SFR (Italian Plan - Low RPM workout)

Here is a quadrant analsys from a pro rider (500w Z5 :slight_smile: ). This is in Italian (I added some English over it) but you can see there is always a relationship between force and rpm to produce power. This left top quadrant is something that most non-pro riders don’t train. They might do sprints of short duration high force that are briefly in this quadrant but not sustained (strength/endurance) like low RPM can produce.

If you do VO2max or HIIT workouts they still don’t produce enough force unless you do around 55-60 RPM.

SFR is best for indoors unless you have a long steady climb around 5-8% grade without a lot of interuptions. You will find our SFR workouts starting rather mild (4 X 1min intervals) but as you build up you will see they are definitly causing positive adaptions.

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The main difference between us and the pros is our force (newtons or newton meters) will be much lower for a given RPM at least for the same durations but the idea will be the same.

Here is an example of HIIT workout just to compare. You can see the rest and warmup / cool down at the lower portion of the chart.

Intriguing, never tried this type of workout. if it can help me push bigger gears on the flat why not :slight_smile:

Just to make sure I understand: low rpm is only during the intervals at 65% FTP? What’s the recommended cadence in between? Is the last block of the training (from min 31-ish to min 39-ish) also done at low rpm?

Only 35-45 rpm on those first 4 intervals at 75%. (Higher zone 2 or zone 3) Rests and the later portion of the workout are at your comfort RPM. Those four will feel reasonably easy but you will see after 3 weeks they get more interesting and your muscles will be prepared for the later harder efforts. I think max is like 6 x 4’

I should also say if you don’t start out easy and build up slowly you knees will pay. These will build knee strength unless you do too much too soon.

I used a lot of workouts like this to simulate long climbs when training for a long, off road endurance event. They worked well.

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In talking with one user that has a Tacx Flow we realized that some trainers that have a maximum power of 600 watts or so many not have enough resistance in their trainer to handle the loads of low RPM. 600 watts at 120 rpm is a maximum of 165 watts at 33 rpm and this is just approximate maximums so it might be less than this.

Question: each week, I have 2 days of weight training (weighted squats & Co)… Is that plan “compatible”, or should I go for the fitness plan ? I admit that I’m more curious about the SFR one :stuck_out_tongue:

Edit: oh well, I checked the plans and am going for the fitness one…

I think fitness is a good choice. If you back off to 1 leg day at some point, for example in the spring if cycling becomse the top priority then SFR and Italian plan should make more sense.

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Yeah, I chose the Fitness one. But at first sight, it seems way too easy for the first 4 days, and those 3h30-4h30 long rides on the last day seem impossible for me to do on the HT :-\ Outdoors, I rarely ride 3h… 4h+ indoors !? Ouch !

We are launching daily hour limiter this week. Also we are following the advice of some top European coaches that you start easy and build up slowly but you don’t need to kill yourself at any point in time. Correct volume manipulation combined with strategic progressive overload causes adaption not just pure intensity (like the high TSS advocates would indicate and have been at least partially proven wrong). That said you can increase our Interval intensity slider it increase the intensity.

You likely know this but you need to have lower intensity periods (4-8 weeks i.e. base) followed by higher intensity (8-16 weeks i.e. build/peak). Our plans start at lower intesity and move to moderately high, or “high enough.” But if you are in the middle of a higher intensity period you might want to move that slider up. Again as you likely know trying to maintain a consistely maximum intenisity plan is less effective in creating adaptions and will stall progress and burn you out eventually.

We did allow people that want harder workouts to create a custom plan with some harder progressions.

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Ok this custom daily hours setting is in place.

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Thats a very neat chart. I can see a new home for it in the future :slight_smile:

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Hi David, yes I think this is super cool (useful). Let me know if you add it.

Why in Italian plan SFR have to be done at only 65% of ftp?
I’ve done many sfr workout in the past and i tought the right value of ftp was around 85%.
I’d like to know more about this… I’m just curious :slightly_smiling_face:

Excellent question. So as you might know, Aldo Sassi, first popularized SFR in the pro world. I am great friends with his primary assistant coach when he was alive.

Our SFR start at 75% because most people are new to SFR or if you have not done them in a while 75% is a good place to start. If you are trained SFR athlete 85% is also good, but 85% longer, true SFR (35-45 rpm) intervals would cause many people knee issues starting out.

I want make adjustment to jack so as you get farther in the sequence if moves up to 85%. This should be done soon. So you could increase the intensity slider to get to 85% sooner.

Oh you are right ours start at 65%… My friend told me Zone 2 so now I remember I started at lower end to safer for begginers and build up to 73% but I think I was playing a bit too safe. I just increased it from 75%-85% as he clarified this is probably a bit better for most riders and still safe enough since our first intervals start at 1-minute.

Thanks for the explanation :slightly_smiling_face:
So if now i do a new Italian Plan it will start with 75%?

Yes if you create a plan now it starts at 75%. I accientally just launched some new stuff that was not supposed to go live yet :slight_smile: but that should not cause you any problems…