Tutorial on Xert - where to start and in what steps

I’ve been struggling with Xert for awhile now - I listen to the podcasts, read the documentation (most of it anyway), watch all the videos and I have always wished there was a structured tutorial - start here, and once you are comfortable with that concept, move on to here etc.

Low and behold, watching Shane Miller’s (aka gplama) ride of Stage 2 in the TDZ yesterday he re-iterated exactly what I was thinking.


I know how you feel just when I think I am getting a handle on it. Then I realize I don’t know anything I have to agree with gplama it can be a bit overwhelming.

My shortcut to knowledge with Xert was a couple of Zoom meetings with Richard Wharton.
IMO 90min is to much at first, because I didn’t know what questions to ask initially and it ended up being information overload and him going in directions I wasn’t interested in.

IMO it doesn’t help Xert that they or users refer u to a blog post or their Hour Long Podcast. It would be So Helpful for Xert to have a zoom meeting or something a couple of times a week with Q&A

I’ve recommended it to a few friends in my cycling club recently, a fair few have asked me about it ahead of this winter’s training.
Three have tried it, loved all the detailed data it provides but, sadly, just been confused overall and gone back to Zwift now.

It could certainly do with being less opaque and also just pushing itself better- no-one, of the 60 or so cyclists I know, had heard of it.

I’ve been using Xert for over 4 months now and was using Training Peaks for a year before. Coming from Training Peaks, there are some similarities with the lingo and how data is interpreted by the software, so I had a bit of knowledge prior using Xert. With that being said, my suggestions would be to follow a training plan in Xert and when you can, ride outside (with a powermeter) and keep reading the forum/support page.

I have Zwift and during the winter months, I use it to “ride outside” and get breakthroughs - just like you would on summer rides. I follow Xert’s XATA for training and when I don’t feel like a structured ride, I do group rides or events in Zwift to accumulate XSS and build base fitness.


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I know how you feel. I’ve been using Xert for almost a year now. I came to it with a bunch of power data from previous the previous that I uploaded. For structured training I’ve used Trainerroad, Sufferfest, and Zwift. I’m seem to like Xert the most because I have less anxiety when I miss a work out due life, I think it works better for me in that sense. I’ve stopped doing FTP tests, because they match up with Xert every time. You’ve probably heard these, but…

-Having at least three months of data uploaded definitely helps the formula

  • Set your your target date and improvement rate (I start slow, then move to moderate as I get closer to avoid burnout)
    -If its so far out that it puts you in prebase then enjoy the free rides or move the date forward to do some base/build. Then once in range move it to the date.
  • I usually aim to keep the training needle out red for sure, but usually around the noon mark
  • It seems like its prescribing the same rides, but its due to what it has a focus. I’ll occasionally scroll and down past the top 5 and find one that I like
    -The constant endurance rides do seem boring at times, but I feel like my body has responded to those
    better more so than sweet spot. I will occasionally throw in a sweet spot ride to mix things up
    -Occasionally every few weeks I’ll do Zwift race or ride outside for sanity or fun, then just follow what it says afterwards for workouts
    -Also, if you normally do big rides on a certain day, it’ll show huge deficit for those days, but dont worry if you dont do a big ride that day. It’ll work out.

Hope this helps, it is a good platform. I’m still a subscriber to Zwift and often do the workouts in Zwift.


Thanks for the input everyone. I’m going to keep up with Xert for sure as I do feel I am slowly making progress understanding the system. Zwift has been real sanity-saver for sure though.

@xertedbrain has mentioned that the on boarding aspect is something they acknowledge could be better. I hope that in time it will be done in an easy to follow and concise approach to get people to a level of knowledge needed to actually make the best use of the tool(s). Until then it is unfortunately a real issue for users to fully understand and make the best of what the platform has to offer. Personally I have been here for a while and I would not say I understand and know how to use it well.

I’ll be continuing to offer some live Xert Academy sessions (1 - Discover, 2 - Improve, 3 - Perform), which I think will answer the vast majority of true beginner questions that folks might have when starting with Xert. The next session is coming up later this month - would highly recommend attending if you can!


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Unfortunately @ManofSteele (Scott) all of these sessions are in the middle of my work day… so unless you do sessions and record them for playback later there is virtually no option that these work.

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I had thought about recording a session and maybe putting in time stamps of key points.

that would be really great for those unable to attend they could replay later and do a solo session so to speak.

I think one of the big challenges for Xert is create a user interface for a population that is used to progressions or canned programmes that you don’t question or deviate from.

Now that we are empowered with all this settings and choices we don’t have the full handle on what we should be doing. Some education is certainly needed, the format is what is in discussion IMHO. I have learned through the glossary, podcasts (there aren’t that many) and this forum, but it’s understandable some people prefer it differently.

My breakthrough with Xert (pun intended) was when I realised that the model is an approximation of our fitness and it doesn’t cover all aspects of it (“YET!!!”, I hear Armando saying). And is not a watertight system too or even finished - at least is my perception reading some posts.

In summary, don’t take Xert as gospel but instead, as a damn good mathematical explanation of your fitness. Accept what it does well, and step by step add small concepts to your knowledge. You also need to understand its limitations.

I kinda like that everyday I learn a few bits more about it.


All models are wrong, but some are useful :slight_smile:

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I can see that i might have pressed a sensitive button! Hahaha

As an example, the MPA is one of the main features that I love in Xert, but after a 3h ride it might start loosing its relevance, just because other factors start to have a bigger impact that Xert can’t estimate at this point in time.

To be clear, I believe you are doing a awesome work and I’m loving Xert (minus the UI lol)

Not at all! I enjoy the banter with users :slight_smile:

To be fair to Xert, is there any company that accounts for fatigue after a 3h ride? Does any other company change your power zones as the ride progresses? I don’t think that problem is unique to Xert, but is a common issue with any model :slight_smile:

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…Nope! :ok_hand: :wink:

None that I‘m aware of.
But would it be nice if one could account for fatigue below TP? Hell yes.
Just because no one else can, doesn’t mean the wish for the holy grail is absurd :wink:
Btw: why s everybody picking on the ui. I actually like it. Is something wrong with me? :stuck_out_tongue:


I hear lots of comments about the UI but I have never considered that an issue.

So here’s an idea for you. Take aerobic decoupling into account (and maybe temperature…) Those two parameters are available in real time. I was analyzing some recent races, where temp and botched hydration hindered results: there wasn’t a single kJ spent above threshold in the second half (while HR was definitely Z5+)
The workload for that effort is miscalculated to begin with, and MPA could have been scaled to reflect that condition. Adding a dimension to a model can improve it.

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