FTP change after SS Base I Mid Volume

Hi everyone, first post here.

I just finished SS Base I mid vol recovery week and retested 10w lower for FTP (ramp test). Thru base 1 the first OU was almost a fail and then I made a great fitness “increase” where the OU were tough but doable consistently goin forward. I’ve lost a solid 10 lbs as well.

So I’m certain my FTP has gone up since the first ramp test just before starting base 1.

I’m thinking to add 10 Watts to my old FTP (4%ish) vs reducing to the new test results or even leaving it unchnaged.

Thots? I should have seen an FTP increase right? I feel stronger on the bike since day 1.

Thanks in advance!

This seems to be a common occurance on SSB MV plans. Maybe the residual fatigue is causing difficult ramp tests :thinking: (Just pondering).

Its a tough one. Maybe leave it the same for the first week then retest next?

Yes it does seem to be common. I suspect it’s my gassed legs at higher power levels. But honestly, it feels like i’ve improved, so not increasing ftp might be a slight handicap.


If completed OU workouts towards end of plan ok then I’d just keep FTP same for now (still great win as lost 4-5 kg!). Then do ssb2 and if workouts feel too easy just bump ftp up by 5-10w.


Great example of where there are so many other gains to be made other than solely based on FTP - you lost 10lbs and saw a marked improvement in your fitness, awesome work!

Regarding the ramp test… you could have had a bad test, maybe nutrition, maybe sleep or some other factor - only you can guess. I’d be careful adding watts to your FTP ‘just because’ (I’ve done it, and it led to more failed workouts than I’d like to admit), but what you might consider is either leaving it alone and sticking with it OR leaving it alone and then adding 1-2% on your next workouts and see how they go. Certainly you shouldn’t have “lost” 10w on your FTP, and you already see the gains you did make elsewhere.
SSB2 workouts are going to vary a bit more than you’ve seen so far in SSB1, so if you over-estimate your FTP you’ll almost certainly feel this in the VO2 work ahead.

I’ve done the SSBMV plan 3 years in a row and every time, I have seen an FTP increase after the first 6 week cycle and then tested lower (actually back at where I started for a net gain of 0) after the 2nd 6 weeks. I had fitness gains, but i also had a boatload of fatigue after that second cycle which screwed up the tests. I am in my late 50’s and while I generally like Coach Chad’s program, he really does have to get finished with those Masters athlete plans he has been promising! I know we are dealing with generic plans but one size can not fit all. We need one or two more sizes :wink:

Don’t dial your FTP back but do a week of build before you try any increase.

FWIW - I have found that not being aggressive in plugging in increased FTP numbers actually works better if you are susceptible to excess fatigue (i.e. you’re old and/or have a stressful life off the bike). It is way better to make all or most of the workouts then to kill some and then have to sit out some.

Thanks everyone! @stevemz great post! I like the straight forward advice and it’s consistent with others as well. Since I tested lower but workouts went as planned, I’ll likely leave my ftp the same. If things seem too easy, I’ll add a few points along the way.

Having done the ramp test only twice, and having done the 8’ ftp test and plans from the Time Crunch Training Plans (TCTP Chris Carmichael), I do prefer the 8’ tests. I feel like I can judge them better. Perhaps I should consider the 8’ test next time.

I’m not overly concerned about the “actual” ftp number, I just want to train at the correct wattage reference for these workouts.

One last tip is that once you pick a protocol, be it 8 min, 20 min, TP progression, Ramp Test, etc., stick with it for awhile. It’s more important to have an apples-to-apples comparison as you progress through the training. Accuracy is over-rated as none of these tests get at what we think/hope they do.

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I think we’d all like to assume our power meters are 100% accurate and repeatable, however, I wouldn’t rule out that trainer/power meter calibration/accuracy/precision (repeatability) could also be a factor.

At 300 watts a 1.5% precision could result in values 295.5 - 304.5

Quite possibly your test could have ended up as a gain.

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True, but at least in my case I have 3 separate trials with the same result so I’m confident it is my particular physical reaction to this particular plan structure and not my power meter. Two 5 weeks on/ 1 week recovery cycles back to back is just enough too much for me to produce a quality test result on the Tuesday after the end of the second cycle.

Whatever my Power Meter is doing, I myself appear to be repeatable :wink:

Thanks everyone for the commetns. I left my ftp as is and the first week was very doable almost too easy. I feel like I can do a little bit more. Thoughts on adding say like 2-5% and pushing on? Will i make it too tough? Should I wait until i’m well into the SSmid volume II before i decide?

Any thoughts would be helpful.

You could give yourself a couple days of proper rest and then re-test. Try an opener like Truuli -1 the day before the ramp test, it could be a case of dead legs after your adaptation week.

You haven’t gotten to the point in the plan where you feel cumulative fatigue, so I would wait. Even then, I wouldn’t necessarily do a wholesale increase across all workouts. You could base it on how you feel day-to-day, week by week. Even then, I wouldn’t touch the Tues workouts. They are going to stimulate similar adaptations whether you keep them where they are or nudge them a bit.

If things still feel easy in a week, first thing I would do is see about making those 2 weekend rides harder.

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That plan was abandoned. :anguished:

If they felt too easy based on the IF of the workouts, you should have increased the intensity a few percentages all last week as you saw fit. But since we’re past that, then yes, I woukd increase your FTP a little, maybe 2%. If the next week still feels too easy, increase it again until it feels right. But don’t get carried away as SSB2 gets more demanding as the weeks continue.

As a 64 yo I have decided to stick with the low volume plans to allow enough time for recovery. So Far so good. I did Traditional Base 1 and 2 now in SSB 1. I also move my once weekly weight workout to a different day to spread out the exercise stress. I have also abbreviated the weight workout, alternating deadlift, bench press, seated row one week with squat, overhead press, pull up the next week. Trying to keep the stress of any individual workout manageable.

I too failed my FTP test after SSBMV1 even though I was able to finish the O/U’s without fail. I know I’m in better shape but even after a few days rest and re-testing, I failed. My only thought is that we do very little high effort in SSBMV1 and so we lose some of the high power capability. I left my FTP unchanged and proceeded onto SSBMV2. Two weeks in and I’m doing OK so I bumped the FTP by 5. I keep reminding myself that I saw significant gains in power vs heart rate over six weeks which is what base training is supposed to do. I’m looking forward to getting into the build phase to see what potential will be unleashed. Keep us posted as you go. You’re not alone.

@Fast4fun These were my thoughts as well. the ramp test needs strong power to finish strong! I too have felt a significant increase in fitness. I did my Sat and Sund (week 2) SSBMV2 where I added 5 watts as well and it wasn’t a problem at all. I’ll monitor after this Sunday’s workout and my even add another few points if it all feels too “easy”. I just remember that first OU that I almost failed, and now nothing comes close to that really tough RPE. So i tend to think I need to be working harder and harder and harder…So far so good though. Slow and steady.

Ok, I did Bluebell this morning to kick off wk3 of SSBMV2 and it went superb. So much that I added yet another 2 points before starting the last set. That means I’ve added a total of 4% since starting MV2. It seems fine and I was starting to have to really concentrate on that last few 60” gunners in Bluebell. But I wasn’t completely spent and felt like I had to focus to keep the cadence and power up while maintaining decent form.

IDK, but it seems appropriate. I’ll keep running at this increased ftp this week, and if it’s all good, I’ll lock it down.

I may just do the 8’ ftp test next time, vs failing at a high power effort on the ramp test. I’ve done quite a few 8’ ftp tests from TCTP so I’m comfortable with that.

Thanks for your help and for paying attention.