New to Structured Training Big FTP Gains.... when did your's End?

When does the “Newb Gains” end? I’m 7 months into TR and true structured training. I’m know the consistent monthly bigger gains will end, but I don’t want it to be too soon!

What has been your experience when you no longer get these Newb consistent bigger gains and adding watts turn into a grind? Is it after 1 year? When you reach a percentage of your starting FTP? Once you reach 4.0 w/kg?

I had been riding and racing as a beginner for a year prior (2017) without much structure. I started TR with 193 FTP ramp test on July 11, 2018. Currently I stand at 276 FTP January 22, 2019 (actually tested at 287 but it was too high to train with). That’s a 43% increase in less than 7 months! That equates: 2.4 w/kg to 3.7 w/g or 54% w/kg increase. Those gains have taken me through race season peak (Sept 2018) into my winter base now. TR has been too good! It can’t keep going on like this or I’ll be racing Nino next XCO season.

(I know it will depend on a bunch of factors, so let just assume an average guy/gal who is doing MV plans consistently, has an average cyclist body but has 5% body weight to loose and generally has a decent diet and recovers reasonably well. They take cycling serious and race each season)

Hard to really say… Raw Watts need to be normalized a bit to W/kg to get a better feel for it. But even then it is still highly individual.

Usually around 7 months and 2 weeks :joy:

This is sort of an impossible question to answer - it is different for everyone. My easy gains all came in about 4 months and then I started clawing for every single watt. It depends both on your limitations as well as your starting point.

My genetics are fairly good (although certainly not world class) but I started at a fairly high level (my first FTP test was >300 watts) even without structured training or a power meter so I was already reasonably close to what I am capable of based on my age and training volume so I ran out of easy gains very quickly.

If, however, I was coming in as a completely new rider (say…me in my early 20’s) I would’ve tested much lower and had a ton more room to grow before I hit the hard part of the growth curve.

Likewise, someone with unlucky genes might hit their ceiling sooner based entirely on the randomness of their parents

I’m not referring to raw watts. I mean there is certainly a period of training history were bigger gains happen to everyone who starts structured training. This period lasts a certain amount of time and then slows down. I’m trying to determine when those “big jumps” become slower and reasonable over time.


W/kg still makes more sense. The thought being 4 W/kg is something probably attainable by most people with really good training. Just listing your raw numbers doesn’t help

This has nothing to do with MY raw numbers, I was simply giving an example of my experience. My w/kg is 3.7. I have no question if I will reach 4.0+ w/kg, that’s not my concern. The question is also not about what is a realistic w/kg for the average cyclist? The question is when do easy new guy FTP gains end and adding watts to your FTP become a gradual grind?

Wait, what? They end, awww crap…

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I probably typed too fast without explaining enough. What were those type of gains when converted to W/kg? That will make it easier to estimate for yourself.

My experience has been about 2.4 w/kg to 3.7 w/g in 7 months. Since the focus appears to be on w/kg, you’re answering my question by saying it matters not on time, but rather on a percentage of your initial w/kg. Which if my math is correct is 54% w/kg increase in 7 months.

Realistically, there are so many times we can insert “it depends” it is really hard to say. In my experience, I had newbie gains my first two winters, which got me to in the ~3.5 w/kg range. This is only estimated based on finishing times, but the biggest chunks of time dropped came after those two, and then smaller little chunks, or none at all, or even slower(child born) before getting faster again (started TR).

Since the second year of training with TR until now, my gains have been minimal or I have actually lost gains so it’s been quite the roller coaster. The first year was good though. Hope you have better luck than me. :wink:

By the time the fourth FTP test happened.
Test 1: Wow that sucked never did that before, OK I have a baseline
Test 2: WOW massive gains, yay structured training, 400w FTP here I come
Test 3: Good gains, not as much as last time
Test 4: Whelp…I only moved up 3w! WTF…


Lol, well if I don’t see another 43% increase in my FTP over the next 7 months I’m asking @Nate_Pearson for a refund! 7 months and 2 weeks will take me to my “A” race. Hmmm…:thinking: if my progress continues linearly as it has so far, my FTP should be 395 with a 5.1 w/kg by September. That seems reasonable if TR is as good as they claim to be.


The more pertinent question for w/kg progress is how much weight you can still lose while increasing and/or maintaining FTP. Since you’ve obviously lost a bit already the easiest gains on both watts and kgs are likely gone.

If you’re already rail thin, just take weight completely out of the equation. I’m talking considerably under 10% body fat. If not, you’ve got room to grow push the kgs down.

I wouldn’t expect your power to go up in leaps and bounds at this point. If you continue through a full season and enter into next year without giving up on training you can probably see a nice jump. That’s assuming you increase volume though.

This is where all that consistency stuff starts to matter more than enthusiasm…

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