Boswell Strength Endurance percentage of FTP

I did the Boswell Strength Endurance workout today. I liked the idea of the low cadence strength workout. It didn’t particularly tax me though and as I was doing the workout, I was listening to Boswell’s breathing to see how we matched up. I was definitely having an easier time of things. So I knocked it up to just under FTP level ( I think by about 115%) and it felt better but still not what I would call particularly hard. I was hesitant to put it up any more as the effort was rated as 6. Question is - what should these workouts feel like? If it was outside and you told me do go low cadence up a climb for 4 minutes to work on strength, I would have pushed harder (but maybe that wouldn’t be as productive?) Trying to understand to make sure I use my time to cause the right amount of pain to make me stronger :slight_smile:

FYI. I’m 47 and FTP is around 235 with MAP around 295 (planning to remeasure after a week off next week).

So low RPM work doesn’t always have to be flat out, there are benefits to doing longer low RPM strength efforts as it improve muscle fibre recruitment. The reason this sometimes doesn’t ‘feel’ as hard as the same power at your normal RPM, is that low RPM efforts are far lower in cardiovascular strain (hence the steadier breathing and it maybe feeling easier). Some people prefer lower RPM efforts and can deal with the increase in torque and muscular strain, others deal with higher RPM and the increased cardiovascular load better. Sounds like you deal with the high torque/strain better so I would keep the power targets at the suggested levels in the workouts


Thanks for the reply. I guess by feel, I realise that I was a little unclear. I wanted to ask how it should “feel to my legs and core” in terms of strength effort? I guess it’s hard to gauge. In my case I didn’t feel that 200W was going to leave me with any burn after the intervals which is why I upped the intensity in order to get my legs to do a bit more work with the note that I still felt like I had lots of capacity left.

I believe what you are saying is that even though it doesn’t feel hard (perhaps because I am a low torque flavour), the workout would still be recruiting muscle fibres and doing its job so no need to up the pain prescription.

Enjoying the new content btw. I did find ample pain on a pro ride :slight_smile:


Another option to increase the muscular strength demands of these sessions is to ride at a lower cadence than the given target. If you normally ride at around 80rpm then you’d be better dropping your cadence down to 45-50 for this session given the targets are sub-threshold.

Also worth pointing out that you are intended to do the Racing Winning Efforts session the day after, and that is not a session you’d want to do on destroyed legs.

Glad you’re enjoying the new content!


Thanks for the reply. I think you have hit the nail on the head @Coach.Mac.C . I am doing 3 rides a week, Tue, Thu and Sat (sound familiar perhaps?) and was not riding this workout thinking of it as part of a plan but rather thinking of it as something independent to build up strength. Was definitely not thinking of doing Racing Winning Efforts the next day. I like the idea of trying lower cadence also. I used to be a spinner but for some reason over the last two years, I seem to have lost a lot of that. I found the last 5m spin at 110 rpm more challenging for sure than the low cadence stuff.

Anyway. I think that answers my questions nicely. Thanks to you both again.

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The higher RPM can be more taxing cardiovascularly (is that a word?). It’s worth including those sorts of efforts in your training as well. They can feel tough, but can be very useful for improving cardiovascular fitness and muscle co-activation/pedalling smoothness


Thanks @Coach.Andy.T . One of the things I love about SF is the cadence recommendations and trying to follow at least the variances involved. The changes really push me a lot of the time.

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