Zwift Workouts


While Zwift workouts are ideal for getting started with the trainer and riding freely for fun, it is also a powerful training tool with a wealth of structured, discipline-focused workouts and training plans to help you take your fitness to the next level.

As they are all based on functional power threshold (FTP), the maximum average power you can maintain for one hour, the training plans and workouts are specifically tailored to your current fitness level.

Zwift has worked with race-winning coaches like former Italian national time trial champion Marco Pinotti to create workouts and training plans to improve your fitness and strength on the bike. Once you've ordered your Zwift setup, all you need to do is clip in and pedal.


What Is Zwift Workouts Pricing and How to Sign Up?

Visit the Zwift website to sign up for a 7-day free trial. Once your trial period ends, Zwift workouts cost $14.99 per month.

From their website, you can also download it for different devices like Android, iOS, Windows, Chromecast...you can even put it on your Smart TV by connecting your mobile or PC.

 

What Advantages Will I Have with Zwift Workouts?

As we will see below, there are many advantages you will enjoy using this cycling app.

Flexibility in Your Workouts:

Instead of prescribing a fixed workout at a set time, all of Zwift's workout plans are flexible, meaning you can adjust them according to your schedule.

Each workout will give you a window in which to complete a given session, meaning it's much easier to adapt to your schedule. You can also complete the workouts outdoors; mark them as "done outdoors" on the game plan. They can also be used at home with your rollers.

New workouts will automatically unlock once you have passed a designated rest period.

As you progress, you'll earn experience points and stars for completed intervals. Best of all, if you train on Zwift, you no longer have to do it alone and can join the thousands of other Zwifters on the platform in group runs and rides to help you stay motivated.

Zwift offers a wide range of structured workouts and training plans.

 

What Are Stress Points, And What Are They For?

The difficulty level of a workout is measured in "stress points" (sometimes abbreviated as "SP").

Depending on the duration and intensity of a session, the higher the stress point score of a workout, the harder it will be, and vice versa.

The maximum stress score you can generate in a single hour is 100. For reference, this would be developed if you drove strictly at your FTP for the entire hour.

One of the best features of using this type of metric (similar to the Andrew Coggan / Training Peaks TSS metric that power meter users may already be familiar with) is that it is relative to everyone.

Even if you are fitter, the stress points for any given workout will remain the same: do the workout with higher power numbers.

With this in mind, Zwift classifies its training plans into three different levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

The average stress points per week will increase with the levels (although this isn't always the case). As you progress, you'll also do more intense intervals and focus on specific areas of fitness depending on the type of plan you choose, rather than just making significant gains in overall wellness.

We've picked out some of our favorite training plans and workouts to get you started, but this is not an exhaustive list for the full rundown of what's available; head over to the Zwift app.

 

Training Plans for Beginners on Zwift Workouts

If you're new to cycling and indoor training, or perhaps you're just getting back on the bike after a break, it's a good idea to start with one of the beginner plans.

They're designed to give you a relatively easy introduction to the world of interval training while ensuring you get a decent workout and all those essential fitness benefits.

 

Zwift 101: 1 Week / 2 Hours Per Week

Zwift 101 offers a gentle introduction to the world of structured interval training.

This plan is only one week long, so it is meant to introduce the Zwift training interface and the world of structured interval training.

It contains a couple of introductory workouts and two of the most popular short workouts, as well as a mid-week ramp test to help you gauge your FTP before you can start on a more extended plan.

FTP Builder: 4 to 6 weeks / 5 hours per week / 255 stress points per week (average)

FTP Builder focuses on developing sustainable aerobic power. Zwift

The FTP Builder plan focuses on developing sustainable aerobic power, with most sessions consisting of endurance and tempo intervals.

Designed for cyclists who may not have done a structured training plan before, the workouts are simple and easy to understand and most last less than an hour.

Background: 3 To 4 Weeks / 3 Hours Per Week / 177 Stress Points Per Week (Average)

Created for cyclists preparing for a long ride or sportive/gran Fondo, the Fondo is another great plan for anyone new to structured training or returning to the sport after a break.

The plan focuses primarily on endurance and tempo intervals, but there is also some threshold work and beyond mixed in to give your fitness a boost.

 

Intermediate Training Plans on Zwift Workouts

These plans are aimed at the more dedicated cyclist who already has a decent fitness level and is looking to add structure to their training or develop specific fitness areas.

