Your FTP improvements


Started last season.

Started with Low Vol 1 / 2 sweetspot with 245w
and then short power build with 258w moving on to rolling road race, with 273w - then come summer, i didnt ride any structured TR plan, but just some intervals couple a times a week outside, with a longer ride on weekends. Today my FTP is 290w on the trainer.

outside is another story though - where my ftp approximately is about 320


I’ve just jumped up to 180 from 155. It’s a big jump!


I know what you mean about the segments. After completing a couple of plan, I was shaving buckets of time off my previous attempts. Managed to get second fastest time this year on a segment that I struggled on first time around.


The more I read on this forum, the more I’m convinced that I’m doing something very, very wrong!

Started with TrainerRoad last November. Selected the Sweet Spot Base Phase (Low Volume) as my jumping off point as I’d never done any structured training.

Took the 2x8 minute FTP test. Came out with 275 FTP. Sounded like a good number so I cracked on. Please keep in mind that up until this point, I had no interest in what I would call the ‘science’ of cycling or sports fitness in general.

Did the six weeks, felt good, like I’d achieved something. Took the same 2x8 minute FTP test. 325! I knew that wasn’t right but, in for a penny, in for a pound, so they say. I trained for two weeks at that level but I’d often have to drop the intensity by 5-7% on the harder hour sessions.

Raced my first full road season this year (I’m 41) and I moved up two Cats so that was pleasing.

Just started to introduce TrainerRoad back into my riding as the weather and light changes but I already know that I’m nowhere near where I was in terms of FTP testing back in February of this year.


At first I have to say that Im really happy that you all are in a normal range of FTP. While listening to the podcast you can get the impression that a 200 ish FTP is the low end.

I started with an old Elite mag trainger from 245 in 2015. Topped out at 371 in 2018. All virtual power.

Changed to a Tacx Flux and dropped down to 242. :frowning: Now I’m at 287 FTP. Hope for big improvements by dropping some fat (!) and gaining some Watts. :slight_smile:



I weight 62kg. I started at 226W when I joined trainer road. I had already done over a year of structured indoor training. Then:

  • Sustained power build: 226W -> 236W (20 minutes test)
  • Sweet spot base: 236 -> 248W (taking only one 8 minute effort)
    Took some time off due to overreaching.
  • Traditional base I: 230W -> 233W (ramp test)
  • Traditional base II: 233W -> 243W (ramp test)
  • Traditional base II: 243W -> 247W (ramp test)
  • Sustained power build: 247W-> 257W (ramp test)
  • Century: 257W -> 266W

Slow but steady increases.




This time last year, after my first season crit racing, I tested ftp with the 8 minute test at 220W with zero structured training prior. I believe I had poor pacing since a month or so later I tested at 240W on the 8 minute test.

At the start of 2018 I tested around 245 on the Ramp Test X (beta version). Started SSB 1 and 2 then retested for General Build at 260W.

The weather started to turn so I tried to mimic some workouts outdoors for General Build and by May I retested the Ramp Test at 270W.

Race season was in full swing so a weekly crit and trying to mimic Rolling Road Race workouts outdoors were the extent of my structure. My peak race I held 280W NP for the first hour of the race (up a mountain). Hardest I’ve ever dug in my life. I assumed my ftp was now at 280W by the end of July.

Now it seems to have backed off to 260W after a crash in my last crit race and some time off. I’m hoping to start SSB low volume for the remainder of the year and start 2019 with another round of SSB mid volume, then move to Short Power Build and then Crit Specialty. My goals are to reach 300W FTP (4.25 W/kg) with a 1400W sprint.


I started last winter at 300W (3.6 W/kg). I managed to get up to 320W by mid August (4.3W/kg). Injury has meant that I’ve had to take some time off the bike. Kept some fitness with running, and now starting the winter back at 300W again, but at 4.1W/kg. With the races I’ll be targeting next season it’s the W/kg figure that’s more important to me.


