The virtual training app Sufferfest is giving their users a more detailed picture of what type of rider they are and how to structure workouts with the 4DP training platform.
The premise is that Functional Threshold Power (FTP) isn't enough to gauge what a rider is capable of across a range of different riding styles (particularly for workouts with efforts above threshold); so in partnership with APEX coaching, Sufferfest have come up with a four-pronged method of creating a rider's power profile: FTP, neuromuscular power, maximal aerobic power and anaerobic capacity. This is closer to the level of detail you'd get in a physiological test, with the results determining what type of rider you are (sprinter, attacker, pursuiter, time triallist, climber, or rouleur) with suggestive areas of improvement thereafter.
The fitness test used to calculate the 4DP profile is called Full Frontal,and categorises you based on where you performed best. Neal Henderson, CEO of APEX coaching says: “Working with elite athletes, I saw that FTP had limited value when it came to designing effective workouts and training plans. FTP only measures sustained aerobic ability and is a poor predictor of how an athlete produces power above threshold. It doesn’t tell you how well someone can sprint, deliver repeated attacks, tackle punchy climbs or launch a solo breakaway. Two athletes can share the same FTP but have very different capabilities at higher intensities. 4DP changes everything. It allows The Sufferfest app to tailor workouts to an individual athlete, mapping every interval to their appropriate metric so they work at the exact intensity necessary to get faster."
4DP is the latest in a number of interesting upgrades to the Sufferfest platform this year, with a 10-week mental training programme also available to build mental toughness, and even cycle-specific yoga sessions. Sufferfest offer free trials after creating an account and downloading the app, and if you sign up proper it's $10 a month or $99 a year.
After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He was Staff Writer at 220 Triathlon magazine for two years before joining road.cc in 2017, and reports on all things tech as well as editing the road.cc live blog. He is also the news editor of our electric-powered sister site eBikeTips. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.