Reviews

Review: Sufferfest ‘Half is Easy’

The Sufferfest videos are not fun. They make you suffer, are exhausting and leave you feeling like you’ve left it all on the trainer: but that’s what makes them brilliant.

The Sufferfest released ‘Half is Easy’ after some complaints that the videos were too hard, something which sent (fictional) Directeur Sportif Grunter von Agony into hysterics and compelled him to make a video that they classify as an ‘easy’ training video.

Any Sufferlandrian or regular user of the Sufferfest videos should have been wary at that statement, as we were when we first read the bio. After all, there’s no such thing as an easy training video – especially from these guys.

Half is Easy really is easy for pretty much half of the video. The contrast though – and what GvA doesn’t tell you – is that the other half is insanely hard. The breakdown for the workout is the following:

5:00 – Warm up
3:00 – 2 x 25 sprint and 1:00 tempo
10:00 – 20 x 12 Easy/15 Not Easy
4:00 – Recovery
10:00 – 20 x 12 Easy/15 Not Easy

3:00 – Cool Down
On the face of it, this doesn’t look so bad, maybe it is easy after all? The warm up is pleasant enough, with a Cycleball match between Austria and Germany more than enough distraction for what lies ahead. Even the first few sprints aren’t too hard, enough to get the blood flowing but not enough to leave you begging for mercy.

Then the intervals; oh, the intervals. 
The first few 15″ bursts aren’t bad, but when the repetition counter is still on 13 and your legs are burning and lungs screaming for air, you soon see that the ‘not easy’ moniker of these intervals is an understatement. 

The 4 minute recovery is a double-edged sword as you can finally relax for more than 15″, but you are acutely aware that another period of horror awaits you on the other side of this pleasant descent that you are zipping down.
The visuals of the video are excellent, featuring licensed footage from the UCI World Championships of most cycling disciplines including the BMX, Cyclocross, Road and Mountain bike races. The easy parts are kittens purring, beach loungers with cocktails, hot tubs, even a fat man and woman eating cake, but by the time you have managed to get some sort of cadence back you are back in the red zone.
Half is Easy prompts you to go all-out in the sprints but ‘do whatever the hell you want’ in the rests. For us this was about enough time to shift the resistance on our Elite trainer to 1 and get a few seconds of whatever was on screen, before slamming the resistance up to 5 again for max pain.
The second (and worst) bunch of intervals throws you into the Womens and U23 Road World Championships in Florence as you mark attack after attack and fruitlessly scamper after a breakaway for 15″ before the video is replaced with a puppy or cocktail or something.

The 20 intervals come to a close and you feel obliged to leave it all out there on the last couple of reps where you are back on the BMX track. The intervals finish and you are just about to succumb to oxygen debt when the sting in the tail is revealed – which we will leave you to find out for yourselves, but it’s extremely unpleasant.

Overall it was a great video and is perfect for people who don’t have the time to do more than an hour in the evening working out. Half is Easy is 39 minutes long, making it ideal for evening training when you don’t have much time. 
Priced at $11.99 it’s pretty good value too, and the monetary price is nothing compared to the physical (and mental) price you will pay if you do this too often. 
We give ‘Half is Easy’ 8/10 because half really was easy, and the other half as tough as you would expect to experience on a Sufferfest video.The only gripe we had with this one was the second batch of intervals where you had to mark attacks – this wasn’t really sustainable for 15″ and by the time you had wound up to a good effort there wasn’t enough time to make a catch or bridge a gap.
You can see our review of Sufferfest’s “The Hunted” here.

The Sufferfest videos use language such as ‘suffer’ and ‘pain’ in them, this is for entertainment purposes only and if you are in genuine pain or discomfort then you should cease the session immediately. 

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