Havent been able to train the way I wanted this year as I have a small person living in my house now but here is what I have done this year:
Start of year: 183
End of May: 217
End of June: 218
Yesterday: 233


Looking back, when I made most of my workouts in the low volume plan (I crosstrain swim and run roughly same TSS as bike each week) I gained between 3 and 4%.

First Base/Build/Specialty ~245 in October to 285 in May
SSBII 245-255
SSBII 255-265
SSBII 265-277
Short Power Build 277-285 race weight of 158 lbs

Gained 5 lbs during Sep/October and fell off the train… 6 week TSS average fell to low of 71 last October.

Last winter, I was dieting to really help with running pace, and noticed that I had at least 2 weeks each block that I was significantly below target TSS, and only gained 1-2% each cycle. However since I lost weight, I still gained W/kg and am still making prs on strava segments, and power PRs since I have gotten a lot better in my short power.

Last winter didn’t test before doing SSBI, but at end of that was 274 @ 163 lbs (73.9 kg)
SSBII 274 - 283
SSBII 283 - 287
Midpoint test in Short power build was still 287 so did not test at beginning of XCO specialty race weight of 153 lbs. (69.4 kg)

All tests during this period are 8 min test


Just did the ramp test after Sweet Spot Base I (High volume). I find it hard to believe but i got from 235W to 256W. That’s an increase of nearly 9%. We’ll see how SSB II goes, I think I’ll need to reduce my ftp a little.


I had a long layoff (8 months) went from 225 to 155 (ouch!)
Did Half Distance Triathlon Base (8 weeks) and went from 155 to 190.
Did Half Distance Triathlon Build (8 weeks) and went from 190 to 207.
Did Sweet Spot Base I (6 weeks) and went from 207 to 220.
Currently doing Half Distance Triathlon Base and going from 220 to…

Moral of the story is don’t take 8 months off!!!


I started using TR in Jan 2018, prior to this I was mountain biking maybe once a week and in the gym 2-3 times a week. Swapped that out for Low volume gravity plan and gym dropped to once a week. Life and a small child (nearly 2 now) gets in the way so I reckon I currently average MTB once a week, TR 1-2 times a week and gym every other week. However, I still get good gains compared to where I was! FYI I am approx 5’8" 69kg.

Jan 2018 - 146 (First ever test, went horribly)
Mar 2018 - after SSB1 - 171 (+15%)
May 2018 - after SSB2 - 182 (+6%)
June 2018 - after Short Power Build 1/2 - 187 (+3%)
Aug 2018 - after Short Power Build 2/2 - 210 (+11%)

Currently finding life very busy and Gravity Specialty Phase seems really hard but I’m not spending quite as much time on the bike(s) as before.

Going to just work through the plan as and when I have time and then start it all over again and repeat. I have no real goals or races etc. Just want to be faster and fitter than before.


I started at 230 in Dec 2017 on the 8 minute test, which at the time was just under 3W/kg. Mid volume SSB 1 and 2, then started into a build but at the time was changing jobs and going through a lot of stress. I got 240, then started dropping due to inconsistent training and lack of ability to complete a 20 minute test for pacing. When I managed to stick to a plan over May and into June I jumped to 256 via the ramp test (just under 3.4W/kg). I have since dropped back to 233, again due to lack of consistency. I started a new SSB1 today in hopes that I don’t get a major derailment again. I have two one week holidays with the scope of SSB 1 and 2, during the second I may have a spin bike with power. If I can maintain some structure and my weight trajectory I’m confident I can get very close to 4W/kg by the end of this year… but then again, Murphy is an asshole and I’m sure he and his damned law will have an opinion on that as well.


Just finished ssb1 low vol and had rise from 275 to…278. Bit disappointed but not unexpected on low volume (as already been riding a while so unlikely get big jumps) and did manage to also lose 5lb of weight. Onward and upward!


Shouldn’t be that hard to believe. You just did 5 weeks of high volume SS training! What did you expect was going to happen? On the flip side, I doubt a 450 watt pro would jump up to 490w after doing the same program. Enjoy your new power after all your hard work. :+1:


considering you lost almost 1 lb a week, any gain should be seen as a success.


