Your FTP improvements


I started riding the last two weeks in August 2018 in zwift and it auto set my first ftp to 147W and I was 170lbs. After some free riding I started the 4wk ftp builder in zwift. I ended up not doing the final ftp test in there, but instead jumped right into a trainer road ramp test and got 230W @156lbs. That was about 10 weeks from couch to back in better riding shape than I have ever been in. I’m now halfway through the mid-volume general build plan in TR and just did the half way point ramp test and went up to 238W @155lbs.

Pretty happy with the results so far (and the weight loss!), but I really want to get much stronger on the bike, hoping I will be able to do that!


Hi there

I am in curious about FTP improvements from people who specifically had almost 0 fitness coming into structured training (TR)


Well my previous post details my improvements from an off the couch fitness level.

I was in a completely detrained state when I started this year. For what it’s worth, I was previously in good shape when I ended my running career about 7 years ago. My PR’s were on the order of low 4:40s mile, 10:20 3200m, and barely sub 17:00 5k. After I stopped running I pretty much did nothing beyond an occasional summer bike ride until February this year.


I had zero fitness and zero biking experience. All of that lead to a measly 120W FTP at 77 kg after my first ramp test (I’m a guy!). So truly starting from scratch. I just finished SSB Lo 1 and it increased to 133 W. As I settle into SSB Lo 2 I am hoping for similar returns.

I’m over weight and unfit and this is the start of the journey.


I’ve been a TR user for about a year (started with FTP of 220W) but have never really finished a full plan. Balancing family and work life has really been tough however I just read the book ‘Endure’ by Alex Hutchinson and applied some of the principles to my latest ramp test and…wowsers!

I’ve gone from 248 (Sept) to 296W FTP. I have just come from 3 weeks off due to sickness (only casually riding).

Looking forward to the future :slight_smile:


Well done, you’ve done the hardest bit - to get started. You’re doing great, keep it up and good luck with it!


That’s my story too. I am now at the dizzying height of 147W FTP, but at least the only way is up :sunglasses:


@DraconianTaco and @Psychopasta, well done to both of you. Lots of us get hung up on absolute FTP and W/KG, but % improvement in both is equally, if not more important as you start out on the journey. @Smithy, that’s an impressive % increase of >19%…wow.


don’t beat yourself up when viewing all these other posters FTP. We are about the same weight (79KG), my recent RAMP is 201 Watts all on the aero bar position, last spring 207 watts, but I’m probably older than you (57). Based on last winters 207, I’m targeting just a reasonable growth for the this first full year using TR maybe 220 to 230 on the trainer would be a very successful year for me.

The most important thing is your steady progress and enjoyment of these workouts. I now look very forward to the weeks workouts. Now doing SSB II - mid volume. Mon 1 hr sweet spot, Tues 1 hour easy & high Cad spin, Wed 1 hr sweet spot, Fri 1.5 hr over and unders (most challenging). It is the 5th and last WO of the week that is mentally tough, but I mostly get off the aero bars for this one and treat it as a hill climbing session.

I guess the point is to have an FTP where you know you can complete all the weeks workouts. If you find the later and harder workouts are easily completed, then just nudge your FTP up 1 or 2 points at the start of the next week. Consistency is very important so don’t get sick!

As a Long time swimmer (used to interval training) and masters swim coach - this is all about “health and Wellness” I hate cliches but it is true. Your physical and mental health and wellness.


Thanks! I really enjoy reading about strong athletes and what they do, but I’m a getting-into-fitness guy and sometimes feel from another species :sunglasses:


10 weeks of traditional base with a few VO2max workouts, and FTP down 4 watts. Lost 2 kg of body fat along the way. Now 220w at 67kg. My high end power is nonexistent. I am telling myself that it’s that and sore throat this morning. Starting FIM base low volume to complement running marathon training.


4 weeks ago the ramp test gave my FTP as 237.

I’ve used that value for 4 weeks of low intensity Traditional Base LV I plus a bit of extra TSS outside for commuting.

Today’s ramp test gives me an FTP of 248 so pretty happy with that bump. I also felt like there was more untapped potential in my legs I couldn’t quite access so we’ll see what the next training block brings.


I am interested in how you decide that 70Kg is a good weight. I am the same weight and height and if I lost 22 lbs or 10g I might be light but I would be too skinny for normal life. Instead I am targeting 12st 5lb - a 5lb reduction as that was where I was about 2 years ago. 12 years ago I was at about 66kg but was running every day. I would not wish to be that low again.


Not sure of their specific formula but I am the same height and used a resource from this thread which gave me an ideal race weight between 67-70kg.

At 89kg now that is some serious weight loss and a very very low body fat % (I’m aiming to get down to <80kg at the moment) but it lines up with Geraint Thomas’ composition at this year’s TdF so is definitely at the extreme end of things.


I am interested in how you decide that 70Kg is a good weight

Good question! Healthy range for this height according to general BMI guidelines would be 62 kg - 84 kg.
I’m aware of the fact that for some groups (the most extreme being tall men with high muscle volume) BMI may not be the best indication of a healthy weight. I’m coming from the other direction as you, having lost weight from ~110 kg all the way down to 76 kg a couple of years ago. Even at 76 kg I was still showing visible fat and my bf% measurements were still very much in the double digits. My body composition has improved since then, having roughly the same bf% now at 80 kgs, but still…

According to various sources, Ideal cycling racing weight is estimated around BMI 19.5 (~66 kg for us), with Froome etc. racing at that weight. Matt Fitzgerald’s racing weight calculator says to aim for 71.7 kgs, which may be a somewhat more realistic goal.

So a general goal weight “closer to 70 kg” (meaning I would also settle for 73) like I described above does not seem too outlandish to me?
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this.


I looked at the calculator linked from the other thread - if I followed their recommended weight I’d be into negative body fat :slight_smile:

Matt Fitzgerald’s estimate is much closer to reality and aligns with my goal weight at the end of this winter’s base period.


I’ve been tracking my FTP and power profile against body mass, BF and muscle mass on a spreadsheet that goes back to 2016 when i started with trainerroad.

Weight has stayed relatively steady 69-72kg’s but have reacted well to Trainerroad.
The year denotes the year base training started and the metric is w/kg.

2016 2017 2018
SS Base 1 Wk1 3.07 3.27 3.93
SS Base 2 Wk1 3.81 3.76 4.12
Gen Build wk1 3.95 4.01 TBC
Rolling Race wk1 4.31 TBC

The only downside is that I have very few races I can do in the UK that play to my current strengths (30min climbs), so i’m working on being less of a climber.

Edited in order to include a ramp test from earlier today


@bennettkaru Great improvements ! Are those values at the start of the plan or the end ?


Finished SSB2 MV on Sunday with an FTP of 251 (3.06 w/kg). Ramp test this morning gave an FTP of 263 (3.21 w/kg). I was hoping for a bit more, in the 270+ range but I’m still happy. I started SSB MV 12 weeks ago with an FTP of 219 so I’ve got a 20% increase in power for 12 weeks of training. I’ve missed 4 or 5 rides all ng the way and only done a couple of outdoor rides. I did do a MTB ride on Sunday I certainly noticed the power increase going uphill, I also fell off and the muscle soreness must of robbed me of a few watts this morning😎. The challenge now is the Christmas holidays down here in the Southern Hemisphere. I’m going away for 10 days without a bike, then have 9 weeks until my A-race. I doubt I’ll exercise too much while away so the ramp test for the start of general build on 1 Jan 19 will be interesting.


Thanks man. The figures are from the start of the plan