40/50+ Training Focus: Total power or Watt/Kg?

I first got into power training with a Mavic Max (which no one knew how to use and you couldn’t manage the data), then a Computrainer in '94, then on-bike PMs from '98 to now (with w few PM-less years sprinkled in between). For most of those years, the focus was on w/kg.

When I passed 50 two years ago, I decided to do something about my upper body, and have done a lot more strength training and time on the rowing erg.

The result is total power is up, but watt/kg is down, due to carry 4 more kilos of mass from the weight I kept myself at during my 20s-40s (72kg).

At this stage, I’m ok with that. I’m more concerned with overall heath and maintaining muscle mass as I get towards 60 than with watt/kg (which peaked long ago).

I’m curious about the perspectives of other “mature” cyclists here. What is your training focus as you age, and why?


not sure if this the correct term … my focus as (53 yrs young) is more “muscular endurance” based and trying to retain around 3 w/kg avg. use static rowing and swimming for upper body, helps with CX season races i have been trying… would agree retaining muscle mass is probably best approach - am trying to use that strength where it helps the type if cycling i enjoy, rolling road rides, longer less steep switch back climbs, being able to handle headwinds, descending & basically ability to make good progress and have a flowing riding ability etc…

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I turn half a century next year and have really only been cycling for about three years of focused work. I’ve kinda come to the realization that, at best, I would be a mid-packer in my age group if I wanted to race, so I’m focused on watts because that aligns with my goals for 2019 - a few centuries that are relatively flat for my area with some hills.

Like you, I have been focusing a little more on building lean muscle mass (nothing crazy) that aligns with my goals over the past several months and I find that I feel ‘better’ overall and I know it has improved my cycling. My diet has also improved since I’ve been focused on cycling by making better choices (not buying the Swedish Fish and selecting fruits) but that’s not to say I don’t enjoy a treat now and again.

47yo here…historically always focused on w/kg as I live ina mountainous area…however recent overuse injuries highlighted some major weaknesses to address so looking to increase overall strength which will see a small gain in weight sure but hopefully a little more power or the ability to maintain my power longer…

Total power 100%.

Simply because this translates better across all disciplines and all conditions (save the steepest of climbs).

You can do a lot with a lot of power, and it’s most likely far more beneficial to your life in general than trying to drop and maintain a 10kg weight loss.

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  1. Strength training, especially closed chain type of exercises (weight bearing)

  2. High intensity type of training on the bike at least once a week.

  3. More protein in your diet.

  4. Stretching.

  5. Pay close attention to recovery.


I’m trying to focus on getting my weight down without losing too much strength. I don’t think my power is going to go up much

My focus at 50 is to limit the losses and as always enjoy the journey. Training principles have not changed other than I try and rest more and constantly watch what I eat. Pretty annoyed with the eating part. Not long ago it didn’t matter. Now the fat seems to appear easily. :rage:


At 54 I’ve always been thin. I certainly would look a little better after some gym time but that’s not fun for me so:
Stretching thru out the day. Pushups and some planks periodically.
Mid volume TR with the hope of getting to 3w/kg this year. Not quite at 2.5 now.

I’m 44, but in denial. I feel like I still belong in the 30’s forum. Anyone know the way there?? :wink:


I think that absent other factors, men’s physiology doesn’t start working against us until 50. I think 40-50 gets lumped in together because of the other factors. Kids, jobs, etc.