My thoughts on Systm after a week and a bit

I’ve used Systm for a bit over a week and I have some thoughts. Initially, I’ve got to admit I didn’t like Systm but I think it was primarily due to how it was revealed. I thought I was getting a new, improved Sufferfest platform with Android support but then this Systm thing turns up and, well, I felt cheated as it wasn’t what I’d been promised. At. All. After a week with SYSTM, now I have some random thoughts…

There’s no ride/run plan which is a big issue for me as I’d kind of thought that was a no brainer?

The calendar is better but not as great as I was expecting, plans/workouts still won’t push to my Outlook calendar and there’s no drag and drop. I also can’t add other workouts to the Systm calendar so I always have to use 2 calendars to plan my training which is just irritating.

I can’t push running workouts to my Garmin watch. Write them down? In 2021? Erm, let me think. No.

The plans aren’t adaptive (as far as I know) and can’t account for training load from other activities, I understand that this is a feature on other platforms and I would’ve expected it here

The video quality is, on occasion, reminiscent of watching YouTube on a Nokia in 2002

There are noticeable stutters and 2-3 second freezes in the workouts, these aren’t frequent, maybe 1-2 per session but there’s nothing wrong with my set up and it’s annoying

The ERG is just not as good as other platforms in my opinion. Yes, this was true of The Suffefest too but SYSTM is supposed to be an improvement and I don’t see that. My Kickr is relatively new and has been checked by Wahoo

I still can’t see the power targets on the workout graph without entering the workout and dragging the playhead (this also annoyed me in SF)

The On Location rides are really good. The Pro-Rides also look really good too but I haven’t tried them yet because I’m scared.

The woman with her screamy face on the main screen and the people on the new intro doing their “I’m strong and inspiring” faces makes me want to commit murder.

And I know, I know, teething problems, server issues, there’s going to be patches, bug fixes, shiny new features “later”, we’ve got a road map but, no, you can’t see it, OK, you can see it but it’s subject to change …I’ve been a gamer for 20yrs and I’ve heard it ALL before…So. Many. Times.

I paid for an annual SF subscription about 2 months ago partially on the promise of the SF Android app so I’m obviously going to ‘suffer’ until my subscription expires but I think by that time I’ll have seen and done all the SF has to offer. I think the problem for me is that I was invested in Sufferlandria even as a newcomer, The Sufferfest was a weird club I really wanted to be part of, I liked telling people I was ‘doing The Sufferfest’ it made me stupidly proud, it made me work harder. Yes, the videos are still there as many KoS will pop up and no doubt point out but it’s very clearly being phased out otherwise why did they bother to change the intros? There was absolutely no need to do that if the SF was just going to become a part of Systm. Mount Sufferlandria has gone, the bleeding eyes have gone, the whole glorious ridiculousness of ‘suffering’ is being dialled down, the goat is getting nervous I’d guess.

I get why they changed the branding, I do, but I just don’t feel the same about SYSTM because it isn’t glorious or ridiculous and it doesn’t inspire, well, anything because it isn’t a club I can really feel involved in, I’m completely ambivalent towards it, it’s just a platform, an OK platform for sure, but it just doesn’t have that hook the The Sufferfest brand had for me and I think there’s probably better offerings out there for me once I’ve experienced the SF content that’s left here.

I would’ve had more respect for Wahoo if they’d just shut SF down completely to be honest rather than trying to maintain that it’s “just an update, nothing’s changed” which I find a little bit disingenuous although I guess they didn’t want to refund subs and needed an initial captive audience if only to test their new Systm servers. I’m sure Wahoo’ll get lots of new subscribers and honestly, good luck to them, I just don’t think as it stands Systm has much to set it apart from other platforms and unless there’s some MAJOR SF content drops I think I’ll probably migrate elsewhere when my renewal comes around but I’ve still got 10months of suffering ahead of me, so, we’ll see I suppose.

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Thank you for your honest and thorough feedback Nick.
I can only speak from the content creation side of things and say that more SUF videos are coming (it’s a bit of a creative process to put them together so hang on in there) and as a Sufferlandrian and a gamer, you should defo check out the ProRides. I think you will like them.

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(Warning: Long post)

@NickyLeary I also have some thoughts on Systm after a week and a bit, so I hope you don’t mind if I add my own opinions onto yours…

I hear you, although if I was to describe my own perspective on this, it would be more along the lines of, “so many features have been promised and discussed in the last year or two, and at first glance, many of them didn’t seem to be there at launch, with the exception of Android and a re-skinning of The Sufferfest apps”.

