Fight Club is a very, very hard workout. If you don’t come out of it beat to hell, then you didn’t ride hard enough. And even if you did come out beat to hell. you probably learned a bit about your efforts that might make you ride it differently the 2nd time, and the 3rd time, and the….
But, that’s the beauty of Fight Club (and The Downward Spiral for that matter) – it takes time to figure it out. It’s not the kind of workout you’re going to get bored with. I’ve done it several times now, and I’m still figuring out just how hard I can go, what it takes to recover from the sprints, and what kind of effort I should really be putting into the recovery if I’m going to get through the entire workout.
Of course, if you’re going to use the video all off-season, then it helps to have some other ideas on how to workout to it. Variety is the spice of suffering, you know.
Alternative 1: Don’t ride the whole thing – Do 30-45mins of endurance pace riding listening to music or watching some other video. Once you’re fully warmed up (and bored), go straight to Lap 1 of Fight Club, and do a couple of laps to add intensity to your workout.
Alternative 2: Don’t go with the attacks – The Fight Club is hard enough without trying to follow the 23 surprise attacks that are sprinkled (that doesn’t seem like a hard enough word, ‘sprinkles.’ Must come up with something more suffering like) throughout the workout. If you’re just starting to build some intensity into your riding, then don’t do the sprints, and concentrate on doing the TTs and Climbs to your best ability.
Alternative 3: Only go with a few of the attacks – Either drop the sprints in the TT sections or the climbing sections, or for an entire lap.
Alternative 4: Turn each lap into one big climb – Each lap is 4:00 of TT and 2:30 of climbing. Turn it into 6:30 of climbing by keeping high resistance and slower cadence (about 75) the entire time. Trying to follow all the attacks at this kind of resistance is gonna be suuuuuuper hard.
Alternative 5: Gradually ramp up effort – Do lap one at an effort level of 5. Lap 2 at effort level of 6, Lap 3….and so on.
You might have some other ideas on how to get the most out of Fight Club. If so, please let me know and I can add them here!