Frequently Asked Questions

The Xert Remote Player is a web-based app that receives data being collected and processed by your Garmin Edge Connect IQ device or Xert Mobile for Android and displays the data in real-time via your browser.

You can view the Remote Player from any device with recent browser such as your PC, tablet or mobile phone:

You can open the Remote Player in its own dedicated window, resize the window and use browser zoom in/out features (CTL – and CTL + on MS Windows or Command- and Command+ on MacOSX) to make the elements in the window larger or smaller.

The Remote Player has 3 sections:

Section Features
Summary / Header MPA – Current MPA
Target MPA – Your expected MPA at the end of your interval.
XSS – Cumulative Xert Strain Score
XEP- Current activity Xert Equivalent Power
Focus – Current activity Focus Duration
PWR – Average Interval Power
CAD – Average Interval Cadence
HR – Average Interval Heart Rate
Chart Workout MPA – Blue line
Workout Power Target – Brown Profile
Progress Indicator – Violet Vertical Line
Gauges Current Power – Center
MPA and higher – Purple Band
30s Power and higher – Red Band
3min Power and higher – Yellow Band
Lower Threshold Power to FTP – Blue Band
Below Lower Threshold Power – Green Band
Current Interval Target Power Indicator – Violet Perimeter Triangle
Next Interval Target Power Indicator – Orange Perimeter Triangle
Current 3s Power – Violet Indicator on Lower Gauge
Teal Gauge – Cadence with red band indicating optimal cadence
Red Gauge – Heart Rate

Each section has small pop-out icon in the top right:

 

 

Click the icon to pop out the section and resize/zoom so that you can place that one section over your favourite cycling app like Zwift, Sufferfest Video or even your favourite show or cycling YouTube video.

 

Trainer Control with other apps

In order to avoid conflict of having more than one app control your smart trainer, you will have to choose how you’d like to perform the Xert workout and setup apps accordingly.  There are two ways to perform Xert smart workouts with other apps:

  1. Have Xert control the trainer with the Xert Workout Player for CIQ or Xert Mobile.
  2. Have your other app (Zwift, etc.) control the trainer and you use the slider/target power on our apps together with gearing to match the target power.

To use Option 1. you’ll need to remove the smart trainer from your other apps so that they don’t interfere with the trainer control being performed by the Xert CIQ or Xert Mobile app.

To use Option 2. disable trainer control from our CIQ app by tapping menu (Edge 1000, 820) or click the BACK (Edge 520) and choose OFF.  From Xert Mobile, use the Scan menu and uncheck FE-C under your smart trainer’s configuration dialog.

Seeding your progression means to ensure that the very first activity in your progression has the proper fitness signature assigned such that your entire progression history can be compared and evaluated against other parts of your progression.

To properly seed your progression, go to the Activity Details of your very first activity in your activity history and use the Advanced tab to determine/enter the Fitness Signature that applied to this activity.  Use the Save/Lock button on the bottom right to save this signature to the activity.   Xert will then perform a trickle-down process from this first activity and adjust/calculate your progression information activity by activity.

Once the trickle-down completes, your progression chart should be a better reflection of your entire progression history.

You can instruct Xert to go through all your activities, re-extract fitness signatures, look for fitness breakthroughs, and recalculate MPA, strain, XSS and XEP for each activity.

To have Xert do a progression recalculation, go to your My Fitness / Advanced tab:

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 6.27.08 PM

Enter a Fitness Signature that represents what you would think would be representative of your Fitness Signature for the very first activity in your progression history.  Use the Fitness Signature Calculator to help if you’re not sure how to determine these numbers.

Click Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 6.29.18 PM and then click Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 6.32.08 PMand confirm.  Xert will then use the signature you entered as your very first Fitness Signature for your first activity, perform MPA Analysis to determine maximal efforts, stress, strain, focus and specificity rating and then extract a fitness signature if required.  This process then trickles-down through your entire activity history.

Note that during the recalculation process, any activities that have saved/locked fitness signatures will be unlocked and updated.

