Accepting AI FTP estimate or maintaining current and increasing PLs?

After completing several custom training plans in the AT and AI FTP environment and now using TrainNow to select my workouts, I am wondering what the trade off is between accepting lets say, a higher, AI FTP estimates every 28 days, and then having PL’s reset to the lower end, or keeping the current FTP and working through to the high PLs across the systems you are targeting? By the time a new estimate is available, I find that I have only really got to around the mid to high 2’s in the PLs.

Is there any benefits in the structure of the harder PL’s that are not experienced at the lower PL’s? I under stand that the amount of work basically evens out, but its the difference in the nature of that work (the workout structure) between lower and higher level PLs that I’m not sure of.


Unless you are training 100% indooors, I don’t think PL are a relevant trianing metric at this point.

Once they incorporate outdoor, unstructured and Zwift rides, then you can reevaluate…but for now, I’d 100% go with adjusting my FTP.


There’s been a few previous threads on it @rogervanhilst you might find an answer in them.


I rejected my AI detection FTP increase yesterday after starting SSB1 again following a base build cycle.
Didn’t feel like it and want to experiment with longer intervals by increasing my PL a bit further in the next 28 days.

No idea how much I will miss out on potential performance gains


Progressing through the levels seems more worthwhile for most outdoor/race scenarios than frequent small adjustments to FTP – assuming those adjustments knock your PLs down and you then follow lower-level workouts.

If I want to be able to ride long climbs hard, or do a 40k TT, I’d much rather stick to say 285w and do level 6-7 threshold workouts like 3x20s, 5x10s @ 100+%, near-constant 40mins, etc. than add a few watts consistently but do level 2 workouts like 4x9s with huge rests and the like. My sense is, for most of the energy systems, the higher-level workouts are more useful prep for most events. (Of course, this also depends on event timing, stage of the reason, goals, etc.)

Then again, if small increases don’t knock PLs down too much, then why not? Same if you’re truly due for an increase and with your new FTP can get right back to the workouts that prep you best.


If you’ve only got to around level 2s on the PLs I’m really surprised you’re getting a higher AI FTP. Unless maybe you’re doing a lot of hard non-TR rides (e.g. Zwift races) and AI FTP is working off those rides? Or possibly have some power meter discrepancies between different bikes which is throwing TR off? My experience has been that you need at least one of Sweetspot, Threshold or VO2 zones to be at a fairly high level (>5) to get an AI FTP bump, and/or to be completing non TR rides which are an indicator that your FTP needs to go up (in which case I’d have thought some of those PL2.x workouts should feel pretty easy and you’re capable of more).

To your actual question, I think at those levels I would just decline the FTP bump and progress to higher levels where you do more sustained intervals. But be good to try and figure out where the recommended bump is coming from.


For me, it depends on the increase and what my training goals are. As others have mentioned, I find it frustrating to have my FTP go up 2 or 3% and then have a PL drop from, say 7 to 2, because of what that does to interval times. Also, it’s a PITA to change my FTP in multiple different systems and devices. So, if the bump is small and I’m working at progressing time in zone, I may decline the FTP change. I spent a long time chasing higher test scores because vanity wanted to see a higher FTP, but training was brutal and I was always on the edge.

I let mine take a big drop after a long illness at the end of last year, and I’ve really enjoyed my training since then, with more consistency and more personal enjoyment and motivation for the workouts, so I declined a recent 3% bump. If my next one goes up another 2-3%, I will probably accept the change and start over again.


I don’t think that’s still a thing, I’m guessing they’ve improved ML. My last 3 FTPd increases (2%, 2%, 3%) my PLs went down less than 1 point (ie: SS PL 8.8 - 8.0 (-0.8)).


Interesting. Thanks for sharing. Maybe I’ll accept the next one and see what happens.

After an FTP update, I usually just pick an alternate just below my old PL’s so I continue moving up instead of eternally swimming below the 5’s. I know I should be putting my faith in AT but IMHO, gaining 5 watts on my FTP shouldn’t have me bumped down 3 PL’s. So far it’s been working out and I’ve been enjoying the harder workouts. I don’t have a huge FTP like many here so maybe my tactics will change as it hopefully continues to creep up.


I just got a 4 watt bump, even though all my PLs were in the 1.0 to 2.5 range. I do 2 TR workouts a week, the rest of my training is outdoor running. I do log the running on TR but I don’t know if the AI uses it or not. I did one outdoor ride (a commute) in the last month.

Hmmmmm. What did your most recent sweetspot/threshold workout look like? If your TTE at FTP is, say, 40 minutes, then anything below 3 × 15 or 2 × 20 at threshold or 2 × 30 or 3 × 20 at sweetspot won’t be stretching you much.

Which may be fine if all your moving the needle is intended to be coming from your running.

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The last one was 5x5 mins at 102% (Tweed -2). Really, I don’t know what a lot of the numbers mean; I just press the “TrainNow” usually and do whatever the machine recommends. It seems to work, and I enjoy it! I was unsure whether to accept the new FTP but I decided just to just trust it. I use TR as a cross-training activity, and love how it comes up with workouts pitched at just the right level of challenge for me.

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