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

I’m 59, just got back into serious cycling shape in the last 3-4 years…I’m 6’1", 172lbs with an FTP right around 300 or 3.8wkg. I’ve often wondered the same thing…is there an age limiter? I’m pretty happy with where I’m at but, always striving for those marginal gains!

I’m currently 5’7” and 143-145 pounds. I have done this exact experiment during a period of high fitness and race focus when I wanted to determine effect of weight on my race results.

Going from 145 to 140 was minimal effect but I did feel better overall after cutting a lot of crap and all alcohol out of my diet.

Going to 135 I saw a bump in race performance. Not night and day but I was faster.

Down to 130-132 was Slightly faster still.

Down to 128 was too far and I started to lose power and fatigue easier. Interestingly, my dad, who was a serious marathon runner told me his optimal race weight was about 130 and we are basically clones of each other athletically.

Went back up to 132 and held that for a season. During that time o had a 20 min power test and multiple performances that showed roughly 4.15-4.2 w/kg this was definitely my best race season of last ten years. Everything came together.

At 130 weight was a bod pod BF% 5-7% and my withings scale was often reading under 5%. My physician was worried I was mentally ill and BM concerned colleagues were worried I had cancer. As an athlete on a mission, we sometimes lose perspective that single digit body fat and 130 pound males are “not normal”.

The weight loss was Actually not hard and I could drop down again if looking to seriously peak for a big A-Race. It was just a matter of being very strict with food intake.

But I won’t be that light again on purpose because Downside is I lost muscle mass and was definitely not fueling my training fully. If I were to do this again I’d focus more on diet content and less on the absolute scale number and w/kg

After multiple years of weight lifting and training have gotten most of the muscle back. My best weight for healthy human who also races a bike is 138 +/- I’ll shoot for that next serious race season and w/kg will land where it lands

One guy, one anecdote, ymmv



Mark, I couldn’t agree more!

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Good information. Thanks

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Pretty pumped. I just completed the second half of short power build and my ramp test gives me an FTP of 233 or 3.54 watts/kg.
That is up from 211. So I just need less than a 1/2 w/kg to reach my goal of 4 w/kg . Sounds easy enough . lol
I started SSBMV2, per the training planner and so far my workouts seem easier at 233 than they were eight weeks ago at 211.


Awesome - that’s great work dude :muscle:t2::+1:t2:


Thanks, it’s pretty encouraging.

I’m a 55 and female. My FTP is down from 170 to 168 after 4 weeks of traditional base. I 'm 54.4 Kg so my FTP is 3.08 on my Kickr Core. It is what it is.


Currently 49 and 3.7w/kg (262ftp).

Last 2 FTP increases have been approx 10w so maybe 4w/kg by next easter :crossed_fingers:
(can also drop 3lbs without too much problem)

Stretch target by July is 4.5w / kg :hushed:


At just short of 63 I would have to add 100w to my FTP. 30w is possible. So no, I am not likley to hit 4 w/kg. 3.0 would be nice again though. I am at 2.75 now


It most certainly can be done. I’ll be 60 in April @ 78kg my 20 minute power is sitting at 4.1wkg with my FTP @ 3.9wkg. It takes consistency…many years of consistency. Lot’s of high volume low intensity, sweet spot and 2-3 high intensity sessions weekly.

I continue to improve on those numbers gradually but, I do feel like I’m getting close to my limits because the improvements are marginal and increasingly more difficult to achieve.


The fastest guys in my club are old geezers!

I am 53 and currently on a quest to reach my physiological limits.

I think I could get to 4 but it might take a 2-3 years. Over the last 1.5 years I lost 15 pounds and increased FTP by 50 watts which puts me at 3.2w/kg. If I bumped my FTP by another 35 watts and got to the racing weight that I had in my twenties (-25 pounds) I could get to 4w/kg.

Honestly, bumping my FTP by 35 watts sounds a hell of a lot easier than losing the weight. :smile:


I’m 60.7kg at my lightest in the week (it fluctuates depending on what I eat). I’m training with a FTP of 295W (from my last ramp test) so that is 4.86W/kg and I’m 51. I would say it is easy to up the value by cutting weight…and I’m pretty skinny at 5’7" tall. Having said that on my tt bike my best power last year was 259W for a 55min 25 mile time trial so either I put out less power on the tt bike (quite likely) or my ramp test is an over estimation of my ability to hold that power for an hour. Either way w/kg is no use to me anyhow - in UK time trials CdA and absolute watts rule unless it is really hilly and there are a few elite 60 year olds who did sub 50 min 25mile tt last season so age is no barrier to improving your power ……well it is but not at the comparatively moderate level of 4W/kg :grinning:


I’m in no position to give any advice on this, but maybe you’ll find this useful. This sounds like low testosterone. The picture I’m getting from reading a bunch of various sources is that it is easy to end up with low t doing a lot of endurance training, especially with age. We are generally genetically made for roaming around all day and occasional do or die sprints and lifting and carrying heavy stuff. Endurance work doesn’t really fit either. To keep good levels of t and growth hormone it looks like one needs to do things like very low rep and low volume weight lifting, intermittent fasting, cold water plunges, and some supplements like pine pollen. Again, I’m not an expert, just had an interest in this topic for a while and those are the things I saw mentioned consistently in what looked to me like the most credible sources.

I’m 46 and hope I can get to 4w/kg by the time I’m 50 :smiley:


In 2018 at age 53, i hit 4w/kg for the first time. That’s after 6 years of “training”, but only one year of disciplined training on TR.
I was 75 kg and tested 302 watts using the old 20 minute FTP test using a Powertap that matches my Stages.
Unfortunately I crashed in the 2nd race of the season and got a concussion, which kind of killed it.
i also learned that, in racing, 1 or 2 minute power is more important than hour power.
Edit: just want to add that I’m not special at all–just like to ride fast. But pretty average road racer.


All of these posts in this thread give me some hope.

At 47 I’m around 3.5 W/Kg now having only recently started structured training (done SSB LV1&2 and am into Short Power build LV). Prior to this only about 2.5 years of recreational cycling experience, with no actual ‘training’.

If I can trim a bit of ‘timber’ (around 5Kg) and get another 30 Watts on my FTP then that takes me to just over 4W/Kg.

Thanks for the inspirational stories guys - stoked to keep pushing on :+1:t2::+1:t2::grin:


I’m experimenting with more high volume, low intensity rides this year, but I’ll still try to maintain at least two high intensity rides each week (3 max). So far I’m really enjoying it, and feeling great! 53 yrs young now, and sitting at 3.4 w/kg with my added holiday weight. 3.75 w/kg is the best I’ve tested at using the Ramp test … 4 w/kg is the 2020 goal!

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Did my most recent FTP test before starting SPB for the UK tt season - Ramp test gave me 298W @60.7kg so 4.91W/kg - won’t get that kind of power out on the tt bike but at least I gained a whole 3W in base2 ……lot of pain though for a just over 1% increase though! :face_vomiting:


I certainly wouldn’t know from personal experience, but I would think that once you get that close to 5w/kg all of your gains would come really slow.