For example, I’m not an Android user but after waiting so long and hearing all the Beta testers talk it up, I was sad for those who had waited so long that Downloading wasn’t included. Particularly with the streaming difficulties that came up on the first week or so, that must have been frustrating.

But there was a lot more, just either subtle and minor/incremental improvements (e.g., calendar is better, but still needs some love) or new stuff that didn’t seem to be missing, but that I and others really like and/or want more of (e.g., dark mode, ProRides and A Week With … (Suggestion Box / Wish List)). Like every single startup I’ve ever worked for, communication (quantity and quality, internally and externally) is always the biggest challenge. Wahoo Fitness has something like 250 employees or so, so while they’re not very small, they cover a lot of ground and arguably would benefit from some help on the comms side of things. If they were great at it, the announcement forum post wouldn’t have had hundreds of frustrations expressed, in my opinion. That being said, they’re far from being alone in this regard!

I know you added on a comment on this post, but Duathlon plans have been confirmed: Add a plan for Dualthon - #7 by Coach.Mac.C

… that being said, I wish there were also going to be a way to add a training plan that targeted simultaneous improvements in both Cycling and Running, but not necessarily in a Duathlon format. But hey, now I’m just being picky. :slight_smile:

This was perhaps my biggest frustration and disappointment at Systm’s launch, but then I read this comment thread with important news from @David.McQuillen.KoS on the DC Rainmaker post about Systm: Hands-On With Wahoo’s New SYSTM Training Platform | DC Rainmaker

This is such great news (assuming the date commitments are met :grimacing:), I have a Wahoo Elemnt Rival arriving next week to celebrate! :boom:

This bugs me, too and I hope it becomes an area of focus for the near-term roadmap. From what I can tell in the Systm app, the Cycling No-Vid workouts are supposed to make their way to Elemnt devices (does this include the Rival?), but the same wording doesn’t show up on Running or Swimming workouts (both of which would work find on the Elemnt Rival, a Garmin Connect Calendar sync, or worst case simply as a FIT workout file download for Garmin users).

The plans aren’t adaptive in the TrainerRoad sense, but they ARE adaptive to your 4DP profile … Not just the power targets in the workouts, but also in the selection of workouts that go onto the calendar, primarily to address your strengths and weaknesses.

:joy:

Even funnier is that YouTube was founded in 2005. :man_facepalming: heh heh but seriously, point taken. It was rough without a local copy of a video in the first week or so.

That’s Sarah Sturm and she seems like a really cool person. Having listened to and watched a few interviews with her, I really like this photo of her. She’s a badass and I like to workout alongside other badasses.

After the calendar and running improvements, this is perhaps my biggest annoyance… I start so many videos just to see what my current 4DP profile will put me at in a given workout. It helps me decide whether I’ve got what it takes on the day to jump into a workout or not. None of that would be necessary if I could just hover my mouse over the power profile and get an indication of the wattages that I’m going to have to put out.

I’m going to avoid that subject at all costs :zipper_mouth_face: (even if you’re obviously not alone), other than to say I really, really, really don’t feel the same way. :wink:

Suffering hasn’t gone anywhere with the launch of Systm. Sure, there’s less of the original mood-setting but if anything, there are more ways to suffer now than there have ever been (more videos, no-vids, running workouts, swimming workouts), and more ways to stay fit to be able to suffer more and longer (Yoga, Strength, etc.).

:fire: IWBMATTKYT :fire:
.

PS: Hey @gpsjared … You seem to have been responding a lot and collecting feedback since the launch. Lots of good feedback here. :slight_smile:

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I think the issue is that the ‘upgrade’ was hyped up a bit too much. The Android app is quite a big step forward, but other than that (especially for the cyclists among us) the update is more of a rebranding. I think SYSTM is going in the right direction though and will continue subsribing.

Out of interest, what’s wrong with the Erg mode? I only have experience with the kickr bike and Sufferfest/Systm, but everything seems fine? Is Erg mode better in other apps?

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We definitely appreciate the honest feedback that you and @jfc are giving here.

I completely understand the frustration with the missing functionality. Based on your experience this next statement probably won’t mean much to you, but I can say we are actively working on each issue you’ve brought up (and several features that you don’t know you want yet but are going to enjoy).

