Need advice - No Improvement after first ever structured training block HOW?

I just finished SSB MVI. As the title states it is the first block of structured training I have ever done. I did really well and only failed one workout the whole time, felt like I was improving a lot. I should also mention this is my first year cycling, so I was expecting some big noob gains.

Then the recovery week happened…

I had friends surprise me by coming in from out of town and we spent the weekend out and about and over indulging. I felt a bit run down and sick on Sunday, felt a little better by Tuesday so decided to go for the prescribed Ramp Test.

I felt quite awful during the Ramp Test and end up getting the exact same FTP. I am at a loss now. I can’t decide what to do. Maybe this was a fluke because I am not truly rested and recovered? Did I lose the fitness I gained over the past 6 weeks because of some bad decisions and lack of sleep?

I am clueless on where to go from here. I was thinking I might re-test after another few days (week?) of recovery rides. Any help on where to go from here is appreciated, should I redo SSB MVI, just accept the FTP and move to SSB MVII? Re-test?

I am at a 3.0 W/kg with a 226 FTP. Got my bike in March and rode/raced over the summer and rode 4-5x a week.


Just continue to SSBMV2 with the same ftp and start bumping your final intervals in those workouts if you think they’re too easy. If you’re regularly bumping the final intervals after 2 weeks then increase your ftp and continue

EDIT: it’s worth noting that although some people experience FTP improvements in base phase, that isn’t what base is designed to do. That’s what build is for.


You did not necessarily lose fitness but a weekend of debauchery can definitely prevent you from expressing your fitness on an FTP test. At least it sounds like you had fun . . .

Think positively - if your friends had come into town the weekend before your first FTP test, what kind of number do you think you could have put up? You probably did improve your hung over and tired FTP. You can rest up and test your real FTP but at this point you’re probably better off just getting back on the plan and carry on with SSB II


And what is the most important part - you have finished first base phase. Even if you have not improved your FTP, you have gains in other aspects, like sustainability and overall fitness. Does your workouts feel easier now than the first ones? If yes, you are better cyclist. It is a process not a game of FTP :slight_smile: Do not get me wrong, everybody LOVES these gains but the most important part of the training is the bigger picture. Base phase is for building your ability to train harder in the second phase in build phase, when you undoubtedly will see some gains.


You are saying it yourself… You felt awful during the test. Despite this you managed to get the same FTP. It looks like a victory to me. FTP testing should be done in race condition. Rested, fuelled, ready to suffer as to reflect the best of your abilities. Continue with the plan SSB1 is just getting back to work. It’s not supposed to be performance enhancer. It’s supposed to be a get your body prepared for real training. Also FTP is just a number.What you train in ssb1 is the ability to sustain a longer time at a relatively high percentage of FTP. It’s not about growing the ceiling. It’s about moving the floor up.


First of all, you didn’t take the ramp test under very ideal conditions, so that could very well have influenced your result.

The other aspect is your FTP is just a number to guide the range of your workouts. The FTP number does not tell you how well you can operate during the work sessions during your workouts.

I’m in week 5 of SSBMV1, and I’ve noticed the workouts are getting easier at the power levels and duration of the sweetspot sessions. This doesn’t necessarily mean my FTP has gone up, but I do feel like I can operate at my SS wattage longer with less fatigue. I’d call that a big positive for my fitness.

If my FTP doesn’t’ go up in two weeks when I test next, it really doesn’t matter to me as long as I feel the progression in my fitness.

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  1. FTP isn’t everything. Just because your ftp stayed the same doesn’t mean that you aren’t more fit.
  2. It’s only been 6 weeks of training and base training at that. You’re building a stronger foundation for when you do build and for the future

In my case my ftp hasn’t changed a lot in the last year but my endurance has drastically improved. This was evidenced as I did +30W avg on 3hr sustained rides almost exactly a year apart. FTP the same but long fitness very different.

Just keep at it and you’ll see some gains


I’ve done the SSB cycle a few times now. SSB MV1 isn’t going to necessarily get you a FTP improvement.

SSB MV2 is where you should see some improvement.

If you think about it like a pyramid, SSB MV1 is putting in a foundation.

SSB MV2 will put in the first level, which will be wide and maybe a little taller (with this analogy that is your FTP increasing).

Then afterwards you do build and there you should ‘build’ upon your base, and see some FTP improvements.

Specialty is the sharpening your fitness portion. I haven’t had an FTP increase during specialty.

So, like others have mentioned. Move along to the next step and keep working hard. You’ll get your FTP improvement if you have good compliance with the plans.

