765052f6-c839-4056-bc2e-e665c51a1a1f

 

Plan Overview:

Welcome, and thank you for your interest in the Build Me Up Flexible Training Plan!  This plan is 10-12 weeks in length and utilizes a 3 phase approach. Each phase is 4 weeks long.  Weeks 1 through 3 are progressive in TSS, and week 4 acts as a regeneration week to allow for supercompensation and an increase in your FTP!

Each phase will also progress in overall duration and intensity to continually overload your systems, with the end result of attaining those positive adaptations we’re after.  So, expect this to be a challenge, but it should be at times!

Workouts during the week are 60 minutes or less, and weekends feature longer and more challenging workouts of 90 minutes up to 2 hours!  The plan is structured in a way that everyone will have the best chances of maintaining consistency and compliance to it, no matter how busy they may be.

With Flexible Training Plans, you have a specific window of time to complete each workout – you’re not locked down to a specific day. Whenever you finish a session, the plan automatically adjusts so you stay on track. Accidentally skip one? Is your body craving a rest day? It’s all good. We’ll make sure you hit the most important workout of the week, so you don’t lose momentum.  -Zwift

Weekly Overviews:

Phase 1

Week 1: 27 TSS/D | 3 hours and 30 minutes | 195 TSS | 4 workouts

Week 1 begins Phase 1 which is based mostly on sub-FTP efforts.  Week 1 is all about establishing accurate power training zones via the Pre-Training Plan workout, and getting your feet wet if you are new to structured training.  The easiest week of the plan 🙂


Week 2: 43 TSS/D | 5 hours | 307 TSS | 4 workouts

Week 2 exposes you to longer intervals at close to FTP as well as more difficult over/unders during the weekend to really stress that aerobic system. Expect to notice the increase of training stress from the first week!


Week 3: 47 TSS/D | 5 hours and 15 mins | 329 TSS | 4 workouts

Week 3 stabilizes the TSS and volume from Week 2 to slow the ramp rate and cumulative fatigue for those who are new to structured work.  If you are still feeling pretty good this week though, feel free to include an additional workout, just aim to keep it around 60-80 TSS (SST Short is perfect!).


Week 4: 27 TSS/D | 3 hours and 15 mins | 192 TSS | 3 workouts

Week 4 is our first regeneration week.  As such, expect the workout length and intensity to fall way off during the week, BUT don’t get too excited as you have the dreaded Purple Unicorn to get through over the weekend!


Phase 1 (1)

Week 5: 39 TSS/D | 5 hours | 274 TSS | 4 workouts

Week 5 begins Phase 2 and is where we begin our supra-FTP work, focusing mostly in Zone 5.  Get ready to steadily increase the time at which you can sustain that high of a power output throughout this phase, as well as your ability to recover after a hard effort!


Week 6: 44 TSS/D | 5 hours and 30 mins | 314 TSS | 5 workouts

Week 6 is where things start feeling serious.  We increase the workout frequency to 5 days a week with 3 workouts during the week, and 2 over the weekend.  Also be prepared to feel some residual fatigue being carried over now as each week’s TSS total will be higher than any other week so far.


Week 7: 54 TSS/D | 6 hours | 384 TSS | 5 workouts

Week 7 is the first true overload week featuring a big increase of TSS from last week as well as the longest week yet in terms of duration.  Back to back 90 minute workouts above a .85 IF this weekend, make sure you are staying on top of your sleep and fueling this week!


Week 8: 27 TSS/D | 3 hours and 30 minutes | 192 TSS | 3 workouts

Week 8 is our second regeneration week.  As such, expect the workout length and intensity to fall way off to allow for supercompensation.  Continue to focus on getting quality sleep this week and give yourself the rest you earned!


Phase 1 (2)

Week 9: 51 TSS/D | 5 hours and 30 minutes | 360 TSS | 4 workouts

Week 9 begins Phase 3…Prepare yourself to WORK these next 3 weeks!  We take our supra-FTP efforts one step further this phase and start working far above FTP with very short rests between to really stimulate that aerobic system.  Enjoy that extra rest day this week…You won’t be getting that again the next 2 weeks!


Week 10: 57 TSS/D | 6 hours | 399 TSS | 5 workouts

Week 10…Ouch.  Prepare to lengthen those supra-FTP efforts and shorten those rest breaks even more.  We also now place a moderate workout BETWEEN 2 very intense workouts.  Be prepared to feel pretty fatigued entering next week…


Week 11: 75 TSS/D | 7 hours | 464 TSS | 5 workouts

Ah, week 11, the things that nightmares are made of…Seriously though, I hope you are ready to BRING IT this week, my friend.  The longest, most intense, and challenging workouts lie ahead over the next 7 days…Make it through this week, work hard, and earn that higher FTP next week!


Week 12: 14 TSS/D | 2 hours and 30 minutes | 100 TSS | 4 workouts

We made it!  Week 12, the easiest week of them all!  This week is all about letting that fatigue plummet, maintaining your fitness, and allowing that training stress balance to come up positive for Sunday’s FTP test.  Good luck during your test!

Workout Names:

Phase 1 (3)

“Sweet Spot” based workouts:
Devedeset = 90 in Croation 
Halvfems = 90 in Danish
Novanta = 90 in Italian
All of the intervals in these workouts are based at 90% FTP and are also alphabetically ordered in terms of easiest to hardest.

 
Unicorn” workouts are based off of the visual spectrum (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet (purple)) with the same order of easiest to hardest.  So, Red Unicorn features the least TSS, Orange Unicorn the second, etc.

 
“VO2” based workouts are all about oxygen so,
#8 = Atomic number of oxygen
15.9 = Atomic mass of oxygen
LOX = Liquid oxygen used in rocket boosters which is how your legs will feel after that workout – Rockets!

 
Multi-zone workouts feature a “mixture” of interval lengths, intensities, etc. so, MishmashAmalgamBricolageMelangePotpourriMosiac.

 
Acronyms:
C.A. = Cadence Adjustment
HWBTWTDWH = Hard Work Beats Talent When Talent Doesn’t Work Hard – Always found inspiration in that quote.

 
The hardest workouts are meant to really push the athlete and test them physically and mentally: AspireExigentTenacity, Malevolent

 
Others:
Ham Sandwich = Hard intervals “sandwiched” between 30/30s.  aka the “Rapp Star” special 😉
Sneaky = The kind of workout that “sneaks” up on you, especially that last interval.
Tine = Intervals that gradually come to a “sharp point”.
Escalation = Intervals that “escalate” in difficulty as the workout goes on.
Method = Features lots of pedaling drills and lots of cadence work and changes to improve your pedaling “method”.
Uphill Battle = Another one of those workouts that gets harder as it goes on, making it feel like you are in an “uphill battle”.
Attack = Working on your ability to “attack” the group / peloton and hang on afterwards.
Spaded Sweetie = Starts off what a “spaded” interval set (looked like a spade shovel to me) and finishes with “sweet spot” based intervals.  “Spaded Sweetie” was the cute way to say it, I thought 🙂
Kirizuma = Intervals shaped like the famous Japanese roofs.
Cucumber = Improves your ability to deal with lactate and stay cool under pressure, aka “Cool as a cucumber“.
Hang Ten = Intervals that look like a wave.  Surfs up, “Hang ten, brotha!”
Circus = Micros that are seemingly random in terms of intensity.  Mostly named for this definition: “a public scene of frenetic and noisily intrusive activity”, I thought that was well fitting.
Baffling Beau = I came up with this one around Valentine’s Day, and it is a very tough workout, almost baffling at times.
Serrated = Intervals that come up to a very sharp point, looking like a serrated knife upon post-workout review.
Breakfast Returns = 30/30s that an athlete once told me (who worked out early in the morning and usually right after breakfast) always caused his “breakfast to return”, lol.
Thew = A hard workout that requires a lot of “strength” both physically and mentally to accomplish.
Renewal = Active recovery based workout meant to “renew” the body and mind.
Alpha = Leg openers, who’s the “Alpha” after those past 10-12 weeks of training now?  YOU!

Visual Representations of each Workout can be found on Whats on Zwift?

Not sure how to start?  Check out Zwift’s how to article.


Questions with anything?  Get in touch!

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Shayne Gaffney

About the Author Shayne Gaffney

Shayne holds a bachelors degree in Health Science in Professional Development and Advanced Patient Care, is a licensed physical therapy assistant in Massachusetts, a USA Cycling Level 1 (expert level) certified Coach, a USA Cycling Power Based Training certified Coach, Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified Coach, a US Military Endurance Sports (USMES) affiliated Coach, and USA Olympic Committee Safe Sport certified. He is the owner and head Coach of GC Coaching, Workout Content Editor at Zwift, the creator of P2 Coached Computraining, and the creator of Zwift’s “Build Me Up” Flexible Training Plan. He has been published in Bicycling Magazine, the TrainingPeaks blog, and Zwift Insider. He can be contacted directly via info@gaffneycyclingcoaching.com

85 comments

  1. Hi Shayne, I have just started your workout plan and it’s great! Thanks for your awesome work!
    I just have one question and I don’t seem to find it anywhere as regards to the Zwift training plans. What if I am at week 5 for instance, and I catch a cold. Have to stay off the bike for a week. What happens with the plan? Will I have completely lost that week (screwing up the training plan) or can I somehow just start where I last stopped, so to say?

    1. Hey Johan! Great to hear you’ve been enjoying the plan so far. So, as of now, if you miss a week due to illness, you can’t pause the plan and will lose that week. However, I know Zwift is always trying to make improvements to the flexible training plan infrastructure, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a pause option from them in the near future. Cheers!

  2. Hey Johan, I race vets and the races are around 50km or so over lumpy terrain with the occasional hill. I was wondering which Zwift plan would be best for me?I am looking for a boost in FTP and hopefully a boost in 1-2 minute power. I think your Build me up one would be but what do you think?

