Anyone else using Wahoo SYSTM over Zwift?
In trying to recover some fitness after COVID I have treated myself to a Wahoo KICKR in the black friday sales.
Previously i had a non-Smart trainer and would use it in winter when weather was poor and roads icy, but had just used a cadence / HR sensors.
I get SYSTM free for a year with the trainer, and have signed up to free trial of Zwift as well. So far i have really enjoyed the combination of hard Sufferfest videos and the GCN documentaries on SYSTM and time seems to pass quickly when breathing through my posterior…
Any advantages to Zwift over it SYSTM, i know people seem to evangelise about Zwift, but having done first two stages of Tour de Zwift, i find it very “computer game-y”, to the point where i tend to lose concentration.
Anyone used both, advantage to one over the other if looking to peak for a multi-day event in summer?
Any tips on getting best out of them?Posted 4 months ago
Not tried SYSTM, but I do pay for Zwift. I enjoy the workout rides hosted by real people, as well as the option to just ride by myself (recovery rides mainly). You get a bit of banter from the regulars on these rides, which keeps it fun. Its definitely helped my fitness.
I know others who use it for all of the above as well as racing, but I’m not fit/fast enough for that 😉Posted 4 months ago
I found the old sufferfest stuff well judged and achieved what it was supposed to.Posted 4 months ago
I used Zwift for about 6 months and thought it was OK, but I didn’t use it for any of the social elements which I think are probably it’s strengths. I have friends who love it, they ride most days on group rides, a couple of them race. I’d say it’s a competitive social platform that works for them.
I moved to SYSTM/Sufferfest a couple of years ago because I prefer something structured that will make me work (I didn’t know about the training plans on Zwift at the time). I’d used a couple of the old old Sufferfest videos back in the day with a spinning bike so it seemed the next thing to try.
It really works for me – I have a fairly busy work and family life so exercise time for me is irregular and I have to squeeze in what I can, when I can. I also love information and data and so the scientific approach to SYSTM suits me better. The plans are put together with what seems like real purpose, a lot of the videos give you information on why you are doing something (for example low cadence grind to build power and neuro-muscular response, then switching to high cadence low power to flush the lactic acid and get your legs used to changes in pace etc) as well as some very tongue in cheek humour. The sessions themselves are well planned and since they are scaled to your personal numbers I find they take me right to the edge without quite tipping me over. Occasionally I’ll bolt on yoga and or strength to a plan but mostly I just use the cycling as I’ll be doing stuff in the real world too.
Overall the new SYSTM platform is good I think – the content is great but they have had some teething issues with video streaming dropping out occasionally, last night sessions weren’t syncing to Strava, but the support is good and they usually get stuff sorted out. They are adding more content all the time, the Pro-rides are really good fun and the “A week with…” is a great concept.
I would say just try as many as you can while you have free trials, and figure out which works best for your needs. Some folks I know use both – SYSTM for the high intensity, break yourself type sessions and Zwift for the social element and racing.Posted 4 months ago
Pretty much what @tonyd said. Although he didn’t mention my favourite category of videos, “On Location”, which are great workouts with a stunning backdrop. I enjoy Mike Cotty’s presenting/commentary, too. The “Inspiration” videos are good for recovery, although I can’t see myself watching many of them more than once and I do wonder if they’re going to be able to include enough new content on a regular basis to keep it fresh.
I did try Zwift a couple of years ago, but also found it a bit too game-like, with (IME) silly graphics which took away from the experience. I might have another go at some point, but for now I’m happy with Systm.Posted 4 months ago
I use Zwift and Xert (just another variation of training programme). I can stand just going for a pedal or doing a workout on Zwift, really doesn’t work for me. OTOH I don’t mind group rides, and group rides with people you know are even better. OTOH I’m very happy chasing lines on graphs on Xert (or Trainerroad or whatever) with some popcorn for the mind on Netflix playing in the background.
Zwift is helping a bit with winter this year, but it’ll get sacked off in a couple of months back to purely chasing graphs when I cant get outside for whatever reason
Basically….. its different strokes for different folks. Give them all a go and see what works for youPosted 4 months ago
Agree, on location rides are great. I’m always amazed at how Mike Cotty never seems to sit down, might as well not bother with a saddle 🙂
Inspiration rides are good once but since they are recovery rides I usually just turn off video now and watch TV instead.Posted 4 months ago
Mogrim and Tony D you both seem to echo what i have found so far, i have really enjoyed doing one of the set 20-25 interval programs, but then going to Warm Down section and doing a further 20-30 mins watching one of the documentaries whilst getting structured warm-down (especially Mike Cotty’s 1000km and 20,000m of climbing effort!)
