The 9th Hammer -- Too much? Just right?

It’s the interval that strikes fear into the hearts of all the other intervals. I’ll ask the question that none dare ask: Is the 9th hammer in Nine Hammers too hard? Or is it just right.


Or is the ninth hammer really the victim here? That ‘recovery’ between H8 and H9 May be the real bad guy


It is too hard. But it is also a sanity check. IF I can do it= time for FF…


It’s the start of the 8th and the “recovery” that does you before the 9th.


Depends what it’s for, doesn’t it? If it’s essentially intended to cause you to crack unless you’re well on top of your numbers, it’s doing a bang-up job. If not, then yes, it’s too hard.

I think it’s fine as is. Nothing wrong with the idea that 9H is a ‘failure’ workout unless you’re flying. It’s one of the most satisfying ones to complete ‘properly’ for that reason.


Totally agree on that satisfaction – it’s not been often, but when I come into that final straight heading to the finish line and I’m still on top of it…that is one hell of a brilliant feeling (once I can feel anything again, mind you).


Nine Hammers is definitely too hard - but that’s the point for me, when I can do it time to retest.


I agree with those who say it’s too hard and that there’s nothing wrong with that.

If it’s indeed meant to drive you all the way to failure, then completing it should really only be possible if you’re having a very good day (or bad 4DP numbers).


I still remember the first time riding Nine Hammers after 4DP arrived on the scene and looking at the graph and thinking there is no way! What did those evil geniuses do to this! I still dread, fear, loathe the last interval but I love it too.

The newer videos are great, and there is something to not leaving you weeping softly in a puddle of lactic acid after every ride, but I love some workouts that ask everything and then push you a little bit more. So I would say just right, but next time MAKE ME SUFFER!


For what it’s worth, I love NH! I even completed my KoS quest with it… nowhere near 100% though and definitely peddling squares! Those last two intervals are immense! You’ve taken an absolute kicking and then get sucker punched!

I love the challenge of it. I relate those last two to tough climbs on the road when I want to climb off the bike and throw it in the nearest hedge! If I can do those last two, I do almost anything!

I got my new 4DP a couple of weeks ago but due to nice weather for a change, I’ve been riding outdoors so I haven’t tried them out. I can feel the fear building! Looking through my next training plan, I don’t see NH… I do see violator though?! The world can be cruel!

Suffer well!


I think being a Sufferlandrian asks for nothing less than the ninth hammer being brutal. It’s like the last set in Fight club, normally I break then unless i’m flying. Nine Hammers is no different.


Nine Hammers must be changed, but not dialed down. If I were to actually hit myself with nine hammers, I’d be a bit of a mess.

Thus, this should be stated. Throw down the gauntlet. GvA is testing your mettle. He expects you to fail. Prove him wrong if you can.


I’ve never gone deeper than in that last hammer it showed me just how far I could push myself. Sometimes though it’s just too much and the mind or the legs just won’t do it. The feeling of satisfaction when you do have the good day is immense. Then I come crashing back to earth realising I might have to retest! :face_vomiting:


If SUF had dynamic workouts then the 9th Hammer could just keep hammering you until you crack. Who wouldn’t want that feature? So there you go, don’t fret over the rightness of the targets, just implement dynamic workouts. “Simples” :hammer: :hammer: :hammer: :hammer: :hammer: :hammer: :hammer: :hammer: :hammer_and_pick:

Hmm, so maybe this wasn’t a request for new features post. So, for now, my answer for the 9th Hammer is just left.


Good question!

Is Sir Neal considering to add a bonus hammer?
Having an extra hammer at hand if 9 Hammers just feel right would make sense in some way :thinking:

That said, I was hammered deeply into the ground after h7 at my latest attempt.

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As @Martin said, I do wonder if the toughness of those last two and that ridiculous “recovery” could annoy some new customers. Those of us that know 9H, know what we are about to it…
Maybe something in the blurb or the video mentioning that this is a very hard workout and that the challenge is to try and complete it?
And I agree with @MattB too - it’s the recovery that makes it so hard. Your eyes see a rest, but your legs scream that something isn’t quite right here! Then suddenly you have to go hard again…



I need the 9th Hammer, as it is. I think we all do. But not for any of the training reasons you’re thinking. It keeps me humble. No matter how good I get, it reminds me I’m still nothing special nor will I ever be. If I have a good day and manage to pull it off, it’s a reminder that I’m not working hard enough.


A challenge is only a challenge if there is a real possibility of failure. 9H is always a challenge.

There is finishing 9H and hitting the targets. Depending on your rider type and how accurate your numbers are (ie how old you FF test is and whether you have improved), it may not be possible to achieve both. I have a dumb trainer with a power meter, so I may at times slip in my targets even though I try to hold them.


Trained against Nine Hammers for first time last night. I am working through a general cycling fitness routine and completed the session, but not like I was fighting for my life. I’ll take that as a signal to do FF this weekend. What better way to salute my flag!


I’ve only done it twice. The first time was a couple weeks after failing to complete toolshed mashup so I was very afraid, but I was ready and pulled it out.

Second time was a bit tired and after the warmup was ready to quit. After hammer 5 I thought this will just become an exercise in seeing where I fail. As it turned out I pulled it through again.

But… if it were just 2 seconds longer I think I would have failed both times. So I vote for just right