Dropping Weight and Adding Watts

Hey I am new to TR and a first year cyclist. I started cycling in March after loosing 60 lbs. I am 6’6" and weigh 279lbs. I have since biked 5000 miles here in SoCal. I am ready to loose another 60-80 lbs. I did the ramp test today on my Tacx for the first time and my ftp was 274.

I am wondering, is it possible to still do some weekly rides outside? I have stages LR power meters.
Is 2 lbs a week of fat a safe amount to drop and not lose too much muscle mass?
Is it possible to get up to 350-360 watts in a year or two? Which volume of plan would you recommend? I have an April Fondo I would like to do and then the Mammoth Fondo in September.

Thanks in advance,


Having listened to the podcast for a while, I think @ambermalika regularly advises that cyclists chase performance first and foremost. Performance will often lead to better decisions around food, strength work, sleep and consistent training. Usually weight follows on from those things rather than being a target in itself.

From personal experience, I know that there is definitely a weight below which my performance falls off quite significantly. I’m currently carrying a few covid and christmas pounds, but I figure I’m allowed to be january sized in january :wink:


Yes, and one way is to apply the TR Outside Workout option:

The short answer is that no one knows. There are far too many variables to make that type of prediction. It’s best to just get consistent with your training and see where you can go, especially with so little prior experience.

The common recommendation, especially for those that are new to structured training is to start with Low Volume.

If you have a nailed the Low Volume, there are some recommendations for taking the next step:

You can add those events to the calendar, and allow Plan Builder to set the training plan aimed at those goal events.


Welcome! Losing weight and gaining watts, you’ll get different answers from everyone. My only advice is to hit your workouts and fuel them. Don’t diet on the bike and focus on Having healthy eating habits. Don’t eat like an a—hole but also don’t be mad if you fall off the wagon; you’re human and we make mistakes.

Some great blog posts below!

Adding to this; I’m on a low volume plan with added endurance and raised my ftp 80 watts in a little over a year. Consistently is key :key:


Congrats on the hard work and weight loss!

Weight is like money…the more you have, the easier it is to lose a lot of it! 2# a week isnt at all unreasonable at your size. I would completely ignore your power numbers and “loss of muscle” and focus on getting healthy. If you simply maintain your power and lose your goal of 80#, youre going from a ftp of 2.1 w/kg up to almost 3.

I’d recommend doing the low volume plan and adding Z2 rides in as much as you can on off days.

I didn’t lose quite as much weight as you, but cycling has been great for me. Down from bring tight in a 38 pants to needing a belt in 34 in like 5-6 months. Consistency is really the key. I almost guilted myself into working out on days I just wasn’t feeling it. Even if its a 30 min Z2 ride, that’s 30 minutes I didn’t sit on the couch!


congrats on the weight loss! I’ve lost 20lbs over the last 5 months, while getting faster and maintaining muscle mass. Based on all I’ve read, the key things I did are: 500 calorie deficit per day to target 1lb a week, eat enough protein, and 2-3 strength training sessions a week. For my cycling I try to do all training outside (easy in NorCal) except in bad weather I’ll ride the trainer. Been averaging 8 hours/week since Oct 1, targeting 5 days a week built around endurance rides and 2 days with intervals. I’ve always seen a better response to training with consistent 6-8 hours/week, and doing it outside. Looking at my interval days it looks more like a TR low volume plan (but only 2 days), with fewer intervals and a lot of additional endurance riding. The podcast often recommends starting with a low volume plan and do additional endurance rides. In cycling performance improves with volume, so be careful if you decide to go from 5000 miles in 9 months to a lot less. Structured plans help but more volume is worth a lot. It is practically impossible to predict what ftp you can achieve, however losing weight will absolutely make climbing up mountains a LOT easier. Hope that helps and have fun in April and at the Mammoth fondo!


Sustainable gains come with time. Be patient, enjoy your time cycling during the process, and you will lose weight and gain power. Rush both and you risk losing both.

You live in a dream area for being able to be consistent with riding (I am SoCal too). Stick with it, and things will happen.

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There is no reason you can’t lose weight and gain watts at the same time, especially if you are on the heavy side. I’m always at my strongest when I’m at my leanest. I think the risk of losing muscle when losing weight while training is often overstated.

As others have said, fuel the work. Eat normal off the bike, but hit the calories pretty hard when riding. For me, once I up the volume, extra weight drops off. It can be a fine line if you are doing a bunch of intensity and trying to keep energy up for training, but even then I often drop fat during a hard build phase. I wouldn’t focus on 2lbs a week, I’d just ride/train a bunch and eat/fuel well and let the rest take care of itself. You might end up losing 3lbs a week, maybe less then 1lb a week, but I guarantee it will take you to a good place.

What kind of intervals are you doing right now?

whatever my coach tells me to do :joy: Festive 500 and getting a head cold kinda interrupted my training, right now tempo is really strong out to 3 hours so I’m doing more advanced aerobic work to pull up threshold.