Our customers asked and we responded.  By popular demand, we launched our own podcast where we discuss the amazing new insights into your training and performance that are provided through the unique lens of Xert.  You’ll get an entirely new perspective on understanding power data from your cycling or running, helping you achieve new levels in your fitness and race performance. The podcast features Scott Steele, Dr. Stephen Cheung and Armando Mastracci, founder of Xert, sharing their ideas on various topics.  Tune in to these podcasts to learn something new about yourself and how you can become a better endurance athlete.

At first we called it “XP4” but after a user poll, it’s now officially called “The Xert Breakthrough Lab Podcast”.  You’ll find it on SoundCloud and on iTunes Podcasts as well as any other podcast platforms that pull from these 2 sources.


Episode 1 – Breaking Through with Xert

Our first podcast, complete with newbie podcast recording errors.  It’s raw but totally worth a listen to.  In this podcast, we talk all about fitness breakthroughs and this unique aspect of Xert.

Key discussion points in the podcast:

  1. What is a Fitness Breakthrough (2:00)
  2. Comparing a Fitness Breakthrough with a Personal Best (4:42)
  3. How breakthroughs account rests, traffic or starting fatigue during efforts (6:43)
  4. The benefits of measuring fitness using breakthroughs (9:08)
  5. FTP Testing and different ways to test with Xert (13:05)
  6. Maximal efforts, points-of-failure and extended efforts at MPA (16:00)
  7. Dr. Cheung talks about recovering from injury (21:56)
  8. How to get a breakthrough (27:28)
  9. Near Breakthroughs / “Fakethroughs” (30:09)
  10. Signature Decay Method (37:15)
  11. Using the No Decay Method (38:50)
  12. Types of Breakthroughs (40:06)
  13. The alignment of breakthroughs and your training (42:10)
  14. Breakthrough Errors (43:48)
  15. Using breakthroughs to compare one mode of riding to another (48:00)

Episode 2 – Your Fitness Signature – 3 Numbers that Predict Performance

You are more than your FTP.  In this episode, Scott, Stephen and Armando talk about Fitness Signatures and what they mean.

Key discussion points in the podcast:

  1. What is a Fitness Signature (0:42)
  2. How does a Fitness Breakthrough relate to your Fitness Signature (3:42)
  3. How does your signature relate to your Power Curve (6:28)
  4. Fitness Signatures from your FTP test (8:48)
  5. Differences between athletes (11:15, 23:10)
  6. What is the difference between HIE and W’ (13:37)
  7. Is HIE like a battery? (15:23)
  8. Modeling maximal power and fatigue with MPA (15:40)
  9. Workout models and design with MPA (19:30)
  10. How your signature help you understand how you recover from a high-intensity interval (21:42)
  11. How does your fitness signature relate to an Athlete Type (24:24)
  12. How athletes with different fitness signatures compete differently (27:20)
  13. Fitness signature strengths and weaknesses (29:09)
  14. What is Lower Threshold PowerLTP (32:15)
  15. Training with LTP (37:11)
  16. Using LTP in an event (39:27)
  17. How to assess the validity of your signature (40:48)
  18. Using the Fitness Signature calculator with a comparison to a CP/W’ calculation (42:45)
  19. Understanding the importance of having a good Peak Power value (44:58)
  20. Overestimates of Threshold Power (47:30)
  21. Why your Peak Power can be higher than your highest power effort (49:35)
  22. Analyzing the fitness signature and how it changed in a breakthrough activity (51:41)
  23. Gold, Silver and Bronze breakthrough medals (54:04)
  24. Introduction to how your signature parameters change with training (54:17)
  25. A Fitness Signature is both how to measure your fitness but also what you’re able to influence with training (56:30)

Episode 3 – From Time-Trialist to Sprinter – Athlete Types in Xert

How should you choose your Athlete Type?  Learn about what it should be and what does means to your training and improvements.

