When it comes to setting fitness goals, everyone has an idea of what they want to achieve, be that a first-ever century, an elite race license, a time trial personal best, or an elusive Strava KOM.
Whatever the goal, there's usually only one thing that's certain: the thing that you want to achieve. In the beginning, everything else is a big, mysterious, confusing unknown.
You probably know that you need to train, but what sort of training should you do, and how often? Should you spend the entire time on the bike or should you cross-train? When should you start? When should you rest? How do you track your progress and how do you stay motivated throughout? There's a lot of uncertainty with a training plan, and not many of us can afford our own personal coach.
Enter Wahoo SYSTM. The full-scale, all-encompassing system of cycling and multi-sport training advice from Wahoo. All the knowledge and expertise from world-class coaches, on an app in your pocket.
A revolution of the revered Sufferfest indoor cycling app, Wahoo SYSTM can take you from where you are to where you need to be, in an efficient, trustworthy and reliable way.
The number of ways in which SYSTM can help athletes is enormous. Tell it where you want to be, and when you want to get there, and SYSTM will lay out the pathway to help you hit your goals. Not only will it supply you with the correct workouts, it will also help with mental toughness, your flexibility, your strength, as well as your motivation to keep training.
With so much to offer, here are six of the standout features:
1. Build your own training plan
We all know that training for a time trial takes an altogether different approach than training for a criterium, a 'cross race or a century. We all have different goals, different time limits, time constraints and levels of fitness.
SYSTM's plan builder will ask basic questions, such as whether you're a cyclist or a triathlete, whether you're training for a particular event or for generic fitness improvements, before drilling down further into the specifics of each.
By then utilising the tried and tested full-frontal 4DP® (Four-Dimensional Power) profiling, SYSTM will tailor your training plan to your rider type, to ensure you hit your goals every time.
2. 4DP® - Four-Dimensional Power
Many of us will be familiar with the term FTP (Functional Threshold Power), the measure of the number of watts that one can hold for 60 minutes, from which power zones are extrapolated to focus one's training.
But cycling performance exists on a spectrum. Some riders are extremely capable at anaerobic efforts but struggle beyond an hour, while others can tap out a tempo power for hours upon hours without issue. For this reason, SYSTM doesn't rely on a single metric to quantify performance, it looks at four: the rider's power over five seconds, one minute, five minutes, and 20 minutes. It then uses these numbers to adjust your training to help you hit your goals more efficiently.
For example, imagine you're training as a sprinter. Many of your workouts will have high-intensity training targets encompassing Maximal Aerobic Power and Neuromuscular. A plan built on FTP testing will give all riders the same percentage-of-FTP target for those intervals. Whereas 4DP® allows for individually accurate targets for all intensity efforts. The result is more precise & personalised training sessions that help you get the most out of each workout.
3. Huge Library of Workouts
Once you've got your training plan set up, one of the hardest things is then sticking to it. To help you with this, SYSTM has six different types of ride experience, which are each tailored to the type and difficulty of the session in question.
The first of these is one that many will already be familiar with: Sufferfest. Within SYSTM, 54 Sufferfest videos will make up some of the most challenging workouts. Whether it's the three-by-20-minute 'Cobbler' threshold workout or the three-hour-long 'Kitchen Sink', these workouts will undoubtedly push you to the limit.
The second comes in the form of Inspiration. 52 films and documentaries from the cycling world which will accompany lower intensity workouts such as base training days. Motivation can fluctuate for all of us, but if commitment remains high, then performance will follow. By interspersing these inspiring videos into your easier days, your commitment will be rock solid.
The third is ProRides, which is a whole lot more immersive than simply watching pro racing on YouTube, and there are six to choose from. By taking a WorldTour rider's power file, turning it into a workout, and then overlaying onboard footage from the same rider, then also adding in instructions and motivation from the directeur sportif, users can complete their workouts - which will be scaled to their relative ability, of course - with absolute immersion as if they were bumping elbows with the rest of the peloton.
Number four is 'On Location', which sees riders able to ride in stunning locations with Wahoo Ambassador Mike Cotty. You will follow a prescribed workout along the way, and enjoy cutaway videos to learn more about the scenery and architecture you're passing by.
The fifth option here is GCN Workouts, which is made up of 24 instructor-led workouts hosted by GCN's famous presenters, including former professionals Conor Dunne, Alex Paton and Manon Lloyd.
Finally, there is a 114-strong collection of no-video workouts, which allow riders to simply follow a graph with no sound or video accompaniment. This allows riders to pick and choose their own entertainment, such as music, race re-runs, Netflix, or reading. NoVid sessions run the gamut from recovery and endurance sessions to high-intensity interval sessions of all flavours.
4. Improved and expanded cross-training
The potential benefits of cross-training are enormous, and SYSTM is designed to capitalise on this to not only help you be a well-rounded athlete but also to maximise your gains to help you smash your goals. To this end, SYSTM has a collection of instructor-led yoga videos, mental training sessions, and a hugely expanded database of strength-based sessions, designed to focus on specific areas of imbalance and strength using minimal equipment.
5. The Knowledge Podcast
Want to understand exactly why you're doing the training that you've been prescribed, the best ways to do it, and more? The Knowledge Podcast is exactly what you need. Knowledge is power, after all.
Sports scientists Neal Henderson and Mac Cassin discuss a single training topic in each episode and provide key takeaways to apply to your training. Listen, share and grow with each episode of The Knowledge Podcast. The podcast can be found here, and on your favourite podcast listening platform.
6. Personalised training plans
Want to take things to the next level? Choose customized plans from the team of Wahoo coaches and get individualised training plans with direct access to Wahoo's team of coaches. These 12- or 16-week courses allow you to draw directly from the brains behind SYSTM, including senior sports scientist, Mac Cassin, and head of Wahoo Sports Science Neal Henderson, who also happens to be coach to former world time trial champion Rohan Dennis.
Those are just some of the main features that help you achieve your goals, but SYSTM is by no means finished there. It's an ever-evolving ecosystem, and there are even more features coming soon, including outside workouts, post-ride analytics and more.
If you want to maximise your training and hit your goals, sign up to Wahoo SYSTM today and get a free 14-day trial.
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