3w/kg to 4w/kg expectations

On the podcast there is a lot of conversation on focusing on basics until you get above 4.0 w/kg. What’s the best way to get from 3.0 to 4.0 w/kg? I’m doing sweet spot base ½ followed by general build then rolling road race, debating on which volume to do.

I’m 6’6” and 200lbs about 17% body fat working thatbdown with a goal of 190 (or 12%).

What should I do and how long will it take to get to 4w/kg?

Dropping to 190 at current power puts you at 3.16W/kg. You need to go from 273W ftp to 346W.

IF (big if) you could bump 6% every phase, it would take 4 cycles. Let’s say you repeated SSB2 four times (not suggesting that), it would take 4 cycles * 6 weeks = 24 weeks or almost 6 months.

Hey Mike!

There is really no way to say how long it will take to get to 4.0 watts/kg since everyone is different. Your rate of improvement is dependent on many factors, including genetics, build, available recovery time, quality and consistency of training, etc.

Many of these factors are outside of your control, which is what makes Outcome-Related goals a bit tough to manage. When trying to improve, it is good to make Process-Oriented sub-goals that will help you work your way towards your Outcome-Related goal. Essentially, these goals should encompass all of the factors within your power. For example:

Make a goal to

  1. Stay unwaveringly consistent in your training. Barring sickness, try to choose a plan and stick to it. This will be the biggest contributor to your success.
  2. Focus on good nutrition. Eat whole, nutrient-rich foods whenever you can. Avoid “junk food” and highly processed foods. By optimizing your nutrition, you can improve the “kg” part of the equation.
  3. Be sure to get adequate rest and recovery. This is just as important as the hours spent on the bike.
  4. Add any other sub-goal that you think will be a contributor to your success

Write these goals down so that they are solidified and real in your mind.

By doing this, you focus on the steps you need to take to get to where you want to go. You focus on the variables in your control. You become in control of your own self-defined success. These variables, combined with variables outside of your control (like age, genetics, etc) will determine how quickly you improve and see progress.

As for what volume you should do, that depends on how much time you have available to train and recover. The Mid-Volume plan is fairly attainable for most athletes, however, this will depend on their lifestyle. In order for training to have a positive effect, you need to take time to recover. If you are constantly on the go and fitting in your rides in the only spare hour of your day, then you may not be able to handle Mid-volume. On the other hand, if you have some leisure/ relaxation time in your say, then Mid-Volume could work well.

It is very important to listen to your body as you work through the plan and take the necessary actions in response to those signals. If you feel under-worked, maybe you need to bump up in Volume. If you are feeling overworked and fatigued, then maybe you need to bump it down. Remember that selecting a plan that is too much for you to manage it is not going to benefit you in the long run.

I hope this helps!


Thanks! This is how I was trying to look at it, simple math to give me a rough order of magnitude! Now I have no idea if 6% is reasonable or not but thanks again!

Thanks, I all of this makes sense and is the “right” way to go about it but I wanted to get some kind of idea in my head, just like weight loss…it’s hard to really predict how things are going to go but you can estimate 3500 cal in a lb of fat and at a 500 cal deficit a day you will loose a lb a week…just trying to get that kind of estimate

I’d start by asking yourself the question why you want to get to 4W/kg? What are your goals other than a figure. There’s always a fine balance to strike. Sometimes it’s hard to maintain a decent calorie deficit whilst training hard. Important to focus on recovery and listen to what your body is telling you.


@Mikeferguson1980 It’s possible, Nate went from 275 to 345 from October to February:

Mind you it’s easier to go back to an FTP number which you have previously been at, than going up to an all time high… So I wouldn’t compare to other people.


Bear in mind not everything is within your power to control - the training will take you where it takes you. So, if you’re consistent but don’t get the 6% don’t beat yourself up, it’s not that transactional.

If you’ve been through the TR training cycles before, or you’re already training a lot, I wouldn’t expect big gains, quickly. I’ve crept up to 3W/kg over a few years, and usually see a dip in winter, but by summer I’m up 10W on the previous year, and down a few kilos…and I’m tracking well for 3.5W/kg in summer of 2019.

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Lots of similar quotes in this thread - but this is a major point.

Don’t focus on a specific number, particularly when you are new to training. You have no idea what your limitations are or when you’ll start to push up against them. It might be incredibly easy for you to get to 4 w/kg or it might be nearly impossible


275 to 345 is blowing my mind. @Nate please can we get more details. Which plan, how many outdoor rides etc… Many thanks!

I think he was on the high volume sweetspot base plan; eating sweet potatoes, beans and green leaves for lunch :wink: I put that in because he did mention it a lot in the podcasts!

His season didn’t go to plan though. Not sure where his ftp ended up after Feb, but I think he wanted to peak later in the year and peaked in Feb after that heavy load of winter training.

They say that the high volume plan is super hard, but you will see pretty large gains if you can cope with the workload.

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There’s info in the reddit link.

Then you can find and own his actual rides on TR and Strava to see the workouts and rides.

Its not highly prescriptive, but does tell the story of progressions with:

  • increasing sweet spot intervals from 10 minutes to 30 minutes
  • retest ftp
  • repeat until no more gains in ftp

If you want something prescriptive, TR recommends repeating base/build: