Be Honest ...watts, kgs or both

Look back in your last 4 weeks habits.

Have these habits demonstrated a commitment to improved watts, a lower waistline through diet (or at least a very solid focus on “clean” eating). Also where are you seeing improvement?

Translation: Have you focused on Watts or KGs or both?

I’ll go first…truth WATTS = CommItted, I am definitely seeing improvements in power by seeing solid risings in FTP and demonstrable/real world 10 second to 1 hour power as a result. My confidence is getting better in my capabilities on the bike. At times I feel stronger than the average riders around me now and that’s a cool feeling. I tend to mainly compare me to me, but every once in a while want to know how I compare to my peers.

KG = Lacking commitment. My diet is definitely a pain point for me. I continue to eat every calorie I burn with junk food making up more than it should. I go through periods of improved diet
followed by giving up, forgetting our just loving Ice Cream too much. I also take medications that negatively affects body weight (that I no longer taking). No excuses just the cold lay it out there truth.

If I truly want to be my best I need to cleanup my diet by at minimum start to show better moderation.

So where do you honestly sit? Are you “fully dialed” in to both the consistency of riding a minimum 3 times / week for the last 4 weeks every single week?
And at the same time eating super clean and journaling? If you are, how to do honestly feel physically and mentally? What’s your relationship to food like?

If you aren’t fully dialed in. Why?


I’m committed to both and actually leaning more heavily at the moment on KGs. Until January I was pretty much just chasing watts. Had a FTP goal for this year and an W/KG goal for next year that honestly was more based on me achieving a higher FTP goal. Then I started losing weight. Wasn’t really trying, but weighing myself daily, riding more, walking more and the pandemic, weight loss just naturally happened for me. I went from 191 to 165 in 8 months. I ended up hitting my watt goal for the year so was pleased with that and expected to keep going beyond, but my watts have been pretty stagnant for the last 3 months. I gained 1 watt over that period. However, as you can probably guess, my watts/kg has really shot up. And I actually achieved the watts/kg goal I had for next year, this year.
I’m near my weight goal and frankly getting close to being as light as I can be without more effort, so may focus on watts again, but weight will always be a driver. I’m happy with my new weight and body so I don’t want to let that slip. I get on the scale daily, track it electronically, and will adjust if things go the wrong direction. I ride 6 days a week, same schedule pretty much every week so I’m doing pretty good on both ends. Managing some mental fatigue with intensity at the moment, but have chosen a new path for the time being so I’m still highly motivated to be disciplined with both.


I like to think that I’m more committed to the workouts when I’m following a plan.

I’m not very committed to the eating/weight side of things.

I think I try and excuse it as fuelling the next workout, but I don’t think all of those carbs are entirely necessary!

For me, I find it easier to focus on an upcoming workout or ride, and make sure I sleep etc. It’s a much shorter period of time. Trying to remain focused on eating is much more of a constant threat, and I think it just wears down my willpower. I’ve only got so much to go around.

I’m already at a weight where I don’t need to worry about that side of the equation, but i’d still say focus on the power first. Build up an engine before you try and drop the kg’s. However i’d still say that you should focus on a whole clean diet ( with the occasional ice cream here and there :wink: )


Watts baby.

I enjoy my chocolate as much as a man twice my size and at 206lbs that should paint you a picture.

To be frank there’s a serious weight issue in amateur cycling at damn near all levels that really needs to be talked about but nah, this definitely isn’t the forum to be trying to have that particular discussion on. Not unless you have a penchant for getting flamed on the Internet.

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Interesting subject and probably well timed. My answer is simple, I don’t care about either right now, I’ve lost all motivation to train with no racing on the calendar. This year has been difficult, make plans, plans change constantly, I’ve found it impossible to stay motivated. I’ve now moved to a very loose schedule where I will participate in a very fast (for me) mountain group ride and tag on one VO2 Max workout per week and fill in with z2 rides when I can, or really when I want to. I’ve been riding much less over all and enjoying watching my 7 yo son finally get into bikes himself. The group ride has helped me stay motivated to ride, and the focus has been on skills first, and hanging on to the wheels on the climbs second (both are very hard for me).

