Your FTP improvements


I’m a leadville native and decided to do the 100MTB 2019. Bought a bike September 2018. Bought a trainer and TR October 31st. Ramp test said 154FTP at 86kg (1.79 watt/kg) yuck! SSB Mid1 SPB Mid1 and now just started Century plan on Tuesday. Ramp test revealed an FTP of 240 at 74kg (3.24 watt/kg). Hoping to have a 3.5 watt/kg before the race. Thanks TR and thanks for the help and support from this forum and all TR users!


Just finished the ramp test for criterium.
355 down 11

SPB kicked my butt.

9/24 208 (did wrong)
9/25 258
11/5 320
12/17 358
1/14 366
2/11 355

Ftp/kg 5.71 from 5.95 from 5.78 from 5.22 from 4.21


Dude you continue to lay down some impressive numbers. I expect short power build will sometimes decrease FTP slightly but provide a nice boost in sprint power. If I had a W/kg of 5.8 I would print that out, tape it to my ceiling, and stare at it until I fell asleep every night. Nice work!


My background was rugby and I used to weigh 110kg. Since giving up for work I quickly lost weight and got into endurance sports and did an Ironman and 5 marathons. After a foot injury curtailed my running progress I committed to cycling. I would say I am in my 2nd year of ‘proper’ cycling with the aim of moving up from Cat 4 in mainly Crit races as I think they suit my heavier build.

I tried TrainerRoad last year but gave up mid way through SSBMV2 and headed back outside. I started too late in the season and tested to high which meant I failed lots of workouts and lost motivation. If I had been on this forum then I probably would have taken some advice and been ok!

Anyway this seasons progress as follows:

Tuesday 6th November - FTP 292 / Weight 89kg
Tuesday 18th December - FTP 309 / Weight 89kg
Tuesday 29th January - FTP 326 / Weight 89kg
Currently doing Short Power Build

My basic aim is 4w/kg. I am sure my improvement will slow down. Have just started tracking food but danger is I don’t eat enough. Would love a nutritionists diet plan but just so expensive. Will see how next 6 weeks go.


So, completed another full SSB1 LV as per my plan to my A-race (Only race) in August. Ramp test this morning starting SSB2 LV.

Feb 2019 - SSB1 LV - 69kg - 236W (+4%) - 3.42 W/kg :smiley:

So, I have gone from 206W to 236W on 15 weeks of SSB work (and 1-2 gym sessions per week). :slightly_smiling_face:


176 to 210 with 8 weeks general build


I just completed SSBMV2. Unfortunately, during the last two weeks I was on vacation and ultimately became ill with the flu. I basically lost the last two hard weeks of the plan and decided to redo them while recovering. I ended up finishing the plan and topped off my week with some decent outdoor rides to end my weekly TSS at 800 on Sunday. I decided to start GBMV on Monday with no breaks and dreaded the ramp test. Thankfully, I was able to still get a slight improvement with a decent amount of fatigue in the legs.

11/28/18 - 250 - Start of SSBMV1
12/08/18 - 294 - During SSBMV1
01/01/19 - 301 - Start of SSBMV2
2/11/19 - 305 - Start of GBMV



Just finished ssbmv1 143 before 154 after. This was my into to the world of training. I had hoped that I’d pick up a little more of the low hanging fruit, but I have to say that my experience was kind of a mess. I should have done LV, which I think I could have done better. By the middle of MV, I was getting fatigued enough that I needed to dial back intensity, either by doing minus variants or by manually reducing intensity. Live and learn. I’m starting SSB2 LV today , going to stick to the plan a little better this time, and hope that allowing for more recovery will pay off. Right now, getting over 200 sounds so attractive. Some of you guys pushing 300 watts, damn, that just blows me away. I just can’t imagine how much I’d love riding a bike if I were able to hammer like that.


May 2018: 76Kg around 200W ftp (2.6W/Kg)
:biking_man: Starting to ride with my local club :biking_man:
October 2018: 65Kg - 261W (4.0W/Kg) - 20min ftp test
:biking_man: Starting a structured training :biking_man:
November 2018: 65Kg - 271W (4.2W/Kg) - 20min online race average
:biking_man: Continue structured training :biking_man:
December 2018: 65Kg - 286W (4.4W/Kg) - 20min ftp test
:biking_man: SSB Mid Volume :biking_man:
February 2019: 65Kg - 291W (4.5W/Kg) - Ramp ftp test

Pretty proud of my improvement, and I’m hoping to reach 300W ftp for the next season. I’m also thinking of doing some races


I’d wager his trainer is reading wrong.

Take a look at this article and these are the numbers from a successful neo pro who has been cycling his whole life and didn’t take it up as a hobby midlife. He was at 5.8w/kg in 2016 weighing 58kg so being a extremely favored in the power to weight department. All while pulling 800+ TSS.

With the background OP has there is an almost 0% chance these numbers are correct. Getting to almost 6w/kg takes so much more.


Did the ramp test today. Going in to week 4 of SSBHV1 after a 4 year hiatus.


310w beginning of Jan. Saturday I regressed to 297w. Today on Tuesday I managed 311w.

Couple of learnings: a. This confirms I test better during evenings after work compared to Saturday mornings. b. vacations of complete rest don’t benefit me at all even if I manage to coincide them with recovery weeks.


Today was my midpoint test in Sustained Power Build LV.

FTP up by 13 to 245. Weight down by 5lbs over the four weeks. Watt/kg up to 3.3 from 3.0.

Had been flat on FTP through sweet spot so this was a welcome confidence booster. Trying not to think of how much the new over unders are going to hurt.


Good work. You are getting stronger every day you do this. Keep it up.


Just finished my first TR block. New to structured training.

Background for better context:

Rode a lot of MTB when younger (90s, early 00s). Got older, fatter (peaked ~220 lb @ 5’9"), far too sedentary (software eng, lots of time on my ass thinking and typing). Started casually riding my mtb a little bit a couple years ago after a job change (fair number of cyclists at the new company).

At some point, converted my old M2 stumpjumper into a pedal assist ebike, started using it for commutes here and there. Commute was 15 miles each way and I wasn’t fit enough to do it in reasonable time unassisted.

Got first road bike Dec 2017 from a friend/coworker who was upgrading, figured I’d use it to get in better shape for the trails. Started riding a lot more for fitness since I didn’t need to drive to trailheads. Had some ups and downs including a messed up knee due to improper fit, and a crash that resulted in some nasty road rash that took about a month to recover from.

Anyway - In 2017 I rode 450mi, 6k ft climbing. 2018 that grew to 2100 mi, 80k ft of climbing.

Been trying to be a little more consistent in my riding for about the last 4 months, and a lot of the weight has come off over the last year from very minor dietary changes + more riding, which is cool. Started TR with the new year (wife got me a kickr for xmas).

Just finished SSB1MV and just today I started SSB2MV with the ramp test. Here are the changes over the last 6 weeks:

FTP 205w -> 230w
Watts/kg 2.34 -> 2.75
Weight 192 -> 185

Overall, pretty happy with just 6 weeks of work. Going to continue the same loose plan for SSB2, though I might cut the calories just a tad to get my down to ~175 by the end of it, so I can try to just maintain there during build phase so I can maintain closer neutral calorie balance.

I do think I under-assessed a tad during my first ramp, due to asthma flare up. Doctor put me on singular a few weeks ago which has hugely helped my breathing under exertion, so the more recent test felt a lot more balanced (read: legs were burning pretty good) instead of just running out of air. I bumped some of the workouts +1-4% over the last couple weeks, and swapped a couple endurance rides for longer ones to bump the tss a couple times too.

Realize this rate of change isn’t sustainable for too long, but digging it right now.


I have to say that I’m a little happier seeing your little improvements. I started with good gains but it slowed and now I fight for every 8W FTP increase. It may depend on the weight loss I’m aiming for simultaneously or just the low hanging fruits are picked (not more time to train, to eat better…).

