I took an unplanned day off yesterday because I just was not feeling it after the long weekend rides for the Gran Fondo training plan that I am trying out.

Today was my first day back and it was the Violator. I had finished 9 hammers at something over 100% (I think I unintentionally sandbagged my full frontal, so pretty much every workout is at 105-110%), but with the Kickr Snap, I knew I would have to do things in level mode instead of erg, which is actually what the description recommends. And the manual gear maneuvering meant that the cadence targets would get shot to hell.

In the end, Violator joins the ranks of workouts that had me grunting and yelling positive self-talk to myself out loud [yes, “Come on, you f***er!!” is positive self talk].

But it is the first workout where I had to lay down in resting pose for about 4 minutes afterwards to get control over the nausea I encountered.


1st time doing the Violator this morning. Did see the parachutes, but it didn’t compute-too much mental overload. A challenge in the 1st set getting to what seemed impossibly high power targets in the 5 sec repeats and did better with the power targets in the “longer” repeats. Seem to better if with 5-7 secs to go again to start cadence build. That last sequence with the rest = the repeat time, the 2nd 5 sec repeat caught me unprepared.

Level mode was critical as recommended, didn’t give a thought to shift up/down the repeats were slow quick. What I saw of the tour was pretty neat, couldn’t determine whether one of the castles was a modern one. A lot of reliance breathing techniques and telling my self to relax as a way of getting through this one!


I did it once and felt totally violated


Violat-ED to be sure!

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I am nervous. Violator scheduled today in 45 min… :flushed:

Did it and followed the great advice in the forums, workout went pretty well, did not know that froth looks so beautiful on the handlebar. I saw the parachutes and the weird beard net guy :wink:
@Coach.Neal.H your protip worked perfectly:


Hi @platinum847 .

I moved this topic into the Nine Hammers Tavern (category). Seems like a good place for general chit-chat.
If you feel like it deserves a spot in the Training category, you’re welcome to move it again.

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Yesterday I have a new entry into the annals of “getting violated by Violator”: attempting it with < 4 hours of sleep the night before. Managed the first 2 sets reasonably well, but near immediate blowup on the third: legs shaking, no interest in trying to see what pushing through would look like.

All in all I’ll still call this workout a “win” as it was a great stress reliever for a real crap day and I did sleep soundly afterwards.


Had first time this workout on the program…I mean the name itself didn’t make me exactly look forward to it but holy cow…WTF was that??? That was brutal… Please please don’t put this on any of my plans anymore…:joy:

Edit: there were parachutes??


I thought it was me being a wimp. First time I attempted it I bailed early (I blame 2nd covid jab) have now ‘done’ the whole thing. But it was one of the worst experiences of my life, and the final sprints were nigh impossible as I couldn’t change quick enough. :nauseated_face:


Yeah those final sprints…seriously all I was trying was surviving…how the hell should you change that fast??? Inwould be curious to lnow how many people actually nail this workout and hit the target power each time :crazy_face:

I’ll do my first violator next tuesday and I have a question: can I use erg mode throughout the whole session? I’m using a MTB 1x11 (32T front) so I guess I’ll have little to no time to rest as I’ll have to shift 10 times to get some rest and 10 times again to put some power on.
Also, this reminds me, I’d be so helpful to have a companion app just to adjust level/erg mode.

i think it depends on your trainer. give it a shot and see how it goes. Worst comes to worst, you pull the plug and start over on level mode and see if it’s better, or go out and do a sprint workout outside. You won’t be able to perfectly replicate violator outside but you probably can get pretty darn close / close enough.

Erg mode actually works okay for my trainer, and i’ve found a way to kind of trick it to use its slow reaction time to my advantage. Basically, coming into each interval, i soft-pedal for a split second at the start. Because the cadence has dropped, the erg ramps up resistance to compensate, extra high because my drop in cadence coincides with the increase in target power from the interval. Then all i have to do is jam it and spin up the cadence, and just the very act of getting on top of the gear and spinning cadence up means i can hit the power target, and the trainer is so slow that by the time it drops the resistance to compensate for the high cadence, the interval is over. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

The thing that it will absolutely NOT do on erg mode is a combination of increased power plus lowered cadence. It’s too slow and that just won’t work. So those portions of 9 hammers where it wants you to jump up to MAP but simultaneously lower cadence to 60, i have to do on level and not erg.

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I’m following the MTB training plan and last week I had to do Violator in level mode while SITTING the entire time. That. Was. Tough.


well, hate to say it but you’re the “Chief Suffering Officer” so if you’re not going to do the suffering, then WHO WILL?!?!?!


I had to violate myself today. I was really struggling to convince myself to even get onto the trainer.
But I could not agree less with what @JSampson said:

In fact, it was that I knew what I was facing that made me struggle.
I did Violator a couple of times now but although I do it in level mode only I think I never get it right to jump into the sprints. I really have to do the workout in Level 0 and only use the shifters but as soon as I hit the higher gear the resistance get so high that I almost never hit the high cadence in the 5 seconds sprints. And I cannot stay in a gear high enough for the sprints in the recovery intervals because power would be way too high then. I hit higher peak power in the 10-seconds sprints than in the 5-second sprints. But I think all in all that is okay as soon as I give my best shot for every sprint.
And having it completed left me starting the day very positive (well, besides what my legs would say if they could speak).


@Holger1980 I have Violator scheduled again for tomorrow. I will let you know if I change my mind about knowing what is coming but I do feel that the mental toughness program has really helped me face these type of workouts.


The simplest way to get through whatever workouts you have difficulty with, is to accept the possibility of failure.

It is OK to fail. Think of it this way, if you do the workout at 100% and fail (whatever that means), you are still improving because you are pushing your limit for that day.

You may be tired that day, you may have had a stressful week, or you might just be over training. It does not matter, you did the best you could. If you conclude you are over trained, then you are a step closer to understanding why that happens and realizing when you need to cut back.

Everything (and this is one of the parts of the MTP) is a learning experience.


Yes. This.

I use my MTP experiences every time I do Revolver or Violator or Nine Hammers. I start knowing that I may not finish, but I’m going to give it my all on every interval.

With Revolver and Violator I never ever feel like I am strong enough to finish. So if I only started those workouts on the days I felt I could finish then I never would start them. Yet, I’ve always done them anyway and have also never yet failed to finish them at 100%.

You never know how far you could’ve gone if you don’t even start. And we often learn more about ourselves though our failures than through our successes.


only one other thing i would add here, and it’s consistent with what others have said but phrased a little different: indoor training on a smart trainer seems to encourage people to think of workout completion in a very binary “success / failure” kind of way. Long story short, i dont’ think it’s helpful to think of it that way. Like imagine if you were going to go do a version of violator outside. You might not even know if you hit the power targets until later because you’d just be going as hard as you could. Then after the workout, you’d look at the analysis and see, okay, my max power numbers started to fade a little bit / were higher than last time / were lower than last time. And you would use that information to inform your training and draw conclusions (e.g., need to be a bit more rested next time, need to tune up the sprint more often while doing tempo and threshold work, stuff like that). But you wouldn’t think of it as “failure” just because your power during interval #5 was 4% lower than it was supposed to be.