As others have stated, increases in FTP is only one way to measure improvement. After completing this phase, you likely are able to sustain certain power for longer periods of time and in other cases punch at high power targets more relentlessly, for longer and more often than you used to. There are so many other things at play with these plans than simply a gain in FTP, so do not be discouraged if that didn’t rise up.

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SSB2 is the only part of base training I ever see a FTP improvement. Always in Build phase I do. However, SSB 1 always gets my legs back up to speed for the 2 hour workouts to come.


I bet if you kept FTP the same and moved onto SSB MVII and tracked each block as a season in the personal records you’d have improvements. I find the more and more I do training workouts the more comfortable I am and the longer I can hold constant power.


Don’t sweat it too much and the ramp test is not the end all be all. I gauge most of my progress on the workouts and honestly don’t test that often. I know this might go against most peoples logic but after a few years in TR I have a pretty good idea if the ftp is set incorrectly based on a few key workouts.

Consistency is key to get long term gains.


There’s no need to treat an FTP as any more special than any other training session.

If you try to come into an FTP test at your absolute max and then nail it, how will you feel when the next training block is in full swing and you start failing them. Over/Unders are just Overs etc …

The beauty of the ramp test is if you think you had stinker just redo it the next or day after.

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I’ve just come back to TR after a bit of a hiatus so the FTP ramp test is new to me - the last one I did was either the 8-minute or the 20-minute sufferfest.

My approach then was to record exactly what I did in the 36-48hrs before the first such test and then replicate that as closely as possible before taking subsequent ones. So if the test was on a Tuesday then there’d have been a road ride of x miles on the Sunday, nothing on the Monday, eating and drinking the same for Monday and Tuesday then do the test.

Maybe a bit OTT but it’s trying to be consistent.

The test isn’t about numbers but in assessing where you are in terms of fitness so that the rest of the workouts are correctly targeted.

Don’t feel bad, I’m well into my second plan with no measurable increase in ftp per the ramp test. You are getting good advice from others in this forum. I’m close to giving up, but since you have just started, give the process a chance

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You appear to be doing a low volume plan though Im not sure which one exactly. Looks like something heavily VO2 orientated.

So some things

  1. You may not be doing enough volume
  2. Your outdoor rides seem radically different to your indoor goals
  3. Have you tried a proper base build speciality program?
  4. You seem to turn up intensity a lot. Are you really giving your all in the FTP tests? Perhaps a different format like the 8 minute test would suit you better.
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I very much doubt your FTP test. Your power is all over the place. It should be done in erg mode. You start going above your treshold at minute 7 and consistently from minute 12. Your Cadence is very very high and drops from 110 to zero out of nowhere. I’m not sure about this but when I do it my cadence falls over 2-3 minutes until I can’t turn the legs anymore. My guess is that you didn’t push to failure. You don’t get to decide when it’s done.

Also as brenph stated you do not look like you are following the plan. It’s ssb1 Mv volume with workouts missing and added outside rides and indoor volume. The volume and intensity ramp up is all over the place with weeks spot on and half the weeks in the plan with tss at 2/3 even 1/2 of what it’s supposed to be. My guess and I maybe wrong is you tried to chew more than you can handle either time wise or fitness wise , bail out of workout, skip some of the hard work, try to make up for it the following week. And thus not following the progression in volume and intensity and miss key workouts.

I’m not pointing fingers. Just trying to help you find an explanation.


The best advice I have ever received on this forum was to trust the process. You might feel as if you are not making progress but stick with it to the end then you will see the results. Our bodies do not adapt the same. I started TR in June after having done Zwift training plans and I also followed the time crunched cyclist’s 11 weeks plan which gave me huge gains. I jumped straight into Speciality plan for my A-race and I didnt do too well. I did a Ramp test after that and I found that my FTP has dropped. I then started with a build plan and I began seeing some improvements in my race times as compared to last year. So far I have about 3-5 min improvements but the workouts still feel very hard so the chances are my FTP has not improved but yet I am a better cyclist.


Also: you don’t really train the top-end in vol. 1, so you may feel rusty when you reach those last x steps at the start of vol. 2, which leads to a sense of stagnation.

Thanks for all the input, interesting comments since I’m just now into gblv & have been running erg mode in the direto. Last week was exception since I was in the recovery week & used rollers to try to stave off the tedium of those workouts.
Not sure how to comment on the “all over the place” input other than direto response is erratic and I do see the massive spikes in power on occasions which I’ve seen others mention. Definitely annoying in the rest between intervals. I can go back and check the smoothing settings but thought I had them per TR suggestions.
Outside rides are with groups and we have a lot of short steep climbs hence those will be highly variable.
Sounds as off I need to pay more attention to the settings and post ride analysis, but have no faith at this point of improvement.
Happy to take input so if thoughts come to mind that’s great, thanks