Two Breakthroughs and Now Workouts Kill Me

OK, so I just signed up for Exert again, I keep coming back but always find the TP is too high for me to complete the prescribed workouts - perhaps I’m just weak.

I went for a short workout today " Positive Split Micros - 40" which has a fairly hard intro section… after the intro section I had to stop, I didn’t feel I was able to push into the folling 40s reps. I’m surprised because this is only a 2.5 start difficulty rating workout.

Note that I did go back later in the day and complete this workout, but it was much harder than the MPA graph indicated. I felt like I was 50-75% into the red, but the MPA chart only shows me 25% into the red.

I then noticed that I’ve had two breakthroughs recently, upping my TP by 10%, I’m not sure if this jump is justified. One workout was an 8 minute race section, the other a set of 30/30s. I kind a feel that these short effort breakthoughs cause my TP to jump above what I can handle for workouts. Here are the breakthroughs:


Looking at the workout as an activity, you can see where I gave up, not believing I could recover for the 40s intervals, and feeling much more depleted than the chart MPA suggest.


I’m not sure if I’m just soft, weak or if the TP increases from such short efforts are too generous.


I’m 100% sure you’re NOT soft as you keep training hard with Xert. :wink:

Why don’t you just drop your TP number to what you believe is a realistic number if you feel it’s too high? Or ask Scott to have a lookat the numbers for you to see if there’s an error with one of your power files?

Do you use same power meter every time?
How long history did you upload to xert?

No, I use a Tacx Neo indoors and pedals/crank (mainly Powrlink from Wahoo) outdoors. Interstingly I product much more explosive power outdoors, however, if I use my Powrlink pedals with my Neo, the pedals actually read lower other than for surges.

From the 30/30s ride, I can see how I went above MPA, using W’bal it was similar… I’m just unsure if this justifies a 5% TP increase. I understand why TP increases, I just feel that sometimes with Xert I can achieve breakthroughs using 30/30, 30/15, etc but these don’t necessarily reflect my TP. Meaning, I can hit breakthroughs using using short interval repeats, but the resulting TP is higher than my 20-60 minute power, therefore workouts become too hard. It’s as though I can use short intervals to achieve an inflated but false TP.

So I think it is mainly due to two source of truth. Try to use one power meter for all of your rides. And give xert time to learn your matrics. For me xert show me very close numbers to the 20min test in other apps

I have a similar experience so have decided to flag BTs with efforts that are highly variable. A bit of variability is ok but 30-15s lead to too high TP for me as well. If you search the forum there are quite a few others with similar observations, and at one point Armando mentioned it could be due to (some) power meters taking too long to lower the reading during the ‘off’ portion… and so overstating power / understating recovery… that would mean the shorter efforts / higher repetition BTs are overstated… I don’t know if that’s the case for me (I have two power meters and see the same for both), but another possibility is that the rate of replenishment of MPA (or W’ or whatever) at a given power is highly individual (believe there are studies suggesting this but haven’t spent a lot of time on it), and more importantly, linked to factors other than PP, HIE, and TP (since Xert already accounts for those)…


Thanks, I will flag them when I don’t think the TP increase is justified, or set TP manually.

I’ll also need to consider TP increased from outdoor breakthroughs which I don’t think I can match for indoor workouts. With the Tacx Neo the indoor workouts are so strict it probably costs me 5% or close to compared to outdoors, or even my previous training with a physical flywheel… but the physical flywheel versus vitrual flywheel for heavy and light riders is a dicussion for another day.

It’s odd, the power if I use the power meters together then the Neo reads higher, I just find the Tacx Neo super strict which makes anything TP or above that bit harder. Previously when I had a Direto trainer I didn’t have the same issue, I reckon the Neo has stole 5% from my top end and sustainable indoor power… not complaining, I love the Neo, it’s just very strict.

I have a theory that a physical flywheel (which is the same weight for everyone) may be advantageous for a ligher rider (I’m 63kg), because the flywheels are designed around an ‘average weight rider (75080kg)’, so once you get it moving it probably gives extract intertia which helps… Whereas the Neo virtual flywheel auto-adjusts for the rider weight, which probably explains why steep climbs or higher power efforts just feel that bit hard, just doesn’t have the same inertia, but probably more accurate and realistic.

I’ll just workout what I feel the TP should be, basedon breakthroughs.

I’ve had similar issues with Breakthroughs derived from On/Off intervals, so much so I’ve on several occasions cancelled Xert. What I’ve found works better for me, is to test a few durations, such as 5second, 5 minute and a longer duration such as 20 minutes. Put these figures into the Fitness Signature creator and then put the numbers into a recent activity and save it. Then I test it by doing 6-8 30seconds on 15off followed by an effort above threshold for as long as you can (probably 5-8 minutes) and then just before you have to stop do as hard a sprint as you can. This usually gives me a really good signature. When I feel things aren’t right, I do the process again.

Personally, I like to check things by actually testing them and also I feel, you get a feel for when things aren’t right by knowing what you’re capable off.

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Hi, last week I have the same experience. I did a fitness test breakthrough and my numbers rised with 20% TP from 200 to 242. The result is that my low TP is now as high as my former TP, that cannot be correct. The result now is that my future trainingsessions are way to hard. What can I do. How can I reset the result of last week, or an other solution tot get more realistic trainingsessions?

I have three power meters - the one in my Saris H3 trainer, a Stages left hand crank and Garmin Rally Pedals (most recent aquisition). Whilst a couple of years ago I was convinced the Stages was over-reading, I get pretty good correlation now between them at least enough that I dont feel I have to discount breakthroughs. Some things I have found:

  • Cooling, this was the biggest issue for me… I have only just come to realise how much heart rate varies with temperature and how much worse it is indoors. When you fail on a workout, are you hot and sweaty compared to the scenario where you obtained the breakthrough? I recently bought a much more powerful fan for my home setup (Cardio54 vs a desk fan) and this has brought things much more into line.
  • I find breakthroughs triggered by steep climbs outdoors should be flagged i.e ones where you end up standing / grinding (a lot of anaerobic strength contribution), this will result in an unrealistic breakthrough (I once got a 285W → 305W jump in this scenario)
  • Make sure you calibrate power meters regularly and especially when there is a significant temperature change

Option A: You can flag that workout to retain strain score but exclude it from signature calc.
Option B: You can manually adjust signature values at bottom of chart under Activity details and select Save/(Lock). Changes to signature are applied against that adjustment moving forward.

One way to confirm signature is in the right ballpark is to select an over/under LTP workout like Lucy in the Sky or Save Yourself. When feeling fresh try an over/under TP workout like Dance with the Devil. See how they feel.

As @rhorn mentions cooling is a huge factor indoors. I have three fans going at times depending on severity and length of the workout. :smiley: YMMV

I think this might depend on the power meter. I have a set of PowerTap P1s and they will read high when standing, generating similar increases in signature values.