Why have workouts been made easier in the new Systm app?

Thanks. Ok, I mean they were all bloody hard. I thought Blender was always bang on though, tough but doable, always felt like I had put in a really good session after it. It is my favourite so a bit disapointed to see it toned down.


Day 1 of sufferfest for me so please go easy. If the power numbers have changed then surely the target of that workout has also changed IE; has an anaerobic workout suddenly become a threshold workout etc?

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No the changes are more subtle than that so they don’t change the intention.

And welcome to Sufferlandria :slight_smile:


9H does appear to have changed for me too. 0.98 IF before and 0.92 now. E.g. The final, final kick is now about 20W below the last time I did it (or tried to).

I guess this is a personal thing but I’m quite happy about that!

Some of these sessions (in my opinion) were only possible if you did it with settings that didn’t actually reflect your fitness levels. I.e. if you’d done a recent 4DP or HM you had no chance of getting to the end at 100%


I would also be interested to understand the reasoning behind this. Just compared the IF on the old and new apps and can see at least a dozen videos where this has happened. Some by just a point or two but others quite significantly.

The Omnium (one of my favourites) has dropped from 0.97 to 0.88!

I haven’t fully checked the workouts side by side but I can see the targets for the Kilo have been reduced by approx 10%


Hi @sir_james.p and all,

As you have noticed, there have been some adjustments made to many of the Sufferfest sessions in SYSTM. There are 24 SUF workouts that were not changed in any way, but 23 have been adjusted (not including any mashups in either of those counts).

The primary reason that I personally made the adjustments to the 23 workouts was that our sports science team reviewed all of our workouts from various physiological models (with heavy computational lifting from @Coach.Mac.C including W’ analysis of anaerobic capacity, predicted oxygen consumption and oxygen deficit, TSS, and Intensity Density of all of our sessions) as well as looking at completed workout compliance to see where users typically have issues completing sessions.

While you will see some reductions in TSS in those 23 adjusted workouts, none of them are easy. It is important to keep in mind that training does not need to be maximal to be effective. In fact, having workouts that are possible to be completed without completing depleting yourself is in fact much better in the long run.

Being able to consistently finish workouts is better for building physical capacity and confidence than is continually hitting a point of failure. You can see an analogy of this philosophy in use by Eluid Kipchoge - the best marathon runner - with references to these ideas at: Brad Stulberg Reveals More About 'Groundedness' and Getting Ahead

Also, keep in mind that any TSS value for any workout (and the associated changes) will vary for each user based on their unique 4DP. The concept of Intensity-Density that we are working on is going to be a much better representation of training load/intensity than TSS…but still isn’t completely ready to be included…but stay tuned!


It doesn’t take much of a tweak to drop IF significantly. But as for the reasoning, several were adjusted to correct their finish-ability.

They are still bloody hard, but now doable for all rider types. The tweaks are different depending on an individual’s rider type. Or at least that’s my understanding.

And being finishable means that the correct training stimulus is provided as well as the confidence boost of a finished workout vs failing to complete it. There was a study done on that of twins who were given workouts designed to make you fail vs ones that were designed to be barely completed. Maybe someone has the link.

Anyway, this is in line with the science behind the suffering, to get the maximum benefit out of each workout, including the mental aspects.


I can attest to AVDP still being very dark. I had to turn it down in the 4th dark place and back up for the 5th, but had nothing left in the tank to stand on the final sprint. It didn’t help that on the old app today would have been a day off so I did legs at the gym yesterday. Then the new app and plan threw a curve at me.


I just DIED on Joyride. My new MAP numbers meant it was impossible for me to hold targets today. The SUFFERING remains painful!


@Coach.Neal.H thanks for the comprehensive response. Reassured to know there is good reason for it and not just Sufferfest going soft. Your science has done right by me until now so I’ll continue to trust in it and see how I progress. Thanks.


So in other words… Neal Hendersons workouts were not the best they could have been from the very beginning and now he has had input from others i.e. WAHOO, he has realised the error in his coaching ability?

Rather than realising error, I would say he adapts to current development. Science is not static, what was right 2 years ago is not necessarily the same today. Taking that into accont and making adjustments is a good thing in my opinion (although I belive 9H should have been kept in its original state, and come with a warning to dial down for those afraid to fail).

Chapeau Sir Neal!


Personally I’m glad to see the changes. Dreaded getting new numbers because I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish some of my favourite workouts if my numbers went up. And it does take a toll mentally to be constantly failing to finish sessions.

Has there been a change to HR zones too? I did On Location: Cirque de Gavarnie this evening and the target HR was zone 4 for each of the sections, but I was mostly in zone 2, occasionally 3. Or does this mean I’m due a FF? :open_mouth:


You mean GLORIOUS, yes? :slight_smile:

Apologies, yes indeed.

Hey Dan - welcome to Sufferlandria & thanks for your input :facepunch:

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Bit of a shame this. I’d use certain workouts as calibration efforts either after an FTP test or before an event. Now I’d just end up second guessing based on the changes.

Oh well, I guess I’ll just make my own workout and use that from now on.

Heh. Sorry, couldn’t resist

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I can’t wait for this!!! TSS is interesting but CTL doesn’t really tell you how fit you are!!


Isn’t there a workout that’s available to knights in it’s original state?

It’d be cool to have the same for AVDP - no matter how minor the changes, there’s something to be said for having access to the original, even if you have to be part of a secret club to get it.