Violator NM - is it about the gears (sort of)?

Quick one for the coaches,

Just came off violator (second time I’ve done it) and found it impossible to hit the NM power targets, with few exceptions. I used Level Mode during the entire workout, by the second set I found hitting and going above targets, to the point that during the last sprint of the last set I managed to overshoot the target by ~100W. At first I thought my legs were not fresh enough after intermediate 3A strength session today and 9 weeks in the training plan, but the final set results got me thinking if the NM part is more about getting the RPMs fast enough?

Rider type: Sprinter
…though I found I hit my max power after 5 - 10 seconds after starting on big gears.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Hi @Reynaldo_Lopez! First off, you’re doing things correct in using Level Mode for Violator. For sure, there’s an impact of the gear that you’re using in Level mode that will impact the power that you can generate. I tend to use Level 0 during Violator, and use the big chainring (52 tooth) and about the middle of the cassette to hit the power targets during the sprints without problems. I then just shift to the small chainring for the recovery. Well, as least for the first 2 sets of efforts.
One thing we find is that many folks try to use much too big of a gear at the start of a sprint. I recommend using a gear where you’re pedaling at between 85-95 RPM as you begin your sprint. If you’re in a bigger gear than that, you’ll likely not be able to accelerate quickly enough to hit the target power during short efforts.
Virtually all humans reach their peak possible sprint power output between 100 and 130 RPM…so keep that in mind! Happy sprinting and spinning :slight_smile:


Thanks a lot @Coach.Neal.H
I have always used Level 2 or 3 for every level mode workout, even for the NM part of FF! That said; do you recommend lower levels for NM part of FF level 0 or 1 for example and changing to higher levels (2 or 3) for MAP and FTP ?


Generally, I like to use Level 0 for everything - as I’m able to use the big ring for Sprint/AC efforts - and sometimes even for MAP and FTP efforts. I wouldn’t change the Level during a workout. I like the feel of doing the Sprint/AC efforts in the big chainring and a smaller cog like I would outside. To me, sprinting in the small chainring (which is what I would have to do in a higher level) just doesn’t feel right. I guess it’s a bit of a personal preference, but I have no problem hitting > 1200 watts in sprint efforts in Level 0, and hitting >500W for AC effort during Full Frontal in Level 0…I never spin out during any of those efforts. Hope that helps!


I will definitely try this level out as I have always done FF in level 2 - 3 while trying to keep the big ring which might have had an impact in the outcome, specially FTP.

Thanks for your input!

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If I get the trainer level and gearing paired right (usually on level 2) I can get in my 4th smallest gear in the rear (I think that’s the 19-tooth on a 25-11) and leave it there and then switch between the small ring for recovery and the big ring for the sprint efforts. That gives me enough resistance to hit 700-800w on the sprint efforts (at least for the first set) and 90-100w for recovery. I just have to remember to give myself a second or two to switch rings so I don’t drop my chain.