Road to 4w/kg, what does it take?

TR has that data, but it’s probably not in their interest to publish it. A big part of TR’s DNA (in my opinion) is “train smarter, not longer” to get faster. I think that is accurate to a point and probably an appealing message to TR’s target audience (time crunched athletes it seems). But obviously, if you take the smart/consistent training approach and increase the volume, the results are going to be better in almost all cases. If the data shows a strong correlation between more volume and higher FTP (which is almost certainly the case), that’s not an uplifting message for an athlete trying to be competitive when their training time is very limited.


I have the impression though that volume needs a minimum level on intensity though, like if you do 12 hours a week at 0.56 IF, your CTL would still be pretty low despite lots of hours, (Griffin x6 = 378 TSS), that would give CTL of 54 (which in the ball park of where I run with 7-10 hours a week most recently).

What I am shooting for it to work up to ~7-8 hours Z2 in 0.60 to 0.65 range with 2-3 hours of intensity, hoping to get >450 TSS and CTL >65.

From my experience, I fear if I only did Z2 and just did a ton of hours, anytime the intensity ramped up I would get cooked and would have no snap or responsiveness on the pedals. Perhaps someone could achieve a higher FTP without that capacity though than if they are trying to maintain that sharpness and increase their FTP?

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Yep, totally agree. When I refer to volume, I think of that being inclusive of intensity (ie - volume = time * intensity). And while I’m sure you can get to a high w/kg just pushing a ton of Z2, a little time in the higher zones will move that along and is also really helpful in actual riding/racing.


Plus, we have to think in real world riding, where the variables, mostly intensity, is highly variable due to terrain, wind, group, etc.

So even though if one only does z2 rides outside as a volume-driver, there’s going to be some work in z3, z4. I’m not saying specific vo2 though, only a few sprinkles here and there.

I think this is an area where TSS isn’t necessarily comparing like with like, insofar as (to my mind) it’s a better measurement of how fatiguing an effort is rather than how great the stimulus is. It also ignores the compounding and possible metabolic effects (without wishing to open the fatmax can of worms) of just spending more time exercising.*

I strongly suspect that 12 hours/week at (only) ~0.6 would generate improvement in a lot of athletes. In fact, in the ISM thread, isn’t there mention of studies where athletes have done more or less only z2 but seen improvements in 5 to 20 minute power?

*100% anecdata, but my dad recently went into hospital for a planned minor procedure. He’s 75. While he’s never been an ‘athlete’, he has walked for an average of an hour a day since retiring 14 years ago. Pre-surgery, they recorded his RHR at 55 and his BP at 115/70. The medic checking him said they never see those numbers outside athletes coming in for injury repairs, and was 100% convinced that it was his walking. A bit OT, but I’m convinced that there’s magic in volume, especially consistent volume over time, and that intensity is a bit overrated.


I wouldn’t say it is overrated, but I think it can be overemphasized.

A better way of thinking about it is volume (especially over time) is the cake and intensity is the icing. The majority of the cake is built through volume, but the best and tastiest part of the cake is the icing, but that comes at the end.


Reminders me of…

" Most athletes significantly underestimate the benefit of volume on performance and significantly over-estimate the value of intensity on performance." AC


Latest test for me was 3.95 W/Kg on 4 hours a week (TR low volume). ~40 years old living and training at moderate high altitude between 5,600 and 8,500 ft for most rides. Not-adjusting FTP for sea level equivalent.

As I’ve said many times in these threads before, I’m not arguing that I wouldn’t be faster with more volume, just that low volume allows me to hit a reasonable level of fitness with minimal time commitment. I have no impressive athletic background, was computer nerd who played video games rather than sports until I picked up cycling in my mid 20s. Have been riding relatively regularly, some years more, others purely occasionally for fun, for about 15 years now.


So 20 years cycling, and a relatively high responder… yes that will do it.

Nice work btw. I wish I was like that. 15 yrs (22 counting rowing) and it takes me 10 hrs to get to 3.9.

15-16 hours gets me 4.5 - 4.6 (once) when I also focused on weight (only done that once… too much effort on hours and weight.) But it shows unless you’ve gone all in you arent near the limit you think you are.

I thought 3.9 - 4.0 was my limit until I found a way to get 15 plus hours in for 9 months… peak weeks 20 hours.


Total guess but if you had time for more hours and the recovery needed… you’d be 4.5 - 4.8 ish. Not taken weigh into consideration so might be along way out. I was doing an eggs and eggs thing. All things equal.

I’m still confused if people are sharing 20min or ftp or some other metric for their w/kg. No one clarifies. :sweat_smile:


60 seconds max power, of course!

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And how about them Kg’s? Is it my driver’s license weight or the day after the holiday party? :crazy_face:


Can’t speak for others, I’ve been giving updates on AI FTP calculations. I’ve only done one ramp test since AI FTP rolled out and it matched my calculation but I haven’t done one in a while so :man_shrugging:

For weight I do regular weigh in’s and track trends via Garmin Index.