Increasing FTP - Have I reached a plateau?

I have been using Sufferfest over the last year with my Wahoo Kicker, with great results. I have done 4 x 4DP tests already and every time my rider type was an Attacker. To work on my FTP weakness, I deliberately trained exclusively the Endurance videos such as Thin Air, The Rookie, The Hunted, etc, which increased my 20 minutes FTP with about 20% after three months. From month three onward, my FTP stayed virtually constant. My 1 minute AC and 5 minutes MAP consistently increased to the best it ever was. The initial increase in my FTP definitely helps me to ride longer MTB rides at a higher intensity (without getting fatigued), BUT at a substantially increased Heart Rate. I want to increase my FTP which I believe will enable me to ride the same intensity for longer but at a reduced heart rate. Despite doing the suggested video’s, I feel I have reached a plateau? What should I do?

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Sounds like maybe you need a fresh stimulus. Have you tried any of the SUF plans rather than repeating individual endurance workouts? Also consider strength training if not already doing that. Then there are other factors like sleep, stress and nutrition to think about. If your MAP is still increasing then there should be some scope to bump up your FTP too.

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You’re body need new and different stimulus to trigger adaptations. If you keep doing the same videos you won’t get that. Have a look at the TT plans, it’ll be tailored to your 4DP profile, will provide new stimuli and has the aim of increasing FTP.

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Thank for the advice! It sounds like the way to go. Many thanks.

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I would look at the volcano plan and add yoga into the mix for some additional flexibility. Maybe also consider a plan that adds strength

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When you say you focused on the FTP focused videos, were you ‘just’ doing these videos at 100% intensity, or following a specific plan with little variety of sessions across different zones?

Doing the videos targeting 20min power alone is a great start, but there’s plenty more structure that you can introduce to drive further improvements. :slight_smile:

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Coincidentally, I have just posted an article you may find useful:


I would say switching the stimulus up is going to be key here for you to keep seeing gains! Sounds like you have already made some awesome progressions and gains on your FTP number!! remember the training plans are set to your rider weakness too (there is a symbol in the top right of the training plans tab on the app).

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Hi there.

Obvs the coach article is the answer here.
And I echo the comments from everyone else about stimulus.

As someone with exactly the same ‘makeup’ on the face of it (I used to get Attacker all the time and I struggled to do anything with ftp) the answer for me went something like this:

Monday: Nine Hammers. No messing … VO2 all the way.
Tue: GOAT / Power Station or something like that to work the slow / strength side of things while the heart and lungs recovered from Monday.

Later in the week I did a more ftp’y session.

This was all about attacking MAP, to enable ftp to rise.
It made a difference.

Happy to share exactly what I was doing if you ever want to. Coach notes above will be better though :slight_smile:

Note: this can be a pretty uncomfortable plan … as it meant me doing workouts that I would often not fully ‘complete’ from a purist numbers on the screen point of view.

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Hi Martin,

Thanks for the info you have provided. I am just on the other side of illness and got a few months under my belt now. My fitness is coming back reasonably well but my FTP still feels low so I would be really interested to hear more about what you did … e.g. number of weeks, types of workouts, outdoor rides, any additional strength work from the gym?

Any help would be much appreciated!

Thanks,

Ben

Hi Ben.

Obvs the illness thing needs managed. If you are fully recovered and there’s no medical issues, I’ll leave that side to you …

For me, to raise FTP I needed to work on MAP is the long and short of it.

To do that:
Mon - Nine Hammers (week after week)
Tue - STR workout immediately followed by Power Station (week after week).
Wed - absolute rest/yoga
Thur - some sort of ftp type session around an hour or so e.g. Team Scream.
Fri - STR again
Sat - outdoor ride at whatever pace I fancied.

3 weeks on, 1 week off and I tested at the end of that rest week and started again.

After a while, swapping out nine hammers for AVDP can help change things. Same for power station to goat.

And that was it basically. 3 months. Yoga every single day without fail.

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Thanks to everyone who contributed to this post! The article from coach Rupert is superb, thank you very much for that!

Hi Martin,

Yep definitely managing the illness - had glandular fever in November and it knocked me sideways so have been building steadily since January but holding off anytime I was feeling overly fatigued or not quite right. Was going pretty nicely until catching a cold from our little one a few weeks ago, the joys of the nursery bugs haha!

Thanks for that information, looks really useful and will be a nice program to follow. For the STR workout do you have any more information there? I am assuming squats and core exercises?

I like the rest days (Sunday too right?) and the yoga which I need to get started again.

Did you keep any track of your FTP progression?

Sorry to come back with so many questions, just really interested!

Ben

Forgot to mention I did the 9 hammers today … had to pause briefly halfway through the 6th and then stop all together after the 7th!