SSB HV and AT: plan plateau after level 9?

This is an abstract from the discussion on users’ feedback on AT where I posted a few issues I have encountered with using AT this year.

Premise: I have completed various cycles of SSB HV in the past years with what I define “standard” plans. Hence after a few workouts in SSB1 I adjusted the AT starting level to be in line with last year’s workouts.

Given a very modest FTP increase between ssb1 and 2 the PL remained broadly unchanged.

To the point though, I think that once one reaches a certain PL say above 8.5-9 the proposed plan becomes too taxing even though one generally could complete those workouts given sufficient rest.

In the case of SSB the workouts I’m generally asked to complete are Leavitt +3 or Phoenix +2 (this is PL 11.3!!) on Tuesday whilst Deception or Deception -1 is the Thursday workout.

Weekends I’m served with three fools (PL10) on Sat or wright peak -1 and with other easier variants (PL 9 or so) on Sunday.

I get the progression makes sort of sense and perhaps the limiter is doing these workouts indoors. Hence I would need to tone down a bit the weekly workouts and modify the weekend structure a bit even though in the past years I was able to complete the prescribed HV plans.

The problem also is that I hit level 10 during week 3 of SSB2. It’s kind of hard to progress from there given time constraints (too cold to ride outside) and without increasing intensity (I did not feel my FTP increased significantly during the period).

In week 4 I find fatigue has really taken a toll and I will likely anticipate the recovery week in week 5, which I never had to before. In any case the plan was somewhat stalling with the progression for the last couple of weeks.

Should the SSB plan then be shortened to the usual 3:1 weeks on off?
However this would be against the spirit of AT, just like having to adjust the weekly workouts.

Should I have left the initial progression without making any adjustment and accept a lower level? Again however this might not provide enough stimulus.

It would be cool to have a view from the team and rest of you guys.

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I’d start from the top and look at the big picture, goals for the season, strengths/weaknesses, and ask yourself if doing that much sweet spot right now is the best approach. Maybe go look at the pro/elite thread for some ideas. :man_shrugging:


May be worth a hack of FTP up 10 watts, push the levels down, start level progression again.

I would also suggest that when you hit PLs of 9 to bump FTP by 10w and see where that takes you!

First of all I don’t think raising your ftp for the purposes of driving progression levels down is the right thing to do, because then you’ll just be doing threshold workouts if your ftp really isn’t that much higher.

I’m in a similar spot of getting served up lots of 9s each day of the week but I’ve been doing endurance rides Tuesday and Sunday instead of sweet spot rides. That way I get the sweet spot work while using adaptive training and balance it out the best I can with 3-4hr endurance rides twice a week. Jury is still out on if the approach is any good but I’m enjoying it

I find it fascinating to see discussions about manipulation of PLs and FTP to game AT. Where’s the power curve?!

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This is also why in the other thread I was saying that AT needs plenty of manual adjustments to make it work, or at least definitely more than I had to with the standard plan, for those in this type of situation.

Perhaps for the very new users it works just fine as they start from the standard level and find they can accept whatever the adapted plan throws at them.

Yep I also had to make adjustments to make the plan feasible. Also I agree just raising ftp is not a viable solution. I know mine didn’t move much if at all.
If I can ask how many sessions of SS do you have in a week?

I’m seeing the same thing this week with finishing Wright Peak PL 10.0 today. Another week of SSB I lies ahead before rest week, and I feel pretty fed up of PL 9-10 sweet spot workouts. Tuesday brings PL 10+ workouts. Keep calm and carry on or what? :thinking:

I have 4 but I do 2

Issue with using the power curve for finding this data with SSB HV is that it’s ALL sweet spot, or easy, so we’re not getting the good maximal efforts at the appropriate time intervals to get meaningful data from it.

I came off of a 4 week muscular endurance block ( lots of sweet spot ) and the data for my inflection point is now pretty old, so I’ll have to feed some maximal data in soon to find where it’s sitting.

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At least with my own data, I have a different opinion on the value of using power curve and power-HR data even during blocks like SSB HV. Also, per hubcyclist’s point above I think 2 sweet spot workouts in a week is enough. Far better use of my time doing other things with the other 3 days of cycling.

But that’s not the TR SSB HV plan, so if you want to follow the plan as-is (AT or not) then not much to say other than to ask yourself if the fatigue is enough to rethink the follow strategy or rethink the post-workout feedback you’ve been giving to AT.

This year I have also started reducing the number of ss workouts per week down to 3 from the old 5.

Out of interest though, for the upcoming build phase would you also suggest 2 hard days per week and rest z2?

Given that I still have bad memories from past years when I was doing 3 hard sessions plus sweet spot on the weekend I would like to avoid using the same pattern. During build in fact I don’t think I have ever made ftp gains even when I started out as a rookie on TR.