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Calories and cycling

Old 08-02-21, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
I don't know anyone significantly overweight who doesn't know they are consuming too many calories vs. their level of activity. No one here has denied that. As you yourself have pointed out, consistency is the real problem. No one here is claiming any "nit noid" reasons they're not losing. But all I am saying is that what works for you to maintain consistency probably won't work for most people because they can't sustain it. People are obviously struggling with this, and you haven't stated anything in that post that they're not aware of, probably more than you are.

And I find it hilarious that in the same post about how simple it is to do this you cite numerous people you know who've had major surgery to force them to do it. I know several people who have suffered some very nasty health problems from those surgeries and also managed to put the weight back on a year or two after it..

BTW, I don't do any of that carb stuff before or during a ride, but why are you assuming people who do have weight issues?

I rode 135 miles Saturday. I'm not regretting the large meal I ate afterwards or the brownie I ate at 70 miles.
I never said it was easy. Simple, yes. Easy, no. Big difference. I hope you can agree with this. Which is why so many people fail at their weight loss goals. Just because someone can't sustain an eating plan doesn't mean it doesn't work, it just means the person finds it too difficult to sustain. That's why there are about a zillion diet plans out there. All based on the same principle of controlling eating habits. The process works in almost every case short of a medical issue.
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Old 08-02-21, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
Maybe. but a) they are national TT champions and b) they are not in their 60s.
I am sorry, as often times the case, I do not get your point. Champions can be any age.

How one chooses to train impacts the types of events one will do better in, relative to one's genetic potential. If someone wants to be a track racer or crit racer, they will train differently than a road racer or triathloner. Age is irrelevant. The extent that one can shift their power duration curve towards endurance or towards anaerobic power is clearly shaped by muscle fibre type but it is equally affected by the type of training, that is irrefutable.

The simple fact? There are not many subjects lining up to do 3 hour bouts in the name of science. When XERT was in its early days, they would have a silly high percentage of FTP for a 3 hour effort. I asked them many, many times for a study or data to support. Or, even just one power file. So, I did a pretty exhaustive search on the subject.
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Old 08-02-21, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha
Remember I said “average.” This was a small-group thrash over rolling terrain with lots of Z5-7 and opportunity to recover. I could never do 3 hrs steady in Z4.
Have you tried it on a trainer?

Nobody wants to do such an effort, but if it was a Zwift race or there was a motivating factor, how do you know you could not do a three hour ride at 87% of FTP or maybe a touch higher. This is really a high tempo pace, not threshold

BTW.....the UK 100 mile TT riders were surveyed, they report 84-85% of FTP on average over 100 miles. The highest was a women at 95% but a number in the 90-91% range.
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Old 08-02-21, 08:15 AM
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The 3 hr 30 min ride I did was at an IF 0.73 with an average NP of 208W. (FTP 283W)

It's pretty normal I think based on what I've read. Now I can certainly increase my IF on a steady Zwift ride up to about 0.80 for that length of time. But not a chance outdoors on a hilly course.
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Old 08-02-21, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
Well that is even more impressive if you averaged an IF 0.87 on hilly terrain vs a steady flat TT effort at the same average power. These guys don't even operate at that kind of sustained level.

https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/p...france-week-1/

"Durbridge put out his Peak Power values late in the stage. His Peak 20 Minute Power of 410W, or 5.22W/kg, came in the final 20km of the stage.
Before setting those peak values, Durbridge rode for just over four hours at a Normalized Power (NP) of 300W.
A Training Stress Score (TSS) of 269.8 and Intensity Factor (IF) of .75 shows that this was not an easy stage for Durbridge.
In total, Durbridge averaged 245W, or 3.12W/kg and burned 4195 calories."
I am happy on hills and kj are kj, regardless of how you put them out. Always prepared to be wrong, though, especially if it means I have an awesomer FTP. TSS for this ride came in at 249, which felt about right.
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Old 08-02-21, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62
Have you tried it on a trainer?

Nobody wants to do such an effort, but if it was a Zwift race or there was a motivating factor, how do you know you could not do a three hour ride at 87% of FTP or maybe a touch higher. This is really a high tempo pace, not threshold

BTW.....the UK 100 mile TT riders were surveyed, they report 84-85% of FTP on average over 100 miles. The highest was a women at 95% but a number in the 90-91% range.
Three words: NFW! Id rather give birth.
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Old 08-02-21, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62
Have you tried it on a trainer?

Nobody wants to do such an effort, but if it was a Zwift race or there was a motivating factor, how do you know you could not do a three hour ride at 87% of FTP or maybe a touch higher. This is really a high tempo pace, not threshold

BTW.....the UK 100 mile TT riders were surveyed, they report 84-85% of FTP on average over 100 miles. The highest was a women at 95% but a number in the 90-91% range.
My best Zwift race effort (which was almost 6 hours) was at IF 0.77
My best Zwift race effort at just under 2 hours is at IF 0.87

I can't find anything I've done recently on Zwift at 3 hours, but it's going to be less than 0.87

Outdoors I can't get anywhere near those figures unless you start filtering out zero power coasting. If it was pancake flat I could do it, but not on rolling terrain.

Of course 87% is not at threshold by definition.
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Old 08-02-21, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
The 3 hr 30 min ride I did was at an IF 0.73 with an average NP of 208W. (FTP 283W)

It's pretty normal I think based on what I've read. Now I can certainly increase my IF on a steady Zwift ride up to about 0.80 for that length of time. But not a chance outdoors on a hilly course.
It's really not at all far-fetched. With the right (wrong) kind of power curve, a relatively high IF over the course of 3+ hours isn't impossible to come by. My FTP is relatively sucky (relative to my short-term power), so punching it here and there, while holding steady when the terrain allows, will get me to IFs in the high 80s. Looking over my training log, I only need to go back a month to find something that qualifies -

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Old 08-02-21, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha
I am happy on hills and kj are kj, regardless of how you put them out. Always prepared to be wrong, though, especially if it means I have an awesomer FTP. TSS for this ride came in at 249, which felt about right.
Be prepared to be wrong. It's much harder to average the same power over a hilly course vs flat. That's why Normalised Power exists. If you are talking about average power rather than average NP, then your effort is simply unbelievable.
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Old 08-02-21, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
Be prepared to be wrong. It's much harder to average the same power over a hilly course vs flat. That's why Normalised Power exists. If you are talking about average power rather than average NP, then your effort is simply unbelievable.
We are talking intensity, right?



There’s a few stops averaged into the some of the data.

Last edited by MoAlpha; 08-02-21 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 08-02-21, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi
Keep in mind that you're talking about TT efforts vs (presumably) a punchy group ride and (presumably) NP rather than Average Power.
Yeah I'm talking about NP as % of FTP
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Old 08-02-21, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha
We are talking intensity, right?

Theres a few stops averaged into the some of the data.
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Old 08-02-21, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by pgjackson
. Just because someone can't sustain an eating plan doesn't mean it doesn't work, it just means the person finds it too difficult to sustain. That's why there are about a zillion diet plans out there. All based on the same principle of controlling eating habits. The process works in almost every case short of a medical issue.
No, a "plan" that cannot be sustained because it's too difficult is exactly what "the plan doesn't work" means. You want to blame the individual for failing the plan, I want to say the plan is a crappy fit for them as it probably would be for most people.

The reason there are a zillion diet plans out there is because none of them work well for most people. The whole idea of a one-size-fits-all plan has been tried now for about 160 years, and look where it's gotten us. Competing contradictory plans and many, many fat people.

You're arguing with things I haven't said. My point remains that lecturing people that it's a simple matter of eating fewer calories than you burn and telling them that the problem is that they're failing at that is useless and doesn't help anyone except maybe it makes you feel a little superior to them.

Y'all are changing an argument that people need to find their own "program", tailored to the time they have, the resources they have, their own physical characteristics, their genetics, etc., to some sort of touchy-feely "snowflake" argument when what I'm really saying is there's entirely too many self-appointed "experts" around always lecturing about how they've got this all figured out and everybody who's obese is just too weak to take their advice (or whatever it is you think you're conveying with this "it's simple" nonsense).

I basically had to relearn how to shop and cook for myself, restructure my day, make myself do lots of stuff I didn't want to, and pretty much remind myself constantly not to do what I wanted to do with food for a period of several years, all the time figuring out what combinations of food and activity I could feel good enough on to sustain the plan (and that was changing pretty constantly as the weight came off). There was nothing simple or easy about that, I basically had to be obsessive. I don't know anyone who has taken off and kept off that kind of weight who would tell you any different.
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Old 08-02-21, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha
We are talking intensity, right?
I am yes. Have you done a dedicated FTP test recently? I would suggest it's probably higher than 208W if you can get that close to it over 3 hours. Surely you can sweat out more than another 26W for roughly an hour on a flat course? Does that data include the coasting time or not? Because that would make a huge difference to the averages and intensity value.
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Old 08-02-21, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
I am yes. Have you done a dedicated FTP test recently? I would suggest it's probably higher than 208W if you can get that close to it over 3 hours. Surely you can sweat out more than another 26W for roughly an hour on a flat course? Does that data include the coasting time or not? Because that would make a huge difference to the averages and intensity value.
You may well be right and I’m certainly not claiming that I’m fast or that this was any sort of great ride. The only reason I brought it up was that I didn’t really need to fuel much for it. If we re-run it at an FTP of 220 or 3.4 W/kg, which I’m pretty sure is an overestimate, based on my unimpressive history, the intensity is 82%. The truth may be somewhere in between.
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Old 08-02-21, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha
You may well be right and I’m certainly not claiming that I’m fast or that this was any sort of great ride. The only reason I brought it up was that I didn’t really need to fuel much for it. If we re-run it at an FTP of 220 or 3.4 W/kg, which I’m pretty sure is an overestimate, based on my unimpressive history, the intensity is 82%. The truth may be somewhere in between.
Just looking at your data again, the variability at 1.31 is very high. So might be skewing the NP value compared to a more steady state effort. I only see that kind of variability on very hilly steep climbing/descending rides. Or rides with lots of stops averaged in. Your average power of 138W looks more in line with your FTP. My ride had a variability index of 1.18 so my average power was much closer to my NP (176W average vs 208W NP). So that might explain your relatively high IF.

I take your point about fuelling. I'm sure I could go for that length of time without re-fuelling too if I had to. But I perform better and recover better if I fuel my rides.

Last edited by PeteHski; 08-02-21 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 08-02-21, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
No, a "plan" that cannot be sustained because it's too difficult is exactly what "the plan doesn't work" means. You want to blame the individual for failing the plan, I want to say the plan is a crappy fit for them as it probably would be for most people.

The reason there are a zillion diet plans out there is because none of them work well for most people. The whole idea of a one-size-fits-all plan has been tried now for about 160 years, and look where it's gotten us. Competing contradictory plans and many, many fat people.

You're arguing with things I haven't said. My point remains that lecturing people that it's a simple matter of eating fewer calories than you burn and telling them that the problem is that they're failing at that is useless and doesn't help anyone except maybe it makes you feel a little superior to them.

Y'all are changing an argument that people need to find their own "program", tailored to the time they have, the resources they have, their own physical characteristics, their genetics, etc., to some sort of touchy-feely "snowflake" argument when what I'm really saying is there's entirely too many self-appointed "experts" around always lecturing about how they've got this all figured out and everybody who's obese is just too weak to take their advice (or whatever it is you think you're conveying with this "it's simple" nonsense).

I basically had to relearn how to shop and cook for myself, restructure my day, make myself do lots of stuff I didn't want to, and pretty much remind myself constantly not to do what I wanted to do with food for a period of several years, all the time figuring out what combinations of food and activity I could feel good enough on to sustain the plan (and that was changing pretty constantly as the weight came off). There was nothing simple or easy about that, I basically had to be obsessive. I don't know anyone who has taken off and kept off that kind of weight who would tell you any different.
I really don't know what your are trying to say that is different that what I have said. You yourself had to adjust your eating habits....which at it's core was probably simply eating less calories....what is easy? No. I have not promoted any particular weight loss plan other than "eat less and exercise". That IS at the core of virtually every weight loss program. Whether it's keto, fasting, South Beach, grapefruit and pickles....whatever it is that works for you it's all about controlling eating habits. I've said it multiple times. There is no cookie-cutter plan that works for everyone, but it all falls back on reducing caloric intake over time.

You yourself had to learn how to control your eating by changing habits, eating better foods, and developing self control. It wasn't easy. It never is. It sounds like you succeeded in getting over the mountain. Most people do not succeed, or they do succeed but fall back into their old habits over time and gain all the weight back. Nobody said it is easy. Riding a bike up a hill isn't easy. Running 5 miles isn't easy. Lifting heavy-ass weight isn't easy. That's why most people don't do it. Going to the grocery store and staying away from the soda and chips aisle is also hard. Going to a restaurant and ordering grilled chicken instead of the smothered chimichanga is hard. But it's very simple.

I haven't lectured anyone other than saying that at the core of virtually EVERY weight loss program is controlling eating habits. It really is a simple universal formula. How it's implemented on an individual level can get difficult. I hated Keto because it made me feel weak all the time and I hated having to track how many carbs I've had.. Intermittent fasting seems to work pretty well for me. Some people are the opposite. Both are designed to control eating habits.
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Old 08-02-21, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha
You may well be right and I’m certainly not claiming that I’m fast or that this was any sort of great ride. The only reason I brought it up was that I didn’t really need to fuel much for it. If we re-run it at an FTP of 220 or 3.4 W/kg, which I’m pretty sure is an overestimate, based on my unimpressive history, the intensity is 82%. The truth may be somewhere in between.
The bigger question would be what percentage of FTP should one AVERAGE (not NP) in order to maximize fat metabolism.

It clearly isn't 100% because then you would be burning mostly glycogen.

It isn't 60% because the total calories per hour would be low despite the vast majority coming from fat (with reasonably fit riders). VLa max or the rate of lactate increase will reflect the sustainable power for long efforts and therefore, the amount of calories of fat that can burned. Riders who have a rapid onset of lactate will fatigue quicker and will not be able to sustain long, hard efforts.

For those without power meters or heart rate monitors, the best fat burning pace is probably where you can talk in a several sentences at a time. You are breathing smoothly and consistently without labor. If you start yakking away to a riding buddy, the effort becomes more apparent. Probably upper zone 2 or maybe lower zone 3 to get the best fat burning. Also when losing weight, you want to avoid too much ROS stress on your mitochondria. Best not to do HIIT when trying to lose a lot of weight.
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Old 08-02-21, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
Just looking at your data again, the variability at 1.31 is very high.
Mo is a sprinter like me.


































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Old 08-02-21, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
My best Zwift race effort (which was almost 6 hours) was at IF 0.77
My best Zwift race effort at just under 2 hours is at IF 0.87

I can't find anything I've done recently on Zwift at 3 hours, but it's going to be less than 0.87

Outdoors I can't get anywhere near those figures unless you start filtering out zero power coasting. If it was pancake flat I could do it, but not on rolling terrain.

Of course 87% is not at threshold by definition.
I wasn't asking you. It is very clear from your training that you could not get those kind of figures. A high percentage of FTP efforts of long duration are also not going to happen with high NP or in your terminology, high IF. Supra FTF efforts over and over again or "burning matches" has a large effect on long rides and efforts will fall off quickly. You did 0.87 for 2 hours. Pretty close.

Definitely hard outside unless one is riding into a headwind or a long gradual upslope with no traffic.

The thrust of this thread to me is what are actual calories burned per hour (way over estimated by online packages) and what effort level maximizes fat burning on that day and also what allows one to continue to exercise consistently to lose a lot of weight. It is not HIIT.
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Old 08-02-21, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha
Three words: NFW! Id rather give birth.
Exactly. That is why there isn't good information or studies.

Who goes thru childbirth to support some PhD's Doctoral thesis

There are coaches who have experience on these matters and can give specific guidance. I had a coach who wanted me to build up to 10 hour rides at upper Tempo. (76-90% of FTP is generally defined as tempo). I got to about 6 hours. Outside.
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Old 08-02-21, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62
I wasn't asking you. It is very clear from your training that you could not get those kind of figures. A high percentage of FTP efforts of long duration are also not going to happen with high NP or in your terminology, high IF. Supra FTF efforts over and over again or "burning matches" has a large effect on long rides and efforts will fall off quickly. You did 0.87 for 2 hours. Pretty close.

