Bring back the exact watt goals for workouts. Stop the rounding!

About a month ago workouts could not be set to an exact watt goal any more, but only can be set in 5 watt steps.
When working near the range of improvement this is a severe restriction. It is important to be able to increase even in 1 or 2 Watt steps from week to week to motivate oneself and deliver improvements. Even small improvements are a good motivation and do not feel like a large jump implied by the 5 warp steps. I do not really understand any reason why this was done.
There is literally nothing to be gained by this restriction.
Note that before the display/preview of the workout was rounded to 5 watt steps. So instead of fixing the display, the workout themselves were restricted. This does not make any sense to me.
Bring back the exact watt goals for workouts.

I totally agree!! This is a backward step. Why do this? It makes the workouts less accurate.

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YES ! Totally agree. Even more impactful when you are a light weight person. I weigh 45k, so my watts are much lower that bigger riders. When trying to increase anaerobic capacity by a few watts I have to jump from 260 to 265, that’s too much! It’s really messed up my training. Come on Zwift, please restore previous functionality.

Why have you made it so workouts can only be done in 5 watts jumps !!! This jump is too much. Even more-so when you are a light weight rider. I weigh 45k, so my watts are much lower that bigger riders. When trying to increase anaerobic capacity by a few watts I have to jump from 260 to 265, that’s too much! It’s really messed up my training. Come on Zwift, please restore previous functionality so targets can by any watt, eg 263.
Ps (I didn’t mind that the work out listing on the left of the screen during the session used to be rounded up/down, as long as actual watts to be produced wasn’t rounded)

This is retrograde! The 5 watt increments are not accurate enough. It is equivalent to an inaccurate FTP.

Why have you made it so workouts can only be done in 5 watts jumps !!! This jump is too much. Even more-so when you are a light weight rider. I weigh 45k, so my watts are much lower that bigger riders. When trying to increase anaerobic capacity by a few watts I have to jump from 260 to 265, that’s too much! It’s really messed up my training. Come on Zwift, please restore previous functionality so targets can by any watt, eg 263.
Ps (I didn’t mind that the work out listing on the left of the screen during the session used to be rounded up/down, as long as actual watts to be produced wasn’t rounded)

One way around this is to use the FTP bias slider.
I do my workouts in ERG mode.
I’ve noticed that when I go up or down, the first push of the button usually doesn’t change the target wattage indicated in the workout, but does actually increase/decrease the resistance.
I record all workouts on my Garmin 530, and I have 3 & 30 second power as data fields.
When I move the FTP slider one spot, my 30 second power will increase/decrease accordingly, and only by a few watts. I’ll notice that the power that Zwift is showing will act accordingly as well.
If I’m targeting 190W, once I settle in ERG will have me ~188w-192w. If I move the bias 1% up, I’ll see ~190w-194w, but the goal will stay at 190w.
Usually, on the second push of the button, the target wattage changes 5w, but the corresponding power output goes up by ~2w-3w
Since you are considered to be at your goal when you are +/- 5w, these small changes don’t affect you getting stars for each workout stage.

Something to remember is that most trainers are accurate to +/- 2%, so hitting exact numbers isn’t realistic.

This is exactly what does not work anymore. The wattage in the workouts changes in 5 Watt steps. The slider manipulates your FTP setting on which the workouts are based. You can change your FTP in single Watts. But, again, the Wattage in the workouts changes in 5 Watt steps.
Take a look at 1) recordings of the workout in Strava or just hover the mouse over the workout: both show 5 Watt jumps.
The behavior you describe was changed about 1.5 month ago and this is the reason why I started this thread.
So your suggestion is not correct (any more).

This is true for absolute accuracy, so differences are present when moving from trainer A to trainer B.
Since I am using always the same, this does not apply. Relative changes between sessions on the same trainer are much smaller.

The +/- accuracy is not the same each time the trainer is used.
I double record, with my pedals going to my Garmin 530 & Kickr paired to my Garmin 935.
I’ll compare both power numbers at the end of each session & delete the 935 data.
Usually the two are very close, but if I haven’t calibrated the pedals or done a spin-down in a week or so they drift apart somewhat. When they do, sometimes the pedals report a higher power, sometimes the Kickr does. So the +/- accuracy is not linear, it varies and can move in wither direction.

