something that I found interesting on the half Monty was how hard I had to ride to keep it in the HR zone. It suggested I started at 213w, but I actually had to keep it much more like 250/260 to get my HR up there. It was tough but manageble and I held it solidly. The way it was described I thought it would be an easy spin!!


@devolikewhoa I have definitely seen that guy in my pain cave.

Seriously that describes me - especially for races and I tend to do better the longer the race because I can just stay at a high percentage of VO2 max when others start to fade. Very useful commentary!


That’s usually how that bit goes. I just checked my last three HMs: the 20min bit was 84% of the FTP that came out of that test. So basically, it’s a Tempo ride.

Yours is at 90%. It is a little high, but still Tempo (albeit at the higher boundary).

I have revolver on my plan this Thursday. After reading this thread I am hoping it will be a breeze!!! :upside_down_face::upside_down_face::upside_down_face::face_vomiting: