The same 3 workouts every week

What’s your thoughts on doing the same 3 workouts a week every week for the entire year?

This would be a vo2 max workout, a 3x12min sweetspot workout and a 2-4 hour endurance ride every week. Plus 2 or 3 strength workouts per week.

As a 54 year old reading “Fast after 50” by Joe Friel, my understanding is that those are the only 3 workouts that I really need to be doing every week of the year.

Would you stagnate or continue to improve?

I’m aiming this just at the over 50’s.

Chapeau!

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I think you may die of boredom

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Interested in responses to this as well, but I’m only 34…if it makes a difference.

Maybe you can vary the duration of each of the intervals week over week and of course, you’d increase intensity as you get faster :wink:

Nah, not with netflix :wink:

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The stress-adaptation model would say that you would eventually adapt to the stress and stagnate.

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It ignores the whole concept of periodization, so it would deliver rapidly diminishing returns. This said, assuming boredom and lack of progression are not an issue, it’s certainly better than sitting on the couch.

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Thinking back on a few podcasts back, it sounded like you’d be able to repeat base multiple times and see improvement. If you look at LVBII, it looks like it’s all VO2 Max, Sweet Spot, then endurance. VERY possible that I misunderstood it completely though.

This set of workouts sounds exactly like what Coach Chad suggests in a few podcasts about choosing 3 workouts a week to maintain fitness on limited time schedule - in fact it is indeed pretty similar to LV base as mentioned above.
Coach Chad also does talk quite often about 50+ athletes, but I’d have to do some searching and find episodes for you. One other commonly discussed topic is additional rest as we get older, following the plans but inserting rest weeks like 2 on, 1 off might also be something to explore.

I guess if you increase intensity and interval length over time to ensure a certain stress progression this should work. At least for some time.
I do the same for running. Long, fast, intervals. Still see gains after years.

As also in this age group I’d be interested in this however I think you should plan in recovery weeks to let your body adapt and a ramp test to determine if the training load needs to be increased.
On the subject of extra rest as you get older I did my usual low volume plan last week but cut Saturday’s workout short by 15 mins then did a 5hr group ride on Sunday. If I miss the group ride I try and take the kids and wife mountain biking for a good three hours. I must say I’m a little “fatigued” today.
Hoping to see some gains at the end of this block :slight_smile:
may have to buy that book

  • Following exactly as stated, you would stagnate.

  1. You list a specific and narrow set of workouts, and strength training only.

  2. You don’t mention anything about testing FTP for potential changes (up or down), and you don’t mention changing intensity over time, in any way.

Left at the same FTP, your body will adapt to the stress you throw at it and eventually reach a point of stasis where it is able to handle that work load.

Proper training, with the goal of improving over time… not just maintaining, requires increase in intensity and/ or duration of work, reduction of recovery intervals, or similar changes to create new levels of stress, that then drive adaptation.

You have to hit the “functional overreaching” point in training to actually improve. If you just do the same exact stress, duration and load, you will eventually top out.

Sorry I assumed regular ftp tests throughout the year, with increases (hopefully).

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Even with testing (presumably every 4 weeks at least, in a 3:1 work to recovery week ratio), you will only have “extra” stress for a portion of the next phase. You’d probably get a pickup in the first and part of the 2nd week, but that 3rd week of work might be flat.

This is all speculation and ignores the realities of you and your training history, and how this stress mixes with the rest of your life.

But it is not following what is broadly known about how to drive positive adaptations in the body. And despite the planned distraction, the pure monotony of doing exactly the same group of workouts for more than a few months (especially indoors) sounds absolutely boring. And this comes from a guy who is willing to kick out 3+ hour Endurance level rides on a trainer about twice a month :stuck_out_tongue:

I read it too a few years. The references in it are excellent. The upshot is this

  1. Eat more protein
  2. Polarize the training
  3. Rest more both in cycle and macro. Recommends a 10 day cycle instead of your usual 7 but hell I still have a job…
  4. Do more strength exercises

Does not recommend thrashing periodization though. So not sure where @scotscyclist65 is coming from on that point…

I think he recommends a 9 day cycle…

Thrashing periodization? Sorry I’m not sure what that means.

Base; Build; Specialty is a periodization approach implemented by TR. You focus on different systems for various periods. Friel has always been big on that… Must read it again was sure he said 10days. How and ever I have to stick with 7. Or the wife will kill me…

“What do you mean you can’t get off the f$%king sofa and walk the dog 'casue it’s a rest day?”

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Hahahaha love it

There was a Velonews podcast where they had some pros and coaches on discussing the fact they really only had 5 or so different workout they did. Of course there were variations in length and the number of sets and what the mix is at different times of the season so they’re not really doing the exact same 5 workouts but they’re definitely not running off a 1000+ workout library.

The theme was the training most pros do is pretty repetitive and plain. The benefits were billed as being that its easier to nail workouts you are very familiar with and if you are repeating the same standard intervals is easier to compare apples to apples and you get more useful metrics.

FWIW - TR actually kind of does this. They name every little variation differently to fool the mentally weak that they are doing something new every day but the basic workout forms are not that many.
Pros don’t get bored, they just do the assigned work so coaches don’t have to fool them :wink:

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You would want to increase “time in zone” for the SS workouts at the very least…so you’d want to go to 2x20, 3x15, 3x20, etc., and then at that point reassess.

I don’t think your premise is bad, in terms of 1 vo2 workout, 1 sweet spot, and 1 endurance ride per week… I would just vary the workouts to maintain stimulus. Maybe one week do 30x30s for your vo2 workout, then the next week do 4x6 at 105%, etc.

But I’ve truly come to believe that training your ‘time in zone’ at a given FTP is just as important as raising your FTP. Build your durability at a certain level before raising that level.

Good luck :metal:

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@batwood14

Thanks, but as an “older” athlete with greater recovery requirements would you need to keep increasing durations? Friel says in his book that 3x12min sweetspot is the maximum needed.