A Completely New Way to Train

Xert has ushered in revolutionary ideas and innovations in measuring fitness, how much power you have, which energy systems you use as well as highlighting how traditional methods miss key training variables like strain and focus.

When we bring all these concepts to bear and use them to improve the workouts we perform, we get Smart Workouts. Rather than using zones and simple duration-based intervals, Smart Workouts are based on strain and the power you can generate.  When workouts are designed this way, amazing things result.  Workouts are precisely tuned to your ability.  The difficulty of the workout is precisely known in advance.  The Focus of the workout is precisely known in advance.

What Defines a Smart Workout?

A Smart Workout has three key points of differentiation:

  1. Smart Workouts use advanced mathematical modeling to know precisely where you will be from a fatigue standpoint, i.e. MPA, at every point in a workout;
  2. New interval definitions are used to pinpoint specific power and fatigue levels to achieve strain and focus targets according to the desired training loads;
  3. Workout players also use advanced mathematical models, in real-time, to adjust either interval power or duration to assist the athlete in meeting the goals of the workout.

Smart Workouts in Xert

Xert now offers Smart Workouts both as part of the Xert Workout Designer as well as a library of Smart Workouts to choose from (there are now over 75 workouts in the Xert Workout Library).  Using the Xert Workout Designer, new interval configuration options allow coaches and athletes to create interval definitions that target specific areas of your fitness and specific amounts of strain.  In addition, targets can be made relative to the individual such that every athlete that uses them, gets the same training doses and thus the same benefits too.

When a workout is opened in the Workout Designer, intensities and durations are auto-calculated using your Fitness Signature.  Rather than using simple %FTP and fixed duration intervals, Xert adjusts your targets and the interval durations to fit your specific abilities.  For some, this means higher intensities and for other it means lower intensities.  Some intervals get extended.  Some get shortened.  Workouts adjust to you automatically by our algorithms.

New Type of Intervals

In addition to having standard fixed wattage and duration intervals adjust automatically to you, new types of interval definitions have been introduced to enable workout designers to create and target training.

Lower Threshold Power Intervals

Lower Threshold Power (LTP), an important aspect of your fitness can now be used as an interval target.  Unlike before where %TP was used and your LTP was estimated, LTP can be used precisely in workouts.  Since LTP-level training is the foundation of base training, having intervals defined relative to your LTP is valuable in giving you that added precision during those workouts that you use to build your base fitness.  Also, LTP-based targets are great for defining warmups and cooldowns as well as for rest intervals during higher intensity workouts.

XSSR Intervals

XSS per hour (XSSR) is a new concept in training introduced in Xert for the very first time.  Whereas traditional intervals target an intensity, XSSR intervals target a particular amount of strain.  Training is all about accumulating training load and training load is based on the strain you generate while working out and during regular activities.  Having workouts that are precise in the dose of strain they produce ensures you’re getting the right amount of training at a given point in your training program.

XSSR is an hourly rate of XSS.  For example, if a workout called for an interval of 30 minutes at XSSR of 80, you would accumulate precisely 40 XSS points over that interval.

You’ll notice that XSSR intervals have variable power in some cases.  This is because as you fatigue during a workout, it becomes more difficult to sustain a given intensity.  Hence what may have produced 80 XSSR while unfatigued will be different that what will produce 80 XSSR during periods of heavy fatigue.  This is the principle behind XSSR and it offers a workout designer a way to keep the interval at a level that is constant, not in watts, but in the strain it generates.  It allows intervals to impart greater strain without becoming too difficult to complete.  Performing high-intensity XSSR intervals will feel more natural as the intensity declines with increasing fatigue, enabling you to sustain and hold on longer and to allow you to continue to add strain rather than having to stop.

Playing Smart Workouts

Just as workouts can be designed with fatigue and strain targets in mind, so can a workout player enforce those targets in real-time. Not everyone has the benefit of using a resistance-controlled smart trainer.  Also, not all resistance-controlled trainers work equally when it comes to helping you attain the target wattages as defined in the workout.

Xert’s advanced algorithms can be used by players to assist you and/or the smart trainer in reaching the given target.  When they have the algorithms embedded, they can adjust target wattages and interval durations as the interval progresses and in the context of your current fatigue accumulated.  This awareness and auto-adjustments are key to helping you perform the workouts the way they are meant to be performed.  Many coaches spend time with their athletes coaching them on how to do workouts.  Doing them properly requires them teaching their athletes not only how to do them but the importance of doing them properly.

With smart workout player capabilities, athletes get that added help from the algorithms to adjust workouts for them, ensuring they get the proper benefit from their training.  Coaches can have more assurance that their athletes are performing workouts the way they were meant to be performed.

Xert Smart Workouts is now a feature of Xert Mobile for Android app.

The New Xert Workout Player for Garmin Connect IQ

In addition to smart workout support on Xert Mobile for Android, we have also developed and released support for smart workouts on Garmin Edge bike computers that support Connect IQ.

The Xert Workout Player for Connect IQ is a full-featured app that displays your current workout information in an easy-to-follow display.  Your target power, MPA, cadence, heart rate and timers are shown and the software controls your smart trainer under the covers, adjusting target power and/or interval duration on-the-fly using the advanced smart interval algorithms.  The app was designed for ease-of-use:

  • Simply login to your Xert Online account;
  • Open the workout you wish to play;
  • Select the workout by clicking/tapping the Select button;
  • Launch the Xert Player app for Connect IQ and it takes care of the rest.

The app is a complete workout player and can be used together with other PC-based or videos during your workouts.  In fact, given its ability to make adjustments to your workout on-the-fly, it is also conducive to training outdoors as the timer and/or power targets will adjust and can accommodate the variability in terrain and traffic slowdowns.

The Xert Workout Player also supports advanced telemetry data transmission to your Xert Online Remote Player.

Advanced Telemetry and the Xert Remote Player

While working with the Xert Workout Player for Connect IQ is a complete workout experience, having data shown on a larger screen, perhaps overtop a video or other software program provides greater flexibility and enjoyment to doing your workouts.

The new Xert Remote Player enables you to visualize your workout progress via a simple browser window.  The Xert workout players transmit their data, both raw as well as calculated data such as MPA, to the Remote Player via the Garmin Connect Mobile interface (Xert Player for CIQ) or via the native Android network interface (Xert Mobile).

This new feature enables you to show your workout progress and target information on a larger screen, or even to popout various player components overtop your favourite videos or games.