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I have flirted with the idea of purchasing a download of one of The Sufferfest videos since I first heard about them last year. I read lots of reviews from really good cyclists that said the videos were awesome…which kind of freaked me out because I am not a really good cyclist.
I am a decidedly mediocre cyclist, with dreams of being a pretty good cyclist someday.
Besides, I had a few copies of Spinnervals. I figured I didn’t need to invest any more money on yet another boring trainer video depicting the very likable Coach Troy giving orders while walking around a room full of drippy people sweating it out on trainers and spin bikes.
Yes, those videos work. It is just that I get rather bored watching them.
I kept going back to The Sufferfest website, kept reading their motto, “I will beat my ass today to kick yours tomorrow,” (Twitter hastag #IWBMATTKYT), kept reading rave reviews….I finally decided to purchase their Downward Spiral video.
I sure am happy for my impulse spending decisions (those need to stop. Right after I buy Hell Hath No Fury.)
A Simple Download…
The Sufferfest videos are available for download, no DVD, packaging or shipping costs. This keeps the videos pretty darn cheap – $11.99 for individual use (compare to $29 for most Spinnervals DVDs). You pay for the download and instantly pain and suffering is delivered directly to your inbox.
You can download and watch it from your computer, iPod, iPhone, or any video capable MP3 player. You can also burn it to DVD if you so desire.
Since I don’t have an iAnything, I watched it on my laptop.
Immediately I could tell that this video was different than any cycling workout I had ever done.
What is it exactly?
You really just have to see it to understand why it rocks. I will try my best to explain.
Downward Spiral is a 1 hour structured ride using race footage from the point of view of a racer (from a helmet cam). You are in the pack of a crazy peleton, crit racing in Australia, racing two crazy UCI races that I know nothing about ( Paris-Roubaix and Fleche-Wallone), and mountain bike racing on this insane downhill race. The cool down is pretty neat, a beautiful easy ride through the Oregon woods.
All of this with an awesome soundtrack, super tough intervals (based on Rate of Perceived Exertion), and hilarious “motivational” verbage printed across the screen. Actually, I am sure I missed some of what was on the screen because I had my head down looking at my screaming quads, waiting to hear the pony to shudder and tell me it was time to
breath again recover.
Yeah. There is a pony. I love/hate that pony.
As you near the end of your interval, all you want to do is hear that sweet pony shuddering a “brrrr”so you can recover. When he whinnies that is your hint to look up, wipe the sweat from your eyes, see your next set, and get busy.
I really hated that pony on the second interval of the second set. I hated him a lot.
The time went by in a flash. It was fun, challenging, and….painful. I can’t wait to do it again (WHAT is wrong with me?)
Check out the workout:
- Approx 10mins warm-up featuring two 30 second jumps.
- 2:00 min interval / 2:00 recovery
- 1:45 min interval / 1:45 recovery
- 1:30 min interval / 1:30 recovery
- 1:15 min interval / 1:15 recovery
- 1:00 min interval / 1:00 recovery
- 0:45 sec interval / 0:45 recovery
- 0:30 sec interval / 0:30 recovery
- 0:15 sec interval
- 5:00 recovery
- Repeat interval set (this is where I wanted to shoot the stupid pony)
- 4:00 warm-down
I have no doubt that using these videos for your indoor cycling training will make you a stronger cyclist come spring.
Disclaimer: This is my opinion of The Sufferfest‘s Downward Spiral. The Sufferfest did not pay me for this review nor did I receive any free product or videos for the review. I am totally open to that though, if the guys from The Sufferfest ACTUALLY read this and are feeling oh-so-generous. After all, Maine winters are really long and I need to get in killer bike shape for IMMT (only 272 days away).