Hours Progression and Workout Length

How does Xert plan to manage training progression?

When I put in Moderate 2, or higher, the hours it expects me to get to climb to between 22 and 35hours per week. That’s all well and good (I can’t fit 22hours into my family life, let alone 35), but I can’t see any way of forecasting what a plan might look like on the pathway to that sort of volume.

I am keen to give Xert a proper try and have stumped up for a months premium subscription thinking the workout catalogue would be significantly larger, but I can’t see much at all in workouts more than 2hra, and most of those aren’t really my cup of tea.

Is Xert really geared for athletes that prefer to be doing HIIT all year around?

How far along are you in watching the Academy series videos? The core principals are covered there with examples.
Ramp rate is used to manage your hours/week commitment and accommodate a changing schedule or to taper or level out (Maintenance = 0).
Most users won’t ride more than 2 hours indoors although any workout can be extended using Workout Designer to generate your own version (Personal folder).
OTOH an outdoor free ride to Focus can be as long as you want it to be.
What type of workouts do you like to do?
You can import favorite workouts sourced elsewhere with an option to convert portions to SMART intervals that scale to your fitness signature.
You can join the Shared Workout Coach Community to expand workout selections.
HIIT recommendations will be as often as your calculated form indicates and what Focus duration point you select or filter by. You can up the ante (temporarily) by adjusting the Freshness Feedback slider.
With Continuous or Challenge ATP and 4-5 stars training load, you are in charge of how often you want to incorporate HIIT into your schedule. Otherwise, a phased progression (TED) will follow a prescribed course of periodization dependent on selected Athlete Type (Focus duration point).

Here are two articles that describe the overall process and how one might use Xert depending on what your goals are.
Xert Adaptive Training Advisor – Xert (baronbiosys.com)
Training Right For Your Event – Xert (baronbiosys.com)

Lots of newbie tips posted here – Beginner questions
Academy series videos – Discover + Improve + Perform
FAQs here – Support Home – Xert


Most of my workouts are 2-5hours and I do most of my training on the trainer. I do get out on the mtb for endurance volume after 90-120min sessions sometimes, but haven’t so far this year due to weather and a shoulder injury.

I’m a big fan of “Sweet Spot” and have had my biggest gains riding a lot of that. I don’t enjoy the spikey stuff anywhere near as much, though will happily do a VO2 block, usually focusing on 2-6min intervals rather than something like 30/30’s etc.

I was looking at jumping into Xert as I really like the analytics, and thought I’d like to try a LTP block. It’s hard for me to map out progression without the calendar populating anything.

If I click on suggested workouts it’s still ~60-90min workouts - “Pre-Base” which then makes it hard to forecast what else might come up as I know I’ll try and ride a lot longer than that :man_shrugging:.

Xert won’t give you a daily plan but it will show you the program phases and the hours required for each week.

The tricky part is to work out how much available time you can commit to for the peak period and then pick an improvement rate that will ramp up to that. You might find that means you have to bring the volume right down now to allow for a ramp.

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Also this video on improvement rate might help:

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Pre-base: There is no specific guidance used for the Focus of your training; the advisor simply offers a wider variety of workouts that are near your [currently selected] Athlete Type.
Also see this thread –
Continuous/ prebase - General - Xert Community Forum (xertonline.com)

How many hours per week are you starting with? (status stars count)
How many days per week do you ride 2-5 hour SS workouts indoors?
You’ll need to create workouts of that duration and start riding them before XATA recognizes your pattern and suggests them in future.

Endurance in Xert is anything below TP and includes “hard” endurance between LTP and TP (SS/tempo zone) and “easy” endurance at or below LTP.
If you prefer SS look for mostly green intervals up to yellow on the thumbnail charts.
LTP will be all blue or blue/aqua for under/over LTP.
There are also a few traditional SS workouts you can use as templates to create longer versions.
By default Xert is a hybrid polarized platform but you can steer your training in the direction you want thorough the selections you make day to day.

Not populating a calendar takes getting used to but that is a major benefit to Xert.
Instead, you monitor the pacer needle and allocate your weekly load as you see fit and your changing schedule allows. You always have the option to ride more/less today or indoors/outdoors.


Hi @Mailman

Welcome to Xert!

