Reveiw: The Sufferfest “Angels” 2015

We are big fans of The Sufferfest at Pedal Mash. We love flogging ourselves around all corners of our pain cave as we worship the shredded chamois, so we were thrilled when Angels 2015 was released.

According to The Sufferfest, Angels is ideal for training for changes in tempo whilst climbing. It does this by pitting you against constant attacks throughout the three 8 minute climbs you will be facing, as well as a punishing 10:00 of under/over intervals right out of the warm up.

Featuring footage from the Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Criterium du Dauphine and Vuelta a Espana, Angels puts you through your paces with on screen prompts accompanying a rousing soundtrack from bands we’ve never heard of, but will now associate with suffering.

The full programme of Angels 2015 is as follows:

6:30 Warm Up

10:00 Under/Over Intervals 

3:00 Recovery

8:00 Climb 1: Liege-Bastogne-Liege

4:00 Recovery 

8:00 Climb 2: Criterium du Dauphine

4:00 Recovery

8:00 Climb 3: The Angliru 

As with all Sufferfest videos, the recovery sessions are made up of minutes that seem significantly shorter than the ones you spend on the intervals. There is some great scenery to take in though as you spin the lactate away from the effort of the climb, almost forgetting the misery you just endured.

The issue with training videos – not exclusive to The Sufferfest by any means – is that it’s difficult to know whether you’re going hard enough or going too hard. If like us you just use a turbo trainer (we use an Elite Volare) without a heart rate sensor or cadence sensor, you are relying on your instinct to let you know how hard you’re going.

Angels 2015 along with the rest of The Sufferfest and other training videos uses the perceived rate of exertion scale (1-10 with 10 being full on sprinting) to indicate how hard you should be working. It also advises an appropriate cadence for the interval, not too hard to work out if you have a cycling computer; but awkward if you are trying to keep up with the rapid change in pace that Angels has been created for.

Especially in the final climb we found ourselves only just able to work ourselves into the required cadence before it changed again, and more mathematics was required. Not easy when you’re sucking air and trying to keep on Nibali’s wheel.

That being said, Angels is easily one of the best Sufferfest videos we have used to date. The editing is superb and the on screen prompts are motivating – even humerous on some occasions – enough to keep up from getting bored, which is a constant worry about turbo training.

The variation in races is a great idea to keep you interested, with you in the break with Thomas Voeckler in Liege-Bastogne-Liege to climbing the Angliru at La Vuelta with Vincenzo Nibali and Chris Horner, there’s a lot of visual queues to work with.

The change in tempo is nothing less than brutal, with attacks coming thick and fast to encourage you to mix standing and sitting efforts. We found that we relied on the resistance level of the trainer to get the best out of this video, after trying it a few times with and a few times without changeable resistance. The harder intervals are difficult to carry out without being able to increase the resistant which will make it difficult for those without to get the full benefit.

Angels was definitely our favourite video from The Sufferfest so far, with plenty of engaging footage and visual prompts to go with the intense workout.

Angels 2015 can be purchased from The Sufferfest website for $12.99 (~£8.45) along with the entire range of training videos from Sufferlandria.

+ Footage from a variety of races
+ Workout format
+ On screen prompts

– Difficult to measure cadence/effort well without more gadgets like HR/Cadence sensor
– Difficult to get full benefit of intervals without increasing resistant

Overall we give The Sufferfest: Angels 2015 training video 9/10.


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