Glad it’s not just me, told people i had bought a decent trainer at last, and all i keep hearing about is Zwift, but i found it too gamey and like the structured plan more for mePosted 4 months ago
I used to use Sufferfest but currently enjoying using Rouvy which gives you ‘real world’ riding
I’ve found myself spending more time on the turbo, however I do wonder how effective it is compared to doing Sufferfest
This new Sufferfest/Wahoo thing is expensive though!
I thought having spent loads of money on a Kickr they might give it for freePosted 4 months ago
@funkydunc, i did get SYSTM free for a year with new Kickr (i brought a reconditioned one in Boxing Day sale).
It does still rely on Sufferfest for some videos, but also has content from GCN, on location, ride with a pro, Wahoo’s own videos etc, it is same price per month as Zwift, i guess i was just wondering if i was missing something with Zwift that everyone else seems to like but i was missing! It would be expensive if i was paying for both per month.Posted 4 months ago
I’ve used Zwift for several years (3 or 4?) but only during the depths of winter. I did stuff like the Tour de Zwift and various races as well as some pre-created and self-created workouts.
However, I’ve also found Zwift to be a major PITA with slow loading updates and switching world’s and connections dropping. Basically, sometimes it’s twenty minutes of faffing around before your start riding.
In a fit of petulance, I cancelled Zwift and I’ve been trying alternatives. I’ve had free trials of RGT and Rouvy (both look promising but not for me at the moment) and I’ve done the free trial of SYSTM and have just converted to a paid subscription.
I did the SYSTM “4 DP” test last week (even more brutal than an FTP test!) and that seems to be useful/accurate and I’ve just started my first ever “plan” (4 weeks).
Still early days for me but the variety of different videos and workout types seems appealing. I’ve had trouble with my knees, lower back and shoulder/neck so I’m hoping by including some yoga and strength training sessions will help my overall health as well as my aerobic capacity.
One thing I’ll miss about Zwift will be the short but brutal 20/25 minute Crit races. They were great for an effective high intensity workout as you were chasing down actual people not just lines on a bar chart.Posted 4 months ago
I’m not a fan of zwift, just not a fan. Wahoo I just like the videos or sometimes turn that off and ride to the numbers. Did a pro ride and that was a toughy.Posted 4 months ago
I used to use Sufferfest a lot then did a lot of Zwifting and some RGT before and over the whole lockdown period but haven’t been remotely motivated to do any turbo training this winter.
Today I decided to get started with Systm as I found the Sufferfest to be better for workouts and included music which was one less thing to procrastinate over. Within about 5 minutes of getting it set up I’d chinned it off and was back on the Zwift/Spotify combo on the back of the Systm app (Android) being utter shit.
I want to like Systm but at the minute it’s like an unfocussed Sufferfest and that’s what I actually want. I definately think Zwift is the best choice if you’re going to get involved with group rides and races etc but as a training tool I’d much prefer to use Systm if the app ever gets sorted.Posted 4 months ago
Zwifts training plans are really pretty bad. There’s little to no periodization or rest, and it’s all intensity. If you like e racing then that’s a draw, but using it as your only platform for training doesn’t seem ideal.
I’ve gone back and forth between apps – including the beast that is trainerroad (the best thing about TR is the podcasts) – which again is too much intensity for me and I always hit burnout after a few months.
Sufferfest has ‘just’ enough entertainment to get you through the sessions, a reasonable amount of adherence to training basics. It probably doesn’t have enough volume for most people wanting to race (and tends to scale the intensity too much on the higher volume plans), but I figure if you’re trying to get 10hrs of z2 in addition to your intensity that should come from riding outdoors.
The only thing that kept me off it was the lack of an android app; the move to systm solved this.Posted 4 months ago
I want to like Systm but at the minute it’s like an unfocussed Sufferfest and that’s what I actually want.
Isn’t all the Sufferfest stuff in there? I’ve used / use both SF and Zwift, but for actual training, SF makes more sense to me and it feels familiar, like flicking a switch into training mode. I still find the existence of ‘other people’ on Zwift amusing though, in a ‘cat with a ball of string’ style – you can have mindless dust-ups with touchy Italians/’mericans/whgatever, which is often entertaining if you’re wired that way. Or anyone else for that matter. But I guess it all depends on how you’re wired.