Active off-season: 8 to 12 weeks / 9 hours per week / 446 stress points per week (average)

The active off-season plan is based on nine hours of training per week. Zwift

If you're a dedicated cyclist with a reasonable amount of time to train and are looking to add structure to your winter, this might be the ideal plan for you. The workouts focus primarily on increasing your endurance, but there is a bit of tempo, threshold, and upper mixed in.

There are some crucial days in this plan, leading to relatively average high-stress points per week, but there are also plenty of prescribed rest days to make sure you don't overdo it.

Build Me Up: 10 to 12 weeks / 5 hours per week / 318 stress points per week (average)

The Build Me Up plan promises a big jump in fitness. Zwift

If you're serious about your training but short on time, the Build Me Up plan will help you make a significant improvement in your aerobic engine.

There is a good mix of intensities in this plan, but tempo, threshold, and Vo2 max intervals make up a big part of the work.


Advanced Training Plans in Zwift Workouts

You'll need to have a solid fitness base already established at this level because things can get pretty intense.

Look at these plans when you're approaching a competition period or have a big event you want to be in shape for.

Crit Crusher: 4 To 8 Weeks / 4 Hours Per Week / 233 Stress Points Per Week (Average)

This plan, which focuses on sprint repeats and breakaways, was created as a race tune-up for criterium (short road races around racetracks) and cyclocross racing and will help tune your legs for whatever type of riding you do.

The average stress points per week are not high on this plan, but there are many hard and fast efforts, so Zwifters taking it on will want to have a decent base of fitness already in the bank. This is a great plan to use in the run-up to competition to hone high-end performance.

TT Tune-Up: 5 to 8 weeks / 7 hours per week / 391 stress points per week (average)

With six workouts per week, this plan requires a big commitment, but if you're looking for a significant boost to your high-end power, you'll reap the rewards when you complete it.

As the name suggests, this will suit those who want to excel in the race of truth, but recovery periods are limited, so you'll need to be in good condition to do it.

 

Your Zwift Workouts

If you already have a training plan from elsewhere or don't want to commit to one yet fully, Zwift has a great catalog of individual workouts for you to work hard and target specific areas of your fitness.

Emily's Short Mix: 00:30 / 44 Stress Points

Emily's Short Mix takes only 30 minutes, making it ideal if you're short on time. Zwift

This workout is ideal if you're short on time. With 44 stress points accumulated in half an hour, you've got a lot for your money.

2 × 20 FTP Intervals: 01:20 / 101 Stress Points

This FTP session is a turbo trainer classic. Zwift

A classic turbo trainer workout, the 2 × 20 FTP interval session is perfect for anyone who practices against the clock. Long, hard intervals force you to focus on maintaining consistent strength and position for more extended periods.

If you have a time trial bike, do this session on that and try to stay in the TT position for the entire duration of each 20-minute interval.

Mat Hayman Paris Roubaix 1: 01:21 / 97 Stress Points

Mat Hayman used Zwift as a training tool before winning Paris-Roubaix. Zwift

Indoor training at Zwift was crucial to Mat Hayman's famous victory in the most challenging one-day race on the cycling calendar, as it allowed him to replicate the kind of effort required to not only hang with the likes of Tom Boonen on the infamous cobbled sectors. But also, to beat him on the Roubaix velodrome for the win.

Now, thanks to his former coach Kevin Poulton, you can experience some of what it took to win that famous Monument with this session that was built using Hayman's power profile from the race, condensed into a more manageable 81 minutes.

Keep in mind, however, that it's as hard as the cobblestones of northern France.

SST (Long): 02:10 - 163 Stress Points

SST stands for Sweet Spot Training, which is a small subzone around 90 to 95 percent FTP. It gets its name because it's intense enough to cause big physical adaptations but easy enough that you can do a lot without fatiguing your body too much.

If you're feeling really into it and want a longer ride to build up those stress points, this is an ideal session.

 

Custom Workouts in Zwift

If you've gotten to this point in the article and don't think any of the above matches what you're looking for, don't worry. Zwift also allows you to create custom workouts from their Workout page easily.

Zwift uses a simple drag-and-drop interface that makes designing your best sweat session a breeze: grab blocks from the right-hand column (there are blocks for all the different power zones, plus warm-up, cool-down, intervals, free riding, text events, and cadence) and use the mouse or text boxes to expand the duration and difficulty of each interval.

You can then tag your workout with a category and give it an appropriate name. Practically, Zwift has a more in-depth approach to guidance for creating custom workouts if you need a little more advice.

Adam Hari

This is my profile, I seek to provide helpful content on several areas, especially health and fitness.

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