Using Xert to Test Your Fitness

Fitness Testing

Most athletes dread test days.  These are the days in your training plan where you test your fitness to see where you stand: “Am I improving?”, “Do I need to change to workout targets?”.  They are dreaded because they require a lot of motivation.  Your FTPAlso referred to as Functional Threshold Power, it is regarded by most athletes as the power that can be sustained... can fluctuate 30-40 watts during the season and having a good estimate could mean the difference between a successful or a failed workout.

To test your FTPAlso referred to as Functional Threshold Power, it is regarded by most athletes as the power that can be sustained..., the recommended method is to do a long time-trial effort, perhaps as long as an hour.  Unfortunately, the mental and physical preparedness one has to achieve for this test prevents many from attempting it, let alone successively completing it. A more common method is to do “The 20-minute FTPAlso referred to as Functional Threshold Power, it is regarded by most athletes as the power that can be sustained... Test”.  These too are not easy as they require the right pacing and execution planning.  Go out too hard, and the test is abandoned too early.  Go out too easy, and you don’t put out a number that represents what you can do. Some are now advocating for an 8-minute test.  These too are very difficult, especially that two of these tests are done in sequence.  In each of these cases, your FTPAlso referred to as Functional Threshold Power, it is regarded by most athletes as the power that can be sustained... is only roughly estimated using a fraction of the power you were able to sustain for the test.

MPA Analysis and Fitness Signature Extraction

Xert takes a very different approach in establishing your fitness numbers.  By analyzing your regular activity data and performing MPA Analysis, your Fitness Signature can be extracted from the data.  This includes not just your Threshold PowerAlso used as an acronym TP in Xert and sometimes described using the more colloquial term FTP, Threshold Power is..., but also your High Intensity EnergyAlso used as the acronym HIE, this is the amount of energy or work capacity an athlete has above Threshold... and your Peak PowerAs one of the three parameters that define an athlete's Fitness Signature, this is an athlete's highest possible power.  Sometimes... too – all three of which define your individual power profile. Fitness SignatureIt is represented by three values: Threshold Power (TP),  High Intensity Energy (HIE) and Peak Power (PP). The three fitness values are used... extraction establishes your fitness by identifying those maximal efforts in your activity and uses a regression algorithm to determine a fitness signatureIt is represented by three values: Threshold Power (TP),  High Intensity Energy (HIE) and Peak Power (PP). The three fitness values are used... that matches these points.  You’ll find that whether you perform a specific test or whether you use a club ride, if the power data includes time spent doing a maximal effortSynonymous with point-of-failure, this refers to moments during an activity where an athlete attempts to produce as much power as..., Xert can extract your signature.  For example, take this 20 minute FTPAlso referred to as Functional Threshold Power, it is regarded by most athletes as the power that can be sustained... test data:

20 Minute Test You can see that the athlete’s MPAMPA stands for Maximum Power Available. It is a measure of the maximum power an athlete can generate at a given moment... More (blue line) starts at their peak powerAs one of the three parameters that define an athlete's Fitness Signature, this is an athlete's highest possible power.  Sometimes... and slowly moves down until it reaches the power output (red line) at precisely the point that the athlete’s gives up (green diamond).  The fitness signatureIt is represented by three values: Threshold Power (TP),  High Intensity Energy (HIE) and Peak Power (PP). The three fitness values are used... that is representative of the athlete’s fitness signatureIt is represented by three values: Threshold Power (TP),  High Intensity Energy (HIE) and Peak Power (PP). The three fitness values are used... at the time of this test is displayed at the bottom: Threshold PowerAlso used as an acronym TP in Xert and sometimes described using the more colloquial term FTP, Threshold Power is... = 328W, High Intensity Energy = 32.7kJ and Peak PowerAs one of the three parameters that define an athlete's Fitness Signature, this is an athlete's highest possible power.  Sometimes... = 1460W. This same athlete also entered a local criterium, where their fitness was put to the test.  Here is an MPAMPA stands for Maximum Power Available. It is a measure of the maximum power an athlete can generate at a given moment... More chart of the race.  Where MPAMPA stands for Maximum Power Available. It is a measure of the maximum power an athlete can generate at a given moment... More dips towards the athlete’s power and eventually meets the athlete’s power, is representative of a point of maximal effortSynonymous with point-of-failure, this refers to moments during an activity where an athlete attempts to produce as much power as...:

Whole Comparison RideIf we zoom in to this section:

Dropped You can see that athlete was close to MPAMPA stands for Maximum Power Available. It is a measure of the maximum power an athlete can generate at a given moment... More for quite some time.  This was a tough race for them.  At the moment their power reaches MPAMPA stands for Maximum Power Available. It is a measure of the maximum power an athlete can generate at a given moment... More, they get dropped.  Signature extraction for this race data is shown below the chart.  It is representative of their fitness at the time of the race and it is the same as the fitness signatureIt is represented by three values: Threshold Power (TP),  High Intensity Energy (HIE) and Peak Power (PP). The three fitness values are used... from the 20 minute test.