  3. Hi Shayne, just started the 12 week Build Me Up program on Zwift. So far, so good. My biggest issue is staying motivated throughout the whole program, and I fear that I’ll eventually become demotivated or lazy. What’s the best way to not lose focus and keep going? I’m eyeing the regeneration weeks already.

    1. Hey Michael – the program is designed to defeat that by having lots of on screen text guidance, regeneration weeks, and lots of varying intervals, on bike positions, and cadences. Goal setting is also key to keep motivation alive, you need something to work towards to keep pushing yourself. Something short term (say finishing the plan) and something long term (say completing “x” event, race, ride, etc.) https://gaffneycyclingcoaching.com/2016/03/02/8-tips-to-keep-motivated/

      1. Hi Shayne, I’m happy to let you know I’m currently in week 11 of your program, and have 3 more workouts left before week 12 recovery. I must say that the experience has been very rewarding, and despite some very challenging workouts, I’ve managed to push through them all (so far), albeit sometimes at a lower cadence than prescribed.

        I do have a couple of questions:
        – How much does cadence matter? I find I’m sometimes grinding or spinning super high cadence at the end of a long/difficult effort (sometimes I cannot hold the 90rpm).
        – What is your opinion of the step test to determine a person’s FTP, instead of the usual 20min test? Any chance to get out of a grueling 20min effort would be great.
        – After establishing my new, hopefully improved, FTP, what’s the best way of maintaining my fitness level? I would restart the program at the new FTP, but I’ll be going away during that period so I couldn’t keep up with the workouts.

        I must thank you for sharing your workout on Zwift, it has been great and I look forward to doing it again in the near future.

      2. Hi Michael – Great to hear the experience has been rewarding for you, and you were challenged by it. I hope the challenge and being pushed leads to improved fitness for you.

        Cadence is important for a few reasons, check this post out for more details: https://gaffneycyclingcoaching.com/2017/10/06/why-does-cadence-matter/

        Choose the FTP test that will push you to your absolute limit, and the one that you “want” to repeat. Most have adopted the ramp test since Trainer Road changed their methods. This is fine, BUT you must push yourself to absolute failure for the test to be reliable. If you struggle with doing that, then a more evenly paced, yet challenging, 20 minute FTP would be better: https://gaffneycyclingcoaching.com/2018/11/10/pitfalls-of-using-ftp-common-testing-protocols-and-software-modeling/

        Fortunately, maintaining your fitness is relatively “easy” compared to building it. However, you still need to be consistent and be pushing yourself at least a few days per week. I’d refer to my “time crunched athlete” series for some ideas here: https://gaffneycyclingcoaching.com/?s=%22the+time+crunched+athlete%22

        Cheers!

  4. Hi Shayne,

    Your plan looks promising! I’m about to start it next week.

    Coming from TrainerRoad I’ve a question regarding FTP. In TrainerRoad I had to do an FTP test every 4 weeks because it would potentially have increased. I can see that you’re plan is divided in 3 phases. Should I do an FTP test before a new phase starts? And if so, how should I incorporate it into the plan?

    1. Hey John – Instead of doing a formal FTP test, if the workout feels easy, bump it up a bit (say 5-10w) and if it is just right or challenging, leave it be. Doing an FTP test every 4 weeks is overkill, IMO.

  5. Hi,
    Im a bit confused on the order of the workouts in Zwift.
    I just started week one on Monday and Zwift told me I should do the pedal drill by Wednesday and the pre training plan by Saturday.
    So I began with the pedal drills, but the description of the workouts let me think that the pre training plan should be the first?

    Greetings
    Matthias

    1. Hi Matthias – Zwift will have you start with the pre-training plan depending upon what day of the week you begin the plan on. All plans start on Monday which is why you started with the Week 1 workouts instead of the pre training plan. I’m unsure why it says to do the pre-training plan by Saturday though when you’ve already started week 1. Maybe submit a ticket to Zwift for that?

  6. Hi Shane, I don’t have the time for the 9 hour pw winter plan, what’s your view on doing this (with 2 x 4 hr club rides every 3 weeks) to take me up to Jan and then doing a speciality plan 12 week plan to get me ready for the ‘19 season?

  7. Hi Shayne

    How does this training compare to/complement the GC Coaching Virtual Training Powered by Zwift? Is it similar to Phase 1?

    Thanks

    Jorge

  8. Hi there, I’ve just started the Build me up plan and am finding the workouts quite tough. My current FTP is one that was set at the end of last season, and I think it is a bit higher than it should be now. Is it better to keep reducing the workout intensity inside each workout (90% seems to work well) or to reduce the FTP value that Zwift uses? I am reluctant to do another FTP test right now 🙂

    1. Hey Sara – If your previous test was that long ago, and you’re really struggling to complete all of the workouts, either one of those options you mentioned will work. These workouts should be tough, and some a challenge to complete, but not all of them. You may want to do an FTP test during one of the rest weeks to get a more concrete number.

