As a new structured athlete, SPB HV is no joke

Just wanted to share my own experience about the Sustain Power Build, High Volume.

Data for context:

— First structured training 01/11/21 —
First ramp test: 203
Power to Weight ratio: 2.48

— Current time (+13 weeks) —
Training progress: SSB HV I + SSB HV II (12 weeks) + SPB HV (1 week)
Last ramp test: 270 (22/01/22) +33%
Power to Weight ratio: 3.63 +46%

I got through the first training phase (Sweet Spot Base) quite easily. I’ve read some topics talking about how intense Sustain Power Build phase could be and was a bit cocky because of how easy my current training sessions were.

Man I was so wrong. VO2 Max and Threshold are the worst feeling I’ve got while exercising. It was painful and exhausting. I loved it.

But isn’t adaptative training trying to secretly killing me? Never thought I’d enjoy the rest day so much. I’ll keep going with the recommendation but if someone has extra recommendation to do about it, I’d take it!

Do medium volume and add an endurance or tempo workout if you’re feeling spicy, esp. If it’s your first structured in 2 years.

Also, doing the Vo2 outdoors makes them a lot more fun and tolerable!


SusPBHV was the most fun I’ve had on TR. Because of my schedule, I structured my week differently:
Monday: VO2
Tueaday: Sweetspot
Wednesday: endurance
Thursday: threshold
Friday: VO2
Saturday: endurance

If I were to do it again, I’d put a VO2 on Thursday, endurance Friday, and threshold Saturday.

In terms of tips, don’t stop eating. On and off the bike. Minimize outside distractions. I also don’t think it’s necessarily the best plan given the amount of intensity, but I did get a bump from it.

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Broken record: 4 days of high intensity interval training per week is not following the science.


I did the old SSBHV with the crazy 5 days out of 6 SS weeks. Got through it…just - tried SPB HV - lasted 2 weeks before I got v ill…mainly due to fatigue and weight loss as I couldn’t eat enough - the new SSB HV has less intensity but is still just as time consuming…I design my own programmes now cherry picking the best workouts and using my experience of what I can handle.

But why? Never seen any science whatsoever backing up this kind of training.

TR rightfully says that HV plans are only for very few people. We can certainly agree about that. The problem with these programs are not the high volume - but that TR is scaling intensity work with volume. Probably done to make high volume engaging on a home trainer, but poor design from a training perspective, nonetheless.


Dang - those are a lot of long, hard interval sessions per week. You might be able to hold on for dear life, but if you’re feeling trashed week to week, this much high intensity might not be doing you any good. The hours on this plan are not ridiculous, but the intensity is. Just the mental effort alone looks brutal.

Personally, I would replace one of the weekly VO2 sessions, (Ain’t nobody needs 2 hard 1.5-2 hour VO2 sessions per week!) with an easy unstructured outside ride for pure enjoyment just to offset the suckiness and enjoy riding a bike for a change.

“Studies have shown that interval training is most effective when done twice a week, and occasionally three times per week. Any more than that, and the rider will be unable to fully recover in between sessions, which hurts the quality of their next workout in a snowball effect.”



Low volume is enough for me. Two weeks Ive had a 10w increase in FTP. Two interval sessions are enough supplemented with endurance or commuting to and from work. It’s working that’s for sure with a vo2 and Threshold on the Monday and Thursdays. Maybe a long sweet spot on Saturday if I can. Trying to consume enough QUALITY food is a challenge. I’m excited to see where it goes by the end of the program before doing the TT low volume. I like to ride outside so I don’t want to clutter my Trainerroad calendar with workouts that I won’t do. You got a great FTP bump anyway that’s for sure

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I will say however that they have gotten better about it since AI was introduced, but the overall point is still accurate, IMO.


Yeah, and I think this is in part also a communication problem that misleads athletes into picking plans that are not sustainable for them.

I think it’d be better if they renamed them to low intensity, mid intensity and high intensity plans. (Although I’d add that TR should add a plan that has two days of intensity among other things.)

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OP - Not to beat a dead horse, but you would probably have much better results if you did a “real” high volume plan. 2-3 intensity sessions a week plus lots of endurance volume.

It’s been said above that it’s actually a “High Intensity” plan. The TR HV plan is for people who can manage really high volume, but don’t have the time, so it replaces volume with a s**t ton of intensity. It’s the right plan for maybe 1% or less? (And, TR will tell you this…)


3.5 hours of Vo2 a week? I’ll take the smaller gains.

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I’d say there’s even a case that doing much less VO2 max work would increase gains.

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That’s exactly how it’s worked for me. Lots of endurance, fewer intervals, more gains. YMMV.


Man, these HV plans almost look irresponsible to prescribe (my personal opinion)! No way I could complete these without a crash and burn, and I have many years of training experience.


I’d love a pro athlete to look at these HV plans to get their take on it. I’d also like to know how many TR users consistently do a HV plan.


This has been answered…it is low single digit %’s, according to the TR crew.

I’m now on my 3rd straight year of TR HV plans training year around, as is my teammate and race friend-enemy. I really enjoy HV and switching from MV is the single biggest thing that has raised my fitness. I do alter the plan, mainly Sunday’s SS to long z2 after SSBHV1. My compliance rate is probably near 99% and almost never do I miss a workout throughout the year. The HV plan isn’t perfect and AT has greatly improved upon it. I agree HV is not for everyone, but it does work.

I set up a poll.

I thought sports science was pretty clear, increase volume and if you can absorb the training you’ll increase endurance performance.

I’ve posted my results showing a clear linkage between volume and performance, latest is here:

More endurance, fewer intervals, got faster. Last 90 days I’ve set some all-time PRs at sixty yrs old, after pushing volume above 9 hours/week in mid November to the end of December:

Going back over the last year I also have some power PRs from 2-5 seconds.

Volume works. After that big block of hours, not having any issues with threshold, over-unders, or vo2max workouts. They seem easy compared to when I was training “harder” at 5-7 hours/week and barely able to do vo2 work at TR power targets. :man_shrugging: