Anyone using/trialing Xert? Pros and cons?

I’ve been playing around with it a little. Curious what others think.

I tried out Sufferfest & Xert before settling on TR last July. What I do like about Xert, is that after the trial is over, I can still upload 1 workout on a rolling 7 day period. Xert has the Ranking page that tracks the watts or W/Kg for various time frames. I’m a classic sprinter whose power falls off a cliff as the duration increases. So having the different metrics is nice way to see how my progression on TR is going. I also like how Xert estimates the FTP dynamically, but I realize it is just a snapshot. If you have a Garmin and an active Xert account, the IQ apps will track realtime the MPA in case you are on a group ride with sprints. But overall, I’m happy with TR as my paid account.

You need to keep on top of breakthroughs regularly (monthly perhaps). If you don’t the metrics are a bit off. Not hugely so, but it is. You can turn off decay, but that could be problematic as well. I don’t, as I’m on a plan, but if you use Xert, that’s what you need to do. The same with any modeling program, like WKO5.

The numbers seem to be a bit all over the place, and can vary. If I delete everything, and reload everything from Strava, the numbers are not deterministic. Meaning it’s not identical run after run, do it a few times you’ll see what I mean.

Don’t take the LTP number as gospel. It’s been proven that it’s not always accurate, but it gets somewhat close, give or take.

Pacing takes a bit of work to figure out, you select different levels. You can also adjust your fatigue RPE.

All in all, it’s in the ballpark. I do need to go for some breakthroughs as my Threshold dropped a lot recently, but feeling a bit fatigued now, so will wait on that.

I like the workouts better. You can ignore the recommended workouts and select others. It keeps throwing the same 3 or 4 workouts at me for the most part.

You can also change your target athlete type, to get variations in workouts too. Pre-base seems to throw the same workouts at me repeatedly. The workouts also seem a bit short relative to the pacer requirements.

I like how the workouts can be created with different targets, and not FTP based (can be not, but it’s not always that way).

I’ve not followed a full cycle using Xert, though. All in all, I think it should work.

I think someone else asked a similar question not long ago, so a search might be worthwhile.

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Just swinging back around after having tried Xert for a while. I find the program interesting, but the actual implementation disappointing. It’s like a beta product, buggy. The interface is extremely convoluted, but I eventually figured it out. I have little confidence in the FTP estimations. As you say, I found the numbers to be all over the place. The iPhone app seemed to be not in sync with the main web app, again, like a beta software. I’d love to see Trainerroad do something like the Xert “breakthroughs”. The nice thing about Xert (if it worked properly) is that you can use outdoor rides. An outdoor ride can give you a breakthrough. I’d love to see TR buy Xert and put some polish into it. Hopefully TrainNow will evolve to provide some of the feature/benefits promised by Xert.

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FWIW I didn’t find it buggy in 2016-2017, and paid for a subscription again in 2021 and not finding it buggy. Currently I’m only feeding it outside rides.

The FTP estimates were quite accurate for me back in 2016-2017 because of my focus on breakthrough efforts. The FTP estimates in 2021 are not so good, because my coach and I are working on establishing a proper base without an emphasis on breakthrough efforts. My signature decay is set to “No Decay - Training Load Matched” and I asked for help doing that after resubscribing earlier this year.

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WKO was consistently giving low FRC estimates - dFRC on workouts frequently going highly negative. Guess I wanted to see what Xert had to say, plus I am expecting to do more breakthrough style work going forward.

Right now WKO has 9.4kJ FRC and Xert 27.0 HIE. Now it seems like WKO is too low and Xert too high :rofl:

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what are you using to test your FTP and your assessment of the TP estimations? TP and FTP are not the same FYI

I just do 20 min tests. Sometimes I adjust ftp in between tests by looking at what intervals.icu has to say.

I found it inconsistent and “trick.” Look at it the wrong way and the number goes sideways. Last week I was indoors using the Xert iPhone app. I felt really strong, buried the needle for a good 30 seconds, which indicated a substantial breakthrough, which I didn’t find surprising, as I hadn’t tested in a while. When finished, I checked the xert website, and the massive breakthrough was 2 watts. The graphical visualization of the ride showed what looked like only 3 second breakthrough, (power intersecting with MPA) even though the needle in the iphone app was buried for a good thirty seconds.

you have to go into advanced and look at the old signature to see it overlayed. The one displayed is the fit with the new fitness signature.

Are you seeing breakthroughs during those tests? Is your peak power accurate?

It sounds intuitive but it’s not really what’s about

I guess you are referring to TP? If so what about PP and HIE?

You are seeing your ride with the updated signature

Xert needs a bit of a deep dive for you to start understanding the concepts. I believe this is one of Xert problems, is not that easy for a newcomer to pickup.

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Can you explain precisely where the two views you refer to are? In other words, which views show the “post breakthrough” view of the workout, and which view shows the actual breakthrough of MPA?

You can target workouts towards a % of different max efforts. Such as 4min max, etc. You can target their LTP (which is a modeling indicating LT1). But, for me things have gone sideways and probably need to delete and reset.

I had a bit of over fatigue and sickness and my TP (and LTP dropped) significantly, but the model is pushing my HIE higher and higher as I slowly recovered. I find WKO to be closer to what I think is “real.” Granted anaerobic repeats tend to be “good” for me (relatively), but I don’t think it’s right…or I can delete everything and then re-sync from Strava and get yet some more different numbers. :man_shrugging:

I do need to do a 20 minute effort and then manually feed that in to force a re-skewing of the model (there’s a section to indicate max efforts and duration of the effort). I’m not sure I can rely on the automation to pick it up.

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Never mind, I did see the two views under Advanced MPA. You have hit the Previous button. So now i understand that. So why with the needle being buried is the breakthrough worth only 2 watts?

what kind of breakthrough? gold, silver, bronze? it sounds like a bronze which is only an update of 1 component. That basically means you didn’t go hard enough, or that is all that you had and that’s what the updated model reflects.

I don’t know what “buried the needle” means, in this regard. The Xert app will also indicate a breakthrough, possibly gold, but it may not be true. The app, IIRC, does calculations on device, and the “real” stuff is done after upload. There were cases where the device can indicate a breakthrough, but that it actually results in a fake-through, and numbers drop.

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I think it was silver, HIE and TP. By the “needle” I mean the colored arc that sweeps from right to left as MPA descends and approaches your power output. I think the color is pink-ish. When the color disappears, you have had a breakthrough. My was gone for 30 seconds, so I expected my MPA to be well below my power output, and hence I expected a big FTP bump. After reading a few posts here though, I think I can reconstruct my misunderstanding. First, as it was explained to me, what I saw on the main activity curves was the new signature, not the old. Now I know how to view the actual breakthrough through the Advanced MPA tab. Second problem…I expected a big FTP bump, When I got only 2 watts, that together with what looked like a bogus activity curve, caused in me a lack of confidence in the app. I guess the “needle” being buried 30 seconds wasn’t really worth more than a couple of watts and a small increase in HIE. Unfortunately, I can’t go back and confirm all this, as I reset the app last week, and the silver breakthrough turned into a near breakthrough…Why the change I don’t understand. Again, not confidence inspiring.

Me neither. That’s what I mentioned as being non-deterministic. The numbers change, if you delete and reset multiple times, you’ll know what I mean.