While Wahoo does have 250+ employees it’s worth noting that only a time portion of them are working exclusively on SYSTM. Unlike Zwift or TrainerRoad our Company is not exclusively focused on app development. Our appdev team has increased in size compared to the pre-Wahoo days and is going to continue to grow. Just like the Wahoo Sports Science team. Before Wahoo there were 3 of us, but only one working full time. We now have 7 full-time WSS members.

I’ll wrap this up by saying there is no point in time when we will ever stop and say ‘This is the perfect app that covers everything.’ We are always going to push to make improvements, make updates, make it easier to use and more efficient. Appdev, like science, is always a continuous process of growth. The SYSTM app you will be using in 10 months will absolutely be an improved version of the current app. And you might be able to leave SYSTM, but once you’ve completed a Sufferfest session you automatically become a citizen of Sufferlandria, and you can never leave :wink:

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@Coach.Mac.C Well I will definitely be hanging around to see the improvements. I agree with a lot of the feedback but I also can’t stop thinking about much progress I have made on this platform and how it has made me a much stronger rider and racer - even as an over 50 athlete.

Been here 18 months and just finished my latest Full Frontal. Over the last six months my NM is up 27%, AC is up 22%, MAP is up 15% and FTP is up 7% and I am getting close to my current goal of 4 watts per kg. The revamped Tapers with its coaching tips on better breathing was a key part to crushing FF along with the many MTP sessions I have listened to.

The sports science on this platform is really top notch!

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My guess is that the schedule was driven by the need to get the Android app out. They found that the back end work was harder than they thought so the other apps front ends had to be left in a more primitive state.

There are bugs (like duplicate entries for completed workouts) that should have been caught in testing, but obviously were not. It makes me wonder if they did any scenario based testing.

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Well put Sir @Coach.Mac.C and your input is really appreciated here on the forums. That said, in case your missed it last time, I still hate you (with plenty of hate left for Sir Neal and @abicarver ).

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@Heretic The double entries seem to go away. I just ignore them and later find they are consolidated. Presumably there will be a fix at some point.

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I find this a bit strange as one of the things that I like most about Sufferfest/SYSTM is that ERG works so well. Back when I was using TrainerRoad one of the things that I hated about the software was the lag in power that could mean 10-15 seconds to get up to the correct power whereas the old Sufferfest app and the new SYSTM have always gotten me there within 1-4 seconds which makes those short sharp efforts so much more fun.

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Same here. I’ve found to erg mode with my Kickr core to be right one the money with very little tolerance. On Zwift there is a much wider tolerance that I find very annoying, and a slow ramp up to those hard efforts. SYSTM just snaps me right to the next target almost instantly and then keeps me almost right on it.

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Adding my 2cts to the discussion, overalll I think the new app is okish (am on ios and mac) however also the new “intros” to the videos whether yoga or cycling or strength are quite disappointing, e.g yoga I barely hear the beginning with Abi as it seems a “quick cut and paste” edit. and yes the image of people just standing and looking up have no value added in my opinion, luckily only lasts few seconds. For me, the biggest miss is I don’t have the workout history. very often I used to find the video I just finished to see how my session went vs. previous sessions. As I could see then the evolution in a quick and easy way, how I performed on a given workout vs my recent effort. As it somehow helped me understand myself and my riding.
And with new app I find a lot of the videos lagging.

Totally agree with you.

Feel dissapoinment in this “re-branding”, Android compatibility says something like ‘sorry, too many variables to be able to confirm that it will work with your phone’ …

Can’t drag to Training Peaks …

Now, I get an email telling my laptop is too old!!! Yes is old, and is working perfectly and all my other apps work perfectly!!!

We will soon give you[Wahoo users] the chance to drop workouts, and US THE ONES THAT USE GARMIN? Oh yes, we do not matter, we are ‘the others’ …

As far as trainers, my prefered brand is Elite, am I gonna have issues down the road since I am using ‘the competition?’ …

Seems that this will become a ‘if you use wahoo products you will have no issues using our app but, if you use the "others’ products, you are going to have issues’ … Feels like a push to get the hardware to be the same brand, if this is so, then bye-bye it was fun while it lasted …

Wondering if we can still purchase The Sufferfest’s apparel and accesories before they get re-branded …

Some good points there.

Only issue I’ve had as that SYSTM unlike SUF does not support the ability to mirror and play music via iOS at the same time as running the app. So cadence builds and drills etc are going to be a pain.

