5w or 1kg - which is better

Hi Guys
I’ve watched a few GCN tech videos and they’ve said the following a few times…

‘5 watts gained is better than losing 1kg in weight even on climbs’

I agree, but what is your opinion?

at least it’s a healthier approach to try and get stronger than be as lean as you can be


Fully agree with that!

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Depends on the situation, some people may be better losing 1kg or more. Others might benefit more from gaining watts and a little weight.
Im on the lean side so gaining a little weight and watts is better for me. I gained about 5# since using TrainerRoad but my ftp has grown about 50 watts with it.



I have 10kg to lose and working on it. I can do this while having no impact on any part of my life other than remembering to bring my lunch basically (ok that is a struggle). Can I gain another 50 watts? Maybe, I don’t have the home/work life that will allow that kind of commitment right now to see if that is possible… and I’d still need to lose that 10kg.

Some will benefit from focusing on the watts, some will benefit focusing on the kgs, and some will benefit focusing on both. Neither one is automatically better.


Totally, I was going well early season, and then lost about 8lb (3.5kg) from 165lb to 157lb (74.8 to 71.2 kg) by a change in diet. wish I’d put more effort into keeping the weight, “improve your climbing by losing weight” has not worked for me, but like you say, depends on your starting point …

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I started cycling at 105kg a few years ago… I got down to 70 but went back up to 75 and feel really strong… although because I gave up on structure my ftp really hasn’t moved but now with TR I feel I’m getting stronger again but don’t feel I can drop the weight


As others have said, it depends. Are you shaped like the GCN guys or like Eddy Merckx?

It’s not really advice for me. Just more for general conversation.

I’m just about average.

I meant “you” as in the person making the decision, not you specifically


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Often you get both if training and eating sensibly.

You can find various sites on the internet where you can model these parameters. Weight depends on the grade of the climb.

If you watch the Tour de France, you see bigger guys go up 3-4-5% climbs pretty easily. When it turns up to 24% like it did the other day, the climbers can make big gaps on the larger riders.

I dont know if anyone has said it, but I guess it depends on if you are over 5w/kg or not. If youre under, 5 watts is better. If youre over, 1 kg is better.


I totally disagree. If you weigh 250, you’re far better off losing the weight than gaining 5w.


250 lbs is 113.4 KG.

assuming a 300 watt FTP, thats 2.645w/kg

+5 watts is 305 FTP. 2.689 w/kg

-1kg is 112.4 kg or 2.669 w/kg

2.689>2.669 therefore, while you may disagree all you want, you are incorrect.

edit: I’ll edit to say that personally I would try to lose more weight if I weighed 250 lbs, so I agree that weight loss should be a priority for said individual, BUT, the math states 5 watts is better.


Do it again with an FTP of 225.

Doesn’t any calculation depend on the gradient of the course? On a flat course, +5 watts will be better. At a certain gradient, 1kg less weight will be better.

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I allow myself one math problem a day, so this one is on you.

That said, if I am correct, it should hold true (i believe??) for everything under 5w/kg

Math has never been my strong suit

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Damn you. I did it again.

225 FTP =1.984 w/kg
230 FTP = 2.028 w/kg
112.4 kg = 2.001 w/kg

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