Nate's sweet spot secret sauce for FTP gains

In a relatively recent podcast episode, I recall @Nate_Pearson discussing his biggest FTP gains were when he was doing loads of sweet spot, and @chad made an observation to the effect of “it was sweet spot combined with some amount of intensity” that was the ticket.

But, of course, I can’t remember what episode it was. I tried searching the forum, but came up empty.

Does anybody happen to know what episode had this discussion?


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What you are describing looks like the sweet spot base plans. The plans are composed with mostly sweet spot work with some under/overs in SSB I and with vo2max workout in SSB II.

June 27, 2019, starting at 13:10. Coach Chad mentioned bumping up to 12-14 hours a week over a two year trajectory. Nate has also mentioned in other podcasts about how he experienced ftp gains with increased volume.


It has also been stated that most people undervalue volume and overvalue intensity.

Perhaps it’s a human nature thing, like ripping off the band-aid quickly (intensity) vs peeling it off slowly (volume).


If I recall right, he did SSB HV. I guess you get good at tweaking the plan as it fits in life?

To be clear, Coach Chad did mention in context that with the intensity work Nate already has and his muscular endurance, the next step is to increase volume to increase his FTP.

And to also be clear @Nate_Pearson has said a few times Hv has buried him after a few weeks (but he hasn’t learned his lesson)


When he talked about this I wondered if he meant adding more low intensity volume rather than going to the HV as written because of his previous experiences. Idk… I guess we’ll see.

Yup, this is what he does (I’m about 5 podcasts behind :smiley:)

Adds an extra 20-30mins at the end of most workouts by extending cooldown @ 200% plus and extra 30mins SS in the morning.

All these 20-30mins extra adds up to “hrs” extra per week

I workout early 05:30 and plan to do the same, an extra 20mins most mornings on the end of mid vol (1:40hr per week) plus maybe 2-3 30min SS sessions in the evening giving 2-3hrs extra per week.

Yes, and if you look at his 2017 ftp gains it was done on relatively low volume:

Use the link above to walk thru week by week, starting with an FTP of 275W on March 16, 2017, and FTP of 345W on Dec 26, 2017.

Gut level feedback - I see a lot of weeks with 2 or 3 hard workouts, along with ~3 hours of aerobic endurance rides (2 Baxter rides). Go hard. Rest. Go hard. Rest. Do that and improve diet. Get faster.


I plan on starting HV again after Kona :upside_down_face:.


I didn’t know you are an Ironman.

I’ve done a full Ironman, but I am just a spectator at Kona.

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I plan on never, ever, going near a TR High Volume Plan :skull:

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Is it wrong that I kind of might join you?

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I did the same thing Nate is doing last year. I did SSB 1-2 MV then added time to the workouts and tossed in a ride on Fridays to build up the volume. The I went into SSB 1-2 HV and SPB HV. It seemed to work out well. I am doing HV plans from here on out.

Visually, it seems pretty clear from Nate’s chart, that he has had substantial year-over-year increases in volume and I would not be surprised if 2019 doesn’t show a similar increase over 2018. Specificity of training is important, of course, But if you aren’t putting in the time, you aren’t going to build up fatigue resistance (TTE and Stamina). As one of our Cat 1 road racers stated it quite clearly (paraphrase): “It’s not what your PDC looks like from a fresh start, it’s what it looks like after expending 2200 Kj that matters”.

Nate is clearly putting in the requisite volume to build up his fatigue resistance (while simultaneously increasing his FTP). What would be interesting to know is his annual TSS total for each of the past 4 years.


lots of great comments here. Would also recommend making sure you hit some longer vo2max efforts to naturally push your ceiling out for FTP gains!

Good luck!


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In other words, this will finally be the year that I can handle HV!! :joy:


@Nate_Pearson - would you say your diet changes / carb focus also contributed to your gains or was that later on? I have a goal of a 300w ftp this year from 250w which seems doable for a 6ft 200lb 45 yr old me.