Currently there are 5 apps on the Garmin ConnectIQ store that you can download and install onto your Garmin ConnectIQ compatible head unit.  Each app requires that you have a power meter installed on your bike.  Bioshift also requires a cadence sensor.

At the moment, we’d recommend that you use the desktop Garmin Express software to install and configure your apps since the mobile app has been somewhat problematic.

To install and configure any one of our apps, open your browser and navigate to the page with our apps on the ConnectIQ app store.  Click the app you wish to install and click the DOWNLOAD button:

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The website will prompt you to login if you have not already logged in.  Once logged in, you’ll see the following screen:

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 10.53.46 AM

Now plug in your Edge device and launch Garmin Express.  Garmin will automatically sync your new app with your Edge device:

Garm Express Sync

Click on the Manage Apps button to configure the apps you have downloaded and installed on your device:

Garmin Express Installed Apps

To configure the app you downloaded, click on button with the three dots beside each app.  This opens the configuration screen which allows for basic configuration options.  (Garmin is expanding the features on the page but for the moment it is quite limited.  In the future we hope to provide links to help screens, for example.)

Here is a description of how to configure each of our apps:

Screenshot Description
MPA and Power Config Screen

MPA and Power

This app requires your Xert Code from www.xertonline.com/garmin.  You should update this code when your fitness signature changes as the code will reflect your current values.

Power Average Time is the number of seconds of rolling average to use to display power.  Since power and MPA are likely to always be displayed on the screen together, this enables you to configure the number of seconds you prefer to see for power data.

Fat and Carbs Config Screen

Fat and Carbs

This app requires your Xert Code from www.xertonline.com/garmin.  You should update this code when your fitness signature changes as the code will reflect your current values.

When Display fat and carb rate in watts is unselected (default), the display will show the total amount of fat and carbs in grams that have been used.  When selected, the display will show the real-time watts for both fat and carbs (per second wattage).

Time to Exhaustion Config Screen

Time to Exhaustion

This app requires your Xert Code from www.xertonline.com/garmin.  You should update this code when your fitness signature changes as the code will reflect your current values.

(The app has quite a few configuration options and can be quite confusing at first. We hope to improve on the usability of this as the Garmin ConnectIQ platform evolves.)

Time-to-Exhaustion Watts is the wattage that the app will use to calculate for exhaustion.  For example, 500 indicates to calculate the amount of time you can hold 500W for.  By default, time-to-exhaustion is the point at which MPA is also the same wattage.  That is, Time-to-Exhaustion Watts is the same at the Target MPA watts unless the flag Use Custom Target MPA? is set.

Use Custom Target MPA? When this is selected, rather than showing the amount of time for MPA to reach your Time-to-Exhaustion watts, the flag indicates to use the value in the subsequent field as the final MPA value.  (The configuration screens aren’t intuitive on this but we hope to improve them when Garmin provides more options on how data is entered).

Target MPA (Must be greater than Time-to-Exhaustion Watts) – This is the Target MPA value to use when the above flag is set.  For example, if your Time-to-Exhaustion Watts is 500, Custom Target MPA is checked, and this is 700W, the timer will show how much time you have at 500W before your MPA reaches 700W.

Time-to-Recovery Watts is the wattage that the app will use to calculate the time before you are recovered.  For example, 150 indicates to calculate the amount of time it will take to recover while sustaining 150W.

Use Custom Target MPA? When this is selected, rather than showing the amount of time for MPA to reach full recovery, the flag indicates to use the value in the subsequent field as the final MPA value.

Target Recovery MPA  – This is the Target MPA value to use when the above flag is set.  For example, if your Time-to-Exhaustion Watts is 150, Custom Target MPA is checked, and this is 1000W, the timer will show how much time it will take for MPA to recover to 1000W at a power of 150W.

 Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 2.37.43 PM

Focus and Strain

This app requires your Xert Code from www.xertonline.com/garmin.  You should update this code when your fitness signature changes as the code will reflect your current values.

When Display strain as a rate is unselected, the app will show your activity’s total strain in kilojoules.  When selected, the app will show your strain rate based on your current power and MPA.

Bioshift

This app does not require any configuration as it will self-learn your optimal cadence based on the data it receives.

 

TP can be higher than what you’re expecting for a number of reasons:

  1. In the past, your tests or data you used to determine TP (FTP or CP) weren’t truly your best efforts.  This could mean that your previous estimates were below what you were capable of.  If any of the following are true, previous estimates have have been too low:
    1. If you rested or went below TP, even for a few seconds during a 20 minute test.
    2. If you weren’t fully motivated to put yourself deep into fatigue.
    3. If you started the effort with a bit of fatigue.
    4. If you finished the test and still had some energy left.
  2. Your signature has a low Peak Power value and your maximal efforts tend to be higher power efforts.  This can skew your TP and/or HIE higher.  Getting a good estimate for PP can be difficult because anything you do to test PP will come in below what you’re capable of.  To determine your highest PP more accurately:
    1. Sprint when you are 100% fresh.
    2. Sprint for less than 7s.
    3. Stand while sprinting.
    4. Sprint at high cadences.  The higher your peak power, the faster your cadence.  The faster you’re able to pedal,  the higher your peak power is likely to be.  If you’re powerful, don’t be surprised to see your sprint number increase simply by increasing cadence when you attempt peak power efforts.
    5. Sprint at high speeds.  This reduces acceleration which rapidly changes cadence.  It is difficult to sustain high force on the pedals when they are accelerating too quickly.  (Please test with caution.)
  3. You are using a virtual trainer, uncalibrated power meter or power meter with errors.  If your power data isn’t correct, Xert may think you’re superman.  This is because Xert determines MPA that covers power data.  If you have poor precision in your data, this can lead to greater variability in the data which Xert will see as you having the ability to withstand this greater variability, i.e. it raises your numbers.  We’re looking to find ways to better handle these situations but for the time being, be wary of things like repeating power values or high cadence variability as this can mean the power data may be off and that Xert might be overestimating your parameters.
  4. Your TP is supposed to be high since you have a lower HIE.  If you’ve been testing using 20 minute, or more so 8 minute, test protocols, your final TP might be underestimated using the standard 0.95 factor.  This is because you might have a lower HIE than what is typical.  Using standard tests will always underestimate your TP if this is the case.
  5. Your TP should be adjusted lower since you have a higher HIE. This is the opposite of 4 where Xert incorrectly thinks your HIE is low and thus determines your TP to be higher than it’s supposed to be.  This can happen after a period of detraining where HIE has been lowered too far by Xert’s algorithm.  To address this issue, go to the activity where TP is too high and/or HIE is too low, typically one with a medal, and adjust manually.  You can do MPA Analysis to determine a good signature or simply key in what you think is appropriate into the signature field below the chart and Save and Lock to the activity.  This should update subsequent activities.

When your MPA chart has a lot of yellow dots on it, it means that Xert wasn’t able to determine your fitness automatically.

When MPA values go below your power output, they show as yellow dots on the MPA chart.  This helps you identify breakthroughs.

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At the moment, you’ll see lots of yellow dots when the signature being used to determine your MPA is much too low.   This can happen if your signature is too low and/or your ride data contains much higher power data than is representative of your fitness.

The way to address this is to do one of three things:

  1. If the activity power data is not representative of your fitness, i.e. your power meter is miscalibrated, you have power spikes or you are using some other power meter other than your regular power meter, Xert may not be able to obtain the fitness signature automatically.  The activity’s fitness signature may just be too different than your current fitness.   The best way to address is to simply leave the activity as is or delete the activity altogether.  N.B. leaving the activity as is will misrepresent your strain for that activity.
  2. If you are seeing yellow dots on many consecutive activities, you may the need to adjust your signature upwards.  Using the My Fitness / Advanced tab, enter in a Fitness Signature that is higher and more likely to result in reasonable MPA values.  Save, and then click the Recalculate My Fitness Progression button at the bottom of the page. Alternatively, you can use 3. below on the first activity in the series.
  3. If it is just one occurrence or the first in a series of occurrences, and you feel that your fitness is well-represented by the activity, open the Activity Details page for the (first) activity, do MPA Analysis and save the new signature.  The subsequent activities’ fitness signatures will automatically be adjusted.

