Your life is busy. It can be tough to fit your training into your schedule. Then, once you have it in your calendar, stuff happens. It always does. Family, school, work, the weather, trips, friends and things unforeseen can all force you to alter your riding, sacrificing your training and fitness. Instead of feeling like you are always on the back foot, reacting to what’s going on around you, imagine that your training would just adapt on the fly to your life without you needing to reorganize anything. That is what the Xert training platform does.

Photo: Xert

The Basics

When you use Xert, you start by syncing the data from your power meter through Strava or Garmin Connect (you need a power meter and a way to get the data to Xert) so the system can generate an accurate picture of your fitness. Then, you provide a few details about your goals, including the type of event or riding you want to focus on, be it sprinting, climbing, time trialling or explosive efforts for example, and the system instantly creates a detailed program in the background. Your plan is constantly updated and adjusted, including selecting the ideal workout (or rest) every day to help you improve in the area you’ve selected. As the system continues to receive your ride information, it adjusts your plan and your workouts accordingly.

From the data you send to it, Xert determines your ‘Fitness Signature’ using algorithms to apply the latest training science. The signature is the foundation for all your workout targets, which are selected to progress you to reach your goals.

Maximum Power Available is a new calculation, based on your fitness signature, that shows you what your power limit is at any given moment, in real time. This can be handy to know if you are trying to stay on someone’s wheel on a climb or hit a target during a workout. You can even see just how long you can continue at a certain effort.

Photo: Xert

Structured or impromptu riding

Xert works for all your rides whether they are structured workouts, hammerfests or chill recovery spins. This is where Xert’s dynamic system can benefit different cyclists. Once you provide some key metrics, it will build workouts for you to ride. If you run a ‘smart’ workout from the Xert app on your smartphone or via the Garmin Xert Workout Player, the program adjusts the interval time on the fly – a feature unique to Xert – to make sure you’re doing the right amount of work.

If you don’t want to do a structured workout, you can either ride until you meet the amount of work you need to do (Strain), and the type of work you need to do (Focus), and then go home. Or, if you would prefer to go out for your local club hammerfest, and just ride how you feel, Xert will analyze your ride, fit it into your plan, and adjust your plan accordingly.

Photo: Xert

Adjusting for fatigue

Xert can respond to your ability to accomplish your training interval-by-interval or day-by-day. During a workout, interval targets will change based on how you are accomplishing the prescribed workout. If you’re riding a ‘basic’ trainer (one that doesn’t adjust its difficulty to keep you riding at the right power) or you’re doing the intervals outside on the road, it will adjust the time of an interval to make sure you do the right amount of work. Not too much, not too little.

And if you’re tired that day, or you’re not sure, Xert predicts your freshness. It will suggest easy or hard days depending on how fatigued or fresh you are, regardless of whether you’re following structured workouts all the time or mostly doing ‘free rides’. This makes sure that you can accomplish the work needed to meet your goals. And if you’re really falling behind it will raise a flag to suggest that you update your goals.

On the trainer or outside

The training metrics that Xert uses to guide your training don’t exist solely on its website for you to analyze before and after riding. Xert can run on your cycling head unit (currently only Garmin, but that will expand in the future) or smartphone, giving you the flexibility to get your required training in wherever you are as long as you have a power meter. If it’s beautiful outside but you had a trainer workout planned, you can take Xert outside without interrupting your plan. A convenient feature of Xert’s workouts is if you’re in the middle of a ‘smart’ interval and you have to stop for a stoplight or pedestrian, the interval adjusts; you don’t have to pause or restart anything.

The same goes for inside. Maybe you had an outdoor endurance ride planned but it’s cold and wet outside. Pick a workout, or accept the recommended workout, and get riding. You can do the Xert workouts within Zwift, or while you’re watching your favourite movie with the Xert Remote Player up on screen as well.

Photo: Xert

When you miss workouts

Getting sick, taking a vacation or being unexpectedly busy can throw a wrench into your training plan. When you do hop back on the bike, you may find it difficult to hit targets that were set for you based on a level of fitness you are no longer at. Xert will adjust your workouts if you are falling behind in your training, accounting for missed training days or lagging fitness. Instead of needing to consult with a coach, redo an FTP test or revise your set targets, you can simply keep riding and Xert will do the rest for you. The advantage here is you’ll be doing training tailored to your actual physical abilities, instead of where you predicted you would be when you first drew up your training plan. You no longer have to worry about a missed workout throwing off everything you have planned, allowing you to be more relaxed in your approach to riding.

Photo: Xert

Get the most out of your riding

As Xert adjusts for your life, you can take advantage of every moment you have to ride. With a dynamic ability to take into account many of the variables that can interrupt more rigid training plans, the Xert training platform helps you get the most out of every one of your rides. Whether you are doing structured intervals in the pain cave, steady tempo on scenic roads or trying to drop your riding mates on your weekly hammerfest ride, Xert will help you get stronger.