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Using Workout Mode

After you pair your trainer and sensors, you'll see an option at the top of the Start screen to do a Training ride. The location is the same for both computer and iPad. 



If you didn't enter an FTP when you created your account, you'll see the Fitness Level Profile screen first. See the linked article if you have questions about which profile to pick.

Workout Mode offers some nifty features:

  • Each workout will help you reach a specific fitness goal.
  • Select one of our pre-made workouts, do an FTP test, or create your own custom workout.
  • Create your own custom workouts using our visual workout creator.
  • If you have a custom Zwift workout file with a ".zwo" extension from a friend, coach, or other website, you can use it on your account.
  • If you have a smart trainer, Zwift will give you the option to use ERG mode.
  • If you have a smart trainer and you choose not to use ERG mode, it will feel like you are riding on a flat road, and you'll have the option to manually adjust your resistance.
  • Feeling a little flat or in the mood for an extra challenge? You can adjust your workout difficulty +/- 10% on the fly with the FTP bias buttons on the Zwift Companion app.
  • You can use your power meter and smart trainer for accurate readings and ERG mode. (note: user experience may vary depending on hardware)

While you're in workout mode, you'll notice some differences from how Zwift works when you normally ride.

  • Your nameplate will show a graph icon on the left side.
  • Your avatar will appear to have a holographic display in front of their bike.
  • You can't draft (but others can draft you).
  • You won't receive PowerUps.
  • Your rider score XP increases based on workout intensity and successful intervals instead of distance.

Other than that, you'll still ride along with everyone else - and if you happen to be on a segment and set a winning time, you'll still receive the jersey for it.

If you decide you want to do a workout after you've already started riding, you can reach the workout menu by pressing the "E" key on your keyboard. Once you're in workout mode, you'll also have some options through both the Zwift Companion app and computer keyboard.

Command Zwift Companion app Computer
Skip workout section Skip Block  Tab
Increase resistance* Up arrow on command screen 
Decrease resistance* Down arrow on command screen 
Pause Pause N/A 
Increase FTP Bias** Up arrow on command screen  N/A
Decrease FTP Bias** Down arrow on command screen  N/A
*Increase and decrease resistance options are only available on smart trainers when ERG mode is not enabled.
**If you're not using ERG mode on a smart trainer, the Zwift Companion app buttons will change based on the workout block: free ride block = manual resistance; other blocks = FTP bias
Workout Mode with Manual Resistance Buttons  Workout Mode with FTP Bias Buttons


FTP Bias Buttons In-Game
If you're just starting out or new to workouts, we highly recommend doing one of the FTP tests. While Zwift will estimate your FTP based on performance during other rides, this is only an estimate, and if your estimated FTP is too high, the workout difficulty will be too high for you as well.
If you have a smart trainer and plan to use ERG mode, but haven't tried it before, be sure to read our guide
Here are some other articles about workout mode you may also want to check out:
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