Well, can you believe it - finally. Today, we’ve launched an app we intend to make the greatest training platform available anywhere for endurance athletes. If you have one, you can log-in to SYSTM with your existing Sufferfest account. If you don’t, get in there and start your free 14-day trial.
I’m thrilled to tell you about SYSTM. Absolutely over-the-lactic-acid-sea about it. And I know you’re going to love it. But I also know that the first thing you, Sufferlandrians, will notice is that this is not called The Sufferfest. Let’s talk about how that came to be and where we’re going.
For a long time, it’s been obvious to my team and I — even before Wahoo acquired us — that we needed to change our name. The Sufferfest was perfect 12 years ago when we first launched and needed something controversial and edgy to get attention. At a time when all of our workouts were about smashing yourself into a wall, it literally was a Sufferfest.
But over the years, our name and what we’re really about have grown further and further apart. Our training approach has evolved to well-rounded sports science, with a balance of hard work and rest. Our personality has grown from talking-you-down to talking-you-up (well, mostly - we still throw a fair amount of taunts your way. Grunter wouldn’t have it any other way). Our offering has grown from just Sufferfest-style workouts to include yoga, strength, NoVids, cycling films, mental work, GCN and more. As a brand, The Sufferfest just didn’t represent everything we offered or how we delivered it.
Perhaps most importantly, while we’ve always been welcoming, supportive and tongue-in-cheek, most people on the outside thought we we’re scary and intimidating and a bit mean. Our name even kept the media from taking a fresh look at us - we would always be the app that made workouts to destroy you, even if that wasn’t true anymore. And that’s held us back significantly, keeping people from even trying us.
After Wahoo acquired us, we were able to dream bigger about what we could do for you. We saw an app which was the most comprehensive in the world — the widest range of content and workout experiences, the best sports science, useful education and powerful tools to guide you successfully toward your goals. We saw the center of the Wahoo ecosystem, connecting equipment and devices in a way that made training simpler, yet far more powerful. This vision was far bigger than The Sufferfest. We needed an identity which could hold all of the other ideas we wanted to bring to life.
SYSTM. This change represents nearly two years of work, not just on the brand itself, but on what we can offer endurance athletes around the world. It’s about science. About completeness. About never wondering what you should be doing today. An ecosystem of hardware and software working together for you. It’s people like you, united in personal growth. It’s also missing a vowel, which helps it fit in at Wahoo, naturally.
Trust me, this was a decision that my team and I took very, very carefully. I bleed red, white and black. It means so much to me and the people who have joined this team over the years. For those of you who are long-time Sufferlandrians, and even recent converts, I know it means a lot to you. But I also know this is the way forward. I’m excited about it. I’m confident that you’ll love SYSTM. Some of you will love it right away, and some of you might take a bit longer, but I know we’ll get you there. Now let me tell you why.
Firstly, The Sufferfest is not going away. Rather, it will remain its own brand within our content library — lining up alongside many other exciting content categories. In this way, The Sufferfest videos can keep their quirky, tough, fun nature without being diluted by trying to be something they’re not. You’ll still find all the hammers, laser goats, Grunter jokes and lava fields you can handle. Maybe more. There will be additional Sufferfest videos in the future (check out Tapers, which we also launch today!), the Knight of Sufferlandria challenge will reign supreme and the Tour of Sufferlandria will celebrate its 10th anniversary next year.
But now there is so much more than The Sufferfest. Now, we have a workout for you no matter your objective or mood. With launch, we’re bringing you more than 50 new sessions - covering everything from recovery rides to tough interval sessions - including…
- New: On Location: There are a lot of apps out there that allow you to ride various roads around the world. Wahoo Ambassador Mike Cotty and I felt we could do better – giving you the experience of not just riding a particular road, but of visiting the region for the weekend. With tough, but not Sufferfest-level, structured workouts and stunning scenery and culture, I’m pretty sure these will quickly become some of your favourite rides in SYSTM. You’ll find eight sessions waiting for you and there are more to come, including a series with our first female ride host.
- New: ProRides: Right before the last Tour of Sufferlandria, we released Norway. This session took the on-bike camera footage, course profile and power file from a rider in a professional race, converted it to a workout, scaled it to your ability and added ‘motivation’ from your Directeur Sportif for the most immersive, realistic racing experience anywhere. Norway was an early proof-of-concept for this category, and you’ll find another five of these absolute belters for those days you want to simulate a tough group ride or race.
- New: A Week With: Wouldn’t you just love to spend a week hanging-out and training with a cycling celebrity? A Week With makes that a reality. Just apply the relevant training plan and you’ll follow a series of workouts over the course of the week that take you into the lives of some iconic figures in our sport. Take your pick from Ian Boswell, former road professional and currently one of the best gravel racers in the world, or Neal Henderson, one of the best Sports Scientists in the business. Coming up in the months ahead - a week with a guy who really likes cookies and another with one of the best female mountain bikers in North America.
- New: The Knowledge: Our new Podcast takes one single topic and dives in deep, giving you the insight and ideas to make better decisions about your training. Each episode is around 15 minutes long and features the experts from our world-class Sports Science team. You’re going to love these. They’re available on your favourite podcast platform at the moment and will be available in the app soon.
- New: Strength Training: Our Sports Science team has completely re-imagined our strength training, bringing you a far wider range of more focused routines tailored to the unique demands of different disciplines in cycling, running and multi-sport.
- New: Swimming and Running: Although you can’t yet complete these in the app, we’ve included a huge array of workouts that can be added to your calendar or training plan. In this way, you can write down the workout and follow it when you need to. We fully plan to start pushing these workouts to your watch or bike computer in the near future so you can put the pen and paper away and just get on with it.
- Inspiration: Twenty-two fantastic new movies for those recovery and light tempo days.
- NoVids: More than 40 new NoVids.
Functionally, what you find in SYSTM adds to what you’re used to in The Sufferfest. It’s different, so it will take some getting used to, but there are some stand out items to look at:
- Android: Finally.
- Design: A clean, fresh, beautiful new design that makes it easy to get around the app.
- Homepage: At-a-glance look at your training plus links to useful items, including our new podcast.
- Calendar: Among other things, you can now reschedule upcoming workouts, manually mark sessions as done and add training plans. And while you can add workouts to your schedule from the library, you’ll soon be able to do that directly from the calendar. Drag and drop is coming, too.
- Library: All our workouts, organized by sport with quick links to channels. Search and filters have been improved and you can even add a workout to your calendar.
- Plans: A new training plan wizard helps you build the perfect plan for your needs, all tailored to your 4DP, rider type, strength and weakness.
- Progress: At the moment, all you’ll find here are badges. In the weeks ahead, you’ll start seeing your workout history as well as some basic analytics as the start of our new tracking & analytics. Much, much, much more to come here (including a far better badge experience).
- Settings: Manage your profile, subscription and connections to 3rd party apps like Strava.
This is only the beginning. In the days, weeks and months ahead, you’ll see updates that further refine the design, add new features and improve functionality. In particular, by the end of the year, you’ll see all of your outside activities on your SYSTM calendar. Once those items and a few more key pieces on our roadmap are in for this year…well, we’ve only really just got started. The codebase we’ve created will eventually allow us to deploy new features faster and more confidently.
SYSTM has put us on an entirely new path to become the only training app you need - more content, sports science, insights, connections and ways to train than you thought possible. A platform that can be more welcoming to those who might have been afraid before.
Whether you’ve just joined us or you’ve been with The Sufferfest since the beginning, We hope you like what you see so far. We hope it engages, motivates and excites you. There is an awful lot planned. And I hope you’ll come along with us for this journey.