Torn between TR and Systm!?

Hey everyone!

I would greatly appreciate some help regarding choosing TR or Systm.

I have used Systm plans for a while now, and have followed them to a certain extent. I am now focused on hitting a 5w/kg FTP, and I am ready to fully focus on regimented and structured training. I love Systm, but I have also looked into TR recently and like the look of adaptive training, as well as their extremely structured approach (although I haven’t read many articles regarding the most effective form of training, whether its polarised, pyramidal, following base, build then prep phases, etc. It seems it is very debated, and there isn’t a concrete answer as everyone responds to training differently. Hoping the coaches could weigh in on this?).

Where will I get the most effective performance benefits from training plans, Systm or TR, or another online program I can use my smart trainer with?

Thank you.

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I expect it is possible to make the case for either TR or Systm and others too.

You don’t say how far from 5w/kg you are, but you do make two of the most important points

“…and have followed them to a certain extent”

“… I am ready to fully focus on regimented and structured training”

I don’t think which training platform you choose is as important as actually sticking to the plan it gives you.

Persistently and consistently doing the workouts, whilst paying attention to the kg part of the equation, is the most important part of the journey to 5w/kg i

Enjoy the ride.


The CEO of TR at one point said that his vision was for TR to effectively replace the physiological part of coaching, and leave the motivation, accountabiity, and race tactics to coaches. I think we’re already there. It benefits coaches for us to believe that we’re all “snowflakes” and what works for one, won’t work for another, because then we need their insight to work out what particular secret training will work for us. The problem with that is that there just aren’t that many levers to pull. I just read an anecdote on this forum where someone said the same coach gave to his friends the same templated plan. I struggle to see where a coach, unless it’s top tier, is going to do more than TR or Xert would do in tweaking your plan and progression. You might have an issue as you go up and over 10-12 hours with TR, because I’m not sure it will keep increasing hours, and so you might start to plateau there.

“Structure” will matter in as much as the hard workouts are hard, and there’s enough rest. It’s good for making sure the work is progressively increasing too.


Do whichever one looks more “fun” which will keep you consistent which in return will make you faster.
It’s hard to give advice for a goal of 5w/kg when you don’t state what your w/kg is now.
You could be close or far away and sometime generics might not let you get there or they could :man_shrugging:


I have both subscriptions. I like System going back to the Sufferfest days for the entertainment value and some tough workouts. If you are trying to get faster, then TR is the better option IMO. I switch back and forth for the variety but the adaptive training plans TR is second to none to make you a faster cyclist.


Disagree on the already there. Not worth debating, everyone responds differently to training.


I know that if you do the TR high volume training plans consistently and then add more Z2 endurance riding around the TR structured part of the workout, that formula can get people to 5 w/kg.

Other things that are required:
Good consistent sleep and nutrition
Having FTP set correctly, just do a full hour power test, there’s a perception that a 60 minute test is too hard but in my opinion its only too hard if you are doing a power you can’t sustain for 60 minutes. Most anyone on structured training can ride for 60 minutes, so an hour power test is just seeing how high you can get the average power for that duration.

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Too many variables to answer that question definitively…and either way, it likely won’t matter. Pick the one that appeals to you and commit to the plan. To hit 5 w/kg, genetics are likely going to be more important than which training regimen you choose.

Pick a plan, commit to the work and see where the chips fall!


Hey there!

We’re a bit biased, of course, but we’d encourage you to try out TR! :smiley:

We just released some new updates to our training plans that might be of interest to you. Adaptive Training will make sure you get the right workouts for your current fitness levels, and AI FTP Detection will keep your FTP and power zones up-to-date without the need for fitness assessments.

Plan Builder will give you the ability to build out a plan for your season to get you in peak shape for your A-priority events. You’ll go through Base, Build, and Specialty phases to tailor your fitness for the demands of your races.

We also have a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out for a month, and if you ultimately decide it’s not for you, we’ll refund you the cost – though we hope you’ll like it so much that you’ll stay!

Feel free to let me know if you have any additional questions about TR!


I’ve used both. Systm is great for the variety of formats (sufferfest, ride-along-with-a-pro, scenic tours, options for yoga and resistance) and the entertainment that goes along with them, but is much more limited in the number and adaptability of the actual cycling work. TR’s plan builder, adaptive training and FTP detection are all very cool and much more sophisticated than anything systm offers.

I think if you struggle to stay engaged with TR, systm might be good, but if you’re a dedicated cyclist with specific goals, TR will get you there faster. TR plus a GCN+ subscription so you can watch races and cycling content while training will get you a lot of the systm experience TBH.


If I were torn between the two, I’d go with the one that has the best:

Support - even the anti-TR proselytizers don’t complain about that.

Support group for users - I’m trying to think of any product anywhere with a better support group than this forum.


Why not give both a try for 3 months and see which you prefer?

TR is free for the first 30 days then $20 a month afterwards. So $40 for 3 months is pretty cheap in the gran scheme of things for cycling. I would imagine you spend $20 every month on something that you don’t even think about.

I’m biased, I like TR but if i was in your position I would try out both. It’s not like you are “locked in” to any of them.

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:100: % not there, not even close! TR is a good indoor platform and their vision for the future is promising. However, TR are at minimum, based on previous feature rollouts, at least 5+ if not 10 years from “being there”. TR biggest struggle will be customer retention. Not only are their competitors improving, but long term TR users realize that their plans/programs have a shelf life of about 3 years. Once you’ve maximized your gains from structured training and consistency, TR has little to offer for advanced athletes looking for further improvement.


Then what do they do? Coaches are expensive for most so they get apps like trainneroad or buy plans off training peaks.

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the thing is training isn’t super complicated, or at least it doesn’t have to be. i coach myself and have gained around 10-15w more ftp than what I had when I was stalling out with TR plans (in addition to making other improvements in my power curve). my approach is simple, try to ride as much as I can (generally 14hrs), rotate through blocks of different focus, so dedicated sweet spot, threshold, vo2 and sometimes anaerobic (but this gets least emphasis from me). intervals for each aren’t complicated either, progress time in zone in sweet spot and threshold, do anything like 6x2, 7x3, 5x4, 4x5 for vo2. I think about coaching people and one thing holding me back is that it seems so simple that anyone can figure out.

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Yes, and I also think TR is a great platform to start!

I kind of feel the same way and I understand everything about progressive overload. I’ve been thinking of doing my own plan myself. Using TR for the workout library and maybe 2 hard workouts a week and then ride as much as I can.
I might try what you are saying a sweet spot block for a month then threshold then vo2 then repeat.

I coach high schoolers… absolutely NOTHING simple about that. :rofl:


I’m maybe a year-long TR user, but might try SYSTM out. Main reason being that I have a KICKR bike and TR doesn’t use the coolest feature of the bike - the Tilt (zwift/systm will auto-tilt for gradient changes).

TR does that! You either need to set the kickr climb to locked or unlocked, can’t remember which one

edit: you don’t have the climb but bike, I’m sure there is a setting as TR can control the climb