Also what happened to stretching after suffering :flushed:

Pro-rides are awesome :star_struck:

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@andrewmei Per this thread it could be Stretching III:

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I don’t recall them ever saying that you don’t matter.

They are adding more features and support for more devices all the time. That’s a good thing. Some devices are harder for them to integrate with and will take longer to implement. That’s not showing bias, it’s just being pragmatic.

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Totally agree, and in the DC Rainmaker article about the launch, Wahoo are referenced as saying pushing of workouts won’t just be to Wahoo devices

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My thoughts on this. I started “Suffering “ on videos some years ago no controlable trainers just “encouragement” and notes on gearing. So a longtime user. I like the new format it’s really not that different. I do continue to have stuttering videos with multiple freezes on the video the audio continues as does the effort. I have logged out and back in and still this happens. That takes away from “suffering “ in general fix that and let me download outside workouts and things will be better. Please don’t lose the “suffering” brand

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This was eloquent, honest and I agree.

While I’ve not tried SYSTM (was so uptight about the reveal and rebrand, just couldn’t bring myself to it - plus when I tried to login it either wouldn’t recognize me or result in a “Bonk” site error), I found the control between trainer and software to be the best I’ve tried and is one of the reasons I stuck with Sufferfest. I have an approved trainer, a Cycleops Magnus wheel on. With that trainer I found it way more realistic than Zwift, Rouvy, RGT. I did experience occasional hiccups when I would spin too fast and let it coast, as well as an occasional hard effort loop when despite the power target it had a ton of resistance, but I changed it from Bluetooth to ANT+ with a 6 foot dongle extension and that improved the control and eliminated some glitches.

I’m with you there!!! I cannot stand the home page with the photoshop pro athlete / model / glamour shots. Personally I steer clear of all products that are marketed like that. I’d much rather see actual users busting their tail or just graphics or artwork.

Totally agree, although I’m not a gamer I’ve used tech since Windows was just “Windows” so I hate hate hate hate when software companies release half baked versions.

Again - I agree… I have been Suffering for most of 2021 and loving being part of something exclusive. Every activity I did through Sufferfest was uploaded to Strava for the rest of our 100+ member amatuer racing / cycling club to see. They use Zwift, so yes I was training differently and got tons of kudos for it.

Sad… Hollywood just killed James Bond because he was too conservative. I was disappointed with the SYSTM snowflake edition as well.

I feel the same way… But I was so uptight I was embarrassingly overly negative and my reaction was to cancel my membership. Now that I have looked around for something else comparable to replace it with I am finding there isn’t anything that offers what Sufferfest did. Now I’m at a loss… I haven’t even had the heart to ride my bike or workout since and have gained 5 pounds. I’m considering the training plans at TrainingPeaks, but they don’t have workout videos and I’ll need to use Zwift to deploy the training indoors.

My feelings exactly. Personally, I may have received this better if they simply shut down Sufferfest. At least then it would’ve just been a clean break and I wouldn’t have felt as darn depressed and slighted by the rebrand. I invested many months Suffering, made significant gains following the science while enjoying the edginess of it and stuck with it because it worked and I felt that I was part of something special. Had they just shut it down, then later offered “SYSTM” in all its sterile glory, I may have been more apt to try it.

I’m not as optimistic about gaining lots of new subscribers. I believe that products and services that focus on something and do it well, will attract the most customers. The shot gun approach to being all things to all people doesn’t usually work. Sufferfest was for cyclists. They did it well. I am a cyclist, I’m not a jogger, runner, swimmer, etc. Not that all those aren’t good sports, they just don’t relate to cycling. As it is I have a tough enough time stomaching Strava, because it includes running. But it’s owned by UnderArmour so I get it. With Wahoo, my personal opinion is they should’ve just made SYSTM for all those folks who weren’t cyclists… Or perhaps include cycling but not Sufferfest. To me, Sufferfest was the ultimate platform for cyclists to train on. Now I’m not sure what it is. I was on a month to month and cancelled. I am sooooo glad I didn’t prepay at a discount for a year.

So my thoughts after a week and a bit of not trying SYSTM and being without Sufferfest: Dazed and confused. I am desperately seeking something to replace it, but I will likely need two or more new subscriptions to accomplish that. Maybe a combination of Training Peaks, Zwift and Beachbody. If anyone has suggestions let me know.

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Well, since you’re asking for suggestions, I suggest you try SYSTM.

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