Short Power Build or General Build? (both LV)

Hi All

I’m trying to decide between Short Power Build LV and General Build LV for trail MTB applications (not racing, just trying to improve my PRs). Having reviewed the forum I found the following most informative from @Bryce:

"Hey All,

Let me see if I can clear this up. Sorry for the confusion, it seems that for whatever reason this topic was a bit of a blind spot for me, so I’ve dug a deeper to come up with a conclusive answer for you guys.

Cases where Short Power Build is a Better Choice:

  • If you are racing something like a UCI-style XC Olympic Race
  • If you plan to race aggressively and dynamically with short punches. You consider yourself an “animator”.
  • You know your body responds well to this type of training

Cases where General Build is a Better Choice:

  • If you are racing something with more sustained features (long climbs or very flat)
  • If you plan to race in a very sustained manner. This type of racer tends to be less active and more reactive
  • You know your body responds well to a sustained approach to training

Again, I’m sorry for any confusion I’ve caused here, let me know if you have any further questions"

On this basis I am leaning towards Short Power Build. But would someone care to explain some “body responses” (3rd bullet above) that might lead me to a different conclusion? Are we talking about odd heartbeats during training weeks with 140% FTP peaks? I did have that symptom but when I asked my GP, she said that this is normal when working close to max HR…

I’m not looking for medical advice here but plan choice advice and information about how prevalent events of odd cardio activity are during weeks of relatively high-intensity work.

Thank you

Hey there!

When I mention “your body responding to a certain type of training”, I don’t mean to say that any plans would have a negative impact on your health. What I do mean, is that everyone’s body has certain strengths and weaknesses.

For example, short, intense bursts of power is one of my strengths. This is due to a combination of factors such as genetics, past training, etc., but as a result, my body “responds well” to plans like Short Power Build. I have experience with this type of training, and I have seen that it bears good results in the past. Therefore, when I begin working a short power plan, I see faster and more substantial results.

In your case, I think Short Power Build is a great choice for general trail-riding since having those short bursts of power makes your riding much more dynamic and interesting :slight_smile:

I hope that clears things up!


I was trying to decide between the same two plans in the last few weeks and went with the Short Power Build. My decision was from doing a little self assessment of how I feel during a ramp test. I felt at the end my legs still have some gas, but the lungs are about to explode, therefore I want to increase my VO2 capacity to open the gate a little more for my legs to deliver.

The VO2 element is the factor that sets it aside from the General Build so hopefully after this 8 weeks of training the level of pain is more even between lungs and legs.

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I’m sold. Short Power Build it is! I love the VO2 max stuff. It’s quite addictive.


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How does one determine if short power bursts or long sustained ones? My primary goal is longer rides, but I do plan to dabble at the velodrome and do some cyclocross. I don’t have much experience with training to know how my body responds to this training.

Hey @anirudh!

So the reality is that you can’t be perfectly optimized for both long efforts (45+ min) and short efforts (1-5 minutes). Short Power Build and Sustained Power Build exist on the extreme ends of the specrum, and aim to completely optimize you for either short VO2/ Aerobic efforts (Short Power Build) or long aerobic efforts (Sustained Power Build). We also have a General Build plan, which is less about perfectly optimizing you for one type of effort and more about increasing your abilities across the intensity spectrum.

So basically:
Short Power Build: You only want to improve your short power and you don’t care much about longer efforts.
Sustained Power Build: You only care about longer efforts. Short power is irrelvant to your goals.

If you don’t fall perfectly into one of those two categories, then General Build will be the best choice for you. It incorporates both short and long efforts so that you can improve your performance in both :slight_smile:


Since this is my first season of indoor training, I’ll try General Build.


That’s a great idea :+1:.

Good luck with your season!

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General Build is a good choice. Being new, you will progress well at both, and then you can decide in your next plan, which one you want to focus on.

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