Confused about SMART workouts?

I listened to both episodes of the podcast about Smart workouts. And if you exceed the requirements of the interval, the work out would either shorten the interval or lengthen it.

I just did Smart comfortably numb. First interval was. 5mins at 142 watts. I put my kicker in slope mode and did the interval at 160-200 watts. But the interval was still 5 minutes long? I even ran a lap time on my Garmin at the same time. Both were a perfect 5 minutes?

Am I missing something? Do all smart workouts adjust or just special ones?


Xert workouts are smarter on several levels as compared to traditional %FTP blocks.
One type of SMART interval is dynamic duration. Others include dynamic power, curvilinear, and a number of XSSR options made possible by Xert’s fitness signature model with MPA.

Open the SMART workout in Workout Designer and notice the dropdown options to define an interval.
If you don’t already have advanced charting enabled go to Account Settings, Enable Advanced Charts.
Xert workouts in combination with Xert Android/iOS/CIQ apps provide a unique and productive way to train by power. The workouts are designed to be run in AUTO mode.

Reference –

Introducing Smart Workouts – Xert (

Advanced Workout Design using SMART Intervals – Xert (

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We did make some changes to the functionality of the SMART intervals based on feedback from users.

Originally, the SMART intervals did vary in duration, but some folks didn’t like that their 1 hour workout could turn into an 1:20 workout if they weren’t very precise on the power targets. Plus, with the Group Sessions functionality, it makes sense to have workouts that are fixed in duration for all users. Most of the SMART intervals have been switched from fixed power, variable duration into variable power, fixed duration intervals. This still allows us to create workouts that are unique and adapt in real-time, but will also always end on-time :slight_smile:

The main interval types that you’ll notice the adaptive-ness of Xert are the curved XSSR intervals and any of the Target MPA intervals.

Noticed this. I like it.

Maybe this could be a future update of SMART workouts:

  • Add a slider which could be used to set deviation allowance, far left would be “stay 100% on time” and far right would be “allow full SMART adjustments of both power and total time”. Then the scale would be set to percentage of total time, like +10-20-30% added time allowed.

in the OP he had the trainer set to slope mode which then will likely not work for the newer application of a smart interval where the interval set power will change to ensure compliance within the time span. So maybe it would be good to somehow ensure people are not misled by the older info on the podcasts he was referring to?

For my clarity does the newer version of Smart only work in erg mode?

SMART intervals will also work in SLOPE mode :slight_smile:

The target power will still change based on the pre-determined XSSR or Target MPA. However, you’d need to manually adjust your power output (using gears & cadence) to follow the updated target power - the trainer will not do that for you in SLOPE mode. Hope that’s clear.

how do you know what to do to maintain the right power setting in slope mode?? I have not seen this effect in the app. In the OP he was over the set point, so where would the app show what he would need to drop to so that he hit target at 5 minutes since he was going well over the target? or vice versa if under target where does it show how much to increase to hit target within the time?

If any chances in the target power occur based on the planned interval vs. the user’s execution of the interval, the target power will automatically update in the Xert EBC app and on the Remote/Session player.

Note that most of our SMART workouts can simply be run in AUTO mode and our app will automatically adjust the trainer for you. Doing SMART intervals in SLOPE mode is a bit of an edge case, but there are some users who don’t like to ride in ERG mode.

thanks for clarifying Scott.