      1. And thanks for the reply shane, I can usually push through workouts but felt that these were just a bit too tough (especially as there are 12 more weeks to go yet!) I’ll dial down the Zwift FTP by 10% and see how the workouts feel then.

  9. Hi Shayne,
    Thanks so much for offering this set of workouts to Zwift…I always find your workouts interesting (and sometimes amusing!)

    I have two questions:
    1. If you were designing a plan for a specific age group/gender, would it look just like this, or would it vary more in terms of volume/intensity? I realize that these are sort of customized based on FTP, but I do sometimes wonder if they are designed with, say, a 30 yr old male in mind.
    2. If I am feeling enough accumulated fatigue that I can’t give the next workout a solid effort, am I better off doing a short recovery ride and skipping a workout? I hate to do that, but I also want to do what is best/safest for me.

    Sara: I’m in the same boat as you. I decided to adjust my FTP (which I also think was too high based on Zwift bumping it up every time I did a big climb last year). I think it is more discouraging to have to dial it down every time than to just reset the number and forget about it!

    Joanne

    1. Hey Joanne – This workout plan is designed to hit as many demographics as possible, and really not 1 in particular. The big change for Masters athletes is the amount of recovery they require, especially after intense workouts. If you feel like you aren’t recovering well after the Zone 5 or Zone 6 based workouts (in Phases 2 and 3), or just from the accumulated training stress of the sub-threshold workouts, then taking another recovery day is fine. You can also work off a 2 weeks building, 1 week recovery scheme as opposed to a 3 weeks to 1 week like this plan utilizes. As long as you are being challenged, and creating that overload stimulus, your body will supercompensate for it!

    2. Thanks for that feedback Joanne, your point about dialling it down every time is a great one, so I’m planning on reducing my Zwift FTP (which is already quite low) by another 10% to see how that feels. Thanks so much.

  10. Shane, I’m on W2 of your program. So far, I like it. I’m a natural grinder (70-80 RPM), so the cadence prompts will pay dividends as well as the structured program. I’m coming off around a 8 week hiatus of 3-5 hours/week riding. Prior to that I was steady 10-14 hours/week for the previous 5-6 months. I like to try to ride 5-6/week. I guess adding in other rides will really mess with the designed TSS build you have in the program. Any tips on how to add in additional workouts?

    1. Hey Tyler – It’s great to hear you are digging the program so far, I hope it pays dividends for you. Feel free to add additional training into the routine, just aim for mainly Zone 2/3 riding, and be sure to respect the rest week every 4 weeks. If you follow that, you’ll be golden!

  11. Hi Shayne, I dropped my FTP by 10 and just did the Zone Benchmarking workout, which was super helpful in confirming that the new value is much better. That session was so useful, I wish I had done it last week as it would have saved me asking so many questions 🙂 I reckon I could go back up a couple of points, but will leave it where it is. Looking forward to the rest of the program, thanks for your help.

  12. Hi Shayne. I feel I should apologise for swearing at you so heavily during the last interval of the purple unicorn (week 4), that was one difficult workout! I tend to sit up straight (hands completely off the bars) during the recovery sections, I noticed during this workout I was having difficulty getting my heart rate down during those 5 minute rests, which is what made the workout so difficult towards the end of each interval. Is it possible that sitting up (which feels like a break to me) could be affecting my ability to recover in these harder workouts, or am I just soft :-).

    Thanks for putting the program up, I have already started to notice the difference on the road.

    Cheers
    Mark

    1. Hey Mark – It’s great to hear you’re being pushed with the plan. I hope it will pay dividends for you in a couple more months!

      Sitting up had no correlation to your recovery ability. You were just pushing your body more than you were used to during this workout, plus coming to the end of a 3 week building block. This results in a less rapid recovery, especially at the workout progresses.

      Nothing to do with being a softie at all 🙂

  13. Comment: Hi
    I have just started the build me up program over the winter,my plan is to to do some club 10s and maybe 25s next year,do you think this plan will benefits me ?
    Thanks Patrick

    1. Hey Patrick –

      Welcome to the Build Me Up community! Great to have you partake in the plan, I hope you gain a lot out of it.

      This plan is designed to improve your aerobic capacity and aerobic power, so it will definitely help with your goals of doing some club 10s and 25s. As the season gets closer, doing some more specific training would be a benefit, but this program will be a great launching pad for you. Good luck!

      1. Great stuff,any particular programmes you recommend next ?
        I also noticed the time in the hr zones and power zones don’t match …why is this

      2. Hi,
        Currently at the end of week 6,should I retest ftp ? And I’m going to miss week 11 due to hols,would you recommend just carrying on to week 12 when I return or try and re do week 11.
        And managed to hit all targets apart from two workouts when I had to drop % by 10…may be virus pheraps.
        I’m on tt bike and can’t hold the position for full duration and with the higher power….is this a problem .

