Doing the same workout all the time

Because of my weight lifting background i’m big fan of the progressive overload concept.

I was thinking about applying this to indoor training aswell by doing the same workout (Carson) 4-5 times a week and increasing the power by 1-2% a week if possible.

This would allow me to track my progress and keep me motivated.

I have no specific goals and just want to increase my power numbers.

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Unless you’re new I think that type of overloading is overly optimistic. I think most people that are on a block and progressing would kill to be able to have a 8-16% increase per block. I think, from what I hear, the realistic number may be about 3% for the upper end.

I’m fairly new and when focusing on a specific workout you tend to adapt to that specific effort allowing you to progress faster for that workout.

To elaborate i used to switch up exercises when going to the gym and periodically focused on specific exercises. For example when i focused on bench pressing i improved quite a bit but only marginally when it came to other chest based movements. My body adapted to that very movement.

I’m curious whether the same concept would apply on the bike.

I think you’ll plateau very quickly.

Cycling is completely different from lifting. Even at a slow 60RPM cadence, which many would consider “grinding” or “stomping”, that’s 3600 reps on each leg over an hour period.


This isn’t the most efficient training method but for the sake of conversation. What if instead of increasing power every week, you increase the interval duration?

Each week you add 1 minute to each interval. Carson has intervals from 5-7 minutes. The next week you increase to intervals of 6-8 minutes. This isn’t as easy to implement as just increasing the workout intensity, you’d have to use the WorkoutCreator. But depending on your goals, could provide a better training stimulus than just increasing power each week.


I think this is viable. I think this is most useful for newer athletes, and also if you look at some of the plan progressions, that’s (basically) what they do. But, there’s an alternation of over/under (or going up and down the sweet spot range) and also extending time, little by little. But, also managing strain per day, relative to prior days.

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Yes exactly. I’m in SSBMV1 and last week I did Palisade, 9 minute over unders, and last night I did McAdie +1, 12 minute over unders. Both workouts have the same prescribed interval power, 95% under and 105% over, but McAdie extends the intervals by 3 minutes.

Interesting idea. Might give this a try aswell.

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There are multiple systems that you train in cycling, while (it appears to me) that lifting only targets one - strength. In any enurance sport you have aerobic capacity, muscular endurance, strength endurance, etc. All these different systems contribute to making you a better cyclist. By only doing the same workout over and over (even with increasing numbers), youa re not really training all these systems optimally (and some are likely ignored all together).

All the TR plans allow you to “track your progress”…this is done through TSS and then every 4 weeks with a Ramp Test, where you will be able to quantify your gains on a regular basis. Endurance gains come over large blocks of time, not necessarily weekly.

I’m actually surprised it’s not recommended for new athletes more often.

I have made the experience in other sports that it’s a vital tool to get to know your body.
It’s essentially like completing an ftp everytime. You can track your recovery/sleep and nutrition by being able to tell minor differences in the perceveiced effort. You’ll be much more capable of assessing these parameters when you know the workout inside-out.

I’ll still try to ride outdoors once a week to get a different stimulus i suppose.

In cycling that is often (but not always) implemented as increasing time-in-zone. For workouts like Carson (sweet spot) that means going from say 8 minute intervals to 10 to 12 to 15 to 20 to 30 … For example a progression like in this post Are the TrainerRoad plans good enough for long 3hr+ races? - #20 by bbarrera

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If you look at a “column” of days in a 3-week or 5-week block in a TrainerRoad plan, they are often progression in a style that works better for cycling. That might be increasing total interval time, increasing interval difficulty, reducing rest periods, etc.

See, for example: SSB MV 1 Thursday, SSB MV 2 Tuesday, General Build MV Thursday Weeks 5-7.

You certainly can brew your own progressions, but usually, I think, intervals are progressed by interval duration and total volume rather than by power %.


I was thinking the same thing. The TR training plans have this natural progression built in, presumably because it’s the most effective way to get faster.

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I would very much trust Coach Chad over self-prescribed training, TBH.


I did this for my son, as a “pre base” to get settle fitness and set up a routine of work, before starting a program. To go from 0 status to “off the couch” status, and now he’s on TR doing SSBLV1.

The best I would do is cherry pick some workouts based on my situation, but generally agree–Coach Chad knows more about this stuff than I do, so I try to just do what he says. :slight_smile:

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Progressive overload is huge in cycling training, its just not the same as simply adding weight in weight lifting. In cycling, the overload you are looking for comes more from time in zone along with the right mix of zones targeted at the right times over a season… While power generated over time is a good measure of cycling fitness, simply “going a little harder the next time” on the same workout over and over is not a very effective way to train bike fitness and, at best, will make you a very one dimensional rider.

In cycling the basic metrics of Training Stress Score “TSS” and the TSS ramp rates over time are the cycling equivalent of a weigh lifter putting a little more weight on each workout. It can get complicated but here is a summary.

same workout over and over will most likely lead to stagnation, a plateau, and burn out.

change things up and different stimuli will lead to bigger gains down the road.

good luck!