Speed Demon vs Volcano Climbing on a 6 - 10 minutes climb

Good morning everyone / coaches,

Nothing like coffee and sufferfest to start the day.

I have been pondering which plan to follow next. I just finished a 12 week plan last week.
Rider Type: Sprinter
Weakness: Sustained Effort

I am hesitating between Speed Demon and Volcano Climbing since I do not want to commit another 12 weeks for the moment. The hills around my place are 6 to 10 minutes long (at my pace) and I would like to improve on those while keeping my sprinting abilities on the flat. So my question is which of the two plans do you recommend? I know it sound self-explanatory with the names, but I’m guessing the punch one gets with speed demon really helps on short steep climbs.

Also, I did 4DP last week and planning on taking a 2 - 3 weeks “vacation” if possible (after two days I jumped back on the bike). Do you recommend Half Monty or 4DP the week before the plan?


What sort of timeline do you have in mind for making your improvements?

The reason being, both of those plans are reasonably short at 4 weeks. You could look at maximising your PRs on the local hills by taking a longer term view, as 6-10 mins is a painful length of effort at beyond threshold. It might be worth targeting spring as a time to peak, as that will give you a bit more time to take your time off the bike in the next 3 weeks and then build from there. The Transition Ramp Up plan at 6 weeks takes you in to mid/late-Feb, then it may be worth thinking about a Buildings Blocks threshold/tempo for 3 or 4 weeks, followed by a MAP focus building block.


I am just finishing Volcano Climbing this weekend. The 1st two weeks are fairly intense but I have definitely seen gain in both FTP and MAP and am looking forward to testing again at some point. The 3rd week also includes some intensity and the 4th week is recovery. I thought it was a good offseason plan for me after finishing the in season MTB plan and I am focused on a KOS attempt next after some additional training via that plan.


Hey @Reynaldo_Lopez,
You can’t go wrong with either plans. They are both short but intense. One option is to do Volcano Climbing then do Speed Demon… After those, take a week to transition to the Tour of Sufferlandria which starts on Feb 14. Whatever you choose, just make sure it works for you. keep us posted on your progress!



Thanks @Coach.Spencer.R
Quick question; is it OK to go into Speed Demon right after Volcano Climbing or is it recommended to get a rest week in between after week 4? What about a HM or FF in between?

Thank you again!


Hey @Reynaldo_Lopez,
You get a nice rest week in week 4 of the Volcano Climbing Plan. Since you did FF last week, I’m thinking that you jump right into the Speed Demon Plan then do HM at the end of the recovery week of that plan.
Let us know how it goes!


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Keeping you guys posted with the evolution (in case anyone is interested).

Currently on WEEK 3 of Volcano Climbing:

After a bit of a break during Christmas right after All Purpose Plan finishing with FF I got on the bike again in January. I took two weeks riding some 0.8 IF video and then got onto Volcano Climbing + Intermediate Strength 4 - 6.

So far it has been BRUTAL. My weakness is Sustained Efforts and this plans throws long FTP workouts with surges one after the other. I have been struggling to hit the power targets by the end of say, Told Off by Angels, The Hunted, Thin Air…anyways when I take on The Shovel or Who Dares it is just a bliss, funny how the body works (or am I getting stronger already?).

For the coach when I struggle by the end of this long efforts and cannot hit power targets, I just put my head down and power through with whatever I have left in the tank until time’s up; is this OK or is this punishing detrimental to the gains?

How am I feeling? Tire, sore, stronger and motivated. I feel is the amount of strain that makes you feel you are getting some gains day after day.

After week 4 of the plan (rest week) taking on the Tour for the first time!


Hey Reynaldo,
It’s all good just make sure you are recovering from your hard rides.
Keep up the good work!


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Hi guys. I thought I’d bump this thread rather than start (yet another) new one. Hope that’s ok…

I’m halfway through the all purpose plan and am trying to plan my workout through to year end. Aside from setting up for a new 12 week plan from Jan, like @Reynaldo_Lopez I’m also keen to improve on a few local climbs that happen to be around the 6-10 minute mark.

Thanks to the good suggestions here I’m thinking of a Speed Demon/Volcano Climbing duo in Nov/Dec with a HM in between (I’ll have done FF before the start). My question is this though, particularly for @Coach.Spencer.R but, please, anyone with experience of these plans - how do these two plans compare and contrast to the Building Blocks (FTP and MAP I guess) ? I’m keen to lift my FTP but with a VO2 weakness I know I need to raise my MAP.

Are the building blocks the new, new way to attack the same goals as those the SD/VC go for? Or is it more nuanced?

Thanks in advance!


Hey @leebo ,
The Volcano and Speed demon plans have the highest intensity densities of all plans in our line up with Volcano being higher in volume than Speed Demon. It all depends on goals, future events and time available to train. The block plans offer a bit less intensity density/volume while supporting gains for each plan. Keep in mind the plans will be evolving as the new app is released next Tuesday. I’d suggest giving them a look before making your final decision.
Hope that helps a bit.



Thanks @Coach.Spencer.R , much appreciated. Volcano and Speed demon sound right up my street. They’ll probably kill me, but I’ll go down fighting!

I will definitely wait for the new app before making any decisions.

Thanks again,


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Seen it, got it, love it. Thanks @Coach.Spencer.R !

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Both these plans seem to have disappeared from the SYSTM app now there is no longer a Special Focus category. Will they be restored or are they hidden in another category that I couldn’t find? Thank.

With the removal of these plans, is there a direct proxy in the new setup and what would be best to go for?


As long as the old app is still available, you can still access those plans.

I think these have been replaced by the new building blocks. You can now choose the amount of time you want from the blocks, which wasn’t an option before. I don’t think any of the new ones are exactly the same, however

Indeed and that is what I have currently done and been advising other people to do, I just wonder what the long-term solution is.

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I did a quick comparison of those plans and the MAP block and they did not seem to be really similar.

I booked the volcano climb for the beginning of November in the old app during this week and it was regularly overturned on the new one.
I did this because also for my profile I can’t find a plan with a similar training volume.

I set mine for January and it is still there.

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