Full Frontal - The Thread

There’s actually a plan for that:
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I found that the MAP result on Half Monty is 100% correlated to my Full Frontal result and so very effective as a target.
FTP less so, but MAP is my focus for pacing. With 20min there’s room to negotiate with yourself a little bit more :smirk:
So this plan is great for those looking for some help in setting their pace for FF.


Oh that is so helpful to have that option. Far rather do a shorter workout to assess what my MAP workout setting may should be than repeating FF as often.

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Just bear in mind that it’s highly personal too.
For instance, FTP on HM was ~7.5% lower than my FF result.
The wattage target I got for the constrained effort was my 3-hour pace :thinking:
Still, a number to aim for is better than none.

My conclusion was that setting targets was the right approach for today. My FTP improved 31%, MAP improved 29%, AC improved 9% and NM improved 4% with LTHR improving 8%. I was gutted at the end of the effort, but had a much better plan than earlier efforts which contributed to results. All of my numbers are Exceptional except NM which is between good and very good.

I did eat three Blok gels during each break which felt good at the time.


So here is my recent Full Frontal story, which I believe proves what dame @emily said above, it’s a mental test and what @Pierre said, FF results reflect only your fitness and mental strength as of a particular day and you may get different numbers on different days, even if you fitness does not change.

Last weekend, after some rides outdoors and using virtual power on the trainer (which skews higher), I switched my power pedals to my trainer and set out for the FF experience. The weekend before I had picked a few hard rides and had real trouble with the targets (HHNF ended with 90% and DNF Team Scream). Then came prep-week. While I did some of the prep week plan, life, work and kids prevented me from doing all sessions, plus I did not get enough sleep.

Not surprisingly, Full Frontal was a disappointment. It did not help that the temp in the pain cave was high and the fans only marginally improved the airflow. I had to stop during the 5 min interval and stopped twice during the 20min. Had to really talk my self up to not abandon. Numbers were, not surprisingly down across the board. While I knew my fitness had decreased slightly, I knew they were off.

The following week I did some sessions to see how off the numbers were. Did FTP/MAP Builds 8x3, cadence builds and the chores this week. Got the sense that numbers were off by 10-15 watts.

Did the test again today. Temps were lower and felt pretty good. And did not stop, kept a steady pace and improved numbers, not quite as much I had hoped, but felt like they accurately reflected my fitness.

Now if had waited another week and maybe did the full prep week plan, the numbers may have been even higher than today’s, but today’s are good enough for now.

Sorry for the long post.


I did my umpteenth Full Frontal yesterday. Got a rider type that I’ve not seen before. I think GvA might be trying to tell me something.

This is a joke, of course :grin:



Nuclear power …

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Today I did my second FF and I would like to say: I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I let three month pass since my last test and the videos started to feel way to easy. All the nice suffering was gone. Maybe I could have retested a bit earlier, but other parameters in my life made this right now the perfect time.

What I did good:

  • I followed the one week triathlon training prep plan, nailed my hydration for the last few days and got enough rest during the week, so I was prepared.
  • My form during sprints felt much better that last time and I chose the right resistance for the max. effort. I think it shows in the big leap upwards in my numbers.
  • Halfway through the 20min effort I switched to my own music and, wow, it made such a big difference. I felt refreshed and motivated. This strengthens my believe that a big part of the test is a mind game.
  • Lastly, I had a spit/puke bucket ready (I’m serious) to get rid of the sour taste in my mouth. I even used it twice. That means I did the test properly, riiiight? :slight_smile:

What I could have done better:

  • I am struggling with my nutrition intake for a couple of weeks and am currently running a deficit. Maybe it was this, or the fact that I did FF at 5:30 in the morning, but at the end of the 20min effort my legs started cramping up.
    I powered through but feared I could actually hurt my legs a bit. By the 1min effort I couldn’t bring my absolute best anymore. I feel like on another day, there could have been a higher number in the cards for me. But there is always another day… and another test in the future.

I hope my little ramblings will help somebody on their journey or at least make for a halfway entertaining read.

To whom might be interested I included a screenshot of my first and second test as well as an excel calculation of my gains.

I am pretty proud of it. Noob-Gains.



It’s been two weeks since my last Full Frontal - and the new numbers really make me fall in love with the Sufferfest videos all over again. :heart:

Today I went through Do As Your Told and barely made it out in one piece. So much fun.
For the first half I was wondering how “past-me” managed to get these numbers during FF.


I haven’t managed to complete a full frontal in over two years. I just can’t do steady pacing. My heart rate escalates and I blow every time - sometimes in the 5 mins, sometimes on the 20mins. Lowering the resistance makes no difference unless I go unfathomably low. Give me an under over and I’m fine!
I also wonder if gearing is making a difference. During the other vids in ERG mode I like to ride in the big ring, about half way down the cassette. I seem to maintain momentum better there. However in level mode, I have to be in the small ring otherwise the power is far too high to hold.

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FF is also a reflection of what you’ve been doing lately. For example last month my sole focus was distance. After a few days rest it’s time to change gears and I went after a 15k strava segment. I was way off. I’m afraid what my FF would be if I tried it now. But give me two weeks of solid interval training and a prep week and I’ll be happy to throw down a FF. (which is kinda what I’m working towards, give or take a week)

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Not to give away any results, but today I had double Zakarin, first chasing him up that TT on FF, then watching him chase up the mountain on today’s TdF stage.

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I was wondering if I should do “Igniter” rigth before “Full Frontal”. Actually I have done this the last two times I did Full Frontal and it worked well for me. But I don’t know if this compromises the Full Frontal protocol in any way.
What is the suggestion of the coaches on that?


Hi - not a coach so only ‘pinch of salt’ comment.
i use GCN Ready Steady Go now before ALL VO2 workouts and 4DP.
Empirically (tested on 4DP and on workouts) for me, I get better results from 4DP by doing this … but caution - I do have a fairly average internal combustion engine, and it needs some waking up these days. I’m sure others won’t need such a thing.

As far as the protocol is concerned - it’s about getting the best out of you - so unless it detracts from the 4DP (that would be a nightmare), then I’m 99% sure it’s not an issue

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Hi there !

The result of my last Full Frontal in April shows a FTP of 191W. As Zwift and Strava are estimating my FTP to be around 250 Watts, I’m gonna run a new test at the end of the week, to have good numbers before starting my “SUF season”.
Of course I have chosen the Full Frontal Prep Plan, so today it was Extra-Shot, but with adjusted level on my old numbers, it was soooooo boring.
For the few workouts before Sunday’s test, do I have to modify the numbers in my profile, to have a more efficient preparation ?
And for the test itself, could I choose my targets from Strava power curve ?

Thx for your advices and sorry for my poor English speaking :woozy_face:

Really pleased with my Full Frontal this morning.

I have been away from Sufferlandria for a while (racing on another platform), so I am really happy to see increases across all 4 metrics.

For the first time since my first 4dp back in 2017 I am no longer classed as a Sprinter. I am now a Climber, but that may have something to do with the 3kg’s I’ve lost since my last test.


I came across this thread and was intrigued by your plan as I have had similar thoughts. Did you actually go through with it?
I imagine it would probably be harder than expected to hold the required power (i.e. last week’s FTP result) unless you are absolutely 100% as motivated as in the original.

I did not do another test right away, I did a half monty which upped my numbers, and another FF in level mode the following week, which upped the numbers again.It is tour prep time, then tour. An experiment with FF in erg is something for when I have nothing better to do

Full Frontal Day! Modest improvement is still improvement.


Half Monty Day for me.

Pretty nice improvement considering I was probably below my previous FTP when I started the training plan.