Anyone over 50 at 4 watt/kg? Can I make it? (Long)

If SSBLV1 -2 is only 3.5 hrs/wk then you are going to hit the wall pretty damn quick. A 3.5hr week is not actually 3.5 hrs anyway when you consider a “proper” 15 - 20 minute warm up for each session. Nowhere near enough TSS to get to the upper levels and the worse part is you are not building any REAL aerobic base and VlaMax is probably being pushed up as a result, considering the SST + Vo2 stuff. A plan like this places a premium on the glycolytic system to compensate for not building the FatMax system. If you are looking for 4 - 5w/kg…a 3.5 hr plan ain’t it. Even the high volume hours seem low for the best aerobic engine development.

I used to be the Sweet-Spot king for about 5 to 6 years and when I finally switched to Polarized I started to move the needle. I will never go back to threshold-centric riding again. Eventually…on limited hours…it is too much pain for too little (even none) gain.

Yep you are probably correct but as a teacher then except when on holiday (which is mostly slap bang in the middle of my season) I haven’t got the time for effective polarised training. On 7/8 hours week then all zone 2 bar 1xSeiler style session won’t cut it…it would if I could do back to back 5 hour rides at the weekend but I can’t so SS it has to be. Of course my fitness late season in September is usually good and I post good tt results ….why? well of course because I can get out in the summer for several hours regularly when I’m on holiday the rest of the year I don’t have time or I’m to tired. Like I said on another post I need to retire!

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I’d manage z2 rides of a longer duration no problem, but as I race road and cx, I like to keep up the hiit efforts, hence the need for longer recoveries. I’d be interested to know how you responded to the longer rides, after a couple of weeks to adapt.

I’m 57 years old 65.5K. My goal is 4W/K. At my age I know I’m racing against time.

Started SSB low vol in November ‘19 with FTP 223 (3.4W/K). Finished SSB Part I, took a week off for vacation, then finished Part II last week. I just did a 20 min FTP test and got 235 (3.6W/K).

I’m starting General Build low vol now. Hoping that phase will raise my ratio another 0.2, bringing me to 3.8. Then I’ll be in striking distance of 4.

Consistency seems to be the key. In addition to the three low vol TR workouts each week, I do a 2-3 hour group ride and try to keep that in Zone 2 other than a couple climbs.

Lots of sleep, lots of salads and other whole foods, cut way back on beer.

I refuse to believe it’s not possible to reach 4W/K after 50. It’s my goal to prove that.


It’s doable…but a lot easier if you weigh 60kg like me :grinning: shame that doesn’t help me in UK time trials unless it is really hilly :frowning_face:

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Hi, I’ve managed to reach it as a peak for each of the last three years (I am about to hit 53 years old) through a combination of rigorous endurance diet and structured training (sweet spot seems to do the best in FTP gains and weight loss for me). I would say that sustaining it has been difficult, so timing the peak to hit my events hasn’t always worked, as i’ve tended to peak to early, but I can keep >3.8 W/KG without too much effort(didn’t have Plan Builder back then). FYI, I was doing multi-day endurance events liked Haute Route and Cents Cols.

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I cant say I needed much much adaption, just rode lots. According to Chad’s Strength Training Calculator I’m a sprinter. I t does make sense; It’s easier for me doing Short Power Build than SSB and according to some posts in other threads I could benefit from doing longer Z2 rides with all that fasttwichers. One obvious thing I noticed was that I got much better at riding at Sweetspot intensity and clearing lactate.

Not much structure there but you can have a peek at my profile from June to August 2019. To bad I got a virus which screwed things up before I got a chance to do a proper test…

Edit: I might add that I’m at 69 kg when in shape. FTP on a good day is 243w so 4.0 is within reach and has been a goal for me some time now, maybe in 2020 :grin:

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Interesting post…I’m not sure I can add anything new beyond the great insights that have already been shared other than to be another example of one who is currently sitting at 4.1 watts/kg at age 56. I have been riding and competing for about 10 years but only started using a Power Meter and following a more structured plan, through TrainerRoad, over the past year. My 1st FTP test showed a result of 294 Watts while the most recent FTP test last week showed progress to 318.

It can be done! (Full disclosure: although I had been a collegiate wrestler in the early 80’s at a Big 10 University, I do not think much of that prior fitness from 35+ years ago had much to do with my current cycling fitness results. Perhaps it is more mental and be willing to endure pain; that is one thing the two sports have in common!

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If you are a fellow Hawkeye, much respect for being one of Gable’s guys.

If not? Much respect then too!

Nope, not Iowa! I was a Boilermaker!

I’m the original poster and just thought that I would post an update.
I just tested today after completing SSBMV2 and upped my FTP to 254 and weigh just under 65kg, so this puts me at 3.91 w/kg. I am now very confident that I can reach 4.0 w/kg in pretty short order if I remain consistent with my workouts, nutrition and sleep. I’m hopeful that I can even hit it after four weeks of build.


Well I just finished the first half of MV short power build and took a ramp yesterday and ended with a recommended FTP of 261, which puts me at 4.05 w/kg. So the answer to my own question is yes. Starting at 53 with no prior endurance experience you (if you are little guy anyway) can make it to 4 w/kg.
At first I thought that the key to my success was my hard work, clean eating and improved sleep habits, but then I remembered something about @Nate and his prior experience in marching band. Well I too was in marching band almost 40 years ago. Coincidence? Could marching band be the fast track to successful cycling in later life? lol
But seriously TR is an amazing product and if at my age a person can go from zero to 4 w/kg in a year, what can someone younger do with consistency.
I am sure that at my age, my ceiling has to be fairly close, but I really have’t seen any sign of it yet and don’t know why I couldn’t gain another 15-20 watts this year if I can stay at it. That would put me somewhere around 4.3 w/kg which 6 months ago I would never have dreamed I could reach.
Thanks TR.


That’s fantastic news and a great effort. Well done :+1:t2: :sunglasses:


I’m another band nerd hitting 4+w/kg in my 50’s. This marching band factor sounds like a study that should be funded :slight_smile:

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I’m another band nerd hitting 4+w/kg in my 50’s. This marching band factor sounds like a study that should be funded :slight_smile:


Well a deep dive from coach Chad at the very least.

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Great progress! Since I posted in December, I’ve been doing a custom TR plan which is kind of a mix of TT and rolling hills race training. I have done some indoor races and even got one outdoor race in before COVID. My Power/wt is up from 3.07 to 3.44 so I’m happy with the progress. Would really like to get to 3.7 but I’ve plateaued the last few weeks.


Great news. I don’t think that I have the physiology to get to 4wkg. I would be happy with 3.5 but alas I have been at 3.1 wkg for 2 years even with TR.


Nice work! I’m 50 now and been edging closer and closer to 4.0 the last few years, but not quite there yet, at 3.9 now in Specialty phase.

I’m curious about your Short Power build choice. Have you been doing Short Power regularly for your build phases? Because it fits your event needs? I’ve been bouncing back and forth between General and Sustained (which better fit long gravel events I do) the last few years and progressing, in FTP at least, extremely slowly now. Recently I’m thinking I should do Short Power next to change it up, target slightly different systems, and hopefully break through the plateau.

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Add one more: 51, marching band nerd, FTP was 4.0, just dropped to 3.9 after a particularly bad ramp test (will retest soon).