Last nights ramp test

Well as some people are, I am a little down on my FTP. First year TR for me, but I have been riding for many years. I was riding pretty decent volume prior to starting SSB1 for the first time six weeks ago. My starting FTP was 220. I tested yesterday with 234. Just turned 50 years old yesterday and I am 5’9" 190#. So even if I ate and was super fresh I dont think it would be a super huge difference. My goals are to be competitive in my club rides and maybe race a few crits, if they ever happen. I know I will improve over the next block but to get where I want to be, close as possible to 3.5-4 wpk I am going to have to lose a ton of weight. I was 260+ lbs 2 years ago so I am already winning but this is going to be tough. Doable but tough. I think for me next is to test my power curve and see what that comes up with… anyway kind of a vent…

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I wouldn’t be too hard on yourself. You’ve done really well with the substantial weight loss, and a 14W jump in 6 weeks is nothing to be sniffed at. There are some huge positives here.

Do bear in mind 4w/kg is quite tough. There was a long thread on here about the max w/kg of Joe Average and it kind of devolved, but note that Andrew Coggan (a significant authority) suggested that someone with middle of the bell curve genetics would never beat 4w/kg.

Anyway, you’ve made massive progress, so congrats. Keep persevering and you never know.

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Roughly 5% gain in FTP for 6 weeks of work. Not sure what there is to vent about here?
(Edit: Above was an educated guess, but looks like it’s actually over 6% increase via hard numbers. So an even better result if you really are splitting hairs.)

Some people would pay hard cash for that gain. Your eyes may be set on a far horizon, but don’t lose sight of the real gains you just saw. I see nothing to be down about here, and suggest a step back to recognize the positive results you just made.

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Now that’s a point; I wish I’d done the maths. Without in any way belittling the OP - as we ALL get the ‘but I’m not at X watts yet’ feeling sometimes - if I could guarantee any cyclist who came my way a 5% FTP improvement in 6 weeks, I’d have the pro peloton knocking my door down and could practically name my price.

It’s all going very much in the right direction dude!

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I wouldn’t stress about power curves either - just keep at it and see where you get. You can go down a huge rabbit hole looking at power curves and where you think it needs attention.
Also bear in mind FTP s do not go up for everyone every time - it’s only one metric and you may find it hasn’t moved but your endurance has moved on a bit.
Kudos to you and keep at it, see where you get to but targeting a figure may lead to disappointment further down the road. Focus on being the best you that you can be and be kind to yourself if you’re not paid to ride. :grin:

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I just tested last night too…pretty disappointing at around 260 which is where i’ve been hovering around all year. I hit close to 300 in-season this year and for a brief moment i was at a solid 4w/kg. I think i’m basically burnt as i put in a big4me final 2020 16hr week. (i’m 52yo 73kg, life-long rider/racer)
The nice thing here for the OP and all is that a sub par performance only means you can grow with it. Plus i don’t think anyone is putting in big numbers this time of year…although i know a ton of people going nuts zwiftracing but that’s another story

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  • That’s the point though… there is NO sub bar performance. He’s showing real and substantial gains. It may not be that he has reached his goal, but that is not the same as “sub bar performance”.

Honestly, this all goes to the whole Goals / Motivation / Process discussion. Focusing on his actual input (process goals via hitting and nailing workouts, eating appropriately, etc) vs some pie in the sky goal (outcome goal of weight, FTP, etc.) of a particular number are VERY different. Some are directly in his control and others are not (could even be out of reach, but no one even knows).

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In my experience, you will see larger gains once you hit the Build phase and spend more time above threshold. So if you’ve already gained 14 watts in 6 weeks during Base that’s good. I started TR last year and was gaining almost 10w per month in Base and then I had a 20w jump month during Build.

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I dont mean to write off my gains as insignificant. I am a numbers guy by nature. You see other people smash the first test with a big jump and didnt happen for me, not a huge deal. But would have been nice, you know how it goes :slight_smile: I am not down at all, in any meaningful way. Clearly the TR plan is working for me, and I am greatful. I’ve done huge things with health over the last few years. I am looking forward to see what the next years have for me with cycling and TR. Wishing I was a natural at this, but for me its going to take work and a process which I don’t mind. Purpose driven !! :slight_smile: :grinning:

Hah, you should sit in my shoes Jimmy, I did the same sequence of training as you pretty much and gained a massive 3 watts on my first retest to go from 205 to 208. I’d kill for a 234! Keep on trucking and the results will come. Nothing worthwhile is easy.

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I guess its all relative. Sometimes I guess I lose sight of why I love cycling and the reasons I do it. I want to be competitive but maybe thats the point. That could mean a lot of different things. I may never win a Cat1 sprint, but when I am out riding my bike, most times I am smiling. I like the structure of training and all the stupid numbers, but maybe its just how you perceive those numbers. 6% is a great win for me. Sorry for complaining, I have 0 to complain about. Guess I needed a little perspective. Sorry for being a b+×&=

No need to apologize. We are here to help in any number of ways. :smiley:

It’s just as important to recognize and celebrate a ‘win’ like you got, as it is to see people on the other end with a ‘loss’ to see that there are ways to leverage any current position.

That external perspective is one of the key benefits of this group, that extra set of perspectives to try and make the most from what we have done and can still do.

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One thing actually not to lose sight of is how much more fun it is being out on the bike with any improvement in fitness. You recover quicker from climbs, can cycle longer, do the same distances for less effort… results on an FTP test are by no means the be all and end all, even more so if you’re not a racer.

Sometimes I have to remind myself I got back into this because of how much I enjoyed just being out, the outdoors, sense of motion etc. It’s very easy to get into the performance ‘bubble’ which, truth be told, is only a small part of the big picture for most us.

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Just a little update. I tested 248 today and have lost another 6 lbs. I started TR @ 216 or so and am down to 184 with a starting FTP of 220. I can say I was bummed when I started this thread but I realize its a pretty good gain especially considering the weight loss. I want to lose 20 more lbs as I figure this may be the best way to get faster at this point. I also want to mix in some strength training. Anyway just wanted to circle back on my post. Thanks for the encouragement from the community and TR. This forum helps a bunch, super positive people here.

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This is fantastic :grinning: keep up the awesome work. I can’t wait to see what you can throw down when you aren’t restricting calories.
You have come a long way to get where you are don’t forget that

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Awesome progress - well done and keep at it.

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