That said I’ve stayed consistent with my weight all season, dropping down to 155 lbs, back to my normal 160 - I don’t fluctuate very much luckily. Low hanging fruit for me is ditching my terrible midnight munchies habit. I’ve had PR level FTP results about a month and a half ago and hit an all time peak of 4.3 w/Kg, I was going pretty good. The only thing I could test it on was a short gravel hill climb TT Strava series where the longest segment was 10 min. I was crushing the sub 5 minute climbs and doing OK on the longer ones. I’ve always focused on improving FTP, repeatability and endurance rather than weight, the thought being hard training deserves some moderately bad fueling choices.

This season, or lack thereof, has taught me that I will need to work incredibly hard to get back to 4.3, and that while satisfying, I’m not sure it’s worth it for me at this point in my life. Finding the fun factor in the pure enjoyment of riding seems more interesting now, and I bet I’m only just a little bit slower than I was 1.5 months ago. I think working on my skills and downhill speed is in my best interest, for now.

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I’m not really chasing either right now.

My FTP has been pretty stable for the past 6 months in the mid to high 360s. I’ve been primarily focused on base training so I’m not really worried about pushing up the last 10 watts and hitting a peak FTP number. I plan to continue training with a focus on base for the foreseeable future since I still don’t see an event on the calendar that I am confident will be happening.

My weight hasn’t been a focus for me this season either. Historically my ideal race weight is in the 77 kg range, and I’ve actually been having trouble keeping it that high with the volume of training I’ve been doing, so I’m currently down around 75 kg. I am still eating very healthy, just increasing how much I eat to try to get the weight back up

I’ve been able to ride 3x per week for the past months. I stopped traveling for work in March, training is a lot easier when you stop moving locations. Last week I did a Zwift race (Alpe du Zwift), I was able to do 285W for one hour, a personal best.
I could lose some weight to get a higher W/kg but it requires some effort. I’m currently around 73-74kg (measured daily), if I stop lifting weights and drop the weekend beer, pizza, wine, cake, etc I can possibly get to 70-71kg. The problem is that I really like pizza haha…
I was at 79kg when I started using TrainerRoad in 2017, I’ve been pumping less iron and riding more and more since then. I like to think I lost some fat and muscle that wasn’t very useful on the bike.
I think I’m in the same place as most cyclists, get more watts, eat healthy enough and see where that takes you. It would be very hard for me to lose 10-15kg just so I can say I’m at 5W/kg, I admire who gets there but I’m not a fan of the skinny cyclist look and it wouldn’t be sustainable.

6 days a week is a heavy commitment to cycling. Good for you. You’d likely have a bit more “room to move” on your eating if you are riding that regularly! It sounds like you’ve got things dialed in on the watts/kg formula. Are you peaking for something?

I think my watts are on the way back up, the weight thankfully definitely is (118lbs to 128lbs). With my current FTP setting its 4.48w/kg down from 5.03w/kg.

Both, I have done 80 watts increase in FTP and i have lost 7kg in weight, am i saint NO.

I am not paid to cycle, so Life and fun need to be paid attention too. I have a Wife that i love dearly so i invest as much time for her hobbies and needs. The rest you can work out a bit.
The next bit if we start not going out for meals with friends etc. Are we missing the point. I am 56 retired … YES… I have all the time in the world to train … But limit it to about 10-11 hours a week any more and i start hurting.

Cut out the real crap, nuts chips etc. You are burning about an extra 5000 cals a week. Manage the rest of the input. Your weight will come down a bit. Watch the the alcohol intake do not cut out completely if you want a drink small beer. Do the training!!! Up you FTP!!! It Works and has for me… I miss Nuts …


I can’t look back that far, the last two weeks have been a smoke filled disaster and this week is forecasted to be more of the same. At least I can lift weights, and we will see about on-bike sprint work this week. Progress I guess on both sides of the W/kg equation, but a little discouraged about the air quality and its impact on my bike training.

That’s no fun. We get big forest fires in BC. I switch to indoor with an air purifier. Tough when it’s hot/windows closed.

