Can you beat JJ’s Watts?

He could be strong for 20 minutes but have terrible endurance. Meaning I could beat him in a 3 hour ride.

I would say, with a cadence of 60, and no cycling training, it is a virtual impossibility.

If he dedicated a season or three to cycling? Not impossible.

And Wertz was a national elite rower when he was younger. I think he might have been world champ for under 21 or something like that. He’s been building that huge engine since he was a kid. I guess that’s my point. JJ might have the potential to have a big aerobic engine, but the training he’s been doing since he was a kid was focused on strength and explosiveness. Yeah, some endurance, but I almost guarantee he wasn’t doing big volume endurance work. There are only so many hours for training in the day and it wouldn’t have made any sense for JJ to train to be an elite endurance athlete.

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I say “No” just based on him being a big dude on an indoor bike. Too much mass, too little surface. He’d melt in 20min with that output without fan perfection. He can probably do that number, just not indoors.

If I was on the Peloton marketing team, I’d want any bike going to a celebrity to be calibrated to over-report power.


I’m a bit skeptical, but this is JJ-freaking Watt we are talking about, not just some athlete. Even looking at a very low level semi-pro athlete in EJ formerly of Norcal Cycling, dude hopped off the couch with like a 420 watt 20 minute power. JJ Watt can squat over 700 lbs and has probably performed in heat during his career both hotter and for longer than an indoor workout. If anyone can do it, I’d bet on him. And, who knows what kind of cycling he’s been doing since he retired. But again, I don’t trust Peloton’s power meters for anything.


Wasn’t he one of the best, and most popular NFL players for a period? I imagine he can afford fan perfection.

I bet his indoor training space is pretty epic!


Would there be any serious benefit from training for football for 20 minutes on a bike? I honestly dont know. But this strikes me as about equally as probable as Jonas Vindegaard being an exceptional football defensive lineman.

Vingegaard is not a power athlete in a mass-driven sport. NFL players would still need some aerobic conditioning to recover between efforts.

Same as the track sprinters still do efforts and rides longer than 20seconds.

Like all things - the truth is probably somewhere in the middle

The bike is reading high, but not as high as my ego would like to think. Can’t really believe he’d be that strong aerobically without a season or two of focus on it (which I’m assuming he doesn’t have) - but could he be 3.5 w/kg off the couch (if we can count the NFL as a couch…), sure he could


Why are so many people trying to critique the dude? The power number he hit for 20 minutes is insane and none of us could dream of hitting that number!

Here’s the chart for all 57,000 male riders submitting data to that service:
20 minute power

The chart doesn’t even go above 426 watts for 20 minute power efforts. That’s 57,000 male athletes who are really into cycling. He’d be off the chart even if his bike was reading high and his “real” number was “only” 430ish.

If anything, the 7 riders with more power than super freak athlete JJ Watt were the folks with busted ass pelotons reading high. :slight_smile:

Btw, for the non-US Football fans… JJ Watt is one of only three players in the history of the NFL to have been named Defensive Player of the Year three times.


I personally already take it as a given that the other 7 are on doped bikes.


Heres the thing though. Is there ANY correlation between shoving people really hard, and pedaling a bike fast? I’d guess not a lot.

Maybe a little bit compared to completely sedentary people…but IMO if I had to bet, I’d put his FTP below that of an average masters club rider.

Added: I guess there’s a lot of running in football…but not any real volume. So best case scenario…he’s one of those runners that picks up cycling and is instantly fast. But 470 watt fast? I just dont buy it. That’s professional fast, aside from the weight.

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There’s a correlation between strength and power. To competitiveness and performance.

I’m not saying it’s legit… I mean it probably isn’t. But I am saying this dude is a beast.

For what it is worth, I’ve seen pro hockey players do what seems like endless 30 sec all out sprints, 30 second recovery on stationary bikes for conditioning. I’m sure they could smash some good power numbers too.


You underestimate good genetics. Really good athletes are generally above average at almost everything. Even things he’s weak in would be above average.

He’d still lose a bike race, he’s too big, but we aren’t talking about that.


I mean you’re right…but if we are saying that size is not particularly relevant for ftp, wouldnt that mean that, as a basically off the couch athlete, Watts genetics are light years better than any world tour cyclist?

I just want to say:

Watts in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.


Have you ever known anyone in the flesh that made it to the NFL or even got a college football scholarship to a big D1 school?

I know one guy and he’s was an f-ing insane physical specimen. He was naturally rippled with muscles like a greek god. Thus it would not surprise me if JJ Watts could put up some serious numbers and be faster than the average club rider (on the flats). He’s been retired for a little bit. Maybe Watts rides his bike a lot? I don’t believe the actual numbers though because it was a Peloton but I wouldn’t doubt his abilities.


No I havent.

I certainly don’t doubt that his numbers would be dramatically higher than the average sedentary person, or than an untrained cyclist. Even someone who rides/trains regularly.

I mean…numbers matter. Would I surprised if his ftp was 200+? Not in the slightest. 300+? I’d be surprised if he was new to the bike, but not absolutely shocked. 400+? Well now I have some serious doubts as to whether it’s a legit number or even possible for someone that doesnt train cycling. Pushing 500? Hell no, I just dont believe it. Now we’re talking the ranks of the globally elite, genetically gifted cyclists that have spent their lives training cycling, not tackling people.

I mean hell…wasnt the hour record just broken putting out less watts than that? And I’m thinking than an untrained non-cyclist can match that?

No, you’re way over simplifying it.

Elite athletes can often suffer more than you can imagine, his genetics probably mean he can dig a huge hole. He would be irrelevant in any World Tour comparison as that’s all power to weight.

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