Find Your Phenotype.
Learn About Your Strengths.

Find Your Phenotype

The Baseline Ride and the FInish Line Ride will help you determine how much you’ve progressed throughout Zwift Academy—but that’s not all! These rides will also help you uncover your strengths as a cyclist.

Give it your all during the Baseline Ride. We will analyze data from the ride and let you know about your strengths. Just keep an eye out for that email.

Same goes for the Finish Line Ride. We’ll identify your phenotype and share customized workouts and training plan recommendations, so you can keep improving. 

Both rides will include the same three segments. 

What’s a Phenotype?

We’re glad you asked! Phenotypes are the various cyclist power profiles—for example sprinters and time trialists. Your phenotype will reflect whether you’re most naturally suited for explosive power bursts, intense anaerobic efforts, or holding high power for a long time.

Why 3 Segments?

Because they correspond to the three main energy systems in the body.With this data, you can better understand what’s “under the hood,” as well as figure out where your strengths and limits are. Using this info, we can provide better workout and training plan recommendations.

If we can get nerdy for a moment, the body's energy currency is called adenosine triphosphate, or ATP for short. Each energy system produces ATP at varying rates and for different durations. Each energy system will be more or less dominant, depending upon the length, and intensity, of an effort. Let's take a look at them more in-depth.

  • Phosphagen System: The Phosphagen System, or adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and phosphocreatine (PC) system, or ATP-PC system is significant because it creates the highest amount of ATP, for the least amount of time. It lasts for between 1 and 20 seconds.
  • Anaerobic System: The Anaerobic System, or Glycolytic System features moderate ATP turnover for medium duration efforts between 20 and 120 seconds.
  • Aerobic System: The Aerobic System, or Oxidative System, has the lowest rate of ATP turnover but can also be maintained virtually indefinitely.

Remember, all of these energy systems work together to meet the body's energy demands.

Interpreting Your Results

Hopefully, you’re still with us here — let’s get to the exciting stuff! The big thing you’ll notice in your post-Baseline email is what phenotype you are. We are using three phenotype categories for this year which include:


Developing explosive power is not only needed for those wishing to be pure sprinters. It’s critical for everyone who wants to improve their general fitness. Sprint training adaptations increase neuromuscular power, which taps phosphocreatine, the most rapidly available energy source found within the body. 

By enhancing your sprint, you will develop a higher peak power for short durations and reduce overall fatigue generated from small explosive accelerations that happen during a group ride or race.

The short segment of the Baseline and Finish Line events provided insight into your phosphocreatine energy system as you pushed it on the sprint sections! You fit the Sprinter phenotype if you are strongest here, relative to the other segments.ts.


Most of the energy needed for short, intense efforts comes from the anaerobic energy system, the oxygen-less system you tap into for high bursts of power. 

You’ll use this system when attacking a climb, accelerating to jump on a fast-moving group of riders, or tackling hard technical sections on your MTB. 

Building your ability to generate high-powered efforts enhances your peak powers and improves your readiness to repeat similar efforts during a workout or race.

The medium segment of the Baseline and Finish Line events provided insight into your anaerobic energy system as you crushed it up the Legends and Lava KOM! If you are strongest here, relative to the other segments, you fit the Pursuiter phenotype.

Time Trialist

On a basic level, the aerobic energy system is the predominant system we use when we cycle or exercise. This system generates energy by using fats and carbohydrates in the presence of oxygen and helps us go for long durations. 

Developing your aerobic energy system is essential if you want to improve on longer climbs, perform well in a Time Trial, or build your ability to push the pace in a fast group ride.

The long segment of the Baseline and Finish Line events provided insight into your aerobic energy system as you flew up the Volcano KOM! If you are strongest here, relative to the other segments, you fit the Time Trialist phenotype.

Applying Your Results

Now that you have a basic understanding of how and why we tested your segment performance, what energy systems are involved, and your resulting phenotype, you can improve your strengths further or work on your limits.

  • Strength: Sprinters are great at, you guessed it, sprinting! To further improve this strength, focus on short and sharp intervals, do some off-bike strength training, and work on your technique.
  • Limiters: The long game is where sprinters tend to fade quickly. To work on that limiter, focus on longer rides at easy intensity (e.g. zone 2), and more focused work near your FTP, like sweet spot training, to lift your staying power!
  • Strength: Pursuiters can absolutely hammer it for medium durations and tend to possess a naturally high VO2 max. The origin of the name “Pursuiter”? The event on the track is called the pursuit. VO2 max training is your focus as a pursuiter if you want to continue to wreak havoc for around 5 minutes.
  • Limiter: Short, sharp as well as long, and steady tend to be the kryptonite for the pursuiter. So, focusing on a combination of sprint-focused and FTP-focused work will prove worthwhile if you’re looking to become more well-rounded.
Time Trialist
  • Strength: As the name suggests, time trialists can keep the power up for a long time without fatigue. To further this ability, long easy rides and FTP-focused work are a must.
  • Limiter: The sprint is every time trialist’s nemesis. To lift your sprinting ability, focus on short and sharp intervals, do some off-bike strength training, and work on your sprint technique.

Go Further 

We hope you will learn a little more about yourself with this year’s Academy, glean some insight into what you excel at and what could be improved, and more importantly, understand what to focus on depending on the results you want to achieve! Knowledge is power and feeling empowered is key to success when it comes to becoming the athlete you want to be.