There’s no doubt that the trend of indoor training has witnessed a massive increase in popularity in recent years. But this has only been incredibly amplified by the sudden change in our world lately.
Luckily, there has been a huge improvement in the field of virtual training over the years.
Zwift has certainly become one of the best choices for indoor training, but, in the other corner, I also find Sufferfest a worthy rival.
Which one suits you best?
Well, read on, as, in this article, I’ll be comparing the two so you can get a feel of which of these two virtual trainers and worlds is better suited for you.
Quick Summary: A Brief Look at Both Options
Zwift is by far the winner in my book and I think for 95% of you it will be too.
You get to ride in virutal worlds, train with and against real live teammates, make new friends, see cities across the globe, get an amazing workout and you also get to compete seriously if you so choose to.
The list goes on.
Not to mention its cheaper too.
You can read my post on the best Zwift compatible Stationary bikes here - I spent weeks putting it together through my own testing and I promise you its the best most in-depth guide you will find.
Zwift takes the cake guys. I even just recently compared Zwift and TrainerRoad and even against it, Zwift was the better program.
This program is meant for those that are more into competitive training and want more of a techy experience.
By that I mean, want to see their vitals, see the techy things that come with professional training.
The other parts of it, and the experience, in my opinion are quite lacking when compared to the almost unbelievable experience that Zwift gives.
Zwift allows you to venture through a virtual world and race other competitors in real-time, making your way through the leaderboards.
The program is designed for indoors runners through Zwift compatible treadmills.
It is also designed for bike riders through several Zwift stationary bikes.
You get a 7-day free trial period, followed by $14.99/month. But the service remains free for the 16-year old kids and younger.
- Custom bikes and avatars
- Free subscription for children
- Offers the chance to be noticed by pro teams
- Used by the pros, allowing you to compete against them
- A massive number of users. You’ll always have somebody to ride with
- Brings great training and riding together with the entertainment value of social interactivity.
You can use Zwift on Android, Windows, Apple TV, Mac, iPad, and iPhone. It’s also compatible with ANT+ and Bluetooth.
Read My Article Before Buying a Bike!!
If you do not have a bike yet, I highly recommend checking out my post on the best Zwift stationary bikes. It is the most detailed and in depth post you will find on the internet. I spent weeks putting it together
Let’s Get into Some Details
Zwift is an app designed for indoor cycling. It allows you to ride along in the virtual world with other athletes.
It simulates a real-world road and makes use of a smart trainer to create a true cycling experience.
So, basically, you can ride, race, or train comfortably from your home at any time you want as long as you have the right cardio machine.
All you have to do is link your bike and your smart trainer to your device of choice, whether it be an iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, computer, etc. But if you have an exercise bike with screen, or a treadmill with screen, and the ideal compatibility, the better.
The subscription costs $14.99/month (or local equivalent), but you get a seven-day trial for free before making the first payment. All you have to do is go to their official home page and download the version you want.
So let’s think of it this way: It’s bad weather outside, or you’re having a bad day, and your mood is all down, and you’ve got no motivation to go out of the house and do something productive.
But you have a chance to do something and participate in an experience that lets you share your passion with fellow riders on the track and compete against them in challenges.
This is the promise of Zwift: Giving you a sense of belonging to a community, being social.
Adding to all of this, it’s also worthy to note that the CEO of Facebook, the big daddy of all social networks, Mark Zuckerberg, chose Zwift as an alternative for traditional bike riding when he was rehabilitating from his arm injury.
The whole concept behind Zwift is to give you the opportunity to join a group of fellow cyclists from all around the globe in an attempt to test your skills against other competitors from the comfort of your own house.
To do so, you’ll have to firstly register in the Zwift website for any coming group rides.
Indoor cycling can be a good way of keeping your motivation levels high. It allows you to feel as if you’re actually freely moving outside and not restricted at home.
Solid workouts, cool music, and awesome videos. Sufferfest is immensely effective and has a great immersive experience.
There’s a free trial that lasts for 14 days. After that, you must pay $129/year or $14.99/month for a subscription.
- Workout videos that can be viewed offline
- Unique videos with high rewatchability value
- Also includes strength, mental and yoga workouts
- Data is used to customize your workout to meet your goals
- Good entertainment value without the need for social interaction
- The 4DP tests provide you with a lot of information, including your FTP
The Sufferfest is available on Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Windows Computers. It’s also compatible with Bluetooth devices and ANT+.
Let’s Get into Some Details
What Sufferfest is, is a huge library of workout cycling videos. What’s different about them is the unique flavor of each workout. Many of them contain video footage of actual prestigious racing events such as Giro d’Italia, UCL, Tour De France, and more.
Basically, The Sufferfest plays a video of a race that you become part of in the virtual world known as Sufferlandria.
Generally, Sufferlandira is made up of over 50 erg-mode guided workout videos. What sets Sufferfest apart from other indoor cycling apps like Zwift is that the edge to perform harder with Sufferfest is built into the app itself.
So, what I’m trying to say is, The Sufferfest’s whole idea is to bring together the videos, the music, and everything else around it in one place through the app to get the best performance out of you, and that’s just fantastic.
