Max aerobic power tied to FTP

Since max aerobic power (Vo2 max power zone) is fixed and has a genetic limit (Assuming one is trained and Vo2 max power won’t rise), how come it’s tied to FTP power increases? For example, let’s say one’s Vo2 max power zone is maxed out but one keeps improving FTP power, is it still accurate that the Vo2 max power zone keeps increasing?

For example: FTP 300 watts. Vo2 max power zone: 106% to 120% or 318 watts to 360 watts.

Several months later: FTP 310 watts. Yet because All zones tied to FTP: now Vo2 max power zone: 327 watts to 372 watts.

Please explain because now one might NOT be able to complete TR Vo2 max power workouts.

It isn’t.

Anything over FTP shouldn’t be. It just makes prescribing mass training easier.

There also isn’t really “VO2max power”. There’s ‘5min power’ and there’s ‘VO2max’, they are different things. If you train at the ubiquitous 120%, you’ll be hitting both of those but sub-optimally.

You’ll be doing those workouts with a greater anaerobic contribution.


I could be wrong, but my understanding is the number is kind of irrellevant. That isn’t fixed. It’s inside the physiology of your body that may be fixed. So if you are more powerful and your FTP goes from 310 to 330, then 360 will no longer be VO2 for you, it will feel easy. It doesn’t mean your vo2 capabilities have improved, the number <> your capability.

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It’s not.

You are extremely unlikely to reach it.

It’s not.


Disagree with you are unlikely to reach it. It’s a fixed ceiling and after a reasonable amount of training , you can easily reach your Vo2 max ceiling - physiologically via a test.

Yes, power at Vo2 max can change but my point is about the TR plans and how increasing FTP power will extend TR Vo2 max power zone higher. One might start failing workouts.

Well, if in a lab, you certainly can get a power at Vo2 max.

Yes, zone range is a range for a reason.

Also, regardless of anaerobic contribution- workouts may get too hard to complete.

VO2 max is a fixed ceiling. It’s genetic

What others have stated is correct.

Anyone following a TR plan is very unlikely to reach their genetic VO2max ceiling; there just isn’t enough hard VO2max work (or general volume; among other factors).

Also as stated, if an FTP increase increase all the zones, your new “VO2max power” will have more anaerobic contribution, thus it’s less ‘max aerobic power’…and if you aren’t an anaerobic athlete, you might start failing those workouts.

Oh, completely disagree.

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And that’s what my argument was.

A continued rise in Vo2 max power zone will price to be difficult for some people and they will fail these workouts. It will become less and less aerobic.

But its not tied to a wattage.

I’m talking about TR workouts.

They are tied to zones and based on FTP wattage.

The OP is talking about the long-term, not the short term. Yes, if you at a certain point in time, you will be limited by that fitness. But in the long term as the OP is asking your FTP goes from 150 to 300, your VO2 range certainly would not be fixed at 180 watts. It would improve somewhat relative to your other fitness.

Basically if you do 20+ h/week for years and smash vo2 max workout regullary you can be somewhat more sure you are reaching your genetic potential. You can reach your max at given circumstances but it probably not your genetic max.

Yes, I’m the OP.

And yes, long term. You can reach your Vo2 ceiling fairly quickly and still improve your FTP.

Snd at that point, one may not be able to handle Vo2 workouts with increased wattage.

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I would like to hear Coach Chad talk about reaching Vo2 ceiling and what and how much training could get you there. I feel it’s not as much as people think. But I could be wrong.

Perhaps things are just slowing down for you. At first gains can be quick, but we all reach some diminishing returns. That doesn’t mean your done, just may take more time and work.

Meh…not the best article on actual VO2max (I think the old one was better).

To actually improve cycling VO2 max itself, lower intensity work may actually have the biggest benefit. An excellent way to directly target VO2 max improvements is through sweet spot training.

Marketing > science.

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