Wednesday Windtrainer Workout: Neal Henderson’s “Ladder of Death” - Coach Ray

Coach Ray

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Wednesday Windtrainer Workout: Neal Henderson’s “Ladder of Death”

This session comes with a warning …… not to do it too often. Only a few times a year, once in the final couple of weeks as you build up to a key event. It covers a range of intensities and is great for 70.3 triathletes, road cyclists and XC mountain bikers.

Each Wednesday I’ll post a Wind Trainer session that you can do in about 60 minutes to enhance your cycling. See a previous post about training intensity (Levels) to know how hard to work. If you are working directly with Coach Ray he will in most cases prescribe either a Power Zone or Heart Rate Zone to work within if you are training with these tools. This weeks session is a bit longer.

The inspiration for this session comes from an article on the Wattie Ink website about Indoor Bike Workouts. You can read the article here. This session was used to success by Joe Gambles but credit for the session belongs to his coach Neal Henderson of Apex Coaching and The Sufferfest.

Neal Henderson’s “Ladder of Death”

  • 10min WU Level II;
  • 2x
    • 10min Level III, 2min Level II RI;
    • 8min Level IV, 2min Level II RI;
    • 6min Level IV, 2min Level II RI;
    • 4min Level V, 2min Level II RI;
    • 2min Level V, 10min Level II RI;
  • 10min CD Level II;
  • 10min Stretching

Start the workout with a ten minute Warm Up (WU) riding at Level II. Keep your cadence above 90Rpm for the warm up.

The main set is done twice. Start with ten minutes riding at Level III, before a two minute Rest Interval (RI) riding at Level II. Increase your effort to Level IV for eight minutes, then ride at Level II for a two minute Rest Interval (RI). Another six minutes at Level IV follows before a two minute Rest Interval (RI) at Level II. Increase your intensity to Level V for four minutes before another two minute Rest Interval (RI) at Level II. Finally a two minute rep at Level V. Take a ten minute Rest Interval (RI) at Level II before completing the descending ladder again.

Conclude the workout with ten minutes riding at Level II for your Cool Down (CD).

Finish with ten minutes stretching to assist with your recovery.

If you would like further advice feel free to contact me.

I am the Head Coach & Director of Qwik Kiwi – Endurance Sports Consultant.

I specialise in assisting first timers and recreational athletes to achieve their sporting goals. I can be contacted at and 021 348 729. Make sure you sign up to my informative newsletter.

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If you enjoyed this workout, here is a similar session I published previously.

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Ray has competed in triathlons from sprint to ironman distance (both IM Taupo and Challenge Wanaka). Consequently he is aware of the importance of balancing training with lifestyle, thus complimenting other important aspects of an athlete’s life (family, work, study commitments etc…). • Entering your first triathlon? • Stepping up to a longer distance? • Looking to go faster? • Wanting to turn previous negatives into positives? Ray has coached athletes to achieve these and more. Training programmes are accessible online, so athletes can be located anywhere and still reap the benefits of Ray’s coaching. Contact him to discuss how he can assist you to achieve your goals.
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