For me it boils down to SF for structured interval training, Zwift from more ‘just riding’ on days when you really can’t face the joys of Great British weather.Posted 4 months ago
Isn’t all the Sufferfest stuff in there?
It is, you can filter sessions in the library by “category” with SUF being one of those categories. Seems they are complementing the high intensity SUF sessions with recovery, endurance, pro rides, etc. I think the intent seems good.Posted 4 months ago
One other thing that might appeal, since this is all now part of the Wahoo ecosystem it seems they are working on the ability to push structured training plan sessions into their head units, so you can take it out into the real world. Not sure if that appeals to me or not but sure it will to some.Posted 4 months ago
I really like Zwift now but it took me a long time to “get” it.
At first I just couldn’t understand what the appeal was of paying to watch a tiny man ride around on a screen but I think during various lockdowns I found I engaged with it more and it kind of came to life when I started doing races and the odd group ride. I spent most of December trying for a sub-1hr time up “Alpe Du Zwift” which was surprisingly engaging.
Even with the racing itself I think the appeal starts more when people pick a race or a series and repeatedly race it so that they can compare/compete against familiar names each week and see how they stack up.
But I haven’t even tried Zwift training plans simply because I never hear anything good said about them. So I use Traineroad for that.Posted 4 months ago
One thing I’ll miss about Zwift will be the short but brutal 20/25 minute Crit races. They were great for an effective high intensity workout as you were chasing down actual people not just lines on a bar chart.
Systm has a few of these, the shorter Sufferfest videos like Joyride are great for a quick blast, and there are a couple of short ProRides too. Of course there’s the same problem I mentioned earlier: once you done them a couple of times they’ll lose their freshness, which obviously isn’t an issue if you’re chasing down actual people.
And talking of ProRides, I did the Hammer Chase 1 TTT last night, and it’s a bit of a bastard 😀Posted 4 months ago
once you done them a couple of times they’ll lose their freshness
I always wondered about that, but it hasn’t happened yet and I’ve done some of the Sufferfest sessions lots of times. I think a combination of the brutality, soundtrack, and video commentary keep it pretty fresh. Mostly the brutality!
Hammer Chase is pretty painful!Posted 4 months ago
Isn’t all the Sufferfest stuff in there?
It is but it’s behind just enough filters and lifestyle images of people looking fit etc to be annoying. Plus it doesn’t pick-up devices anywhere near as well as Zwift seems to which was the straw which broke the camel’s back.Posted 4 months ago
I’m another person who has tried Zwift a few times but never really got on with it. I can see why people like the group rides/races etc but they’re just not my cup of tea.
I’ve used sufferfest vids for a long time (used to do the whole download a SUF video and sync with trainerroad thing) so have kind of reached my limit of sufferfesting. I do use the app for strength/yoga and the odd easy turbo ride, but all of my actual intervals are done with a combination of TrainerRoad and junk TV.
My point being that we all have slightly different ways of getting motivated, so finding what works for you is most important.Posted 4 months ago
@scud I’m using wahoo SYSTM for my very boring covid recovery program with a kickr core and think it’s excellent, there’s some improvements they can make for sure, it it’s very usable as it is currently. Previously I was using TrainerRoad and I prefer SYSTM, I like both and whilst TrainerRoad is excellent, there’s just something extra that I preferred in SYSTM.
Tried zwift before TR and loved the graphics etc, but wanted more of a pure training program, which TR and system do better IMVHO. I’m sure someone will come along with a more expert view on programs in Zwift.Posted 4 months ago
I’m not going to add much that hasn’t already been said but I’m a sufferfest turned systm faithful. Tried Zwift and the workouts are dull as ****, you get to chase a number and a glowing gate 🥱. Races were kind of fun but never got that into it and anything else felt like unproductive noodling about. Turbo time isn’t your classic type of fun so it needs to have a point, and I like how the sufferfest draws you along with it. Like when the minions add another 10s to your last interval because of some shenanigans, you know what’s happening but just grin, think ‘you bastards’ and dig in.
Having said all of that I’ve been liking the on location rides as stand ins for my early morning ‘commute’ when it’s too wet/icy to head out.
And I checked, it’s 3 taps to open the app and get a list of the sufferfest videos. I can cope with that
Sneaky edit: just found that you can do it in 3 taps rather than my previous 5! Open – Library – scroll down and select Sufferfest. 🥴Posted 4 months ago
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