Will the 12 week program lift my FTP?

I’d did my one and only 4DP (20 min power 220W) when I joined up back in March, and for a while was doing workouts 2 or 3 times a week. We went into hard COVID lockdown at the start of August (I live in Melbourne), and so I decided to start a full 12 week training program (Intermediate Gran Fondo).

I’m now 5 weeks in and according to the “badass power records” in the app, and after all of those workouts I have not once exceeded the 20 minute power that I got on the 4DP. And that’s because when using ERG mode on the trainer none of the workouts I’ve done have pushed me above that 220W for 20 minutes that I originally recorded.

So my question is this: after completing this very regular training, can I expect to to get a better 20 min result at my next 4DP, even though none of the individual workouts actually push me above that level?


I am not sure how much you can read into those bad ass power records. When I did my first 12 week plan I don’t recall moving many if any of those “records” but when I re-tested at the end of the plan I had improved all my metrics. The key really is to follow the plan. Go hard when it wants you to go hard and go easy when it wants you to go easy. Good Luck!

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Hello Beesem,
Really thinking of you in lockdown in Melbourne, let’s hope you will see the restrictions continue to lift. As a former Melbournian myself I know Spring is around the corner and you will want to get out and enjoy it!

A training plan during this period is a great way to add needed focus and get fit. There are a couple of things to consider in answering your question. How does the weekly training plan differ from the hours or intensity you were doing before the plan? As this plan has weekend rides that are to be ridden outdoors, and you are in lockdown, are you currently doing the same prescribed efforts and duration on the trainer? If the training is comparable in length and intensity and you are adhering to the plan, even on the weekend rides, then you should be on target. Be sure when on the trainer to have adequate air flow as the temps heat up as this will effect heartrate and hydration.

In regard to your numbers, The Half Monty should be fast approaching and should let you know how your travelling along the way and will provide you with new FTP, MAP and Lactate Threshold Heartrate numbers. These new metrics will be used to adjust your workout targets once you have completed the test. You may not see tremendous gains during the plan but if you stick to the plan you should see gains when doing the final testing.

All the best and keep at it!


For that question about badass numbers - they’re really only a side bit of info.
None of the workouts target those, they’re more about setting you up to crush them come 4DP ‘test’ time … so Nine hammers is massively hard, but it’s goal isn’t to change your max numbers for 5 or 20 minutes, or else you’d just be wiped out for a a week if you were doing 5 minutes max efforts all the time.

So - they’re a perm record of the highest numbers you achieve, usually during the 4DP test basically,

(There are a few exceptions - Omnium can see you beating 1min depending on how you;’re going, and a couple of others can see you slightly raising 20 min - but these are side effects of the goal that workout has …)

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Thanks Simon, Yes the lockdown restricts the weekend outdoors to one hour so I’ve been doing that then coming indoors and doing more. Having said that I’ve dropped an hour here or there on the indoor endurance rides. Its much harder to do 3 hrs indoors.

You say that the half monty is coming up. I hadn’t seen that, but I have read that the half monty doesn’t change the 4DP numbers. If so that won’t change the effort settings.

Anyway. I’ll keep at it. Not much else to do. :slight_smile:

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Yes Martin, i had noticed that the 15 second and 1min numbers have been exceeded. That happens on workouts that require you to ride in Level mode. In those cases you can exceed the 4DP settings

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I just checked again Simon. There’s no Half Monty or 4DP scheduled in my 12 week plan at all. Just a Gran Fondo at the end (which isn’t likely).

Should I insert a 4DP test into the plan after the next rest week to reset the numbers?

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Beesem, if you do not see a Half Monty test on your schedule you are most likely doing a plan with an added strength program. I would suggest inserting the Half Monty which will reset your numbers, provided you are basing your training plan intensities off your original 4DP Test results and not FTP which estimates your 4DP values. It is best to insert the test following a workout such as Cadence Builds or Elements of Style. The Half Monty is designed to be a sub maximal effort so you will not need as much recovery as the Full Monty requires.

If you really want to do a 4DP test again, you could include following a recovery week. In the future, I would suggest that you complete a 4DP test the week before commencing a plan to give you the most accurate metrics throughout the plan. The more you can stick to the prescribed durations for the longer (Z2) rides the better, as those will impact your 20 minute power numbers. One idea to make the longer workouts more tolerable is that you can load up a video and execute at 65% to help pass the time. Although you may not have a Gran Fondo at the end of your training plan you will get to have the opportunity to use your new found strength in the future. Keep up the good work!


Excellent Simon. Yes you are correct. I did select a program with strength training and yoga added. Okay. i will insert a Half Monty and slot in a 4DP at some point too.
Thanks for the advice.

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I didn’t select the same plan as you did, as I chose the eSports Racing 12 week plan which schedules in times for races/group rides along with the workouts.

I use those races/group rides to really shell out what I’m capable of as a gauge on how well I’m doing.

I also run Zwift and Sufferfest simultaneously by having Zwift go through the companion app and Sufferfest through Ant+. I just open up a “open 15” or “Open 60” workout while I’m in a race/group ride so Sufferfest can track my “badass power numbers” outside of workouts. I hope this helps!


Well I attempted did a 4DP this morning. I think I went too hard for the 5min. I got my best 5 second and 5 minute numbers ever and then set my target for the 20min about 10w higher than my first (and only 4DP), I kept that up for about 8 mins, then I started to fade, then started to get cramp, and by 12mins I was toast, I had to bail. I suppose I set my 20 min expectations too high. Hmmmm. Feeling a bit flat after that.

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Well done on the PRs. You can take that from the test, so good job. What makes you think you went too hard on the 5 min test? Did you fade during the 5 mins or just because you struggled with the 20 min effort after?


Hi there @Beesem.

The massive positive from that is the new 5min effort … and the fact that you got through 12mins if the 20 means you probably have a good enough sense of where you need to set things for the training you’ve got coming up.

I personally think that getting that 5min nailed is a massively positive sign and congratulations !!

You can’t really overdo the 5min. It’s very idea is to leave you with nothing left so that the threshold effort is then based on what’s left - and that how all the workouts are then based.

I’d say you’ll get more out of the workouts now that your 5min is set and a decent estimate of your 20 will then see you good until you want to 4DP again.

Raising that 5min ceiling can help bring everything else with it !!


PS. Been through that ‘flat’ feeling of not doing what I hoped I’d do (rather a lot). That’ll pass. Try and focus on that 5min success. That’s a big thing and remember these numbers are so that you can then use the platform to train in a structured way.
Onwards and upwards :slight_smile:


Thanks for the encouraging words. I definitely left nothing in the tank after the 5 minutes. I could have finished the 20mins, but I would have been lucky to match my earlier numbers. I was fading fast, then the cramp just sealed my fate. I’d better make sure I don’t leave it 5 months before I try 4DP again.

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Not sure any of the workouts have a 20 min effort above your FTP, what i’d say is take a holistic view of your fitness and don’t focus solely on FTP. It really depends on what kind of rider you are, and also what events or rides you like.

I for instance like punchy hilly sportives, so 5 min power is probably more important.

Also the most important thing is having fun. So just keep doing what makes you happy…

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That last encouraging in itself. So if you’d matched previous 20min and increased previous 5min that’d have been amazing. Many of us give anything for that :slight_smile:

And yeah - I have phases if relatively regular 4DP testing and it helps me no end.