Cyclists over 100kg with 4 w/kg FTP?

I started cycling almost exactly a year ago and dropped about 10kg to 100kg. I went down to 95kg for about about a month with dieting and cutting out weight training, but my performance dropped off significantly to the point that I couldn’t keep up with recovery-paced group rides. I’m thinking this just means that my body likes being at 100kg? I’m 181 cm tall, so not a giant.

If my body just sits at 100kg, this means I’d need to put out 400 watts to get to just 4 w/kg. Are there any cyclists here that have that kind of power, how long did it take you to get there? I’m currently at 2.3 w/kg so I know I have room to grow, but I’m wondering if there’s a ceiling to the power heavier riders can put out.

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I am 182cm. I went from 96kg to 77kg. Power increased during that time.

If you couldn’t keep up with recovery-paced group rides, how is your aerobic engine? have you got a strong base?

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Thanks for the reply. I just started TR about a week ago, prior to this I had no formalized training routine. I’ve ridden about 4,000 miles since I started in May 2018, but 90% of that is 20-30 minute commute, is that enough to develop an aerobic base?

I am not an expert here, but what I can tell you is that you need to build the engine. have a strong foundation. sweet spot base plans are great. it’s making me much stronger and the ability to recover quickly as well. If I were you, I would start religiously following these plans, 8 weeks, and take it from there.

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Thanks for the advice. I started TR last week. I think I misunderstood what base building meant, I commute almost everyday on my bike but it only lasts about 20-30 minutes.

I started in Sept 2018 at 105kg w/ 208 FTP and am now at 92kg w/ 267 FTP … 180 cm, 48 yoa. The only time I found myself struggling with producing power and/or completing workouts is if my nutrition is too low. I always try to fuel for workouts/rides and focus any calorie restriction outside of the fueling window. To your question, I feel I’m going to have to lose more kg’s to get the w/kg’s to the mid 3 range, not confident I get the FTP high enough otherwise.

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you are in a position where losing weight will have tremendous results on your performance. I personally care more about watts/kg than FTP itself. this is a topic for another post, but I have experienced that losing weight in cycling is simply amazing, just to be able to ride when you are much lighter give you strength, power, etc.
don’t rush it, don’t starve, eat consciously, eat healthy and balanced, and train hard. you will see the results.

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Man, 3 w/kg seems like a long way off for me. I see folks on here putting out 300+watts during threshold, is that only attainable for higher-level athletes and do you basically just have to sacrifice cross training to get there?

Yeah, some of the numbers people put out are very impressive. For me, I only ride so can’t speak to other types of training and what effect(s) they might have on your cycling … training time is limited so that’s why I’ve chosen this route. I’m planning to include some body weight movement in the near future.

+1 don’t rush it, don’t starve, eat consciously, eat healthy and balanced, and train hard. you will see the results.

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It’s definitely possible. I’m 94ish kg with a 4.1-4.2w/kg FTP. I started riding in early 2016 w/ no power meter, but bought a Kickr Snap and signed up on Z***t. I was around 135-140kg and was using an FTP setting of 240w to do random workouts. I didn’t start training with any structure until I found TrainerRoad in Oct 2016, and at that point I was around 110kg and tested with an FTP of 269 (2.4ish w/kg). So yeah, my FTP has gone from about 270w to almost 400w and I’ve dropped about 45kg since I started riding.

Weight loss was my primary focus in the beginning, but once I hit around 100kg I started really focusing on getting stronger on the bike. I’d say that was in mid-late 2017. The biggest impact for me was just training consistency. I’m one of those people that will not miss a workout for anything once it’s put on the calendar. I remember a few times where I’d have a work dinner, have a few drinks, then still go home and do a vo2 workout (not the best idea).

I should note that I was also a collegiate rugby player about 10-11 years ago, and that definitely influenced my athleticism and work ethic coming into this.

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Thanks for the reply. Man that’s great, good on you for boosting your performance.

I come from a powerlifting background so basically the other side of the athletic spectrum from cycling. I’m committing to TR for at least the next 6 weeks so I’m hoping too see some improvement on my aerobic fitness.

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If you’re untrained on the bike and go to structured training you’ll probably see some big gains up front. My result after SSB mid volume I was like a 10% increase.

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Thanks, hoping to see some increases as well. What does SSB stand for?

Sweet Spot Base

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No, it isn’t. Don’t get me wrong, it’s way better than nothing. But 20-30 minutes isn’t long enough and probably not at a consistent enough effort level to really make your body adapt.

The difference between 20-30 minutes commuting (with coasting and stop lights and so on) and 60-90 minutes constant pedalling on Trainer Road, is huge.

Get going on Sweet Spot Base part 1 (probably low volume to start with if you’re doing it on top of the commute), and you’ll soon be keeping up with the group with no difficulty.

Don’t think TOO much about w/kg. On a flat route, or one with just short power climbs, weight matters a lot less. Put it this way, I’m 68kg and 275W, or about 4w/kg. It’s unlikely you’re going to beat me up Alpe d’Huez any time soon. BUT you only have to get to 3w/kg (at 100kg) and you’ve already got an extra 25 watts to leave me for dead on a flat road.

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Thanks for the advice and analysis on my commute rides, I had a feeling it wasn’t enough time on the bike to count as an aerobic workout.

I come from a PL background as well. I’m down to 85kg from 96kg when I got back into cycling last year and 106-110kg when I was competing in PL.

Only recently started with TR for structured workouts, but my numbers are 301ftp/3.5wpkg. If I lose 5kg and up my FTP x 20, that’s 4.0wpkg: achievable.

From what I understand, coach chad is a proponent of off bike strength work or cross training. I still try to hit heavy deadlifts for triples once a week or fortnight, but I probably do neglect upper body movements ¯_(ツ)_/¯. In fact, when I stopped off bike work, I suffered an impinged hip and longer recovery times between rides.

All the best!

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Yeah, I’m currently trying a 5/3/1 routine that has me doing deadlifts, front squats, and military presses once a week. Total workout time is a little over an hour, so I may throw in dips as well.

I’m hoping this will be enough to give me a super slow strength increase without sacrificing performance on the bike.

What kind of riding do you do? What are your goals?

The short answer to your questions are:

  1. Yes, there are most definitely 400 watt FTP riders. They’re not common, but they do exist. You can check out this thread for some TR user stats.
  2. Could you stay at 100kg and be a 4.0 watt/kg rider? It’s possible, whether it’s possible for you is based on a number of factors but probably the largest determinant would be your commitment to training over at least a couple of years. Dedicated, focussed training, nutrition and recovery week-after-week-after-week.
  3. Does your body like being at 100kg? Right now, it seems like it based on your overall lifestyle, but if you changed your lifestyle I’m sure you could adjust to a different weight. Shedding a lot of muscle is really hard compared to fat. You’d have to really want that. I’m 2 cm taller than you and 30kg lighter (and I look big compared to people I ride with). On even a small incline I would drop you like a bad habit, but if you got up to a 400 watt FTP on the flats you would smoke me (and pretty much everyone else).

Which comes back to, what are your goals? Do you want to be the strongest cyclist you can be? Do you want to be the fastest cyclist you can be at 100kg? They are very different goals. It also depends a lot on your riding conditions. If you live in a flat area, your focus should be on power / aerodynamic drag. If you live in a hilly area then it’s watts / kg.

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Thanks for the in-depth response!

Your last question hit me hard, I want to be the fastest cyclist I can be at 100kg. I crosstrain with power lifting and kickboxing, but cycling is where I find my most joy.