Alternative ways to ride The Downward Spiral

passthisguyI designed the Downward Spiral spinning / cycling workout video to beat the living crap out of you. And you’re telling me that, indeed, the crap has been knocked so far out of you that you’re not quite sure where to look for it or if it will come back again. Excellent.

But sometimes you just don’t feel like that. And sometimes you feel like doing something a little different than what the video is telling you to do on the screen. To help you get even more value out of video, I’ve put together a few alternative ways of riding The Downward Spiral.

First, a reminder of how the 60 minute workout is structured:

The video has you do the intervals at extremely high effort levels – either 9.5 or 10 out of 10 on a ‘perceived effort’ scale.

Alternative 1: Over-unders

On the first interval, bring your intensity level just above your threshold (ie., the point where you would really, really, really rather not talk to anybody). On the recovery sections, rather than recover, bring the effort level to just under your threshold (i.e., you can talk, but you won’t say terribly nice things to anyone). Do this through the whole set of intervals.

Alternative 2: Increasing intensity

If you’re not used to the high effort of serious intervals, gradually work your way into it. Rather than doing the first interval at 9.5/10, do it at 6/10. As each interval comes up, increase your intensity and only get to 10 out of 10 for the last :15 second bit. Use the recovery sessions as normal.

Alternative 3: Accelerations

Do the intervals at an effort level of 8/10…which still hurts a helluva lot. When racers attack on screen, or the camera is working to close a gap, increase your cadence by +10rpms and push to stay with the action. Bring effort back down to 8/10 after attack is finished.

Any other ideas? Post them in the comments here!

  • PGS

    will a Computrainer compatible version be available in the forseable future ?

  • Sven-Erik Olsson

    Mike Berg´s tutorial is about using a CycleOps trainer, not a CompuTrainer. While Computrainer, without the capital T is not a well protected trade mark it used to be associated with a computer assisted sales training program. Nowadays if You gOOgle hits are almost exclusively taking You to sites/blogs/articles naming CompuTrainer. Me thinks it is better to describe the trainer by the name that is used by the maker in order not to arise doubt.
    I have heard that there is someone that has made an Excel-file available that is free to use to make CoachingSoftware erg-workouts “to go with” Sufferfests assortment of rides. I´m still looking for it. If I find it I will post it here.
    And yes, I am affiliated with CompuTrainer if You were wondering.

  • Sven-Erik Olsson

    OK. I found the link to the blog with the help on how to create .erg files for CompuTrainer to go with Sufferfest videos:
    Happy riding!

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  • adiboy

    when i try to do this training on trainer should i use my big gear(53) or should i use the small one (39) and my trainer is minoura b60d… whis mode i should use? easy medium or hard?