Sweet Spot Base
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.
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!
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
I have great news for you. If you want to be the fastest cyclist at 100kg … you’ll have no shortage of people who will want to sit on your wheel
Being the best powerlifter and the fastest cyclist aren’t very complimentary. When you say:
That implies that you’re willing to give up some of your strength to be a faster cyclist. But if you intend to stay at 100kg, that will be a limiter for you. It’s a lot of mass to drag around. Ignoring the difficulty in getting there, I’m willing to bet you’ll enjoy cycling more at 80-85kg. If you don’t want to lose weight, you have to accept the cycling trade-offs; slower acceleration and a lot harder going uphill. Of course you’ll have an advantage on the downhill and plenty of muscle mass to grow a big engine. You can make yourself into whatever athlete you want to be, you just have to know what that is.
Yeah that’s what I’m coming to grips to. Power lifting and cycling are on complete opposites of the fitness spectrum…maybe I can find a happy medium?
That being said, I do enjoy the following as a larger rider:
- Being helpful and pulling on group rides
- Causing more damage to cars than they cause to me
- The looks of disgust I get when I’m in my lycra
- Crashing out at 20mph but not breaking anything
- Having to true my wheels once a month (love supporting my LBS)
Cool man. I think 5/3/1 has too much volume, I’d maybe consider only one big lower body movement a week. But you should mix it up and do what works for you
Yeah, only second week on this schedule so we’ll see how it goes.
400W is certainly possible, but will take good genes and a lot of training to get there. I know some decent cyclists who weigh 90-100kg. I don’t know any cyclists whose optimum cycling weight is 90-100kg - all of the bigger guys would undoubtedly be faster on the bike by losing fat and/or muscle. Doesn’t mean they should - there’s more to life than cycling and if they’re happy with their training and lifestyle choices that’s fine with me.
If you really want to get to 4W/kg you’re far more likely to do it at a significantly lower weight. And even if you are blessed with the genes to do it at 100kg I’d still say that you’d be better still by losing a chunk of that weight. To put it in context, Chris Hoy is your height and weighs about 93kg, so 7kg less than you and he was competing in the shortest and most power-driven events in cycling. The biggest road riders tend to top out at about 80-85kg, and they’re normally taller than you as well. I can guarantee you that with the right nutritional and training approach you can get well below 100kg without losing anything from your FTP (might lose some 5 second power). If you lost power previously going to 95kg it’s because you did it too fast, or weren’t fuelling rides properly, or something else is going on.
I was 94 and 189cm. weight dropped to 88 and power increased. On my way to 4w/kg.
Just follow the TR plans and make sure you train and recover properly. It will take time but you will get there.
You are struggling maybe because you are in a calorie deficit. Try eating a lot of good carbs to fuel your workout.
400 4w/kg is a stretch, but maybe you are setting the bar too high for a reasonable goal that can be achieved in e.g. 1 year. I guess you should just work your way up end keep track of your improvements and notice when the lines flattens.
I would go for 300 - 3w/kg as a more realistic goal, by then you will know a lot more about training, your body, capabilities etc. and from there you can set new goals, and maybe 400 is achievable in 2 years
You could conceivably get to 4w/kg at 100kg but it will be a whole lot faster and easier to get there by working on both parts of that fraction. It’s pretty difficult to conceive of anyone being at an optimal weight when their BMI is 31 - in the obese category. (and FWIW, I’m not talking down at all - I’m right there with too with a 31 BMI at the moment.) You and I could both stand to lose 15+ kg.
I would attribute your trouble on a group ride to one or more of the following: not hydrated, not rested, not enough nutrition, cutting calories too fast (which can really tank energy levels for me), or maybe the ride was a little faster than recovery pace?
My $0.02 is to keep at it the training and make good choices about what you eat. The weight will come off and your performance will increase (probably pretty quickly.) I think you’ll find a nice spot around 75 to 80 kg and 300 to 320 watts that will put you over 4 w/kg and I’d plan on it taking about a year to get there.
@IvoKrakic has an FTP of exactly 400W as far as I know. So he might answer how to get there.
But he is a rower and that doesn’t count jk
I would focus on losing weight slowly and continuously. There are good methods on that, and it has been a topic in several threads.
400FTP is attainable for many larger cyclists, but it is domestic pro level. Also, bare in mind that Romain Bardet, who is a Little taller than you, is estimated to have a 400W FTP. He obviously isn’t a hundred kilos, but probably as well trained as a human can be, and a genetic specimen…
Long story short: losing weight is by far the easiest way to attain a certain W/kg.
yeap I’m right there on the dot
Currently I am around 85-87kg, I was 100 when i started cycling. I have been slowly loosing weight and gaining power so imo weight does not correlate to power in cycling as much as it does in other sports like rowing for example.
Also I never really focused on losing weight (not yet) but still I lost a decent amount just with the volume I have been doing, so focus on power if you’re heavier and weight will go down, once you hit a plateau, then maybe start calorie cutting or whatever else works for you.
If you lost 10kg and were able to maintain power, you would be an absolute force on the bike.
Do you happen to know German rower turned cyclist Jason Osborne? He made the transition and is likely going to be an international pro right after quitting rowing after Tokyo 2021!