From morbidly obese to, well, a little fluffy, I want to keep getting better (and faster). What plans suits me?

So long story short, I was fat, really fat, for a long time. Then I bought a bike and things changed. I started a Keto diet this March and got serious about riding bike, the weight dropped off super quick. I’ve gone from 400 lbs at my weigh in February 26th to somewhere in the 250’s now. Bike’s saved my life and it’s something I plan to stick with.

On advice from my bike fitter I gave the TR podcast a listen and got hooked, then I subscribed, now I’m not sure what to do next.

I started Sweet Spot Base Mid this week and I’m trying to plan out the rest of the year. There’s a local gravel race at the end of April I want to ride in, possibly the 75+ mile route. That being said, I’m still a big guy and not really sure which route I should take. My FTP on the trainer is 216 which puts me at like 1.8w/kg, I think it’s realistic to get this above 2, maybe 2.2 by April, but what’s my best bet on the plan?

I was thinking of doing Sustained Power Mid for my Build phase, taking a week off between the base and build. Then what, Century?

I don’t have any dreams of flying up mountains any time soon, or out sprinting people, I just want to drop weight, be able to go on long group rides, do a century or three this summer, and get into shape. Eventually I think a time trial would be fun to do, and as soon as I learn to run (hopefully this winter) I’ll try some shorter Triathlons. I guess the idea of being that guy that can lay down power and put in work appeals to me.


Also, for anyone that wants to see where I came from;



Congratulations on the impressive weight loss. I think your proposed plan makes sense. I lost 30 pounds this year following the SSB I & II -> Sustained Power Build -> Century Specialty progression. And that was without any conscious change to my diet. Best of luck!


I read that article when it first came out. Congratulations on the weight loss!

I think Sustained Power Build > Century is a good plan. FWIW I’m only at 2.25w/kg but not too pathetic a rider (or maybe I am, don’t shatter my illusions).


Happy to see your post and planned direction, Chris.

For the Burleigh Co. Cup, I did:
SSB 1 & 2 Mid
Sustained Power Build
Century Specialty.

It served me well for the 75 miler, and 4:40 time. I was around 3.5 to 3.7 w/kg at 145 lbs at the time.

I think that same approach works for you even if you opt for the Sippy Cup.

I may switch up to General Build and Rolling Road Race Specialty this season. I might shoot to stay with the lead group as opposed to my steadier approach of 2018. I’m still considering the options, but the choice goes down a lot to how you want to ride or race it.

The race was super fun and I’m excited to come back in 2019.

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Mate, absolutely huge kudos to you! I read that article back in July and it’s truly impressive. Keep on keeping on! Big love


Remember reading this article a while ago - congratulations man, that’s awesome!

In my experience the most efficient calorie burning workouts are Sweet Spot workouts. Compare the calories burned on Galena and Palisade

Even though Palisade is definitely a harder workout you’ll burn (slightly) more calories in sweet spot while accumulating less TSS - thus, better able to hit another sweet spot workout sooner and accumulate even more calorie burn.

If your primary goal is weight loss I’d stay in sweet spot base for a looooong time as it is extremely effective at burning calories.

It will get you in shape for long rides and will gradually lift your FTP - but not as quickly as mixing in a build here and there. It really depends on how you want to prioritize fitness gains vs weight loss. Assuming a primary goal of weight loss the long term view I’d propose would be something like SSB1->SSB2->SSB1->SSB2->Sustained Power Build->SSB1->SSB2->Sustained Power Build

This won’t get your FTP climbing as quickly as a more aggressive Base->Build->Specialize, but will be the most efficient way to burn calories and drop pounds

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Hi Chris, first off Congratulations on fantastic progress so far. My recommendation would be to start with Sweet Spot Base (mid volume is great if you can commit to 5 workouts a week) as there is plenty of sweet spot work which I found helped me with weight loss massively at the start of 2018.
In January 2018 I was weighing 228lb (103.6kg) with an untrained FTP of 170 (this was pre-ramp Test so my discipline/competence at FTP testing was not that great) so my true FTP might have been a little higher say 1.7W/kg.
I stuck with the Sweet Spot Base Mid Volume plans (1&2) and in 3 months was down to 190lbs (86.8kg) and my FTP has grown to 238 giving me 2.75 W/kg.
Once I started cycling outside my Strava PB’s kept on coming. I will say that my summer cycling helped me lose a bit more weight, but the lack of structure meant my FTP didn’t grow that much more during the season. At my peak I think I was probably at 3.0W/kg and able to ride with guys I never imagined keeping up with before.
I’ve just started training for my A event next season and have plans to get down to 155-160 lbs (70-72kg) and am targeting a 280 FTP by end of March (currently 230). This will put me at 4.0 W/kg and I might even think about racing.

TrainerRoad was life changing for me in early 2018, you’ve already made huge progress with where you’ve got to, but stick with SSB and you can take your cycling to he next level.

Cheers, Steve


Great story Chris, congratulations. I’m doing the same thing, although I’m a smaller framed guy. I let my weight get up to 220lb, which was a BMI of over 35 for me and knew things had to change. I’ve tried diets by themselves, and gym work but didn’t really enjoy either.

I found the Concept2 Rower and thought it was great and that helped me a lot. I then got into Zwift and outdoor cycling, and that’s when good stuff started happening. Living in the Pacific NorthWest, there are LOTS of very challenging hills though, and I knew I needed to get fitter so that I could tackle steep hills that had traffic on them too. I just wasn’t confident struggling up some hill in granny gear while cars and pickups were whizzing past me. No accidents or stories to tell thankfully, but outdoors was not the right environment unless I loaded the bike up in the the car and went somewhere easier.

That’s where Zwift came in, and I enjoyed the fun, colorful gamey-ness of it, but TrainerRoad’s Sweet Spot Base I and II were what really made the difference. I was trying to kill myself by going at max power the whole time and then wondering why I was exhausted, and I’ve really found the world of HR and power zones, pacing and so on really helpful. I finished SS I and II with an 18% improvement in power/weight (MyFitnessPal and a 1700 calorie goal, with 40% protein, 30/30 carb/fat macros handles the diet side). I’m now just abobe 180 lb, so about 35 lb weight loss since the start of the year.

So now I’m on Sustained Power Build, and with Century lined up for the new year. Goal is to do the Seattle Portland 200 mile, two day event in August 2019.

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I have nothing useful to add, just a frickin’ massive high five on smashing that weightloss. :raised_hand:t3:


Ditto. That’s more than impressive, and definitely inspirstional. Keep at it.