VO2 Sustained Weakness

4DP says I have a sustained weakness. However I’m very unfit and know I have a lot I need to work on. My question is should I start by increasing MAP and look to bump up my ceiling or work on extending efforts and focussing on the identified weakness?


Hi @Cody


If you are actually very unfit (people’s definition of very unfit varies greatly!) chances are your true strengths & weaknesses wouldn’t be reflected in your 4DP (I’m assuming those numbers are post doing a Full Frontal but not sure how many FFs you’ve done - there’s a learning curve to them). If you think you can stick to a 12 week plan I’d do the All Purpose Road - it will be tailored to your weaknesses/ strengths but still target across the board, getting you fitter. You’ll do a FF at the end. If you feel 12 weeks is too long a commitment I’d head to the 4 week Building Blocks, starting on Base Block for 4 weeks (or even double up on that to get 8 weeks) and then do a MAP block. Then a FF to get more accurate numbers.

The 6 week Fitness Kickstarter is another option.

Good luck.


I agree with the above advice. I started Systm with the 12 week all purpose plan. I wasn’t totally unfit but had never done any structured training ever before. 6 weeks in there is the Half Monty ramp test which gives you some idea how you are going and gives you some stats that get put into your training levels to make sure that future sessions continue to help you progress. As mentioned there is the full frontal test at the end and that will give you new figures and you will see how much you have progressed. Stick it out if possible because I was amazed at my improvements just 6 weeks after the HM ramp test. Also, there is much written about the 4DP full frontal test and many videos of how tough it is. Don’t let that sway you at all and just take it as another tough workout that will give you a buzz when you see how fit you have got… My weakness was my MAP (5 minute power) compared to my FTP so I did the MAP plan which was 4 weeks and I had only 3 weeks before a weeks holiday so just to fill in until I come back I am currently doing the first 3 weeks of the MAP plan again before a weeks break. Try to add in some strength training as well, as an older person i have found that to be really beneficial too. Keep us posted on your progress…


I’ve only done 1 FF. Struggled a bit but think the metrics were pretty close and workouts felt ok when I did 12week triathlon plan but that was months ago. I did a HM 2 weeks ago which felt a lot easier to do… no pacing required. I appreciate the feedback. I’ll definitely have to commit a bit more. Great info.


Thanks for the reply, I really appreciate it. I’ve probably struggled with motivation the most. Great to know there are lots of ways to skin a cat to get progress. Definitely keen to try the shorter blocks. With horrible commitment I’ve gone from 191W FTP in the Full Frontal to 229W in the HM in 6 month. But like I said I struggled with a 12 week commitment then completely lost it, 3 months of work 3 months off. I’m now looking for to a shorter block. What do you think good progress should be? Thank you again!


I think motivation is an issue for more than would like to admit and I do have an advantage in that I am retired so have more time. I am not sure what motivated me from the start as originally I never raced and had never even joined a cycle club and just plodded along on my old wheel on trainer, 2 hours a day,day in day out, no structure staring at the TV and sometimes watching GCN training videos on Youtube and doing a few of their sessions. That was about 18 months ago that I did that and at 67 years old back then I just wanted to get fitter. In the last 4 months or so I thought I had better stop being such a hermit and go and join a local cycle club and was surprised that I could actually ride along with them on their intermediate speed ride for 2 or 3 hours. I got the bug and joined Wahoo Systm , I now go out on their Red rides (ave 18mph +) and did my first ever 10 mile TT last week on my road bike in a time of 27:51 which equates to 24:59 under the VTTA age related system (which no-one understands!) Actually there were only 4 riders all on TT bikes and younger than me but on the age related standards I had the best time, was well chuffed. I want to train for some TT’s for next year so that is my current motivation to keep training. It looks like the TT training plan will be my next one. Oh, not sure about a shorter training block as I have never done one but I am sure someone on here will chip in


Congratulations on the great results! Very inspirational. Enjoy the well earned results.


Sometimes you have to figure out what works for you. I HIGHLY suggest you visit the ‘shrink’ and do the Mental Fitness Plan. It has wonderful ideas on how to motivate yourself and how to overcome some of the obstacles life places in our way.


I’ve had a few goes at the mental training program. It’s perplexing how much effort we put into getting into physical shape and neglect the equally important mental aspect. Thanks for the reminder. I appreciate it.