Low Volume Test Plan

Hi all. Richard here from Ireland. Firstly just wanted to start to say I just love the Podcast and I have used TrainerRoad intermittently for the past number of years. I have tried low to mid volume plans a number of times but ultimately failed in the overall process due to work and family commitments. I get up for work everyday at 5:00am and I don’t get home until 7:00pm. I have two kids under 2 so my life is busy at weekends as well. I now do early morning workout like 4am during the week and I’m more flexible at weekends. This seems to work better rather than late evening/night workout for obvious reasons and it’s probably the first time I ever done 4 weeks without missing a workout.

My current weight is 84.3kg with a FTP of 242 resulting in 2.87watt/kg.

Just before Christmas I decided to start another training plan. I used plan builder to plan an event which is basically a trip to Mallorca in May. The plan is 18 weeks long broken down into 6 weeks low volume sweet spot base 1, 6 weeks low volume sweet spot base 2 and 6 weeks general build.

Workout’s had been going great from what I thought until today. 4 weeks was up of the training plan and I had the opportunity to use AI FTP detection (great update btw). I hit the button and to my shock my FTP only raised from 242 to 245.

Sorry about the long story but I feel it’s good to give all the details. The ultimate questions running around in my mind. Are the low volume plans enough for me? Do I need to increase volume along with my plans? Or am I just not been patient enough and need to wait more time to expect larger gains in FTP?

At the minute the weather in Ireland is poor and not appealing for weekend cycles but this will be the ultimate goal to add to my training plan come February. I feel at the minute I am consistent with training and not to see results was disheartening. I really want to analyse my progress through social media as well so apologises for tagging!! Let me know your thoughts. Richard

P.S thanks for all your help and guidance down through years whether through the podcast, social media or app.

You said for the first four weeks that training was going great. Don’t let a number from an algorithm set you back mentally. Keep the good mojo and train on!

There are many ways to show improvement. Are you advancing in your workouts (PLs)? Are you more consistent in training or adding volume? If you do a week one workout would it feel easier?

Lastly, I wouldn’t be surprised if you are actually higher. Imagine if AI bumped you up too high and then you struggled in workouts? If it REALLY bothers you, I guess you can always do a ramp test and us it as motivation to prove the computer wrong. But why? In the end you improved and are getting better!


I think you should still trust the process. I’d be surprised if you haven’t realized more fitness gains. FTP AI Detection might not just be able to pick it up just yet. Also, there are other fitness gains than just FTP (your time-to-exhaustion is probably longer already).

Main point - you should really pat yourself on your back. You are putting quite an effort into this. Just try to stick to it, and I am sure you will see plenty of gains.


FTP is just one metric, I wouldn’t worry about it, if it doesn’t change at all but you hold it for say 10mins longer you are faster. My best season came when I hardly changed my FTP at all but my TTE (Time to Exhaustion) through workouts increased substantially.


Hey Richard,

Great work so far on your plan!

It’s important to remember that FTP changes will come over time with consistent training, so seeing a bump up in your FTP – even if smaller than you’d like – after just 4 weeks is a good sign that your plan is going well!

Additionally, as you work through your plan, Adaptive Training will make sure you’re doing Productive workouts, which will keep you on track. Completing Productive workouts is confirmation that your abilities have increased in those training zones and that you are still progressing.

If you’re looking to add some volume, what you mentioned in your original post is a great idea and what we often recommend! Sticking with a Low-Volume plan gives you some solid structure to follow while still allowing for flexibility when adding in additional Endurance rides or even group rides.

All of this to say, it sounds like you’re on the right track here – keep up the good, consistent work and those gains will keep coming!