Xert Progression

Hi all,

I hope you are all good. I wanted to ask for some advice about how best to proceed with my Xert training. I’m a recreational cyclist but using Xert and my Kickr as part of making me a generally fitter cyclist.

I feel like my Xert progress/training load might be reaching a ceiling.

I’m riding 5-6 days a week ~ c1hr per day on week days and maybe a 2 hr ride at weekends - totalling c7-9 hrs per week. This is pretty much the max that I can fit in with current work and family commitments.

I’ve just got through base phase of my training and I’m now continuing into build phase and started to add in next week’s training.

If I went by XATA’s recommendations, these were either longer than I had time for or (if I picked shorter workouts) they had higher difficulty/star rating and it ended up with me was recommending me more challenging workouts which seemed to be pushing me into Yellow Stars territory and after a few days XATA cut back to an easy 2.5* Endurance ride.

To try a different approach, I’ve kept some of the workouts I’ve been doing before, which has kept me in blue all week with no Endurance rides but I’ve not got the total XXS / TL ramp for the week.

My XPMC chart is pasted in below with a line showing previous history and my planned activities for next week.

Question - More broadly, I’d be interested to understand how other users have managed their longer term progression where time is a limiter.

Question - Is there a difference in Xert of doing mini-periodisation of harder workouts and then endurance vs more consistent daily XSS? I guess the harder workouts builds the confidence/ ability/ hardness to these more difficult work outs? I’m weary of over-training/over-reaching and want to make sure I can complete all of my workouts. How many days of Yellow stars is OK?

Question - Will my Training Load tend towards my “XSS/day” over the medium term? I.e. if I keep doing my c100-110 XXS/day will my TL = 110?

Question - Follow up to the above, if I change my ramp rate = maintenance - then does this mean that my TL would just stop increasing from now or would it still trend up to my XSS/day?

FYI - I have read through http://baronbiosys.com/principles-of-focused-progressive-overload/


Firstly, there’s nothing wrong with yellow in build stage. It means you’ve stressed your high and peak energy systems so should take an easier day and focus on the low energy system. Mixing up harder and easier / endurance is actually a good thing. You don’t want to do high intensity / difficult workouts 6 days a week. Worth reading something on training polarization (which to be clear, Xert does not do to the same extent as some like Seiler suggest)… also bear in mind that there are many approaches to training that work, but not sure any sustainable ones have long blocks of daily high intensity

Secondly, don’t base training solely off XATA and the star colour / Xert freshness. Listen to your body. If you feel fresher you can use the slider to increase freshness and workout type as needed. And vice versa.

Re time, you will reach a limit and I am also a recreational cyclist and typically just mix things up a bit… try more or less Polarisation… different intensity distribution… different focus… periodisation approaches… have a break for a bit to really freshen up… but I would not increase intensity for each and every workout to try and ramp TL… the other thing to bear in mind is that the same TL with a higher signature is more work and more fitness.

On your training load questions: yes, training load will trend to XSS / day, and maintenance will maintain training load (so TL * 7 per week) rather than your most recent week XSS


Thanks for the detailed reply - that helps!

I noticed that the Xert Predicted Threshold Power seems to track Training Load. Are Fitness Signature gains still expected if Training Load remains fixed?

In Xert no, it’s assumed that a constant TL = constant fitness and signature

In practice I’ve found that I can have higher signature at the same TL, so probably depends on your starting point, training history, intensity distribution and a whole bunch of other things.

In principle you do need to find a way to provide progressive overload to improve. So the same training and same TL will lead to stagnation. Hence (some) people try things like front load periodisation or cycling through targeting different energy systems (or focus durations) to keep adding a new stimulus. Am sure there’s a limit, though luckily I don’t think I’ve reached mine yet

Personally I do wonder why one couldn’t slightly increase intensity with constant hours (e.g. 1% a month), and keep improving… if it works and signature also improves by 1% a month there’s an increase in fitness with no change in TL… but am no coach or sports scientist!

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