Workout choices in plans and level mode workouts to adjust 4dp metrics

Just a couple upgrades that I would really like to see.

  1. I feel like the workout plans use a relatively small number of the available workouts. I think it would be great to be able to choose from 2-3 workouts that allow you to achieve the goal for the day. This would expose you to more of the system workouts and allow you to to the same plan multiple times without doing the same workouts over and over.
  2. I would like to be able to use various workouts to test and adjust certain 4dp metrics rather than just doing a specific test. I think that if you had a selection of workouts that you could only do on level mode that you should be able to extract just as good, if not better, data than the stand alone 4dp test.

@Climbwalz Welcome - yes this has definitely been talked about in the forum. For now you can sort by workout type and pick a replacement workout and add it to your calendar and delete the assigned workout. Obviously it is easier to replace some workouts versus others but I generally look at the profile and also check out the description and effort ratings for each 4DP metric and figure out what is best.

That is definitely a cool idea. I suspect that something like that could come in the future but no idea when or in what form. Right now they seem to be working on incremental app improvements for both SYSTM and RGT but given that there is now a dedicated sports science building in Boulder it seems natural that we will see some innovations like that down the road.

There was an interview with Chip Hawkins in Cycling Tips recently that you might want to check out.

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It’s a cool idea, and one that some have tried to implement using training sessions to get a power curve. However it has a few flaws. The way to get an accurate power curve is by doing maximal efforts, if you are basing it off of workouts then they have to have maximal efforts where you are not fatigued as part of them. The problem is that most training sessions should not be entirely maximal efforts, they can leave you with jelly legs like Nine Hammers, but those hammers are not your maximal powers, it stresses the recovery. The best way to get that power curve is by doing multiple maximal efforts, such as is in the 4DP test. There’s a lot of research around this when you look into critical power. The best regarded way to generate an accurate power curve is with x3 maximal efforts with varying durations. So the 20, 5 and 1min efforts sort that out, then the 5sec power gets the peak sprint power as well. Then SYSTM uses all of those to generate a rider profile and power curve


Yep. Can’t determine your strength without testing you at the limit. A fully structured maximal workout is the way to get the best results. To that end, I always do the 7 day test prep plan that has a HM on day three and FF on day 7. It’s killer, but I believe the results to be more reliable than any other method. It’s a very solid week of workouts too.

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Coach Andy,

Great reply thank you. While I believe in and use the 4DP metrics (I do all my testing outdoors)I am not convinced that you get reliable maximal efforts with the standard 4DP test. Anecdotally, the test seems to have a fairly high failure rate amongst the community which which leads me to believe that people are not actually doing maximal 1 min or 5 min as they are trying not to blow up in the 20 minute. I also see people altering their schedules dramatically to get through the test which again I think compromises accuracy.

For me, I will work 4-5 1 minute efforts into an outdoor workout and often my best effort is the second or third as I have figured out how to manage my 1 minute effort properly. It is similar for other efforts as well. I honestly dont know if they could be worked into current indoor workouts but I do think they could be just as accurate with the right programming.

The 4DP metrics are the results of a test. They are not a measurement or estimate of some underlying truth. To be of value, the test needs to be done according to the instructions in a reproducible manner, including prep leading up to it. The 7 day test prep plan does that, and I believe will give the most reproducible results. It’s much more straightforward to get your maximal effort and pacing right with the day 3 HM suggesting the targets for the FF on day 7. Just do it.

Yeah you are putting way too much weight in this one test. 1 minute, 5 minute and 20 minute efforts have been done as testing long before 4DP was introduced, my coach had me doing similar efforts about 16 years ago. Heck, Half Monty is relatively new and just proves the point that there are many way to do this. As I mentioned before, I absolutely believe in 4DP and consistently test to get those numbers on the road. Evolution in training comes from people asking questions not just accepting whatever is presented as the end all be all. Coach Andy and JSampson had great responses that support having the conversation. Thats all I am seeking here.