Definitely hard outside unless one is riding into a headwind or a long gradual upslope with no traffic.

The thrust of this thread to me is what are actual calories burned per hour (way over estimated by online packages) and what effort level maximizes fat burning on that day and also what allows one to continue to exercise consistently to lose a lot of weight. It is not HIIT.
Yeah I most definitely cannot average 87% of my FTP power for that length of time over my lumpy real world terrain. It is not realistic and even less realistic if you take average power instead of NP.

So if we take average power for Mo's data instead of NP (sorry Mo to use you as an example!) he averaged 66% of his FTP, which is obviously far lower than his IF value, which takes into account all those matches he burnt via NP. That's why NP is more useful than average power when comparing overall ride intensity. Those TT racers you mentioned earlier would have very little difference between their average power and their NP because it is a steady state effort.
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Old 08-02-21, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62
Exactly. That is why there isn't good information or studies.

Who goes thru childbirth to support some PhD's Doctoral thesis

There are coaches who have experience on these matters and can give specific guidance. I had a coach who wanted me to build up to 10 hour rides at upper Tempo. (76-90% of FTP is generally defined as tempo). I got to about 6 hours. Outside.
So by "upper Tempo" I'm assuming your 6 hour outdoor ride was at say 85-90% of your FTP. Am I reading that correctly?

I'm also curious as to what your coach was aiming to achieve with 10 hour upper Tempo rides? That is just insane and would lead to serious fatigue over any prolonged period.

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Old 08-02-21, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
Yeah I most definitely cannot average 87% of my FTP power for that length of time over my lumpy real world terrain. It is not realistic and even less realistic if you take average power instead of NP.

So if we take average power for Mo's data instead of NP (sorry Mo to use you as an example!) he averaged 66% of his FTP, which is obviously far lower than his IF value, which takes into account all those matches he burnt via NP. That's why NP is more useful than average power when comparing overall ride intensity. Those TT racers you mentioned earlier would have very little difference between their average power and their NP because it is a steady state effort.
I do not agree. Average power is a better metric for long, steady efforts and frequent high intensity (threshold and above) is something to avoid when a fat person is trying to lose weight. In terms of Training Stress, if you get the exponents correct, NP is useful. In terms of being able to sustain a long effort? Not so much. If you want to gin up your FTP, just alternate quick bursts periodically. The W' recharge rate is pretty quick. I would argue that many have an overly inflated FTP because it is derived from efforts where the anaerobic systems overly contribute. These short efforts that contribute to high NP have a hell of a price to pay after some hours. The fast twitch muscles fatigue pretty quickly and the respiratory byproducts also contribute to fatigue and therefore, the inability to hold a good power level

My NP is rarely much higher than my average power, unless I am doing an interval workouts as I have been doing lately.
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Old 08-02-21, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62
I do not agree. Average power is a better metric for long, steady efforts and frequent high intensity (threshold and above) is something to avoid when a fat person is trying to lose weight. In terms of Training Stress, if you get the exponents correct, NP is useful. In terms of being able to sustain a long effort? Not so much. If you want to gin up your FTP, just alternate quick bursts periodically. The W' recharge rate is pretty quick. I would argue that many have an overly inflated FTP because it is derived from efforts where the anaerobic systems overly contribute. These short efforts that contribute to high NP have a hell of a price to pay after some hours. The fast twitch muscles fatigue pretty quickly and the respiratory byproducts also contribute to fatigue and therefore, the inability to hold a good power level

My NP is rarely much higher than my average power, unless I am doing an interval workouts as I have been doing lately.
Average power and NP are the same thing for a long, steady effort. I wasn't talking about losing weight in this sideline discussion. I was merely raising an eyebrow at the % FTPs being quoted, especially by you. Even more so now you have revealed that you are talking about raw average power as a % FTP. I was struggling to comprehend them even as IF values.

Last edited by PeteHski; 08-02-21 at 10:19 AM.
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