ERG Mode for stomps and VO2 max efforts?

I have a smart trainer, Wahoo Kickr 2018. I’m about to finish SSB mid volume. I can see I have these coming up whats the best way to do them. Leave it in ERG mode or is there something else I can do. Just a thought but a short video on getting the most out of a smart trainer with Trainerroad would be great.

I tend to keep it in erg mode. Just keep an eye on the timer and be ready to stomp the pedals. I find I can overwhelm the erg sometimes but recruiting muscle fibres quickly is the aim so I’m not sure producing the exact power is a necessity. I may be very wrong though.

  1. At least 1 minute before the start of the stomp, shift into a tall gear (I normally ride 34t x 17t in ERG, but swap to 50t x 17t for these).

  2. In the minute after the shift and before the stomp, I gradually slow my cadence to the starting cadence (usually around 60-70 rpm for me).

  3. At 2 seconds before the interval, TR will send the high power target to the trainer. Depending on your trainer, you better hit it hard at 0-1-2 seconds on the count down.

  4. Rip the stomp. Once you are done, the TR will adjust the trainer down to the main interval or recovery. At that time, it will likely be spinning very fast. This can take a while to spin down and catch the new ERG power target. You can try the trick below, if you are on PC or Mac.

  5. Trick:

    • Before the stomps, usually in the recovery after the warm up and before the first interval, I use the ‘M’ key to swap to Resistance or Standard mode (varies with trainer and connection protocol). When in the non-ERG mode, I adjust the setting to something around 20-40% Resistance or 2-4 Standard. This sets a controlled resistance. Hit the ‘M’ again to return to ERG for the start of the interval.
    • Option 1: Right after completing the stomp, hit the ‘M’ key and the resistance will kick in harder and sooner than waiting for ERG. Once you get to the power around the ERG target, hit the ‘M’ key again to keep ERG until the next stomp.
    • Option 2: Same as Option 1, but hit the ‘M’ right before the stomp. This puts you into Res mode sooner, so you get the catch up sooner. It may even be the full Resistance during your stomp, depending on how soon you hit it and how fast your trainer adjusts.

Here is my recent one with this process in use:


wow thats kinda complicated.

I’ve got a Kickr 2017 direct drive and have mostly used Erg mode in big chainring. In my experience it just requires coordination between your brain and muscles. Nothing fancy, just “hit it hard” about a second before interval starts.

Some specific words on what I mean by “hit it hard” (or “dump power”) can be found in 3 posts in this thread:

Recently I started using Standard mode (level 3 setting), on this workout below from 3 weeks ago pretty sure Erg was off and Standard was on for the entire workout:

and a closeup of one 5-second sprint:

They don’t always go to plan, here is Ebbetts from over a year ago:

and later that same workout I got the timing right:

No need to overthink it, just give it your best shot and don’t worry if timing isn’t exact. You are working on a stronger connection between brain and body, can’t do it wrong! Quite often the TR Sprint interval under-reports because my best 5-second power is offset by a second or two, so don’t get overly focused on what TR interval report.

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Like many things, takes more words to write and read than actually do.

The optional parts can be ignored (especially if performed with mobile, since there is no quick swap for modes). I just like getting the flywheel speed under control, and it’s quite easy after doing it once or twice.

I’ve done stomps in my small ring, without shifting at all. But I like the extra resistance to the stomp by being in the big ring. Those that already ride in the big ring skip that step too, and just hit it like like you said. So, many ways to skin the cat, depending on preferences.

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don’t bother with little chainring, problem solved :rofl:

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I just did my first VO2 workout today. (Taylor -2)

There is a learning curve for sure. Spinning up to hit the intended target with 1 second to go is what worked for me however, I did overshoot almost every interval. I think this will get easier with time as I learn what a given wattage feels like however, there is always going to be a catch up correction from the trainer so I’m just going to be ok with that. For me, I was more interested in getting the white ball in the middle of the line (average power for the interval) than I was with specific power.

Regardless, the last few intervals were tough and I really suck at repeatedly jumping on power so I consider this successful.



I’ve had mixed luck using the white ball. In the end I found it easier to look at 5-sec or 10-sec power number just like when I’m outside.