Please remove the rounding function and go back to the precise power prescription! There’s really no reason for 5W steps!

I’m not actually sure why they round to 5W increments. Is there actually a reason? I know a lot of trainers are ±2% but still I don’t see any reason why they have to only move in 5W increments unless trainers don’t actually support ERG mode for smaller power changes.

The only possible reason for 5W rounding is nicer numbers on the HUD.

Technically, it’s simply silly. The trainer target IS different if 98 or 102W are requested by Zwift program, the trainer will prescribe the power within its precision capabilities.

Physiologically, it’s simply silly. Obviously, the body will react differently when putting out 98 or 102W (~4%).

I’ll disagree.

The watts sent to your trainer are still the same. The training value is the same. It just simplifies the whole experience and it’s probably good for you to stop fussing over 1 or 2 watts and focus on simply executing the session as planned.

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Wait, is that true? So if the UI is showing 260W, but the actual calculation is 256W, is the trainer actually set to 256 even though the UX is showing 260? I think what is sent to the trainer is actually in the 5W increments.

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Here’s a related thing. Do a workout with a warmup or cooldown ramp. On the Workout tab in the Companion App it’ll show you ramping up/down in 1 watt steps.

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I’m pretty confident the actual watts (as set in workout file) are still being sent to your trainer. Not sure what the easiest way to prove this is?

Well, for me, when I’m seeing the power I’m doing on a segment it centers around the 5W gaps. So if my FTP would suggest a wattage of 258W but the UI shows 260W for instance I tend to see the average of my output (the thing which shows your actual watts) center at 260W. I will test this out again on the next workout.

I thought James was spot on but wanted to check given I was a bit bored, and here’s what I have validated - what you define in your workout is what is sent to your trainer. I also agree with James that the 5 watt increment is purely cosmetic - if you use Zwift to make your workouts, its friggin difficult to get consistency with track pads for example to hit precise numbers - one of the reasons I use a 3rd party tool to create my workouts.

If you selected, say, 232 watts and 233 watts for two respective blocks, those values will be converted to a % of your defined FTP in the ZWO file (not a % rounded up or down to the nearest 5 watts). As you adjust your FTP in game (natural improvement etc), the % of your FTP remains constant but the watt target will increase. The % is defined to at least 7 decimal places. Here’s an example of 232 and 233 watt blocks defined in a Zwift created ZWO file based on my FTP:
<SteadyState Duration="300" Power="0.91515028" pace="0"/>
<SteadyState Duration="300" Power="0.9190945" pace="0"/>

And when I check my fit file or Strava’s interpretation, it confirms that I am hitting those targets, not a target rounded up/down to nearest 5 watts.

Also I’d suggest that the ONLY place where you can validate actuals is in your fit file (or Intervals/Strava which report off a fit file), not Zwift’s Activity entry as that is based on live data, not your fit file.

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Interesting. So for instance, if I do the in-box SST (Short) workout at an FTP of 290, it suggests on WhatsOnZwift Insider that the high blocks should be 278W, and the low blocks should be 257W. If I go into Zwift I think what will show in the UI is 280W, and 260W (need to confirm).

Are you saying that the actual target for the high blocks, and what I should be seeing on average in the high blocks is 278W from my power during the workout, and averaging 257W for the lower blocks on average? If so I don’t think that’s what I saw last time, but I am happy to re-check that.

Ok, so just checking a recent example. I am going to use the ZA workout 4: Depletion workout as an example because the main working block was 10 mins which should be reasonable enough to get a decent average I would think…

So, I did this at an FTP setpoint of 290, on WhatsOnZwift it says that block should average 267 for me. I don’t have a strava subscription so can’t see fancy Strava data, but intervals.icu has that 10 min block averaging 264W (even if I clip out the very start and end to negate any rampup/down) - the UI had it showing as 265W so 264W is closer to the rounded 5W value.

Edit: Also, looking at the individual data points I see almost none at 267 or more. Almost all are 264, 265, 266.
Edit 2: This is consistent for the second 10 min block.