Key discussion points in the podcast:

  1. Why were Athletes Types introduced (0:28)
  2. Athlete Types on the Power Curve (2:17)
  3. Conceptualizing Athlete Types by comparing them to running events (3:07)
  4. Interpreting stochastic/variable power data as an Athlete Type (8:10)
  5. How each fitness signature system contributes to the power needed be an Athlete Type (9:00)
  6. Training a single Fitness Signature parameter (21:18)
  7. Conceptualizing HIE and why it is a fitness signature parameter (12:38)
  8. Why are some Athlete Types measured in W and others in W/kg (14:34)
  9. Using your Ranking and the Spider/Radar Chart to help choose your Athlete Type (18:55)
  10. Using race and/or previous activities to help choose your Athlete Type (20:10)
  11. Choosing an Athlete Type based on a weakness (21:28)
  12. Why FTP isn’t the only measure of fitness (22:42)
  13. When to focus on long duration rides and volume (24:58)
  14. Knowing how to race with your strengths (26:39)
  15. Why looking at normalized or average power doesn’t help understand your Athlete Type (27:26)
  16. How the Athlete Type associates with the variability of efforts (30:40)
  17. Dr. Cheung talks about the Ronnestad workout .. again.. (31:08)
  18. How your chosen Athlete Type guides your training (33:03)
  19. Events and activities usually have mid-range Athlete Types (35:05)
  20. Periodization of your Training Program based on your Athlete Type (35:43)
  21. Changing your Athlete Type seasonally (37:59)
  22. When to choose an Athlete Type that might have a different duration than your event (39:30)
  23. Why you don’t always get a recommended workout that is based your chosen Athlete Type (41:10)
  24. Where are Athlete Types used on the system and your Focus hatched line (44:45)
  25. Why Breakaway Specialist Athlete Type is a great choice as an Athlete Type (48:38)

Episode 4 – Being SMART About Your Workouts

What makes a great workout? In this episode, Scott, Stephen and Armando share their experiences doing workouts and discuss how to compare one workout to another, when one is better than another and the unique aspects of Xert’s workouts that aren’t available in other other training systems.

Key discussion points in the podcast:

  1. What are workouts intended to do and why do workouts have a structure (1:14)
  2. Research on which workout works best (2:30)
  3. Modeling the 4×4, 4×8 and 4×16 workouts in Xert (4:14)
  4. How fatigue during a workout increases the benefits of training (6:30)
  5. Why different intervals impact different aspects of fitness (7:40)
  6. How MPA is used conceptually in Xert workouts (10:00)
  7. The development of a new interval definition using MPA (11:05)
  8. Why recovery intervals are so important (11:40)
  9. How the exact intensity, the exact recovery intensity and the exact durations are at the very core of what’s most important in your training(12:30)
  10. The importance of training efficiently (13:32)
  11. What are SMART intervals and workouts (14:50)
  12. Why using %FTP for workout interval targets can be problematic (16:40)
  13. What are Xert’s alternatives to using %FTP (18:14)
  14. Personalized Zones (19:07)
  15. Why we don’t to have so many workouts in Xert and why it’s not necessary (20:40)
  16. XSSR Intervals (22:30)
  17. Dr. Cheung’s explains one of his favourite workouts – Let the Sparks Fly (23:55)
  18. XSSR Intervals – Deeper Explanation (26:40)
  19. Difficulty Scores and Rating (28:40)
  20. How workouts are recommended based on your Training Load (30:40)
  21. Making sure workouts can be completed (32:14)
  22. Should you train to failure (34:07)
  23. Dr. Cheung talks about the Ronnestad workout .. again.. (36:30)
  24. Understanding Target MPA (38:40)
  25. Dynamic duration intervals (40:10)
  26. Dr. Cheung’s favourite workouts (43:55)
  27. Scott’s favourite workouts (46:07)
  28. The Closer workouts (47:46)
  29. Armando’s favourite workouts (49:30)
  30. Coach and community shared workouts (52:13)
  31. Lower intensity workouts in Xert (53:35)
  32. Workout intervals that are based on LTP (54:40)