Why I've ended my subscription after ~6 Months

The problem(s)

  1. I’m not faster. Last year I podiumed races left right and centre. This year I just feel flat and unable to even hold wheels.
  2. I’m not getting the right workouts, because the quality of the workout library is relatively poor (but I should make my own and share them despite me paying for it) and 3:
  3. The positive predictive value of the fitness model is so far out and so variable (because of the breakthrough system) that I have no idea if I’m getting the right stimulus (this should be damning enough as it is literally how AI software is judged) but don’t worry it’ll get better because 4:
  4. I feel like I’m paying to beta test someone’s software because 5
  5. It’s really not a very nice piece of software to use and the workaround is telling people they need to read more; not helpful because;
  6. It’s too hard to understand. I love training theory. I read papers in full. I fully accept that I am no genius - but at the same time, I have a medical degree, a PhD, and a law degree. I have a friend who is into quantum gravity. He can explain it to me and I can understand. I still don’t think I understand XERT. This is problematic.
  7. The designers have stated openly on the forum that XERT doesn’t follow the science or the evidence from coaching practices but optimise for their software model (with the almost religious belief that it is infallible, except when it isn’t but that’s user error). This bothers me.
  8. It doesn’t seem to work for fitter people; the model falls off because ‘training responsiveness is modelled in a linear fashion’, but my fitness doesn’t progress linearly, and I still get told by the model “progress is impossible, add more hours” (much like other people on the forum).
  9. SMART intervals aren’t. Why would I want to try and hit a power target, then be punished by having my recovery taken away from me if I missed the target because I wasn’t fresh / fit enough. Better yet, the next interval is even harder than the last one - which I just failed? Does this make anyone else want to punch something? Is the aim of the workout hitting the numbers or generally just ‘being a bit tired’? Never mind that I can’t get the right target because of 3.
  10. The software encourages you to randomly seek strain without structure. Randomly doing vo2 here and there is not the same as structured vo2 progressions but you treat it the same way. The XSS ‘Buckets’ app literally discourages structure in a way that is not going to make people faster. Talking about making you faster:
  11. The system discourages work at sweetspot and threshold, which is exactly the kind of intensity most will race at and:
  12. It encourages you to work too hard on low intensity days and this conflicts with most of the evidence we have about endurance training adaptations, meaning you are too tired for hard workouts.
  13. It treats all work below threshold as identical and equally fatiguing despite it being vastly different in fatigue.
  14. It does not play nicely around turbo trainers. Intervals start and finish several seconds out from the actual time.
  15. It only supports one or two head units despite them all using basically the same software.
  16. There is no export to Garmin training status.
  17. When you raise any of these points - and they are raised again, and again, and again, and again (just look down the forum) the response is a kindly intended and helpful but ultimately pretty patronising version of “user error”: “Do another breakthrough workout” or “oh no, that’s the wrong breakthrough workout, do this breakthrough workout”, or “oh no, don’t do a breakthrough workout, just ride outside maximally”, or “upload more data” (you have a data cap), or “flag that data to be ignored by the engine” (aka it got it wrong, again), or “play with the fitness signature parameters until it feels right” (aka just YOLO it and see if you fail your next workout and get dissilusioned), or “your power meter is at fault”, or “turn off smoothing” (it isn’t on), or “go read this 30 page thread where the answer isn’t really found nor is anyone speaking English”, or (my favourite) “go back in time to the middle of that all out maximal workout that we designed and which doesn’t support holding the last rep but at the end of the last rep just hold that power as long as possible” (great, user error: didn’t have a god damned time machine).
  18. There is no way of planning or structuring a season on the app. Apparently this is coming, but who knows if, say, it will allow you to program in several races in a season.
    But you know what, most importantly, after 5 months of hard work:
  19. I’m not faster in races

What I will take away:

  1. Do more on slope mode. I’m stronger than I thought above threshold, and erg mode estimates (e.g. VO2 is 120%) was holding back my training.
  2. Do more volume. The LTP workouts managed to keep me on the turbo for 2hrs several times a week.
  3. It doesn’t matter how high the internet says your FTP / Threshold is if you are losing races you were winning last year against people who are no fitter.
  4. BikeTheWorld is a lovely background to riding and a great YouTube resource.
  5. It’s nice being told “You get a gold star” every so often for doing a hard workout. I am not unconvinced this mini reward is the reason people keep using XERT.
  6. There are some lovely people on this forum doing their very best to help and they deserve all of your kindness - in particular, @xertedbrain and @ManofSteele and @ridgerider2 and my thanks to all of them for their support.

I really, really, really don’t want to (god, it’s expensive), but I guess I’m going back to Trainerroad.

Thank you for coming to my TED talk.


Completely feel the same about 9 (Smart intervals) , I gave up on them due to what should have been recovery becoming threshold, which meant I failed the next work interval even more. I also found that the easy days workout recommendations were sometimes too much, and eventually I got to a similar place that you seem to have got to, frustrated and not believing in what the system was telling me both in terms of my signature and the repetitive workout recommendations.

For the last three months or so I’ve gone back to the old ways of a couple of interval sessions each week, but progressing the TiZ and the rest of my riding at endurance (all day pace), feel much better and power numbers are starting to creep upwards. I actually prefer to be able to see the progression, by that I mean going from say 4 x 15 at sweetspot up to 60 mins continuously, and like yourself, I started making my own workouts to do this, but then realised I was effectively paying to self coach, so in the end that’s what I’m now doing.

Xert is an interesting concept, and for those who can get it to work for them I imagine it’s very useful, but reading your post, I found myself agreeing with an awful lot of it with my experience.


Xert needs a successful athletes podcast :slight_smile:

Neither successful nor athlete, but it still works


I have some agreement with:

  1. too hard to understand. There are so many pages of info it can be overwhelming. Many of these pages have numbers and fields with no clear explaination of their meaning. I"m a data nerd but it’s a lot even for me.

  2. SMART intetvals aren’t - tried to do a difficult SMART workout and it was like every impetfect tough intetval made the next one worse. Pausing to rest for 30 secs to recover made the next intetval just brutal.

12 and 13) Are both an issue for me and are linked. I can push 10 hours at 10 watts under threshold and it won’t recognize that as a breakthrough and will think I’m ready for a hard interval session the next day. At the end of that workout my MPA would still be maxxed even though there is no way in hell i could sprint to anywhere remotely close to that value with that level of fatigue.

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best part of Xert for me is the gamifying of numbers and keeping me compliant and interested and curious about myself as I reach for a goal.



Unfortunately, rants of this sort don’t provide much in the way of value to us or to the community at large since it’s hard to distinguish the valuable comments from comments made to express frustration - some that have already been addressed, some that are being addressed, some that are new and some that might just be due to a different approach that we’ve taken that doesn’t align with the approach you’d prefer.

I’m going to close this thread. I welcome you to continue this discussion if you are interested in helping us (and thus help other users) with our support team and we can distill what feedback we can actually improve upon.

Thank you.