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I pick the lowest hanging fruit which, right now, is increasing power on my new TT bike. There is a ~30W difference in climbing power vs power on the aero bars. That’s where I think I can improve the fastest


Definitely the watts for me. I have remained about the same in weight this year I think (I don’t track it), and I don’t see that as a problem or one I care to address since I’ve always been on the low end of weight for my height.

I figure if I continue the work, eat what I need to eat, and commit to the plan, I’ll see improvement in watts (which has already happened all year long) and body composition. Chase the work, eat right, and body comp will follow. I’m not trying to win a grand tour. I’m training to race my bike, and to have some fun while I’m at it. Min-maxing my weight is unnecessary pressure for my goals.

I’m in the same boat as @BCrossen. I’m at 72kg whilst in lockdown but am aiming to get down to about 70kg once the restrictions ease (a little too many treats close at hand whilst working from home). I did blow out to around 80kg but have managed to ease back on the chips and chocolate of late - the late night ‘gotta have a few rows of chocolate whilst we watch Netflix’ added a few kay-geez. I did feel a bit of pressure to drop down from 80kg back to a more ‘normal’ weight for me, and I found that the added pressure I put on myself did not contribute to my overall happiness at all.

That said, at the moment I am working more on watts and increasing strength. Eating what I need to eat and not blowing the diet out; mainly focusing on eating more cleaner foods. Committing to the plan that I am on and nailing each workout whilst also ensuring that I fuel properly for those workouts (especially the VO2 and AC workouts in the program).

I figure that the lower weight (2kg to get me to 70kg) will follow once the plan continues and with the less loose diet that consisted of lots of refined sugar. No pressure on myself there, just focusing on chasing strength and watts.

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To be frank there’s a serious weight issue in America at damn near all levels that really needs to be talked about but nah, this definitely isn’t the forum to be trying to have that particular discussion on. Not unless you have a penchant for getting flamed on the Internet.

Fixed it for you. I’ve long been a firm believer that if one focuses on the performance, not the mirror or the scale, they’ll end up faster and stronger than worrying at all about the number. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been guilty of stepping on the scale too often, but my “weight issues” are really “strength issues” and once I started benching at or near my weight for reps for whole workouts, I was far less worried about my pounds on the scale vs pounds on the bar…

As a resident of the flat-lands, I do love looking at my Intervals.ICU power numbers on a Watts vs a Watts/kg level, but other than trying to drop a few empty carbonated and fermented calories from my life, and stepping on the scale more often since the covid shutdown… I’ll still spend my energy on WATTS not KGs.

Focused on power and ignored weight last few months. FTP went up from 325 to 350. In that time my weight also went from about 66kg to close to 70kg without really noticing. But hey, its offseason, so i’ll reign that weight back to an acceptable number at some point. I’m sure i could have acheived similar power while maintaining weight if i was more strict on diet. Guess that shows that you can’t eat whatever you want just cause you’re training 15 hours a week.

In saying that, i think wkg is the most over talked about metric in cycling. Makes little difference unless you’re doing 20min + climbs, which most of us are not.


True. My FTP in terms of w/kg is between 4.4 to 4.6w/kg but it does not mean much to me. I am focused on increasing my raw power. My FTP is currently at 311W, and I am looking to increase it. I want to be able to comfortably ride at 236-250W (i.e I want that to be my z2).

On rolling hills, w/kg does not really make any difference IMO.

like trpnhntr, I am very focused on base as well. I fel it is an area I had not had time to invest in due to being time crunched. I am at the last week of TB HV 3 after basically 4 months of base and much more after this I guess.

FTP: It’s been going up, without me doing much else than base training but I have to say I am very happy I can do quite long Z2 workouts I didn’t think I had in me. Most of my watts PRs have been gained in the past 4 months on simply focusing on long, Z2 rides. Repeatability on long sweetspot or tempo intervals is what I am looking to improve.

Weight: being going down (134 lbs -> 128 lbs). I don’t know what to do about it. This whole covid-19 situation makes me enjoy food less than before, and the increased volume (doubled) definitely affects my weight gains.