Sloth MTB Plan/cadence/fitness

Currently overweight out of shape super sloth mountain bike climber.
6ft 250lbs 196 FTP (down from 315lbs)

Goal: climb to the top faster and be less fatigued to decend more.

Sorry for multiple questions

Currently repeating sweet spot base LV 1 for a second time (missed too many workouts). Is this the best thing to do? Repeat sweet spot 1 and 2 base training for 6 -12 months to gain general fitness and loose weight?

Cant complete 1.5 hour workout on third day. Partly comfort (looking into bike fit hands, genitals and feet going numb + saddle pain haven’t had these issues outside only on trainer) but mostly a fitness issue. Best way to progress to completing? Currently completing one hour and then stopping.

Natural cadence is around 70 to 75. Is it important to work on increasing cadence for MTB? Most workouts suggest 85 and that’s too much for me to maintain.

Weather and time permitting I will ride MTB outside over indoor training even if that means skipping a session as I dont have the fitness/energy for both.

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It’s a common mistake to go for higher volume workouts: your ego is writing cheques that your body can’t cash. The fact that you are missing and/or being unable to complete workouts would support that. Recovery is important, much more so than the actual training.

Do the Low Volume plan. Succeeding on every workout will give you a psychological boost. Plus you get a rest day between each workout and have the weekends free to get out and actually ride some trails. If the weather is dire or you fancy doing so then you can add a “free” workout of your choice.

Bike discomfort isn’t uncommon on a trainer - the bike is fixed in a way that you just don’t get on or off road. It just takes time to become accustomed to it. Another reason to go with the LV plan. Also if you mostly/exclusively mountain bike then it’s even more of an alien concept to remain seated for so long.

Cadence is one of those things that takes time (and practice) to increase. I reckon it took two years for me to increase from around 80rpm to 85-87rpm. Possibly the older you are the longer this will take. Try going for an increase of say 5rpm and holding that for as long as possible. As to whether it’s important for MTB, I’d say that it’s just as much so as on road. It takes a given amount of force to move you a given distance, pedalling at 70rpm puts most of that on the legs. Increasing cadence to say 80rpm reduces the force on each pedal stroke by 14%. Obviously there’s a trade-off and in this case it’s an increased workload on your cardo-vascular system and again it takes time to adjust.

Summary: do the LV plans. Ride outdoors at weekends. Increase cadence by just a few rpm.

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Thank you for your response! I am currently on the low volume plan. I guess I will need to work in my cadence.

Oops! I somehow misread that as HV :hot_face:

I don’t know if you do so, but writing notes about each workout will help you both now and in the future in figuring out what’s best for you. Also various workouts target specific parts of our fitness, there’s nothing to say that you will excel at all of them, indeed it’s likely that you have some weak spots. Writing notes will help you in this.

If you struggle to finish workouts consider dialling down the intensity. Some people perform “too well” in the FTP test meaning that subsequent workouts end up being too hard. You can either do this permanently for the current plan by manually changing it in your account or on a per workout basis. Sounds like you found the over-under workouts a bit tough for example. It only takes your tested FTP to be out by a couple of percent for the unders to actually be at your true FTP, knocking say 5% off your FTP might mean that you benefit more from those workouts.

There’s a lot of tweaking that can be done, it’s one of those things that you have to sort of feel your way around until you find your own personal sweet spot.

Yea, I feel like a might have done too well on the ramp test as I was feeling really good that day. Another ramp test scheduled Monday. Gonna have to experiment with intensity levels.

I would also do a build after the SSB segments.

For the longer workouts, dial it down a few % if you need to.

Listen to the podcasts about recovery. That is where the real gains are made.

Keep it fun. Trainer work can be hard. Don’t let it win.

For general fitness it’s hard to go wrong with perpetually repeating SSB1&2 LV.

I don’t think any of the Build plans are a good idea until you’ve solved your Saturday workout issues.

I’d suggest a new saddle for starters. A full bike fit is probably in order as well.

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Sounds like you are making progress with your weight and you are likely gaining fitness. Base builds are essential for training your heart muscles to pump full volumes and blood. I’d say stick with BB, then do a strength. You should feel some good gains.

Here’s some other tips I like to share about completing workouts and plans:


Just want to say you’re not alone! I’m a 150 Lbs mtber and having very similar issues. No pain biking outside, but pain on the trainer. Did some reading about bike fit that helped a bit, but still working on it. I skipped some workouts in the SSBLV1 and I’m going to redo it and listen to my body and continue to skip workouts if I need to. I think there are many factors at play: bike fit, the unnatural rigidity of riding on a trainer, and legs trying to get used to a much higher cadence, and possibly more volume of pedal strokes than you are used to, even in a LV plan. It’s a lot of variables to deal with at once!

This is GREAT info! Thanks!!