Dylan Johnson's "The Problem with TrainerRoad Training Plans": it's gonna be a busy day around here

Absolutely. Would be more appropriate to advice people on the need for low intensity training. Especially the HV and MV plans have crazy amounts of intensity.


To me thats the key; he is likely not wrong. Nowhere do I see any scientific evidence for 4-5 intensity days per week (outside block periodization)

I like the TR forum, I like the TR podcast and I like using sweetspot in my training. I just think, that in terms of training intensity distribution DJ is closer to scientific concensus than TR trainingplans (especially MV/HV plans)


This is going to run for a bit, I think… :man_facepalming:

The video is essentially ‘Polarized is better than sweet spot’.

I think he does have 1 or 2 valid points from a slightly older athlete’s point of view.

I’d end this by saying I don’t know who he is, but he looks on the young side (to put it mildly). Experience? What’s his reputation?


I agreee with this. One of the reaons why I only ever consider low volume plans and then supplement with lower intensity / longer rides - often even replacing one of the prescribed workouts. That is how I intend to train this year.


Wow it doesn’t hold back.

I’m hoping TR do release a more polarised master programme, as i do find the intensity a bit too much. I have struggled with it at various stages. That said I’ve had very good improvements using TR plans so how can that be the wrong approach :man_shrugging: and i would always recommend these plans and the podcasts advice.


TrainerRoad also has to compete with peloton and those type A personalities, orange theory lovers; etc. all of those programs are non stop intensity every time 3-5 days a week.
So someone who just wants to sweat and burn some calories might not be interested in polarized training ( like some people on here)
and if that’s all TrainerRoad offered they wouldn’t attract any other clients.
So I think they go in the middle with adding extra intensity days with z2 options to attract a variety of clientele. If they were training a specific person With known training history; etc, I’m sure the plans would look different. Like has always been said everyone is different and what works for me might not work for you. That’s goes for nutrition, fitness and life. So again he probably lost some clients and now has to get more views and clients to make up for the wide variety audience TrainerRoad attracts.


Right! Same. It’s hard to bite the hand that fed me, taking me from a 193 FTP to a 308 FTP. I literally had a 100w ftp increase in the first year. TR is good and it works. It just needs a little tweaking especially considering using TR plans year over year. TR is good, but it could be even better. I can love a product but still be honest. I’m pointing out your flaws because I love you, not because I hate you… BTW, this doesn’t work with the wife I’ve found :face_with_raised_eyebrow:.


Did you use that exact line with the wife? :rofl: :rofl:


Are you asking about my first wife or my current :laughing:


I can’t help but look at this video with the perspective that Dylan Johnson is a coach and TrainerRoad is his competition. Also, this is from a guy that rides upwards 30 hours a week. Maybe I’m just a skeptical cynic though.


His Strava is crazy, MANY 100 mile days in the same week. Jealous.


I explode the grains immediately!

Yes, same here, really like the guys but yes just too much intensity for me. I still do SS training but 2 days a week in the base phase and the rest in zone 2. I think it might be time for the trainer road people to realise they may have made a bit of a mistake and either change their plans or do a version with less intensity. I know they keep saying that the SS is great but there’s so many people with the same experience of burnout.


What if TR provide low volume plus plans(added endurance or Z1 in polarized sense to their low volume plans) and rebrand it as Polarized Low Volume(plus one endurance), Polarized Mid Volume(plus two endurance), and PHV(plus three endurance), then no customer stealing would be happen.

… just kidding.


I will say, as a counterpoint to the “too much intensity” thing is that at least from a TSB standpoint, I don’t actually get super deep into the negative with SSB HV as it’s written, I may get into -20 at the lowest when it gets to week 5 of SSB2. Obviously TSB isn’t the perfect capture of fatigue, but at least from that perspective the TR plan isn’t designed to burn anyone out.


I’ve reached into the mid -30s on several occasions following SSBHV


Personal experience, I’ve never felt as fit and fresh after finishing SSB as I did doing TB this year. I think he has some excellent points and I love TR but it needs updating


Nowhere? Check out these two articles posted by the King of Sweetspot himself, Frank Overton.

Effect of training on enzyme activity and fiber composition of human skeletal muscle Gollnick PD , Armstrong RB, Saltin B, Saubert CW 4th, Sembrowich WL, Shepherd RE. J Appl Physiol. 1973 Jan;34(1):107-11.

Linear increase in aerobic power induced by a strenuous program of endurance exercise. Hickson RC , Bomze HA, Holloszy JO. J Appl Physiol Respir Environ Exerc Physiol. 1977 Mar;42(3):372-6.


Now that they can push workouts to head units, then maybe than could change to making the z2 the default and have SST as an alternative?

I think he meant “current” body of training research, not research from 20-50 yrs ago.