Low Volume Plan Feedback

Hi all,

New to TR, and structured training in general. I’m after some advice as to whether the low volume plan is worth doing to build FTP and just seeing if anyone can give any results based feedback that shows it’s still possible to grow FTP at such a low volume?

I typically ride purely indoors 3 times a week and do about 4 to 5 hours a week. With a big fat caveat that I’m the most inconsistent procrastinator that sometimes hits that and other times hits 1 ride per week. Hence coming to TR. My rides usually last around 1:30 to 2hrs and I like climbing so I usually naturally do 20 to 30 minute efforts in various virtual worlds.

My goal is to be consistent firstly, and secondly to push my FTP north of where it currently is. But am I doomed to plateaux?

I’m looking at starting on the low volume build phase. Any advice feedback most welcome.

Thanks
G

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Following LV plan consistently is certainly going to get you much better results than your current inconsistency! Get consistent first, then think about adding more volume once you’ve nailed a few LV blocks without skipping or failing workouts.

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You’re doomed to plateaux if you don’t address your procrastination and inconsistency. Increases in FTP are certainly achievable but you need to stick to the plan - and that includes training consistently rather than just when you can be bothered. Consider your mental approach to training to be as important as the physical aspect.

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If you’re new to structured work and haven’t quite nailed consistent blocks yet, I think LV is probably the best place to start. I also wouldn’t conflate low volume with ‘easy’ or ‘beginner’ necessarily- it’s still 3 sessions per week of targeted, goal-specific work and IMO that will bring about adaptations for the majority of amateur athletes who aren’t already doing that on top of a lot of volume.
You can also add in additional z2 work via extra rides or extending your warmup/cooldown- but, if you’ve been hitting 4-5 weeks I think LV would be a great place to start, and once you see how your body responds to that you can figure out where to go from there.

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I’m on a low volume plan. Have been consistent for the past year and a half, generally hitting all the rides nine weeks out of ten.

Currently at 298w ftp, 4.3w/kg up from 230w three or four years ago. You may well take some time to plateau!

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We all have something that keeps us from getting on the bike sometimes, but what I’ve found over the last three years is having a “scheduled” workout that I know I can do mindlessly. When I’ve had a rough week without consistent riding, I try to commit myself to way more rides the next week, even if they are only “on the books” for 45 minutes, with no real intensity. It helps me reshape my outlook, not immediately, but the following week.

I’m on the LV plan mostly because when I’m not teleworking I commute to work, and I’m not sure I could handle an additional heavy workout every third day… But I’m not a low-volume rider, because during weeks of telework, I try to make sure I still get an hour on the bike (endurance, recovery, social, parental) in between the TR workouts. When I manage to miss those hours, it makes it easier to be sure I commit to the plan-builder scheduled workout.

I think plan-builder is the way to go… plan a peak for a TT whenever you feel like peaking, let it sort out the length and repetition of your various phases. Sprinkle in easy, what I call “routine-builder” rides, amongst the workouts that plan builder populates if you think you’re plateauing too soon.

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LV plans will almost assuredly make you faster, probably a lot faster. They’re not easy though, SSBLV is legit tough!

Joe

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I started structured training for the first time December of 2019 with TR. I went with LV and switching to 45 min versions through half of SSB1. Repeated SSB1 again doing full length though as I made more time to ride and then worked through SSB2. I finished with General Build mid June.

I was pretty consistent and did not miss but a few workouts. The further into the plans I got the more I wanted to ride though, so I added some z2 on the end for 15 minutes sometimes. I also added in endurance rides like Pettit a couple times a week so I was up to around 6 hours a week by the end of build.

Had a 32% increase in FTP. And the FTP gain is not the only gain - has been a summer of PRs while not trying to and just riding. The Low Volume plans did make me a much stronger rider the bike.

I just started SSB1LV again after a couple months of unstructured riding. I am doing the plan M/W/F and then adding in endurance rides T/Th to get up to 6ish hours and around 400 tss. Leaves the weekends free for family time and maybe an outdoor ride through the fall.

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