Hi newbie biker here with lots of time

So I am more of a weightlifter and I have a rowing machine, I bought a road bike for the sole purpose of buying a hammer h2 to make my cardio workouts more interesting. I have been dabbling in mtb as well but just for fun I really love bikes. So I started the training plan at high volume base a and on my 3rd and 4th weekend workout for the 2 hours sweet spot sessions named hunter and wright peak -2 I could just finish round 1 hour and 30minutes and my legs were just really fatigued on the last session I tried lowering it to 90% effort to just finish it. Is it ok to just stop at what I can do for now or should I lower the effort and finish the whole workout? I know my main purpose is calorie burn but if I get my ftp up to 250 or 300watts I am planning to buy a more expensive bike and go racing and take up biking seriously. Am I hampering my progress by taking it slow? My current FTP is 139 since I am starting from zero and heard nooby gains will be fast and my target is to hit 250 to 300 watts by january just in time for the summer races here.

There are people here with better advice than I could probably give but my first reaction is that you’re pushing your body pretty damn hard with a high volume plan.

In know you have time, but just seems like to me you’re gonna run yourself into the ground here and then you’ll have to spend time picking up the pieces of that.

I think it takes a good 2 years to get you biking legs under you - not to day you can’t or shouldn’t do races next year - absolutely do them whatever your FTP. I love the enthusiasm. But would slow your roll just a tad and let your body learn to adjust to cycling and recover.

I’m sure someone else with more workout experience will chime in here

Probably the opposite. You are almost certainly hampering your long-term progress by taking it too hard, too fast. Based on your “newbie” comment and starting FTP, I would highly recommend starting with a slower ramp than SSB. SSB are hard workouts and I personally would not recommend them to a brand new rider. Traditional base would probably be a better starting point as you learn how to turn your pedals before turning them hard. That’s particularly true if you are trying to do high volume. I know that “learning how to turn the pedals” may sound silly if you’ve been riding bikes all your life, but it’s really important to get your mechanics and fit dialed in and build muscle memory before any hard training. Besides the risk of injury by going too hard too fast, you will almost certainly develop bad habits if you don’t get dialed in before starting to ramp things up.

If you are a fast adapter and have decent genetics, it might be possible to get to 250+ watts FTP in 5 months, but cycling fitness is generally a long game (years, not weeks or months). I see so many really fit and motivated people jump on a bike and want to be fast/strong in less than 6 months. With few exceptions from the genetically gifted (or folks that already have big aerobic engines), it just doesn’t work that way. They think they can build fitness faster by riding hard all the time and just riding more. It works to a point, but you can only build fitness so fast. I wish you luck getting to 250+ by january, but just focus on the process and let the watts come. If you can get your FTP from 139 to 300 by january, you probably have the genetics to get it to 400+ within a couple years.

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In order of priority, I think your focus should be:

  1. Economy (being efficient at your sport; similar to learning to drive well before becoming a race car driver, or learning to lift properly before lifting heavy weights; it’s the same in cycling)
  2. Aerobic threshold
  3. Lactate/anaerobic threshold
  4. VO2Max (aerobic capacity)

Economy comes through learning how to cycle efficiently (body position, pedaling technique, etc). I think TR workouts provide great instructions/cues as to how to do this. Roughly speaking, you can save/gain 5-10% watts by learning to ride efficiently.

Aerobic threshold: IMO, the value of long endurance rides can not be over stated. Instead of purely burning glucose for energy, you are training your body to burn fat (more dense than glucose) for energy. If you have the time available, going on long weekend rides (perhaps starting at 2-3 hours and then progressing from there) allows you to build endurance, learn nutrition, and the physical/mental game of sitting in the saddle for several hours.

Lactate/anaerobic and VO2Max training are well incorporated into the TR plans. If you follow the plans you will get the specific training you need.

Given the recommendation for the long endurance ride(s), I would suggest starting at Low Volume. Not only can you move to Medium Volume if you are able to handle it, but on any given day, you can choose an alternate workout from the workout library that is similar (such as the +1 or +2 versions of a workout) to increase your workout dose.

Final comment: Strength Training: Having a robust strength training program adds huge benefits to cycling, including lower body, core and upper body. You obviously have this. Depending on the type of lifting you have been doing, you may need to make adjustments. However, the important point is not to loose it.

You will want to also let us know:

  • You set your goal to 300W but how much do you weigh?
  • Are you trying to continue your weightlifting?
  • What kind of racing interests you?
  • Do you know what you are doing with respect to recovery and nutrition?

Personally I think that medium volume is a better choice for someone who is new (but fit) and has lots of time to devote to recovery. The other thing is that these TR plans are kind of designed for time-crunched athletes. If you have lots of time then there are definitely other (cycling-related) activities which you could and should add to your plan instead of “splurging” it all on the indoor trainer.

  • Attend a training camp
  • Group rides
  • Traveling to bucket list MTB trails
  • Doing long 5+ hour rides (dials in bike fit and on the bike nutrition/hydration)
  • Try racing as training (no expectations on performance just observe yourself and the environment)
  • Basically, use the extra time to ride outdoors more with other people!

Good luck!

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I was a newbie rider in February, essentially sedentary with no existing exercise regimen or fitness to speak of. I started with SSB Low. It’s not too hard for an able-bodied beginner, and the challenge was what kept me engaged. If I’d started with Traditional Base I’d have been bored out of my skull.

SSB High is a different beast, but I’d absolutely recommended SSB Low to somebody new to riding. I’d steer them away from high-volume plans just to avoid injury.

The staff have stated many times on the podcast that the high volume plans are not recommended for the vast majority of people, possibly only pro-level riders.
It’s far better to choose an ‘easier’ plan and add extra rides if you are able to.
Nothing demotivates more than the downward spiral of a plan which gradually becomes too hard to complete.

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Thanks for the comments guys.

Here are the answers to your questions.

  • You set your goal to 300W but how much do you weigh? I am currently at 160 and 5’4" that’s why I want high volume to cut weight.
  • Are you trying to continue your weightlifting?
    Yes 3 times a day on the kinobody warrior shred program. My main priority is still bodybuilding and this is my cutting season coming from a bulk.
  • What kind of racing interests you?
    Criteriums and fondos whatever is available in my country.
  • Do you know what you are doing with respect to recovery and nutrition?
    Yes I coach people in body transformation and how to get abs. I have been doing keto for 4 years now and I am fat adapted. That’s why I can lift weights at 3 to 4 hours per session and do cardio for long times the only thing that makes me stop working out is muscle failure and nothing else. I don’t hit the wall or bonk since I don’t rely on glycogen that much.

Uh oh. The sweet spot plans (which are time-crunched) might not be super compatible with your keto diet due to their reliance on high intensity work. See this blog post:

and this recent thread:

Traditional base with its emphasis on lots of long rides at low intensity might be more compatible?

There’s no problem actually this cyclist (who is a high level athlete and joined races) never reloaded on carbs for glycogen because our bodies will adapt after a bit of training. I did boxing on keto as well it just hard in the start and the body adapts after a month of training. Actually one of the things going into this is proving it would work with any sport at any intensity. So going by the progress I had in boxing last year which was mostly HiiT workouts when I get passed a month of training it will start getting easier.