What kinds of workouts would you consider for 2+ hours? In my experience, most workouts that are over 2 hours are basically free-rides around ~60% FTP… there aren’t necessarily ‘intervals’ to hit in the same was as doing a 60-90 minute high-intensity workout.

Are you riding all/mostly indoors? If you’re riding outdoors (or even indoors), you might find it easier to free-ride below your LTP for your longer (2+hr) endurance rides. Riding below LTP is the approach I take while waiting for my stars to change from yellow back to blue. I’ll also point out that Xert can (will) recommend activities in addition to workouts. So Xert might recommend a longer (2+ hr) activity that you’ve done before in place of a structured workout - this can be handy when trying to plan a ride/route that also meets the recommendations from XATA!

Lastly, if you have favorite endurance workout(s) from another app/program, you can import those into Xert (and even make them ‘SMART’). Those workouts will be added to your Personal library and can be used by Xert for recommending longer endurance workouts.

HTH! Cheers!

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Is there a way of seeing the XSS goal other than on the gauge thing?

i.e. when I read the thread about LTP training on the FB linked post, he describes hopping on Zwift and then just riding at or just below LTP for the roughly recommended duration to achieve the required XSS. That seems pretty good as a guide as well, but I do like to have it sort of visible as a progression. So that for example, if I know i am going to go under, I can work out if that’s in line with the subsequent workouts, or where I could aim for a little more.

I have typically ridden three, or sometimes four SS workouts in the 2-3hr range during this time of year the last few years. This year I’m trying to knock back a little and drop the fourth which is only short anyway.

The idea of letting Xert learn my habits is a good one I hadn’t factored in. I guess that takes patience. I got recommended a pretty hard MTB the other day which was interesting. Didn’t fit at all in terms of trying to do a summer MTB ride in a wet and yuck period of early winter.

Also, thanks @ManofSteele I have created a couple of SS and LTP workouts from the catalogue. The workout creator is actually really nice to use. I need to settle on a player though. Is there a way to add smoothing/control trainer resistance within the app? I couldn’t see it and it wasn’t a great experience so I hopped back over to TR. Zwift is expensive and I don’t really want to pay for multiple subs. I’ll have to try find something before my TR year comes up.

I haven’t worked out how to do the Smart workouts yet. I know it’s not in the technology yet, but it seems like such a cool idea with a heap of upside. Especially if it could also react in real time to body metrics (HR, HRV, Breathing who knows :man_shrugging:).

During winter it’s largely indoors. In the past I’ve done shorter (90-120min) sessions of varying intensities then hopped onto the mtb to go ride trails for endurance volume. Last year was a wet one so I didn’t get to as much. I hope it’s more settled this year.

I like to follow a “interval” structure. Even if it’s something like 105min at 75%, or 90%, etc. I don’t much use the free ride option in TR.

Rather than required XSS there is a range represented by points relative to the Noon position (0 deficit/surplus) against what you have done on same day of week in recent past.
Recommendations reflect what you have done in each category so selections may be limited in scope based on your history. You are free to interpret and decide what you prefer to do.
For example, the deficit may be 190 pts today and you have been riding 250 XSS on recent Thursdays (outdoors) or 129 XSS (indoors). Depending on time available and the weather you may decide to ride an indoor workout in the 120-150 pt range or 200+ pts outdoors.

The gauge operates on a weighted moving average over a rolling 7-day window. You might be dipping towards red one day and up past Noon the next. There’s no need to close a deficit although I understand why some users prefer to gamify it. Otherwise, the needle hovering between 11am to 1pm indicates you are maintaining sufficient training load to match your selected ramp rate.
Also note XSS is not TSS and intensity factors into the equation. The deeper you go (high/peak strain) during an activity, the more XSS differs from TSS.

All of the Xert workout players (Connect IQ, EBC on iOS or Android) play SMART workouts as designed.
SMART intervals include all options not defined by %FTP blocks. Most notable are dynamic power/duration type (variable), but SMART includes XSSR, MMP, LTP, curvilinear, Target MPA %Reserve, mixed mode changes, etc.
Whenever you open a SMART workout in Workout Designer the snapshot displays auto-calculated intensity and duration targets based upon your current fitness signature.