Why is 'Baxter' so hard?


Why is Baxter so hard?

It looks like a low IF ‘recovery ride’ but (for me) it generates a lot of fatigue, both during and after, much more than the TSS would cause me to ‘expect’
What’s going on in the muscles? (Chad and other experts) It seems too in low intensity to create lactate, but not long enough to deplete fuel stores?
I guess the basic question is why do muscles fatigue at low intensity…
I did it without any nutrition during it.


I find the same thing w/ Baxter. It’s long, and the consistent pressure on the muscles and CV system ends up hurting by the end, especially if you incorporate some quicker than usual cadence. I love it - a lot of bang for your buck in that one.


Yeah I hear you. I think there are 2 big (and related) reasons:

  1. As stated, you never really have a break like you do in higher intensity interval sessions
  2. You also never have a break on the trainer in general! There’s no coasting indoors. I’ve seen estimates that an indoor ride is 20% more taxing than the same length of time outdoors

So I’m betting that Baxter is comparable to a 2 hour endurance ride outdoors.


There is definitely a podcast that covers this but I can’t for the life of me find it! Anyone remember what episode it is?


I’m on board with this - Baxter for me is way harder than, say, Antelope (which I did this morning so it’s fresh in my mind) even though Baxter is lower IF. I think it’s hugely mental - on a more intense workout I have breaks to look forward to so I mentally break the workout into small chunks, whereas on Baxter I’m just staring at 90 minutes of pretty consistent work.


I find that sitting static on the long endurance efforts also makes it harder. Being in the one position for so long definitely has a mental component.


I’m the opposite. I find Antelope way tougher than Baxter.


I find Baxter/Perkins (and their variants) not to be challenging but I am accustomed to long periods of work with little to no rest.


I found Baxter to be much harder in ERG mode than on my old Kurt Kinetic…it seems the valleys in ERG mode are much harder, my HR would only recover 5-10bpm in ERG mode but close to 20 bpm on a dumb trainer.


I may be way off the mark here but I suspect it’s because Baxter is giving your slow twitch muscle fibres a good work out with little if no contribution from the other types of fibres. If you are a slow twitch machine then you won’t find it very fatiguing. If on the other hand you are more of an anaerobic type of cyclist you may find it very hard. Just a thought.


Baxter seems to be Nate’s “Secret Sauce”. He talks about it a lot. Great workout to burn a bunch of calories but keep the overall stress level fairly low.

I tend to do Baxter when I’m a little tired and not up to a higher intensity workout. I don’t tend to find it too bad, but longer sub-threshold rides are definitely my wheelhouse. VO2 max on the other hand…


Funnily enough Baxter was my scheduled workout today. I thought it was fine. Two caveats … one I ignored the cadence drill aspect of the workout and two I took a small stretch/fetch tissue break at the hour mark. Overall a decent way to catch up on some TV shows.


I really enjoy the odd Baxter as well.
The legs are always ok, but my undercarriage gets a bit more tender than on other rides, I think due to the lower intensity. Either that, or my legs feeling fine gives me scope for pondering other aches and pains around my body!


I ended up in the gym today instead of outside and because of this post I did Antelope. I had done Mary Austin earlier in the week. I had to bail on that one on the last set. Antelope was tough, but just about doable. Early in the ride I feel I could do more than 10 minutes. It is the break that makes the next set tough.


I did Baxter last week and Antelope today. Baxter was really easy, whereas Antelope was just plain suffering especially during the last interval. The recoveries were long enough to get the heart rate back to normal, but 10 minutes at Sweet Spot just got more and more painful.

Strange that it can be perceived so differently!


I have Baxter scheduled for tomorrow.

The most challenging bit seems to be the time I’d need to spend on the trainer. Coming from an injury I don’t think I could sit for an hour an a half on the trainer at this stage. However, I think I can muster anything under an hour.

Do you think it is worth trimming the tail end of it in Workhout Creator down to say 1 hour ?


Just do Baxter -2 for the 1hr version.


Cheers. Didn’t notice that there is already one. :slight_smile:

Edit: I ended up editing the workout and simply making it shorter while keeping the same intensity.


No way Baxter is harder than Antelope!


I like Baxter. Especially on days that I am not fully strong but not Pettit weak. The first 30 min is pretty easy and let’s my legs warm up and come around for the harder last 30 min.