So thank you. :laughing:


Four weeks ago I discovered TrainerRoad, and against the advice of some forum users I jumped straight into the MTB gravity high volume speciality plan. I knew I was “wrong” at the time, but with only 2-3 months before my race season starts I couldn’t bring myself to spend all that time doing base. Whilst I don’t doubt that doing base and build first would be better long-term, the most important thing to me (I’m lazy) is motivation. Gravity plan is what my heart wanted to do, so I granted it. I figured that doing something consistently is better than not fully committing to the better thing, which is what I feared I’d end up doing if I tried to tackle base first.

Four weeks on and I’m a huge TR convert and can’t wait until next winter where I will start my training in October and will go through a proper base/build/speciality cycle.

As it is though, here’s my FTP improvements:

Jan 2018: Got an Elite Rampa wheel-on trainer, and started using Zwift randomly, with no structure
Feb 2018: :checkered_flag: 260W :checkered_flag: 85kg 3.06w/kg (Rampa)

Started the Zwift 10wk FTP builder program. 7 weeks in…:
Mar 2018: :checkered_flag: 280W :checkered_flag: 83kg 3.37w/kg (Rampa)

It then became too warm to want to ride indoors, and I have no power meter. Didn’t even ride outside much apart from a few DH races and a week in the alps, I suck.

Started Zwifting unstructuredly again in Dec 2018, getting a Neo shortly after. I never fully trusted the Rampa, and craved consistency and power figures I could believe in to motivate me:
Dec 2018: :checkered_flag: 240W :checkered_flag: 87kg 2.76w/kg (Neo)
I put that low test partly down to lack of fitness, partly down to fatigue/ill, and partly down to the Rampa having fibbed to me previously

In Jan 2019 I “discovered” TR (I knew of it but had never entertained using it), and kicked off with a step test on Zwift, since it’s the test I’ve always performed:
Jan 2019: :checkered_flag: 260W :checkered_flag: 88kg 2.95w/kg (Neo)
I was of the opinion that this was low again, as I was tired, a bit ill, and in my opinion stopped before I had to. I suck, etc. I fibbed on TR and put my FTP down at 275W (3.12w/kg) instead of 260W.

Fast-forward 4 weeks and I’ve finished the rest week in the middle of my plan, and had a day off yesterday:
Feb 2019: :checkered_flag: 295W :checkered_flag: 84kg 3.51w/kg (Neo)

That’s more like it. I feel I’m on the right path. At 38 I don’t think I’ll ever be a 5w/kg rider, but I’ll be pretty happy if I can make it to 4. 80kg and 320W is my rough aim.

I’m a little nervous about the plan going forwards, as I already found some of the workouts pretty tough at an FTP of 275W… I’ve not skipped/failed/backpedalled once though, so hopefully I’ll be ok… wish me luck!

Downhill MTB specificity

Quick update following SSB2, started this week the sustained power build mid volume and got a new ftp of 270W, an improvement of 5.5% from 6 weeks ago. This puts me at 4.15W/Kg.
Pretty happy with the results and the experience of TR.


Did the ramp test yesterday after completed SSB2LV. 5 watt increase to 327 (measured using stages left sided power meter). Even though the increase over the 6 weeks of the plan was only tiny I’m pretty happy with it. I wasn’t expecting any real gains - I think I’d have to go up to mid volume to really push my FTP at this point.
One of my big hopes for the next phase of my training is to try and lose a little bit of weight without dropping power - I’m 83kg and short (5’7") so that shouldn’t be too massive a task with a bit of discipline.


I spent some time thinking about this and you have to be correct. There is nothing special about me, I’m old, etc. My trainer must be wrong. I’m going to try their troubleshooting and re test. If the results don’t change then I’m going to get support involved. More than anything I need to know the truth for myself. There is no reason to cheat myself, I’m the only one that loses.