This spin/training video series by David McQuillen by the name of Sufferfest was brought to my attention this week; with the way my lack of motivation for winter riding has been, I jumped on this like a lion jumps on a gazelle.
Apparently Dave was just a guy who was dissatisfied with current cycling videos, and wanted to put tunes and attitude into his workout while sharing his work. I never saw it, nor do I use itunes, but I hear his older prototype videos were on there for free. They consisted of youtube footage mixed with his favorite play lists. These newer videos by the names Downward Spiral and Fight Club are a little bit more refined. They have licensed footage from Paris-Roubaix, Fleche Wallone, local crits, and for the cool down, he uses a five minute clip of some indie-fixie film-show flick (which only enraged me to work harder instead of cool down…).
The videos meant for consumers have little title cards inserted into the footage telling you what to do when. With Downward Spiral, the Sufferfest really becomes self explanatory; the mountain bike footage gets you into the mood in the beginning of the video, and the classics PRO races really makes you want to be there riding. My only quip was with the Australian Criterium footage, since well… it seemed very repetitive (it was a criterium, I know… but still…) There is also this weird little horse or cow noise to indicate when the effort demands are going to change. This is helpful, but at the same time kind of silly.
Most annoying noise:
The workout details listed on the site are more than enough to explain it, so I will just copy and paste:
The Downward Spiral workout was designed to work you at your maximum level, in sustainable, decreasing time periods. And to make you beg for mercy. But that’s a side effect of The Sufferfest, you know. Here’s what you’ll get over the 60 minutes:
- Approx 10mins warm-up featuring two 30 second jumps. Video footage is from Downhill MTB Championships in Australia, and from Cyclingtipsblog.com criterium racing.
- First descending-interval set (with Paris-Roubaix footage)
- 2:00 min interval / 2:00 recovery
- 1:45 min interval / 1:45 recovery
- 1:30 min interval / 1:30 recovery
- 1:15 min interval / 1:15 recovery
- 1:00 min interval / 1:00 recovery
- :45 sec interval / :45 recovery
- :30 sec interval / :30 recovery
- :15 sec interval
- 5:00 recovery featuring trail riding in Oregon by The Rooster Blocker.
- Second descending-interval set (Same structure as first set, but this time with Fleche-Wallone footage – and with a small surprise ‘bonus’ at the end).
4:00 warm-down, featuring the 2009 Zurich Bicycle Film Festival entry by Gorilla Bicycles.
I felt the workout schedule INCLUDED with the video footage, and acceptable yet not preferred audio kept me motivated to ride better than trying to find enough youtube videos to create an hour long playlist.
I recorded my stats with my garmin 500, and here they are:
I will admit that this video has pushed me harder in one hour than just about anything else has that I have documentation for. Stats don’t lie.
Not to take these numbers lightly, even more proof that the work must be done to get the results… I must have perspired half a liter or so…
I was sweating so much that my HRM strap was saturated. I’m really glad that I have the rug below my trainer. Even after taking the HRM strap off, it was still dripping.
So far with this video the only thing worth mentioning as a negative is the relatively low resolution. 640 x 360; there is also the parts that seem very repetitive. I still have to say all in all that the video was worth it, and I’ll probably end up getting Fight Club too.
Instead of spending that $10 on a fast food meal, purchase this and you might even start to feel good about yourself.
You don’t have to take my word for it either; several other blogs seem to be talking about these videos. Here is a good review: http://ciclirati.wordpress.com/2010/01/15/review-the-sufferfests-downward-spiral-and-fight-club-training-videos/
P.S. I was not paid or sponsored by sufferfest. I would like to be, but I am not :(