Progressive Overload, Ramp Rate, and XSS Question

It’s not aiming for a particular HIGH/PEAK TL… rather, the goal of Xert’s base phase is to build LOW Training Load as high as possible. If Low training load isn’t sufficiently high later in the program, athletes will have a hard time recovering from harder workouts (e.g. HIIT workouts would put you in RED afterwards instead of yellow). While rest is certainly important… if you’re red multiple days from HIIT workouts, you’re missing out on potential training opportunities - it’ll be hard to continue building TL (and increasing your fitness) if you’re too fatigued to ride.

FWIW, I have been adding in more HIIT into my base this winter (manually selecting harder workouts once or twice a week) to keep my HIGH/PEAK TL’s from not being zero, thus making it a bit easier to add more HIIT into the later phases of training. A hard workout now usually keeps me yellow for 1-2 days instead of 3-4.

Yes. I think so, too. For me, it’s not that Xert’s endurance workouts are too hard for base phase. As you say, a little intensity may even be beneficial down the line. The problem is that they are too hard for build phase. Working under fatigue slowly saps your energy. This is ok during base because you don’t have much structure and you are just racking up volume. However, when you start mixing in VO2 work and become more race specific, it will kill your gains because you will feel sapped constantly.

I’m not sure I follow you. How is Xert not using AI?

Training Peaks is different. The PMC chart on TrainingPeaks doesn’t make any recommendations. It just calculates your training load and stress from each workout.

Xert, on the other hand, does make recommendations. It uses XSS, and probably other factors, to decide your “freshness”, which iin turn, informs XATA’s decision on which workout to recommend.

Except this explicitly goes against Xert’s instructions on how to use the system. The blog states that the slider is set to zero as a default where it should generally be left most of the time.

This is actually bold statement. It implies that we are going for a system where, most of the time, it should be able to calculate your freshness without any athlete input at all. Wow. Really cool. But at that point, it also means that if you need to adjust the slider, then the system isn’t working as intended.

The slider is an adjustable wrench in Xert’s toolbox. Use as needed if required.

Xert’s not using AI. It’s more of an advanced version of a standard PMC system. Instead of one CTL, ATL and Form curve, there are three, one for each of the three “energy systems”, Peak, High, and Threshold. The recommendations are based on your Form. hard coded I believe.

Let me add this…and keep in mind, it’s just my opinion…The human coach and the athlete are the AI (minus the A) component in Training Peaks. You make judgements on training based on your Form as defined by the PMC. Xert purports to be able do it all by itself…except when it can’t :wink:, and then you make use of the slider to adjust its recommendations.

I think you just have to use Xert for a while and see how it works for you. I’ll bet few rely on its recommendations 100% of the time. Customize as needed…

It would be worth reading this thread on how xert determines your training status: Understanding Status

Some of the numbers are slightly out, but the explanations are correct.


It’s a little tricky in the off season… on the one Hand yes you could do some sprints and even vO2 to keep the system from going to zero, but lifting can be quite costly on the hie and pp systems… it can keep that system from going too stale and even prepare it to be ready to achieve new personal records later during the race season… suppose you could possibly enter a manual ride with xss and focus of power sprinter to try to incorporate that into xert pacer?

Probably a true statement - we are careful to use use the phrase recommended workout, not prescribed workouts. Xert isn’t necessary a coach prescribing workouts. However, it is another tool to help you make informed decisions about your training.

As you mentioned, there are so many factors outside of your cycling power data that can influence one’s readiness for training. In another thread, I mentioned how I incorporate a daily HRV reading (from HRV4T) into my daily training recommendations from Xert: HRV integration with Xert Freshness / Fatigue Chart and Recommended Workouts - #20 by ManofSteele

1 Like

Are you referring to adding in strength training? If so, then yes, you’re best to enter it manually with a fairly low XSS value (~10-15), but also a relatively short focus duration (Power Sprinter, Road Sprinter, or Pursuiter).

1 Like

Thanks for answering all my posts!

1 Like

It would be worth reading this thread on how xert determines your training status

This is great. Thank you. I recently listened to the podcast on this topic as well.

I guess I used the term “AI” too loosely. I didn’t mean that there is artificial intelligence determining training status. I just mean that the system recommends workouts automatically based on freshness, XSS, etc…