Sufferfest Review: Makes Suffering Through a Cycling Workout Easier

These Workouts Will Make You Sweat and Smile

Sufferfest Cycling Training

It's no secret that cycling is a brutal activity. It doesn't matter if you're heading to a group cycling class or you're taking your road bike out for a training ride - it's all hard. Your legs are going to scream, your lungs are going to burn and yet, for some reason by the end of each ride, you'll be smiling. There's just something about cycling that delivers a euphoric, "I did it!" feeling, no matter how much you suffer during a ride.

That's the exact experience The Sufferfest is banking on. It's a genius concept that addresses the suffering of cycling head-on by helping the cycling enthusiast train at home with the help of world class coaches and a little bit of humor.

The Sufferfest Experience

I really haven't seen anything quite like The Sufferfest before. The company develops tough, interval-based workout videos designed by the best cycling coaches in the world. The videos include licensed footage from the world's greatest races, including the Tour de France, World Championships and Tour of Flanders. Each workout is set to beat-pumpin' music to keep you motivated through the toughest intervals, and you never have to wonder what's coming next because the on-screen cues talk you through each routine.

What Sufferfest Does Well

I really, really like the Sufferfest videos, and rarely do I offer such effusive praise. The reality is, if the weather's bad and you find yourself stuck at home doing your own workout on a bike trainer or group cycling bike, you're bound to get very bored, very quickly.

There just aren't that many home-based cycling workouts currently available, and even those that are available aren't always great quality or geared to an athlete in training. The Sufferfest videos provide a high-quality home cycling experience that really pushes you to work harder. These are some of the highlights:

  • Interesting Storylines. The Sufferfest has built an entire, imaginary world called Sufferlandria - a world where Sufferlandrians live. You, as a cyclist, are a Sufferlandrian working to make Sufferlandria proud by suffering harder and more than anyone else has ever suffered. Each workout has its own storyline built around Sufferlandria - the stories are guaranteed to make you smile, possibly laugh, and dig deeper than you thought you could possibly dig to suffer harder than you thought you could suffer.
  • Constant Cuing. While the videos have very little in the way of verbal cues, they do include constant, on-screen instructions that notify you when you're about to change speed or difficulty level and keep you on track and on pace.
  • Interval Training. Using a high intensity, low volume training protocol, workouts are reasonably short (ranging from 20 minutes to two hours), and feature a series of high intensity intervals to keep you moving while delivering measurable results in a reasonable period of time.
  • Great Music and Landscapes. While you may find yourself suffering too much to notice the scenery, during recovery intervals it's hard not to appreciate the video content provided by The Sufferfest. The race footage makes it feel like you're riding along with the greatest riders in the world. And even if you're working too hard to appreciate the video footage, the curated music is guaranteed to keep you pedaling on pace.
  • Humor. C'mon - how awesomely hilarious is it that The Sufferfest has found a way to make suffering seem like the greatest pursuit of a Sufferlandrian's life? The company knows that it's a ridiculous proposition, and they don't shy away from tongue-in-cheek humor to further encourage your suffering.

A Minor Note

While I have very little negative to say about the whole experience, there was one thing I noted while testing out their The Rookie and The Best Thing in The World workouts: More verbal cuing would have been helpful.

During both workouts I used my smartphone to stream the videos, attaching my smartphone to the handlebars of my spin bike using a small tripod.

The set up worked well, but because the screen was small, and because I was suffering so much, sometimes it was hard for me to see or concentrate on the written cues on the screen. I found myself wishing for verbal cues to supplement the on-screen cues.

The Takeaway

For anyone treating themselves to a spin bike or a bike trainer this winter, you can't go wrong with purchasing a couple of The Sufferfest videos to help you suffer through your home cycling workouts with a smile. Each workout ranges in price from $6 to $15, depending on the length of the video, and is available as an MP4 download you can access on a computer or mobile device.

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