Besides all of that, it also provides a library of workouts for body toning and energy-boosting. It’s got mental toughness exercises, yoga programs, nutrition guides, and much more.
Sufferfest costs $12.99/month or $99/year but comes with a free trial period of 14 days. Choose the version you want from their homepage and simply download it.
And here’s a fun fact for you, Sufferfest was acquired by WAHOO in July of 2019. That means that this awesome and popular indoor cycling app can only be improved further after this acquisition.
The Sufferfest provides you with a high-quality program for cycling and workout in general that suits exactly what you need.
Each workout is designed to make you feel as if you’re part of the footage you’re watching in front of you. So, for instance, if there’s a sprint or an attack coming up on the screen, you’ll be told to climb or sprint.
Another significant aspect of the app is the amount of personality it radiates. It’s both very fascinating and motivating. Here’s an example of a number of things that you might see between the intervals as you recover:
- A turtle
- A penguin
- A dog enjoying a car ride
- Or even a guy fooling around
The Sufferfest app also includes many commentaries that are meant to be funny and keep you motivated and in the zone.
The app is fantastic.
It runs on IOS, mac, and windows, so you can basically use it on your Apple TV, Android, iPhone, iPad, you name it.
And as I previously mentioned, you’re allowed to use it for a 14-day trial period for free. So that’s at least a good way to test it without risk.
And if you happen to be in an area without a decent Wi-Fi, you can still download the workout videos. The workout screen is sleek, and you’re allowed to pair your trainer with a power meter, cadence sensor, heart rate monitor, Bluetooth, ANT+, etc.
Furthermore, The Sufferfest’s workouts were designedfollowing the 4-dimensional power system (or 4DP for short). These are the four power metrics:
- Functional Threshold Power (20 minutes)
- Maximal Aerobic Power (5 minutes)
- Anaerobic Capacity (1 minute)
- Neuromuscular Power (5 seconds)
When you finish the 4DP test, these four metrics become available to you. When you complete the test, these metrics of yours will be defined and color-coded, and you’ll see the full reach of your capabilities.
Last year, Sufferfest added e-racing along to the other workouts. So Sufferfest now provides various training plans, from e-racing to triathlon and more.
But, if you’re not into the already existing plans, you can always get a custom one done by one of the company’s coaches on skype or on the phone.
So, Who Sits on the Immersive Training Throne?
Price - Zwift Is Slightly Cheaper
Of course, getting the best deal for the least amount of money is the ultimate goal. And even if you’re really interested in trying out indoor cycling, you probably don’t want to do it by making yourself go broke.
So, when it comes to the price, Zwift has had several changes with time. It went from $12.99 to $14.99.
On the other hand, a Sufferfest subscription is $129/year or $14.99/month.
Workouts - Zwift Takes The Cake
You can upload your own workouts with Zwift and even find other workouts on the internet to try out if you want to take a ride.
The Sufferfest, on the other hand, does not offer this much flexibility.
But you can get workout plans from both cycling apps, access and upload them easily into your training. For example, you’ll find an Olympic triathlon workout that you can upload through their system.
User Experience - Zwift Wins Big Time
The level of immersiveness that Zwift brings is almost hard to believe. You get to choose between erg mode or a fully immersive mode and full on virtual world I mean come on... Its unreal. You also get a good sense of belonging to a community.
It’s the social aspect, with the ability to chat and interact with other riders that makes Zwift really special.
The Sufferfest does not offer this level of immersion. There are no interactions with other athletes. All you have is the erg mode, and the pain to push through and enjoy.
Related Reading; Best Exercise Bikes with Virtual Courses & Training
Technology - SufferFest Wins
A big thing that Sufferfest has going for it is it’s amazingly incredible 4DP training setup. And it’s quite a huge deal.
Zwift, on the other hand, offers only your FTP numbers.
FTP’s purpose is to let you know where you should place your training zones according to your fitness levels.
Sufferfest features its regular prompts that offer informative and instructional text overlays to boost your workout performance.
The Sufferfest app is made to push you to your limits and bring the best workout experience out of you.
Zwift, on the other hand, is closer to a video game experience, where you adopt an avatar as you conquer the virtual world.
Verdict - I Prefer Zwift
All in all, the choice between The Sufferfest and Zwift will ultimately depend on what you’re looking for in such a service, so make sure to determine your needs and preferences before making up your mind!
Want to race and focus on competing? Sufferfest is the way to go
Want to have fun, race teammates, ride virtual worlds and get an amazing experience? Zwift takes the cake.
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Hi there! I'm Ben, main author and chief editor at Fitlifefanatics.com. I have been obsessed with Strength Training and Fitness for 16 years now.
My passion for living a happy fit lifestyle is what made me realize that fitness is what I wanted for my future.
I went on to earn my Masters in Sports Training & Biomechanics.
My passion for Strength training & fitness and my love of helping others is what made me start Fitlifefanatics.
Here, myself, and a team of specialist aim to provide the most accurate, and actionable information possible in hopes to help foster the fitness community forward.
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