I hadn’t done any structure before starting TR last autumn.
Started at 171W (virtual power)
SSB1 (LV) got me to 191W
SSB2 (LV) got me to 207W
I re-tested with my (new) P1s and was 222W
Sustained Power Build got me to 234W and then 256W
40K TT speciality for 4 weeks dropped me down to 248W
General Build (with some outdoor TTs and TTTs) took me up to 261W

Then I tore ligaments in my foot, and I had a full month of no cycling at all. :frowning: I started SSB1 again from 240W a couple of weeks ago - hopefully I get a similar boost and I’m close to 300W by next summer.


I just tested today. For reference I am 183cm (6ft and a bit)
August 2016 - started cycling
June 2017 - around 285w/67kg = 4.25 w/kg (all-time high)
Then very little training from December to March, maybe two hours a week 76. Was focused on gym working and building upper body strength. Ate a ton more. Peaked at 75.5kg at the end of April, an 8.5 kilo gain (50/50 fat and muscle). Did more rides in April. Started a plan on Sufferfest in May and ‘cutting’.
May 2018 - 260w at 74kg = 3.4 w/kg
Switched to TrainerRoad after completion of plan and ‘A’ event
Aug 2018 - 285w at 72.5kg = 3.93w/kg
Oct 2018 - 296w at 71kg = 4.17w/kg

This is off the back of a 650tss week abroad so maybe I could’ve done a bit more with rest. It is possible to gain watts and lose weight if you have a bit of chub. I’m pleased with this progress and glad I took those months off to do more strength training. Having a bit more muscle up top (definitely no body builder), as well as a lot more core strenght, and the ability to do pull-ups(!) is pretty cool and very beneficial to my cycling.

Goal now is 4.5w/kilo. Very long term goal is 5 but I think that’s years off. Hope to reach 4.5 by Summer 2019.


I’ve been stuck in a rut for about a year now, but never used structured training before so I’m hoping for a winter surge this year. Here’s how I’ve progressed

  • Jan 2017 - FTP 216
    -----After about 4 years of ‘riding bikes’ during warm weather, I got a Kickr and a subscription to Zwift and took my FTP test that day after not being on the bike for a month

  • February 2017 – FTP 232
    ----- After a month of solid winter commuting and supplementing Zwift rides

  • March 2017 – FTP 243
    -----Still headed in the right direction

  • April 2017 – FTP 263

  • July 2017 – FTP 267
    ---- After 3 solid months of training (unstructured) for my first ever “A” event – which consisted of commuting daily, hard weekend rides (no power meter for either) and the occasional indoor Zwift workout, I saw a HUGE breakthrough . . . but you can also see the plateau has formed.

  • June 2018 – FTP 264
    ---- After training for my “A” event for the second year in a row, you can see that the commuting/hard weekend riding/occasional Zwift session has left me largely stagnant. Good news: I lost 20lbs., so am much faster. Bad news - power has been flat for the last 12 months.

  • August 2018 – FTP 271
    ---- After a hard training and racing block in July (no power meter, unstructured)…and inspired by my new favorite podcast…I sign up for a TrainerRoad account and take a ramp test. It looks like I began emerging from my year long funk/plateau, albeit barely. I also have a power meter for outside rides, which has been eye-opening.

After a little recovery, I am now in the midst of a ‘short power build’ program that I am using to try and sharpen myself for a late-season “B” race at the end of October, and I’m FTP testing again in a few weeks.

For me, I really want to achieve an FTP of 300 and/or a W/kg of 4.0 (which would be and FTP of 310-320 depending on my weight). I feel this level would enable me to stay at the pointy end of any race I’m in until at least the final selection, and maybe even be able to win a minor race someday . . . even if it’s a Cat5 crit. I’d just like to cross the finish line first one time in my life on a bike :slight_smile:

Given my age (44) and this year long plateau I’ve found myself on, I’m hoping that following a structured training plan until my “A” event again next August will be the secret sauce to hitting these power targets, because I’m getting skeptical that getting another 30-50 watts higher is possible for me at this point. We’ll see!

I’d love any tips or feedback.

Good luck to all of you and see you out there!