Trying xert for second time, any suggestions?

First go-round, I had a couple of issues (never went past the 30 day free trial): namely xert was constantly telling me that I was tired even when I wasn’t (I was always adjusting the freshness scale), and xert was telling me that I had an TP that was out of reach on my indoor trainer. If I adjusted my Zwift FTP to match, I could barely finish the workouts, I’d have to back FTP down again. Additionally, the data was just too overwhelming to me and I had a hard time making sense of it all.

9 months later, I’m giving it another try. Based on my previous experience, any suggestions? Should I just rest or ride easy when xert tells me to back off, or should I just move the scale and do what feels reasonably hard? Just ride at the FTP I can handle? Any particular data points I should pay attn to so as not to get overwhelmed?

At the end of the day, I’m just looking for a program to give me structured training plans and help me improve, since Zwift doesn’t really excel at that. xert is cheaper than trainer road, today’s plan, training peaks, etc which is what drew me to it. So how do I get the most out of it without getting fed up with the feedback, power discrepancy and info overload?


Newbie X2

Not sure what you mean with ‘the feedback, … and info overload’, but the feedback you get is what Xert advises you to do, based on your improvement rate, athlete type and target date, i.e. in which phase of your training program you are.

There is a learning curve, but compared to for instance TP’s WKO4(5), it’s actually relatively easy.

It comes down to setting the parameters right and (then) put your trust in the system. Admittedly, if you cannot finish any of the workouts, you’ll quickly lose faith, but I’d argue that in that scenario, you didn’t set them right.

Do you have (really) reliable data for at least 3 - 4 months, maybe for this year? I wouldn’t bother uploading years worth of data - the chance of incorrect data creeping in just gets bigger.

The only thing I would check is whether or not your starting parameters in your profile, Fitness Signature and XPMC Settings, are correct. You can adjust your PP, TP and TL to more closely match to what you think is right.

However, make sure that you enter values you are certain of to be correct. PP should be taken from a (fresh) all out sprint, lasting 5-7 seconds. You will not keep - say - 1000 Watts for the entire duration, but Xert will be able to subtract a value, if the effort is long enough. Otherwise, it will get ignored as a spike.

Same goes for TP - while it may seem that this would be equal to your FTP calculated differently, i.e. with other programs, it is actually not 100% equal. However, FTP could be a good starting point, although you might quickly find that Xert will up the number a bit. But not by so much, that you won’t be able to do your workouts.

Other than that, yes: if you’re not up to it on any given day, dial back, do some other - easier - workout or take a day off. Don’t get fixated on what the (daily) training advisor tells you and don’t get tangled into trying to make sense of every number it throws at you, specifically XSS deficits or surpluses.

The color of your stars is also an indication, not a ‘hard’ given. While I have found it to be a little generous regarding my freshness - I’m usually a bit more tired than Xert thinks I am - this is also something that is depending on many other factors that Xert is simply not aware of.

And last but not least: there is a great community of active Xert-ers ready to (try and) help you and an equally awesome support staff. But a good deal of common sense and the good old ‘listen to your body’ goes a long way towards better handling Xert too.

Trust the system, but do not blindly follow its recommendations :sunglasses:


What I would recommend is to read:
Xert 101: Getting Started
Xert 202: Getting more out of Xert
in the support page

Also the entries in the blog offer a very good insight in how Xert works. I think Xert becomes so much better once you understand it. Then you will be able to understand why is giving you certain feedback or advice and making your own adaptions if you see fit.


LIsten to the podcasts as they are very illuminating


I think the first go-round I did not have enough data from my outside rides as I had just started using a power meter on my road bike. So xert was having to use power data from the wahoo kickr which is not a good indicator. I generally can generate/sustain much more power outside than I can on my trainer, for whatever reason. Thanks for all the advice.