Zwift - Build Me Up - Training Plan on a Dumb Trainer

Anyone using a fluid trainer to do the Zwift Training Plans (Build Me Up, FTP, etc)? I’ve just started the Build Me Up plan an noticed on the first exercise it started talking about ERG mode, etc… Am I missing out by not using a smart trainer. I realize any training plan is better than none at all. Thoughts comments?

There is no reason you can’t do the workout with a “dumb trainer” (BTW, they prefer to be called “intellect-Impaired trainers”). The issue is that you have to pay a lot more attention to your watts versus the workout prescribed watts and change gears or tempo to match. I doubt that makes the workouts substantially less beneficial.,

To add to David’s comment, the area it is most likely to cause difficulties is short intervals with big jumps (e.g. 50% FTP to 200% FTP for 10 seconds as found on day 2 of the 10-12 week plan). Unless you are able to set power by feel first time, the interval will be over. Single-zone jumps and long intervals will be less problematic.

But of course, any workout is better than none, so give it a go. If, after a few attempted workouts, manual matching is beyond you, then you can start thinking about a smart trainer.


I completed the 4-week FTP Builder training plan on a dumb (not stupid) mag trainer. I missed a star here and there because of difficulty hitting big power changes in short time periods, but not being terribly aynl about that kind of thing it didn’t bother me. I still realized benefits from training.

As a side benefit to using a dumb trainer you will be more engaged in the experience because you have to pay attention to interval changes and make appropriate adjustments in gearing and cadence, which helps make the time go by faster. That was my experience, at least. ymmv.

Echoing Jamie’s comments, I’m 9 weeks into build me up using a tacx bluematic, any interval at 30 seconds or less is difficult to get a star on … almost impossible 1st time through … if a short interval repeats, as they mostly do, you stand a chance as you know exactly what you’re aiming for. I’ve “circus” to do next and I suspect the 15 second intervals will be all but impossible.