Sweet Spot Progression

Adaption takes 2-4wks to see results.

Regarding total volume question its a bit of column A and column B which i refer to as the micro and macro progression
There is the progressive overload that comes from the workouts themselves, that is doing longer or harder intervals within the workout itself, and increasing overall TiZ for the workout. (Micro)
Then there is the progressive overload that comes through a block of training, that is doing more work week to week as you increase the overall load through the block. (Macro)

You combine both of those pieces and you get the micro adaption and macro adaption occurring as you progress through a block.


IMO volume and duration are both important, but you can’t do super well at both at the same time (beyond a certain point). You might get comfortable with 90 mins TiZ, but hitting 90 mins+ is draining, and it’s hard to repeat that many times in a week


Mm, I get the cumulative fatigue point, an that there’s an upper limit of volume per week, but…if going over a certain duration is still draining, have you actually adapted to the load?

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I think the progression should be the focus. Dumb example:

Week 1
Rider A does 4 Sweet Spot workouts per week and all of them are 3x15 for 180 min TiZ
Rider B does 2 Sweet Spot workouts per week. The first is 3x15 and the second is 2x25 for 95 min TiZ.

Week 2
Rider A does the same 4 workouts per week the following week for 180min TiZ (Total 360 min TiZ)
Rider B does 2x30 and 1x45 for 105 min TiZ (Total 200 min TiZ)

Week 3
Rider A does the same 4 workouts per week the following week for 180min TiZ (Total 540 min TiZ)
Rider B does 1x60 and 2x40 for 140 min TiZ (Total 340 min TiZ)

Week 4
Rider A does the same 4 workouts per week the following week for 180min TiZ (Total 720 min TiZ)
Rider B does 3x30 and 1x75 for 165 min TiZ (Total 505 min TiZ)

After 4 weeks rider A has accumulated 720 min TiZ which is 215 min more than rider B, but hasn’t ridden an interval longer than 15 minutes or a workout with more than 45 min TiZ.

I would rather be rider B in this example–who focused on progression–despite doing less overall TiZ.


Weight lifting blocks look like that too in terms of the idea of progression. It is common in all sports.

I think that’s where people who say “it’s all about time in zones” really need to watch themselves. It should have an astericks next to that statement as there is more to it.

It’s the same with any workout. When it’s hard enough (or long enough), it’s only repeatable every so often.

I guess it depends how you determine having adapted. I’ve done 1x120 or more 4 times, so would assume I’ve ‘adapted’ to 1x90 to some extent. It’s just a big kj number and always leaves a bit of a mark.

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Yes agreed, rider B’s block looks much better. Rider A would likely mostly see negative side effects such as fatigue (and also be bored out of their mind).

However, both riders spent significant time (four weeks) and tiz in that block. I guess the question I was wondering about it, how do we know how long is long enough? I think there is a risk on both sides of this, too much “just tiz” (as @hoffman900 said above), but on the other hand I think you can progress too aggressively, blast your way through it, don’t leave enough time for adaption, and kid yourself into having done a good block.

(Sorry for the somewhat hypothetical discussion, I was just thinking about it during my workout before)


First-world (well, big FTP) problems… :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Its a good point though, especially in light of realistic time constraints - you can’t spend too much time building this up, because you only have a limited amount of energy for the week.

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Tim Cusick gives an upper SST TTE target of 200% (of FTP TTE). As for a desirable TiZ for a block, I’ve not heard that be discussed much, so it’s a good question to raise. Also does every one of these workouts have to be very stretching?

We know that a period of block periodization/overload can be beneficial, but the considerations re distribution, how much, and how long to extend a block are probably highly individual.

My obvious conclusion, if you’re seeing decent gains keep going!


that’s been his rough description, but there is a portion of one of the recent webinars that addresses “when you move on” and provided some metrics you can be looking at.
For example, when looking at Intensive to VO2 and when its time to move there, the vo2/mftp % is a good one, with the rule of thumb being somewhere near 83-85% and its time to raise Vo2.
There were a few other charts he used to help determine when it was time to potentially move on that would be good looking through.


Rondal, what value did Tim use as that VO2 numerator?

Yes, he’s giving markers when to move on, but he’s not really saying how long you have to stay…

Anyway, thanks for the discussion!

that’s not even remotely accurate. Versions of this slide appear in basically every webinar they do.

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Ahs little about this slide in terms of polarized - Tim’s polarized plan is nothing as Seiler’s approach. It contains 3 very hard workout per week, a lot of FRC and FTP/FRC zones. So the “polarized” means you go very hard during hard workouts and add Z2 workouts without tempo parts.

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I would strongly advise people watch the webinar’s if they want to understand the slides. There is far more explained than what is shown.


I agree. The details matter and it’s all in the presentation.

Tim’s ideas and thoughts on this are pretty clear. He presents really well.

Just saying what I’ve got from Tim’s actual plan, not webinar. Just to clarify what he understands under the term Polarized. To be not confused with Seiler’s idea in terms of workouts distribution.

FWIW as @jarsson mentions there are differences between the concepts he explains in webinars, and the actual stock off-the-shelf plans you can purchase (I purchased the full season masters iLevels plan).


Today i did again a FTP test. The last one before was on 16-02-2021 (FTP 292w).

Today my goal was 315-320w for 20min, but did 326w for 20min and 322w for 25min! WKO5 say FTP now 311w. Iam 67kg so that is 4.6w/kg. Never did this before!

I will thank everybody in this thread. I got a lot of help from you, and learned so much!

Downside…it will hurt for the weeks to come :wink:



Managed a 5 x 10 minute @ FTP workout today with 3 minute breaks. It was tough, but I got through it despite the apartment being a little warm today.

Looking at the results, I did 40 minutes in my iZone FTP range but the 10 minutes justtt kissed into the sweet spot range. I’m not going to lose sleep over it but would like that to be higher, despite the the interval averages being in the FTP range (at FTP or averaging about 3w under).

I am doing this on a turbo trainer with my P2M crank as a power meter. Picking up a Kickr Core this weekend so looking forward to trying these steady state efforts with some flywheel effect.