Video Review: The Sufferfest – ISLAGIATT

islagiattbadgeNot long after I finished my first Sufferfest workout, The Wretched (and by not long, I mean as soon as I was done), I was ready for more!  Thanks to the suggestions of some of my readers (and some of the avid Sufferlandrians who follow @TheSufferfest on Twitter, my next workout selection was ISLAGIATT (meaning:  It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time).

The title was perfect for the situation I found myself in.  I admit that I was a bit lazy last week.  Work kept me late on some nights.  Other nights, I found every excuse to avoid jumping on the bike (that dang couch monster can hold on tight!).  Saturday came, and I knew it was time to get those pedals turning.

We had been to the bookstore earlier in the day, and I had planned to enrich my mind with a brand new book on Gettysburg for $30.  Trying to save some money, I put the book back (noting to keep an eye out at the library for the title in the future).  When I got home and felt the urge to finally ride, I peeked at The Sufferfest website and was instantly drawn back to ISLAGIATT.  Hmmmm…..Only $14.99 – that’s half of what I would have spent enriching my mind, and chances were good that I wouldn’t leave this purchase lying around after using it once.

I hit the purchase and anxiously waited for the download.  When it was finished, I saw that this workout was 2 hours long.  Wow!  It did seem like a good idea when purchasing, but I wasn’t expecting a workout twice as long as The Wretched.

I quickly added the movie into my iTunes account – so I could share the home movie with my Apple TV in the basement.  There was no turning back!  It was time to get to business……..only…………I contemplated about riding this new workout with my new 1UpUSA trainer.  To be fair in my assessment, I should really use the CycleOps trainer that I used with The Wretched.  After all, how could I truly compare the two if I was using a different trainer.  (Oh OK – I was too wimpy to use the new trainer – knowing how much harder it was to spin).  So, I took a few minutes to switch back to the CycleOps.

Enough Set-up!  Time for the Review!

My bet paid off!  This workout was well worth the price and the suggestions!  With the same sense of humor that I loved in The Wretched, the 2 hours flew by.  That’s hard to do when you’re on a trainer (and probably why I split my longer Spinervals workouts into 1-hour segments).

There is so much variation in the ride that you have ridden more than you realize (over 38 miles in the two hours).  The constant reference to the other professional riders (and even the jawing) does provide a race simulation that – if you let yourself get absorbed into it – makes it a lot of fun.  If you like yelling at the screen like I do, you’ll find yourself actually picking on your main competitors (“Suck it, Billboard!” – Note:  this will only make sense if you participate in the workout.)

The ride itself takes you through 4 climbs – the shortest is 8 minutes long, the longest is 20 minutes.  And the views are breathtaking – really!  (Now, I watch this projected onto a big screen – so it may not be as impressive if you’re trying to watch on a phone/tablet).  I remember being in awe when I was presented with a sweeping view of the snow-covered mountainside.

IMG_0216Yep!  I said snow-covered.  You are climbing mountains with snow piled up on each side – and, with the very real snow outside my door right now, it’s much better being in the warmth of your pain cave.  On a side note, that’s how snow should be!  Warm and not lying on roads/sidewalks.




Don’t get used to the snow, though.  A little later, you take a right turn at Albuquerque (anybody get the Bugs Bunny reference here?) and you end up climbing Mt. Sufferlandria – where you get to pass the lava lakes.  Aaaaaaah!



Your goal of the video is to be the Most Aggressive Rider of the group.  For those who don’t watch professional cycling, that means you’re supposed to ATTACK and keep the pace FAST!  The good folks at The Sufferfest make it fun by giving you a few key riders to watch during the race – as they’ll be your biggest competitors (remember the race simulation I wrote about earlier in this post?).

IMG_0217During the race, you get to see how you rank with the other riders in your quest to be the Most Aggressive Rider.  This ranking takes place after each of the climbs.  I wonder if you’ll ever rank to #1?  Hmmmmmmmm…..

As I did on The Wretched, I used my large front cog for the entire ride.  I would shift up and down on the rear cog based on the Difficulty in the upper right hand column (10/10 was Large Front/12 on the back – for each number down, I shifted down one rear cog).  The lowest gear ratio (3/10 on the screen) was the Large Front/21 on the back.

The four climbs are fun – and you are treated to seated sprints and standing sprints.  Sometimes you grind it out at a higher gear ratio.  Other times, you are spinning along at a pretty easy pace.  I’d say that The Wretched was harder, but the extra hour makes this workout as intense!

And – just when you think you’ve done all you can while you start to cool down – something else pops up!  I’m not going to tell you what it is, but it is a bit of a (fun) surprise.

I really got into the simulated race as I came to the end of the stage.  I started looking over my shoulder to watch the other riders getting ready for a final sprint to the line.  Sure – no one was behind me in the room, but I have a pretty good imagination.

Looks like I might be a Sufferlandrian now!  And I’m proud to say so.  Out of all of the reviews I’ve done over the past year, none have stirred more feedback than the one I had done for The Wretched.  Fellow Sufferlandrians know the pain we endure – and their motto is as much fun to state as the workouts are to do!

I Will Beat My Ass Today To Kick Yours Tomorrow!

Any suggestions for the next one?

5 thoughts on “Video Review: The Sufferfest – ISLAGIATT

  1. I’m beginning to be a bit scared we’re on some weird shared experience as I did ISLAGIATT a week gone Sunday for the first time so was delighted when this turned up in my mailbox :-)) not as hard as Wretched? When if got back from the torture chamber and slumped on the chair my partner thought I wa going to pass out – I didn’t so guess I’m still fighting my inner wimp who wants to take life easy – he will be purged by suffering 😉 loved your review again but it occurs to me I wasso far gone by the end despite keeping power up I have no idea what happens towards the end – just a blur of pain and attacking :-))

    Think blender next,those last three intervals were way, way harder than expected but then I don’t normally do threshold with my legs already turned to toast by those sprints :-0

    • That is a bit weird… Thanks for the interaction. Great to hear others out there having fun. The Wretched was harder for a shorter period of time (the mincemeat reference was spot-on), but the double-length of ISLAGIATT definitely made up for it. And I was spent – heck, it took me a few days until I had enough energy to write a review. 🙂

      Blender just might be the next workout! A fellow Sufferlandrian on Twitter suggested Hell Hath No Fury!

  2. Pingback: WeekendWarriorMag | Tour of Sufferlandria – Stage 2 Recap (ISLAGIATT)

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