More power standing when riding above FTP is normal?

Okey so i have ridden 850 hours last 12 months mostly on the trainer (FYI)

When i ride above FTP for all out workouts like 5x3@120%,4x10@102-105% etc i see that i end up standing ALLOT and totalling maybe 50% of the workout standing.
Its like im just accumulating so much acid in my thighs and i have to stand and still have much power left.

Is this normal or is my bike so off adjusted that im just not getting full power while seated?. I do ride a NEO 2 with 350 FTP (im 64kg) Also its quite aggresive position that might lower my power while seated?

I think general rule of standing up is that it allows you to generate more power by utilising more muscle mass (i.e. using your upper body more) but at a greater aerobic cost. So it’s a good thing to learn how to do efficiently for things like attacking on climbs or sprinting, but definitely not something you should be doing for 50% of your workouts.

What kind of cadence are you doing? Acid build up in the thighs sounds like you’re maybe grinding too low a cadence. Or as you say, position on the bike isn’t good. Though I think it would have to be pretty bad, and not just “too aggressive”. Could understand if you were struggling to put out high power in an aggressive drops position, but if it’s so bad even on bar tops or hoods position that you feel you have to stand up to do intervals at 102%, there’s some pretty fundamental fit issues going on. Like saddle height or reach are way off.

50% is for the 5x3min all out workouts. Its like i only manage 1min30sec then i feel dead, but still able to stand last 1min30sec.

For Over/Under its for 105-110% i might not manage sitting, but if i stand at those overs i complete teh workouts.

For normal threshol up to 105% is ok with sitting .

Cadense is 92-100 for threshold, 105-115 vo2max, 70 standing.

I’d say one possible reason might be that your FTP is just too high for you.

My strenght is definitely FTP over VO2max and sprint.

But i still keep my question, is it normal to be able to do that much more when standing after you can’t sit no more?.
For the over/unders, after i have standed a while in 105-110% i feel better and can sit back down.

Absolutely. TR discourages standing a bit too much I think… I have ridden to feel more in past few months and power PRs across the board from 1-90 mins. So any cost of standing is more than compensated by the freshness it brings to hit it harder over short and long periods of time. And what a great tool to develop and not ignore.

Mixing things up like that is hugely helpful in my experience and has done more for me than sit and spin at 90+rpms like most of the workout text suggests.

One caveat - don’t do that on ftp tests… Try to use them to get more of a steady state assessment. Then use the standing as needed to push harder on VO2max or get a little relief on hard overs and such. It will not hurt your training at all.

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Do you stand during the ramp test?

I don’t do ramp for FTP.
But too much focus on where i set my FTP. it was just info same as doing 850 hours a year to show that i ride allot and do have ok power.

I just want to know if something is very wrong, been strugling with a bad hip that is quite good now and don’t want to start adjusting seat unless I have to.
This only comes up now that i start do more VO2max, at Base i sit 99% during all workouts and intervals.

I don’t know about very wrong, but my opinion is its not ideal.
I feel similar to you that standing occupies such different muscles for me that it enable me to complete things that I would not be able to complete sitting alone. I have taken the approach that it is allowing me to complete workouts that I would have failed otherwise and isn’t good. I’m basically using more of my arms and core and ancillary muscles to get the job done. Maybe that’s fine and even good sometimes but its probably not ideal for either remaining aero in the real world or targeting appropriate systems with training at specific intensities.
Short version: My own unscientific take is standing to complete intervals is cheating myself

I got very stiff for days in calfs after my first 5x3 last week, also did more work at very high % other days which resultet in more than usual standing,

Here are my thoughts:

  1. You have an incredible w/kg so you’re doing something right
  2. Is standing that much normal? No I don’t think so
  3. Does it matter if it’s normal? No, I don’t think so either.

Assuming you are healthy, completing workouts consistently and building strength/fitness then I wouldn’t worry too much about what you “should” be doing.

Having said all of this, you could try a few bike fit basics to see if you can improve further. Ensuring your saddle isn’t too high is probably the biggest one. Make your seated position as comfortable as possible and if that doesn’t make any difference then maybe you’re just fine as you are.

It’s also a question of your goals. I suspect most riders muscles will fatigue on longer rides if they stand as much as you. But maybe yours don’t, or maybe you don’t do long rides. If your techniques are getting you where you want to be then look to optimise, but don’t worry about what everyone else is doing!

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I deliver more power standing than seated too and like it sometimes to shake the lactic acid out of my legs doing so. Sometimes its app if you’re going up a steep hill. Sometimes you are wasting energy though and other folk will push less watts and go faster. You don’t really see that indoors though and depending on your goals you may have to adjust. I have had too (although I am still guilty of standing up to much) :+1:

Could you share an example workout where you did this? I’d like to look at the data a bit to see if there’s anything jumping out on that side of things

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I struggle with this a bit myself, in that I could hold sprints/ VO2 max longer/ at higher power out of the saddle. However, ultimately I trust the coaches if they’re telling me do things seated it’s for a reason so I generally reduce intensity.

If I recall correctly, some Over and Unders do have instructions about standing for some of the overs?

Anyway, I am hoping/ expecting a lot of this for me will be solved by Adaptive Training, and different targets for different energy systems. I have to reduce longer VO2 Max down to 95%, but can do the threshold work at expected RPE .


It definitely doesn’t seem normal to be able to maintain that type of thing consistently over time

The only thing I can think of is that the slower cadence is somehow exposing an inaccuracy in your power meter or trainer (whichever you’re using). This isn’t likely, but some trainers measure inconsistently at different flywheel speeds, and likewise some PMs measure inconsistently at different cadences.

These are both long-shots - but you could eliminate them as possibilities by measuring power on two different devices and seeing if you are actually doing slightly less power when standing (even 5 or 10 watts can make a huge difference)

Thanks, as i said have struggled with my hip so i think i might sit a bit low and maybe forward and get too much acid in thighs when sitting and doing above threshold work.

I have done 2000hours of trainerroad last 4 years with 4 Different Tacx NEO and NEO 2. Also using both big and small cog in front. So im 100% certain its nothing to do with the trainer. Just got my 2nd replacement of NEO in 12 months and all have about same watt, i cant notice any difference.

Then i guess i should try to see if i can get somebody to look at my seating adjustment.

It might be something completely different but I struggled a bit with my hip sometimes when I was younger and things did seem better standing up but the route to my issue was a leg length discrepancy.

Ok, done some work here.
Have checked multiple indoor and outdoor 2-4Min all out VO2Max workouts last couple of years (different trainers, bikes and saddle positions)
It seems to be the same, I am able to hold x power for very long time after Thighs are full off acid and won’t go around seated. But it seems very bad atm.

I am also in a big training period, long 2-4min VO2max workouts has not been my focus.
hopefully it gets better. Don’t like to stand too much.