Using Regular Activity Data for Signature Extraction

Xert enables you to upload your activity data and will perform signature extraction automatically when you upload your ride.  This process determines your fitness signatureIt is represented by three values: Threshold Power (TP),  High Intensity Energy (HIE) and Peak Power (PP). The three fitness values are used... parameters – Threshold PowerAlso used as an acronym TP in Xert and sometimes described using the more colloquial term FTP, Threshold Power is..., High Intensity Energy and Peak PowerAs one of the three parameters that define an athlete's Fitness Signature, this is an athlete's highest possible power.  Sometimes... at the time of the activity.  The key benefits to using Xert for fitness testing are as follows:

  1. Use regular activity data that contain maximal efforts;
  2. Avoid having to know in advance what your fitness numbers are in order to set your pace;
    • This is especially useful if you are new to training with power data.
  3. Use variable efforts, including those containing periods of rest;
  4. Conduct your tests in a shorter amount of time;
  5. Obtain your Threshold PowerAlso used as an acronym TP in Xert and sometimes described using the more colloquial term FTP, Threshold Power is... and your Peak PowerAs one of the three parameters that define an athlete's Fitness Signature, this is an athlete's highest possible power.  Sometimes... and High Intensity EnergyAlso used as the acronym HIE, this is the amount of energy or work capacity an athlete has above Threshold...;
  6. Test more often, even at the end of rides;
  7. Test before an event to know your numbers and confirm the event strategy;
  8. Avoid testing altogether if your regular training/group activities include time spent at maximal effortSynonymous with point-of-failure, this refers to moments during an activity where an athlete attempts to produce as much power as....

A Simple Xert Test Protocol

If you wish to conduct a specific workout to test for your entire fitness profile, i.e. establish your current fitness signatureIt is represented by three values: Threshold Power (TP),  High Intensity Energy (HIE) and Peak Power (PP). The three fitness values are used..., this simple and fun process works great:

  1. Warmup – This can be done in anyway you prefer, including a hard effort or two.  Being fresh , i.e. having no fatigueFatigue represents a reduction in an athlete's ability to produce power.  It either manifests as a reduction in Maximal Power..., before starting the test isn’t a requirement;
  2. Generate fatigueFatigue represents a reduction in an athlete's ability to produce power.  It either manifests as a reduction in Maximal Power... – You want to lower MPA.  If you are using Xert Mobile or Xert MPA and Power for ConnectIQ, bring MPAMPA stands for Maximum Power Available. It is a measure of the maximum power an athlete can generate at a given moment... More down to about 400W above Threshold PowerAlso used as an acronym TP in Xert and sometimes described using the more colloquial term FTP, Threshold Power is....  Give yourself moments of rest if needed;
  3. Do a maximal effort  – This is the toughest part.  Be sure to execute this well.  Choose a slight uphill and with good speed, gear down go as hard as you can out of the saddle.  Avoid needing to change gears in the middle of it;
  4. Briefly rest and repeat if you wish to make sure you have your best result;
  5. Rest for 10 minutes or until MPAMPA stands for Maximum Power Available. It is a measure of the maximum power an athlete can generate at a given moment... More is restored to Peak PowerAs one of the three parameters that define an athlete's Fitness Signature, this is an athlete's highest possible power.  Sometimes...;
  6. Do 4 or 5 out-of-the-saddle peak powerAs one of the three parameters that define an athlete's Fitness Signature, this is an athlete's highest possible power.  Sometimes... sprints.  Execution is important as you want you to put out your highest power possible.  Do short 5-7 second bursts with a couple of minutes of rest in between to ensure you’re recovered.  It is important that you post a good number that represents something near your peak powerAs one of the three parameters that define an athlete's Fitness Signature, this is an athlete's highest possible power.  Sometimes....  On your last sprint, go all out for 20 seconds or so;
  7. Upload to Xert Online;
  8. Open the Activity Details to review your fitness numbers.