This is a potentially controversial topic, so let’s all stay curious and play nicely.
I’ve switched from Peloton at the beginning of the Pandemic to Kickr in 2021. On Peloton I was following the Power Zone Pack challenge and raised my FTP from 180 to 302W in just over a year (I checked the Peloton power with my power meter pedals, it’s within spec). On Kickr I started with the vanilla low volume TR program and then switched to mid-volume adaptive when it became available.
Well, I just did my ramp test and my FTP dropped to 205W—I lost 100W!
Now, there are plenty of things that might have contributed to this. Having a lingering cold for the last three weeks is not the least of them. But the decline has been gradual. So I’ve been trying to tease apart all the potential contributing factors.
The gear selection and the cadence might be among them. I used to spin closer to 100rpm in the heaviest gear—biggest ring in the front, smallest sprocket in the back. So I’ve been training for the flats, basically.
But lately, I’ve been also wondering if ERG could be contributing to this as well.
See, on the Peloton, I would try to ride at the top of the prescribed zone, and if I find it unsustainable for the duration of the interval, then I’d scale back to the middle or even the bottom of the zone. But on the Kickr with the ERG mode on I hold whatever power is prescribed regardless of whether I could put out more.
The hope is that the adaptive engine will notice that somehow and adapt my next workout. Again, I don’t know how the sausage is made, so this is all 100% speculation, let’s treat it appropriately. But I wonder if ERG is making it harder for AT?