The Sufferfest, a longtime maker of indoor training videos, recently introduced the Sufferfest Training Centre App, which connects with power meters, heart-rate monitors and smart trainers for integrated interval sessions.
The Sufferfest Trainer Centre App ($10/mo) features 37 training videos, and comes with free training plans created by Apex Coaching.
The first Sufferfest video came out in 2009, using race footage as a visual motivator during guided trainer workout sessions based on cadence and perceived effort. Fast forward to 2016, and a few competitors have integrated trainer apps, where the screen not only tells you what to do, but also reads your real-time power and heart rate data, and can even control your trainer.
One such competitor is TrainerRoad, which offers a library of specific workouts based on your FTP. TrainerRoad’s co-founded Reid Weber now works for The Sufferfest.
“It took us a while to respond to changes in the market with smart trainers and connected devices,” said David McQuillen, CEO of The Sufferfest. “We were still focusing on content, the training videos. We always had RPE (rate of perceived effort), cadence and instruction on the screen. But now we have an interactive app with the videos fully integrated. It is super easy to choose a video, get in, select your devices and train.”
As with other smart training apps, you need to have a bike and a trainer plus a computer, tablet or smartphone, and then an electronic tool or tools with which to connect it all. The easiest if not cheapest solution is a smart trainer or power meter that has Bluetooth, which can connect to your device without additional hardware. Another solution is a Bluetooth speed/cadence sensor with a standard trainer. In this set-up you can use The Sufferfest’s virtual power option. And a third solution is using an ANT+ sensor on your bike with a USB ANT+ dongle on your computer.
How is The Sufferfest app different?
In addition to third-party apps like Zwift and TrainerRoad, many trainer companies now have their own training software. CycleOps, Elite and Tacx all have interactive video training programs. So why would someone want to use The Sufferfest? McQuillen says his team wants The Sufferfest to be a one-stop content destination for riders, pointing to things like yoga-for-cyclists videos and mental training programs.
The Sufferfest app now has 20 videos from Yoga 15. As the name implies, the videos are 15 minutes or less with an emphasis on addressing riders' inflexibility and imbalances.
“Cycling is an incredibly challenging sport that involves spending long periods of time in a relatively fixed position,” Yoga 15 founder Abi Carver said in a press release. “By spending a few minutes a day on these easy-to-follow routines, cyclists of all skill levels will quickly see improvements in their flexibility, balance and power.”
The yoga videos are integrated into the training plans on The Sufferfest.
The training plans were created by Neal Henderson, founder of Apex Coaching in Boulder, Colorado, whose clients include the likes of pro cyclists Rohan Dennis and Evelyn Stevens.
BikeRadar will be reviewing The Sufferfest app soon. One feature we like is the ability to adjust workout intensity on the fly, something TrainerRoad offers but Zwift does not.