Violator - ESG fail, Level Mode fail!

Had my first outing on the Violator over the weekend, noted the suggestion to use Level Mode but generally find my trainer (Tacx Neo 2T) to react to changes in power pretty quickly so stayed in ERG. After the first few 5s efforts without hitting the target power I switched to Level Mode but found it impossible to move through the gears quick enough to hit the target. 10s and 15s in ERG were OK, power target reached, happy days, until starting the second block with the shorter recoveries. The short efforts and short recoveries made it impossible in both ERG and Level Mode to make it anything other than a sustained, halfway mess. Is that the point, or is there something I’m not doing properly?

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I also use a 2T and yes it’s quick - so I use ERG for some of the longer intervals … but the shorter ones I do in Level.

The gearing thing … the thing that might be causing an issue is if you try and change gears for the ‘rest’ bits … my suggestion is don’t. You’re not trying to meet any targets in those 5s/10s/15s gaps … some people (me included) just do nothing in the gap and then go for it again in the next sprint … each time having to spin up. Or could just drop to little ring and back to big ring each time even though that’s pointless for 5s.

The workout is more about executing a vast number of ever decreasing maximum efforts. Decreasing just because we will all fade throughout. The numbers are kind of not that relevant really … just crush every sprint and the numbers afterwards are just what they are - does that make sense?

Before we had these smart trainers that (for this kind of workout) kind of complicate things … (and this workout is almost even more important these days because we have ERG available everywhere else) … it really was just about hitting it hard 64 times in a few blocks to really push your NM and I guess AC systems…


That’s great advice Sir_Martin, will give that a go when Violator, or a similar workout, comes back on to my calendar. Thanks!

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For the short sprints/short recoveries, I hit the interval hard then just back off on the pedals, because you’ve spun up the flywheel the power should ease even though you haven’t changed gear, then just go again when the interval hits. The gearing may alter as you go along, either through fatigue or a gradual increase in flywheel speed. If you find the resistance creeping up, and so your power, through the rest period only then start making the gearing easier. It might take a little playing with which level and gear to use but you should get there.


Hey @Carl_Brooks, well done on doing Violator!
The changes are tough and as you will have seen get quicker and quicker so level is always the ‘easier’ option as you stay in control. I recommend changing between the big and small rings during the first and second sets and the third set is all about holding on for dear life and squeezing out everything you have left. So sounds like you did a good job on the workout :wink:


Yeah, I did Violator twice, recently, once on my dumb trainer and then a few weeks after on my new smart trainer. I could barely do the 5s intervals on my dumb trainer because the power is pegged to the speed. But, when doing it on my smart trainer with Level Mode (2) I was able to nail them all just by leaving my gears alone and just backing off on the pedals during the recoveries before hitting it hard for the sprints. Like @Alistair_Brown said, just need to play with the gears a little to find the best gear and then just stay there.

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Something else you could try is to change Level Modes. Use Level 0 for the easy bits and switch to an appropriately high Level for the intense parts. Switching Levels is much faster than shifting lots of gears.