Your progression chart can develop errors due to several reasons:

  1. There are errors in your activity data that Xert isn’t able to address,
  2. There are large gaps in your timeline and Xert isn’t able to determine your fitness correctly,
  3. You have data from another athlete that misrepresents your fitness,
  4. Xert is misinterpreting your data.

There are three ways to address errors in your progression:

  1. Remove those activities that have data anomalies.
  2. Fix the Activity’s Signature:
    • Open the Activity Details page of the activity that appears to create an incorrect jump in your progression.  Perform manual MPA Analysis/Extraction to determine the correct fitness signature for the activity.  Save the Fitness Signature to the activity.
    • Xert will the trickle-down the change and update your progression after this activity.
  3. Recalculate your Fitness Progression
    • If Xert has your signature wrong and it doesn’t correct itself during analysis of your activities, go to your My Fitness Page / Advanced tab, enter in a fitness signature that is representative of your fitness at the start of your progression, i.e fitness signature for your first activity, click SAVE and the scroll to the bottom of the page, below your Fitness Signature Progression chart and click Recalculate Fitness Progression.

MPA Analysis is a tool to help you determine your fitness at the time of the activity.  This is a powerful concept and unique to Xert.

To perform MPA Analysis on an activity, open the Activity Details – MPA tab for the activity.  On that page you have a chart showing both MPA and power.  Below the chart, you can click on the other activity data to overlay additional information that you might need for the assessment.

Progression calculations will automatically attempt to determine the fitness signature for the the activity. The results of this are shown as the Fitness Signature for the activity below the chart.  Xert automatically performs a signature extraction using the previous activity’s fitness signature as the starting point.   In the case where a long time has passed since your previous activity, Xert may have lowered your signature values as it will have expected a decline due to detraining.

To see what a different signature looks like in terms of MPA, enter in a given set of values and click Refresh Analytics.  This will use the signature you entered to determine MPA and plots these.  Where your MPA is at or below your power output are your maximal efforts.  If you MPA falls below your power, this indicates that one or more of your fitness signature values are too low.  If your MPA never meets your power data, this can either mean that the activity did not have any maximal efforts or that the signature used is too high to represent your fitness.

Using the Extract Fitness Signature button, Xert will run a process to determine what your signature was for the activity using the values in the boxes as starting points.  The values used are important since your fitness changes relatively and not all activities express your entire fitness.  For example, you may not express your Peak Power in an activity so using a low Peak Power value as the starting point for the extraction will likely lead to a low extracted value.

When an activity is rich with maximal efforts, Xert’s extraction process will have a much easier time determining your a three fitness signature values at the time of the activity.  When an activity has few, it relies more on the previous activity’s signature.

When you’re satisfied that the fitness signature is representative of your fitness at that time, Save the fitness signature to the activity.  Note that when doing so, subsequent activities may also be affected by the change.

 

Progression is the how your fitness has been improving or declining over time. Xert determines your fitness activity-by-activity. It uses the previous activity’s fitness signature as the basis to determine your fitness for the current activity. If you haven’t been training and doing any activities for a given period, Xert will consider this a period of detraining and will reduce your fitness automatically.

To keep Xert on track with your current fitness, be sure to include maximal efforts into your activities.  These express your fitness and Xert will pick these up and use them to adjust your fitness up or down accordingly.

When Xert determines your fitness has improved. This is easy to spot as your power will exceed your MPA.  This is by definition fitness breakthrough.  They are what we all train to achieve.

When Xert sees that you had a breakthrough, it will then determine which of your fitness signature values increased.  If only one increased, you get a bronze medal, if two increased, a silver and if all three increased, a gold medal. (Note however that Xert actually makes absolutely sure by ensuring that 3 consecutive power data points are above MPA to qualify as a breakthrough).

The size of the medal provides an indication of how many maximal efforts were detected in the activity.  So an activity will a large number of maximal efforts will have a larger medal than an activity with few maximal efforts.  Large medals are better indicators of your fitness at a given time.