Review of Chrysalis + a giveaway
So, as I told you yesterday, I had the opportunity to test out The Sufferfest‘s new triathlon-specific video “Chrysalis” before it gets officially released on 4 February.
OH, THE SUFFERING.
So, “Chrysalis” is no joke! The video left me absolutely shattered, and I was seriously wondering if I had enough energy to walk home from the gym afterwards. Loved it! I am really happy that today is a recovery day. I got on the trainer this morning, but just for some slow zone 1 HR action.
Interested in “Chrysalis”? Thinking, “What on Earth is a triathlon-specific exercise video?”
Here are the things you need to know about “Chrysalis.”
1. “Chrysalis” guides you through a triathlon. Or, at least, a bizarre version of a triathlon.
There’s no swimming in “Chrysalis,” so you can put your goggles away. You do watch swim footage of Challenge Roth while doing your warm-up, though.
After warm-ups on both the treadmill and the bike, the video guides you through 4 bike-run bricks with :30 “transitions” between each leg.
After the fourth brick, there’s a cool-down on both the treadmill and the bike, set to footage of people attempting to recover after they’ve crossed the finish line.
2. Each of the legs in your triathlon is broken up into smaller intervals of various speeds and intensities.
This is my favourite aspect of this video, and, frankly, of all of The Sufferfest videos. I like my workouts broken up into manageable chunks. It keeps me engaged.
As you might have noticed in the screenshot above, “Chrysalis” gives you a lot of on-screen indicators of what you should be doing and how long you’re going to be doing it. They are very specific.
I explain a couple of them below with my superior Microsoft Paint skills.
You’ll notice in the screenshot from the swim that there’s sometimes an additional clock in the bottom right corner. That clock tells you how much time you have remaining in that leg.
When you’re on the treadmill, the number above the effort indicates the percentage of incline for your treadmill instead of RPM.
3. The intervals in “Chrysalis” can take you to a pain cave you’ve never seen before, but only if you let them.
Curious about what the numbers for effort correspond to? The Sufferfest provides you with this handy advice before the video starts:
If you’re not going to be honest with your effort, than the video is not going to rock your world. I promise the intervals are designed to be entirely possible–the workout doesn’t have you running 10/10 for 4 minutes in the first interval or spinning at 120 RPM for an entire cycling leg. Match your effort the way it tells you to match it, and you won’t be sorry. I promise. It’s designed to work.
The fun part about the intervals is that they’re keyed to actual things that happen during a triathlon. You speed up when you’re chasing someone; you jack up your bike gear and get out of the saddle when you’re climbing a hill; you slow down to a jog when you pass through the aid stations.
4. You’ll need some stuff. Like clothes.
Dress yourself in appropriate attire. You’ll thank me later.
This is a triathlon video. Wear your triathlon clothes. Next time, you better believe I’m going to wear something a bit more comfortable for sprinting on the bike!
Your shoe options are at your discretion. You have :30 to switch between the bike and the treadmill, and you do that a number of times. Like, 8 times. I’d recommend ditching the cycling shoes unless you really want to practise your transition skills.
I wore some Mizuno Evo Levitas, and they worked just fine.
5. You’ll need some other stuff. Like electronics.
You’ll need some accessories, if you don’t have a big screen TV (that you have control over) set up in front of both a treadmill and a stationary bike. If you do have that set-up, you’re a rock star! If you don’t, you’ll need a portable media player of some sort, onto which you can download the video, as well as some headphones if you’d like to be polite to others around you (optional.)
I was able to watch and listen to the video on my phone, which was cool. A tablet would have been better because the video would have been easier to see, but the phone was more than adequate.
6. You’ll need steady access to a treadmill and a stationary bike.
This part was actually a bit tricky for me, not because my gym doesn’t have treadmills or stationary bikes, but because they’re usually in high demand and you often have to wait for one. “Chrysalis” has you on the treadmill for 4:00, off for 9:00 (8:00 on the bike plus a :30 transition on each side,) and then back on the treadmill, back on the bike, back on the treadmill, etc.
Also, you don’t want your fellow gym-goers to see you cry.
Things I loved:
- The music and race footage kept me focused. I got into it, and the hour of suffering passed a lot faster than I thought an hour of suffering would pass.
- This video offered more guidance regarding form and effort than some of the other videos from The Sufferfest. That was nice.
- I loved loved loved that the intervals were designed to reflect real situations that arise in triathlons. Because I could relate to them, I could channel the appropriate effort, and I knew what it should feel like. If only I could have dumped a cup of water over my head when we went through the simulated aid stations…that would have been awesome.
- And as I always do with videos from The Sufferfest, I love when they put snarky comments in the mouths of people who are obviously not saying those things.
Things I didn’t love:
- It takes a minute to get the hang of it. There’s a lot of location switching–i.e. from the bike to the treadmill and back–and it can be jarring at first if you’re used to spending more than a couple minutes on a machine. Just when you’re settling in, it’s time to switch.
- The end of the video is full of fast-paced music and funny comments on the screen, but the video takes its time getting there. Perhaps owing to the fact that triathletes seem to a be a more serious folk compared to cyclists, the video is a little serious in the beginning. Thankfully, it loosens up!
Overall, I think it’s a hell of a workout, and I recommend that y’all give it a go when it’s officially released on 4 February!
Want some free videos from The Sufferfest?
The friendly folks at The Sufferfest were kind enough to provide me with some gift codes for free videos in addition to an advance copy of “Chrysalis.” Aren’t they swell?
Leave me a comment below sometime between now and Wednesday, 29 January, at 3:59 PM Sydney time (that’s Tuesday, 28 January, at 11:59 PM EST in the U.S.), and let me know what the temperature is where you are now. I’m sure all of you freezing friends in the U.S. could use a good indoor training session!
The Sufferfest provided me with 5 codes. I’m going to keep 1 for myself, and I’ll give 2 codes to 2 lucky commenters, who will be selected randomly.
The Sufferfest also gave me stickers. I’m keeping the stickers.
Talk to you soon, friends!
ETA: Giveaway is closed, friends! Thanks for playing!