If you're using The Sufferfest videos with a platform like TrainerRoad, PerfPro or any of the others out there (all of whom are completely separate companies from The Sufferfest), you may wonder whether you're really doing the session - and getting the appropriate fitness gains - as our coaches intended. If you've used a few different platforms, you might even have experienced significant variance in the targets you're asked to hit. We often get asked about this and wanted to explain why this is the case.
The only way to do The Sufferfest videos exactly as our coaches intended is to use The Sufferfest app. Here at The Sufferfest, we work directly with World-Class Coaches like Sir Neil Henderson of Apex Coaching (who recently coached Rohan Dennis to a Tour de France Yellow Jersey and a World Hour Record) or Sir Stephen Gallagher and Dan Fleeman of Dig Deep Coaching (both former professional cyclists themselves) to create workouts with very specific fitness outcomes. The coaches specify the exact percent of FTP (functional threshold power) you need to hit at each point of the workout.
We take that workout and build our videos around them. When the video goes into our app, we programme the workout at the exact FTP percentages that our coaches have specified and review with them. Then, when you do a Sufferfest video within The Sufferfest app, and connect your power meter, smart trainer or speed sensor so you can use 'virtual power,' the app then sets the exact targets you should hit in order to do the workout as intended. This is the best way to do a Sufferfest video.
Now, if you buy our videos for download, you'll see that we convert the FTP effort levels to Recommended Perceived Exertion (RPE) level. This is the number in the upper right corner that is on a scale of 1 to 10. We baseline 100% of FTP as 7.5 on our RPE scale. If you're downloading our videos and just doing them in your media player without any training software or apps, we provide a worksheet to help you map your FTP across the RPE zones. However, because each RPE zone covers a 'range' of effort, there is a degree of interpretation of how hard you should be going.
When our videos are released, other companies take them and interpret our RPE scale to programme their workouts for their software. Then, when you try to use our videos with this software from another company you have to first attempt to synch up the video with the corresponding workouts (something you don't have to worry about with The Sufferfest app since all our videos are already in the app and perfectly synchronized). Once you've done that, you can start the Sufferfest workout. The targets you'll be asked to hit, however, are not necessarily in line with how our coaches intended the session as they are an interpretation of the RPE scale by that company and can vary quite a bit from what you'll see in The Sufferfest app.