Baird +6 question about muscular limitation

hi !

just started mid-volume build. using ERG mode Kickr 50/17 combination for gear.

While I finished the intervals (very tough: as they should be) I noticed that while my HR was appropriately high, the muscular strain seemed more of my perceived limitation for pain rpe. In other words, the interval was relatively tougher on my muscular system versus my cardiovascular system. I generally try to hold 100-103 for these. In fact, that’s the RPM I instinctively hold. Once fatigue sets in, my RPM can drop to 95 and it becomes too hard- then I spin faster to get to 98-100.

Any insight on this? Is this normal? Do I need to work more on strengthening my legs via weights?


I’ve never attempted that workout so this is a complete shot in the dark. Does the workout text give you any indication with regards to which/what the goals are and the adaptive benefits?

To me, your cadence is high. I wish I could spin like that for a prolonged period. It has taken me the best part of six months to raise my natural cadence from 85 to 89-90. This probably serves as a good example of the fact that we’re all different.

I’m willing to bet that I’d experience the same fatigue as you and my cadence would also drop. That said, sprinkling in a few high-force, low cadence workouts might serve you well. You could also add a few standing drills. Drop your cadence and pedal standing for upto 30 seconds. I try to do this in the majority of my workouts.

I’ve never done specific gym leg workouts.

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What cadence do you do for (say) sweetspot intervals?

For 120% intervals like Baird, I’d generally be shooting for around 110, about 10-15rpm higher than my normal cadence.

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I recently did Baird +2 (same as +6 minus endurance tacked on at end) and looked back at the workout. My notes said that there was LOTS of quad activation, while my HR was at the low end of my threshold.

I chalk it up to the 90 seconds short duration doesn’t allow your HR to get TOO high, but the 120% of FTP level stresses the legs all the same - and the minute recoveries allow the HR to recover more than the legs. I also noted that by the last interval in each set I was pretty well spent, leg fatigue-wise.

Agree on cadence - my comfortable/natural cadence is more like 85-90 and I do/did vo2 intervals at more like 100-105.

  • I will also note, that shorter, higher power efforts have been one of my limitations. Am almost done with Short Power Build MV. First time I tried that plan, after 2 years of general or climbing (more oriented to long SS). I find this plan really has done wonders for my ability to do shorter bursts of high power - both repeat-ability, and the ability to recover back at SS/threshold levels.

I think the 100+ cadence is appropriate and happens to be what I did when I did this workout about a month ago.

As above, the shorter intervals are not as demanding and may lead to a lower HR, and more effective strain on the muscular system. I played a step game in mine (3x 96%, 2x 97%, 5x 98%, 2.5x 99%, 2.5X 100%) as I have been experimenting to find my repeatable VO2 levels.

I find more difficulty from HR and respiration in the 2-3 minute VO2 efforts that are 115-120%.


double L monty coming through with impressive notes! I have done Baird a lot and always feel it in my legs too. It is interesting to note the difference in limitations though - quads and heart. I recently did a duathlon and i felt like my legs could run faster at the end, but my heart would have exploded. First time I have felt that and have reflected on it a lot since then.


I recently did Baird +2, and despite the same IF as Spencer +2, I found Baird to be noticeably easier.

This is because for me, my cardio is my limiter, and Spencer is harder cardio-wise.

Bashful +1 a few weeks later was also easier for me than Spencer - although I did notice more quad burn with bashful than either Spencer or Baird.

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Very timely. I just did this workout Monday morning. I felt like the HUGE limiter for me was leg strength. I just kept dying off torwards the end of the intervals. The last set I moved down 3% and even that was tough for me to complete. HR was reasonable, cadence was around 110-115. This was only the second workout (SSBmid 1 and 2, and now SPB Mid) that I have had to drop the intensity (the other was after a very bad nights sleep).

Not sure if this helps, but your post sure made me feel a little better!:+1:

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Did Baird +6 today. Managed to get through all the intervals without having to adjust. I tried to keep cadence about 105 but in the last interval or two in each set it was tough to hold the cadence by the end. Cardio was being taxed too but a lot of deep exhalations really helped. I saw heart rate drift upward with each set.


I did Baird +6’s outside variant White Down (3 sets of 3 x 3 min @ 120% ftp) and that was tough. Legs fried and breathing very difficult towards the end of repeats. Allergy didn’t help either, had a cough for two hours afterwards.

Since White Down is also an outside variant for Bashful +6 (just a progression from Baird +6 to 122% of ftp) I didn’t want to repeat the same workout. Read the Bashful notes and found out that the aim is to improve maximum aerobic power and not necessarily tax the aerobic system that much. Did it yesterday and it felt much easier than White Down’s 3 min intervals. Felt it in the quads alright but the breathing was controlled for much of the interval. Usually only the last 15 seconds were hard and overall the session wasn’t very difficult.

Last week’s White Down and yesterday’s Bashful +6 (not sure if the links will work).


Thank you all for your insight and personal trials with this workout!

I’m feeling exactly what I need to feel !

and yours for me!

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for sweet spot or similar- about 95 rpm