      3. Hey there –

        If you feel like the workouts aren’t challenging enough, a re-test at the halfway point is fine. However, the plan is progressive, and most who feel like it is ‘easy’ in the beginning are really challenged by the end when the duration and intensity of the workouts build up.

        Being unable to hold the TT position and produce the higher power is very common. Being in the TT position is a give and take; you give some power to take improved aerodynamics. Where that give and take is optimal takes time to figure out.

  14. Hi Shayne,
    Just started out on your plan and i’m really intrigued as to what i see and expect a lot from this.
    I have two issues with the pedaling drils:
    First its not possible to do the clip out drill with single sided powermeter, as Zwift will go to a halt when you unclip that side and nothing will happen. Minor detail.
    Second, why are you instructing pedaling in circles for better efficiency. This myth has been busted in so many studies over the last 10 years. The best riders have dead spots, but they excel in the downstrok over lesser riders, this gets more noticeable as you go up in ranks to the pros vs lower tier riders. Love the concept of learning to spin and work at lower cadences, something other programs i seen dont. But i’m keen to know as to why you have this in the plan rather then a general workout.

    Regards Peter.

    1. Hi Peter –

      First, I unfortunately have no control over the single sided power meter issue, but this has been brought up to Zwift by other participants in the program. I am not sure what they can do to remedy that problem, but I can assure you that they’re aware of it.

      Second, in terms of the efficiency argument, yes you are correct in saying elite riders have less up-stroke and more down-stroke while pedaling and the majority of your power comes from the down-stroke. However, keep in mind that this program is designed for a multitude of different ability levels, and some riders may be just starting with clipless pedals and may be unaware they can actually pull the pedals up until they perform a single leg drill.

      Finally, I disagree in saying the best riders have dead spots. They may have differences in pressure applied to their down-stroke versus up-stroke, but they’ll be able to perform a 1 leg drill as smooth as silk and be able to apply force through the entire stroke.

      If you have issues with applying force throughout the entire pedal stroke and experience deadspots during single leg drills, you’d receive benefit and become more “efficient” at applying force to the pedals, as well as be able to utilize different muscles that are a part of turning the cranks, in my professional experience. However, if you are a professional, or elite level rider, single leg drills aren’t going to be of a tremendous benefit, but still something I do with my athletes at the beginning of their season.

      1. Thanks for the reply, makes sense though i don’t completely agree but does really matter cause the program is great.

        So far i’m on week 6 and rather then the first traning in week 5 i did a step test to see my improvement sins i was 7 weeks after my last. I gone from 182 to 216 in FTP, though when i ride i dont perceive it possible for me to hold that for 1 hour, but that might be down to fatigue. But set the FTP in strava to 210 so not to push to hard.

        I have run into an issue though in this week. Don’t know if its zwift or limits that you set up for the cooldowns between the runs, but this week on monday i did 1 ride, then break and 2 the next days, friday break expecting to do the last 2 workouts during the weekend. But on saturday zwift told me that uphill was unavaileble. I guess i was ment to do it before saturday, and do attack on saturday. But it was never an options wensday or thursday where i did CA and Attack. Kinda bums me out, cause now i didnt really complete the program, had to pick another Vo2max workout.

        But still a great program 😀

  15. Hi Shayne, I took my first FTP test via zwift a few weeks ago prior to starting your program. I really felt as if I gave it my max effort with a very high heart rate the entire test. After just completing week 1, I felt as if all the workouts were relatively easy. Is this simply based on the workout load of week 1, or would you recommend bumping my FTP up as I continue? Thanks.

      1. Hey Shayne,

        After re-taking my FTP during week 3 like you suggested, the workouts became much more difficult and appropriate. I am now on week 11 and having a very hard time getting through the workouts (breakfast returns cough cough)..I even had to skip the last workout of week 10 knowing I didn’t have it in me. Can this mostly be attributed to the difficulty in the final weeks of the program?

        Thanks

      2. Hey Travis –

        This can be attributed to the difficulty in the workouts for sure. This plan utilizes a progressive overload approach with regeneration weeks at the end of every block (4 weeks). However, it’s hard to judge how much training stress is enough, or too little, for each individual athlete which is why this program tries to hit the dead center of that bell curve in terms of training density. If you felt like you were being overloaded too much, then it is best to include some extra rest time. Over time, your body will continue to improve and become stronger, where eventually the BMU program will feel like a piece of cake, relatively speaking 🙂

  16. Hi Shayne, I’m on week 8/10 and enjoying the challenge and progress! As I will finish this plan in time for the Holidays, which Zwift Training Plan would you recommend I start next in January, 2019? Thanks!

    1. Hey Tom – It’s great to hear you’re enjoying the plan so far and seeing the results. I would recommend a more specific Zwift plan based on what your Spring / Summer goals are, i.e., the crit crusher, TT plan, gravel grinder, etc. Good luck!

  17. Greetings! As a lifelong endurance athlete (65 y.o. now), my powers of recovery aren’t what they used to be. I was doing well until week 7, when my wattages dropped considerably, and actually quit the last workout of the week. I’ve been overtrained before, and I guess I can add one more time to the list. Hopefully I can recover in week 8, but if I’m still underperforming, is it ok to just skip a workout to rest, or should I insert more rest days and stretch out the week to 9 or 10 days? And…if I skip a workout, which ones should I keep and still improve? I saw your reply to Joanne, and next time around, I’ll probably take your advice and rest every third week…..

    1. Hey Robert –

      Thanks for reaching out!

      I would try and work off a 2 to 1, work to rest week, scheme to allow for greater recovery time. You can also skip the workout with the lowest TSS of the week, and instead insert another rest day in its place. Also, of course, make sure you’re getting ample sleep, and fueling up well in between workouts.

  18. Robert,

    I’m loving the program and am entering week 10. I am seeing a big difference, but I agree with a previous poster regarding recovery time for us older riders (52 years old). The fact that you cannot pause the training plan for a week is a pain…

    Now, my question is this: “With the FTP test coming in the next 3 weeks, what zwift route should be used for the FTP test?”. Does the FTP test set the incline to 0% during the non erg mode section?

    Thanks,

    Stu

    1. Hi Stuart –

      It’s great to hear you’re enjoying the program and starting to see some improvement!

      For the FTP test, the route does not matter as you’ll be put into ‘free ride’ during the 20 minute FTP test portion. However, some athletes are more motivated while climbing, or try to use the course as motivation (achieving a PR on Watopia, say), but the course is totally up to you.

      Good luck!

  19. Thanks for you plan and also for the kindness in replying to alle the people above.

    Did the first exercise (novanta) seems very interesting to me. I’m quite new on cycling … started in october and by november i’ve been measured a FTP of 227 watts, then slowed down activity in december, so wattage is now 210 … and, that is the point: first exercise was quite soft at the end … heart was 30% in Z1 50% in Z2 and 30% in Z3 (of 5 zones) and strava score gave me a 34 effort score (that is pretty low if compared to a 100 to 170 effort score for an actual bike run) … better if i put on zwift an FTP of 227-230?? or it is good like that.

    Thanks for any advice

    Giorgio

    1. Hey Giorgio –

      If the workout felt quite easy, I’d advise increasing your FTP on Zwift. Sweet Spot workouts should feel somewhat difficult, and require concentration / focus to complete. I’d go with 220-225w for your FTP and move forward from there.

      Cheers!

  20. Shayne, I have been enjoying this workout for the past 10 weeks. Tough but really good! I have to leave on a week long business trip next week with no possibility to bring my bike. I believe I can’t pause the workout. What are my options to do the last week of this training plan when I’m back?

    1. Hey Damien –

      Currently there is no way to pause a plan unfortunately, but I know this has been requested by a few athletes since life gets in the way of training sometimes. When you do come back, you can continue to Week 12 as normal 🙂

      1. Thank you so much for your response. Really appreciate it. Not sure what I did wrong but when I look at my training plan on my “zwift companion app” week 10 is the last week. There is no week 11 and 12. Looks like there is a disconnect between the plan that is posted online and what is available once you have subscribed to the plan. Same when I log into my zwift account under training.

      2. Of course! When you first select the plan, it provides you with an option to do 10, 11, or 12 weeks. You must have chose the 11 week plan (probably without realizing). With that said, the most important part of the last week is the FTP test, which can be found under ‘FTP tests’ on the workout section. Pick the ‘Shorter’ version.

  21. Hi I’m currently on week 9,up until now I have only missed two workouts and hit every target,I found on a couple of the week 9 ones I have had to reduce by 5-10%.Is this normal as I’m feeling a bit discheartened ???
    Thanks Pat

    1. Hey Patrick –

      Don’t be disheartened at all! The last phase of BMU is tough stuff, you should be proud of yourself for making it this far. With that said, don’t worry about having to reduce an occasional workout here and there. If it becomes a ‘normal’ thing, then I’d suggest making sure you are recovering, fueling, and hydrating properly as well as making sure your power source is calibrated.

      Cheers!

  22. Hi Shayne

    I am fairly new to Zwift with an FTP of 162, i am on week 3 and i feel great but definitely feel the “pain in my legs during the day”. My question is during phase#2 will recovery be even harder or will my body catch up with the recovery as my body adjusts to the continuous efforts? Love the training, extremely motivating and well structured!

    Thanks

    1. Hey Carlos –

      Week 3, 6, and 9 are the times you’ll feel the most ‘worked’, with week 4, 8, and 12 being regeneration week. So, at this point, feel tired is normal, and should be gone by the end of the regeneration week. Ride On!

      Cheers!

  23. Hey Shayne, Thanks so much for making this plan available. I will be beginning it this week. I am currently riding at between 350 and 400 TSS. Should I supplement the plan with an extra ride per week ? Perhaps a Zwift race ?

    1. Hey Burt –

      That should work fine if you feel like you aren’t being challenged enough, but respect the rest weeks in this plan. You need to create an overload to stimulate the body to become stronger, but more importantly you need to allow a regeneration period for supercompensation to happen.

      Cheers!

  24. Hi Shayne, Thanks for sharing the plan, I’m at the end of week 3 and this is the first formal plan I’ve attempted…….really enjoying it. Although at this time of year I don’t get chance to ride outside during the week, I do have the opportunity for a longer ride on Saturday/Sunday….is it OK to replace one of the longer weekend sessions with an outdoor ride or is this likely to have a detrimental effect to overall improvement?

    1. Hey Paul –

      Great question! I think it’s totally fine to replace those workouts with an outdoor ride of similar intensity and training stress. It won’t have any detrimental effect to your overall improvement as long as it’s not easier than the ride prescribed.

      Cheers!

  25. Hi Shayne!
    Im currently about to start week 4 in your program which i think is great so far. I dont have the possibility to add outdoor rides at the moment so i decided to add either a bodypump (lower intensity more controlled barbell workout) class or PowerCross (functional traning with high intensity, military style) to my scheme. In your professional opinion, which would you choose to boost my readyness for season 2019?

    Thank you for sharing you plan, much appriciated!
    Kindest,
    Allan

    1. Hey Allan –

      I think both of those options are great for cross-training and increased strength. I’d play it by ear in terms of which one based on how your body feels. If you are feeling fresh, feel free to pick the high intensity class, and vice-versa if you’re feeling fatigued. If you’re feeling REALLY fatigued / sore, I’d advise taking a rest day instead, especially in the latter half of this program.

      Cheers!

  26. Hi Shayne,

    I’m about to start on week 11 of your program, and so far i’m loving it. I feel pretty fresh, and don’t feel tired in my legs in general even at this point, though they hurt constantly. Can only say its a great program.

    Have a question regarding how zwift precent the program and workouts. When i look at the workout plan specially for the weeks with 3 weekday rides i have workout A,B,C and D,E for the weekend. When i log into zwift it surgets one or two workouts that is ready for me, but its offen like on monday i get A as top and C as lower surgested, then tuesday its C first and B under it. This has let me to miss 1 workout when i came it friday to take the third, it wasnt availeble anymore. Did a similar workout insted.

    My question is, is there right order you need to complete all workouts with in one given week to get the most out of the training, or can you mix them up to some degree. Sins the one zwift surgest at login is not in the order they stand in the plan, if more then one is availeble.

    1. Hey Michael –

      Great to hear you are enjoying the program and it has been pushing you, but not over the limit.

      There is not a correct order to do the workouts, but Zwift will provide you with a recommendation based on what the workout’s importance is. These workouts typically have the longest open ‘window’ to allow the athlete to select an easier workout, or shorter one, if they are unable to perform the selected one.

      Cheers!

  27. Hi Shayne
    Plan is great, but many times i’m away for week end (since friday evening) so it happens to miss a workout and is not available any more on zwift … after some days it become available again, but, if i missed it again (has it happened) then seems no longer available at all … there is a way to complete them all (of course not doubling daily workouts, but let’s say in a full week i would do 6-7 of them …
    Thanks and cheers!

    1. Hey Giorgio –

      The flexible training plans are designed to provide a consistent and progressive overload week by week which is why certain workouts are available only at certain times, and for a limited window. Once the window closes, there is no way to go back and repeat them as the next batch of workouts will open up.

      Cheers!

  28. Hey Shayne!
    Just starting the 12 week program(week 2) & not really a novice to cycling (7yrs), but I think I’m more of a spinner than a grinder. A couple of concerns/questions. First, this second week is really kicking my but, as I’ve had to pause the workout for lack of breath and really no resting time to drink during the workouts, because even during the resting times you have to keep a certain cadence, which kind of throws me off. In fact, I actually FAILED one of the rest – 2minute periods. Who does that? I guess me. : (
    Also, I contemplated stopping the workout, because I’m not getting stars on all of the segments. I realize I can turn the percentage to 90%; but will it help in the long run. I guess I’m like another commenter who says their last ftp test was last season and zwift is using that number from some of my longer rides, as I get to coast, but no coasting on zwift workout.
    Next, the screen says if you feel knee pain during 60-70 rpm, to increase the cadence, but it still turns red and tells you to slow it down and then you fail the segment.
    Lastly, my heart rate and power rate, don’t match at all. For my age, 47, I can spin at 160-175, 145w all day but the computer tells me I’m in zone 2 with my power when really I’m in zone 4 with heart. So which zone do I pay att nation to. I Don’t get it.
    Suggestions/ Help.

    1. Hey Yaphet –

      Thanks for reaching out!

      Being a spinner more than a grinder is fine, but you only have half of the velocity portion of the power equation to work with [power = force x velocity] One of the goals of the BMU program is to improve an athlete’s ability to utilize a greater cadence range, and become more comfortable in whatever range it happens to be. With more practice, and training in this manner, I am confident things will get better and feel easier – it’s only been 2 weeks after all.

      If your last FTP test was last season, and you are struggling with every workout, I’d advise lowering your FTP by 10% and moving it up or down from there. You should be relatively challenged by the workouts, and might have to push harder at times, but for week 2 you should be able to complete them all without too much trouble.

      If you do feel knee pain at the lower cadence range, please do spin faster and ignore the cadence targets.

      Your power and heart rate zones don’t match because your FTP is set too high. If you know what your lactate threshold heart rate (LTHR) is, you can approximate FTP by figuring out what wattage stabilizes the heart rate at that BPM. Power always trumps heart rate, IMO.

      Cheers!

  29. Hi,
    I picked up on my zones not matching some time ago ! The times for say tempo hr and z3 differ quit a bit,I have got to week 12 any way- I missed week 11 due to hols but I’m sticking to it and going to go for my ftp at end of week.

  30. Hello Shayne, Thanks for a great workout scheme. I’m at the end of week 3 now and really enjoying it. I chose the 10 week schedule, but I think that was wrong as I will miss the regeneration weeks. Was it better to choose the 12 week program?

    1. Hey Jolinda –

      Glad to hear you’re digging the plan so far!

      The 10 week plan is fine to select, and if you wanted to select the 12 week plan you’d have to restart from week 1 again…

  31. Hi Shane

    I’m on week 8 and have enjoyed (almost) every minute of the plan so far. I’m wondering what to do next after I finish the 12 weeks. I ride road and mtb covering a bit of everything. I do a few 10 mile road time trials and the occasional triathlon and mtb race. I’m looking to improve generally with no specific goal at the moment which I know isn’t the best raining method. The weather in the UK should be improving shortly with spring coming so I will be riding outside around three times per week and on the indoor trainer twice per week. Some of my outdoor rides will be social not training rides and I don’t want to loose the fitness i have gained of the last few month.
    Do you have a recommendation for a follow on plan or a couple of workouts that would help increase my fitness during the summer.

    Thanks again

    Andy

    1. Hey Andy –

      Thanks for your question!

      Great to hear you’re ‘enjoying’ the BMU plan so far. There are a few options moving forward:
      1. Repeat the BMU plan again with an ideally higher FTP.
      2. Find a more specific Zwift training plan geared towards your goals this season – crits, fondos, TTs, etc.
      3. Check out our other base plan offerings and use those to continue becoming more fit generally: https://gc-coaching.myshopify.com/

      Cheers!

  32. Hey Shayne. I’m currently on the Build Me Up workout (Week 5) and I did a Zwift 6 mile sprint race and afterwards they wanted to raise my FTP 19 watts, from 178 – 197. Should I go with the raise or continue at the beginning FTP score of 178? Thanks for all you do.

    1. Hey Jamal –

      Thank you for reaching out!

      I would go with the new FTP and see how it goes. It’s not uncommon for athletes to progress very quickly with this plan. Obviously, if the workouts start to feel impossible, then you can reduce %FTP as you see fit.

      Cheers!

  33. Hi Shayne,

    So i’m 2 weeks past completing the program going from 182->210 midway->235 FTP. Afterwards i done a few sessions each weak and i’m having a big issue getting to grips with my new FTP. I can’t seem to complete any vo2max, O/U or sweatspot workouts on zwift that last for an hour or more. Am i doing something wrong ?

    The nice part is that my legs dont hurt like they dont the past 12 weeks, but could this be the issue, that i’m performing best when my balance is negative and under abit of stress ?

    Btw. loved the program, abit intense though.

    /Peter

    1. Hey Peter –

      Thank you for you question!

      This isn’t uncommon at all since your body will take time to adjust and become proficient at your new, higher, FTP. I say stick with it, keep training consistently, and aim for more sweet spot as opposed to VO2 based intervals until you feel like the numbers are doable.

      Awesome to hear the program worked so well for you though!

      -Shayne

  34. Hey Shayne

    Just completed my 12th week, and taised my ftp from 152 to 200. Needless to say your program was awesome, and kept me motivated for 12 weeks. Its still cold here in Canada, and was planning to potentially do another round of build me again. Any suggestions on when to start another training program, should i wait 1 week or just just jump right back into it.

    Thanks for all info you share in your emails, tried your version of home mdade fatorade, AWESOME!

    Cheers mate

    Carlos

  35. Hello Shane,

    I am on week 7 of the training plan and just completed Spaded Sweetie. I am not sure I understand the repeated efforts with cadence in excess of 100 rpm but that might just be because I find them so difficult. I find it extremely difficult to maintain that high of a cadence regardless of the power output and am hoping the pain results in some nice gains. I can certainly see how this benefits my cardio engine but I have never done a program with such a reliance on high cadence over high power. I could be outputting more power for longer duration with less effort at a more realistic cadence but I am going to stick with the program. At the end of the plan I may find that this was exactly what I needed! Despite my complaints about the high cadence, I appreciate your work putting together the plan.

    Art

    1. Hey Art –

      Thanks for reaching out! Awesome to hear the BMU plan has been a challenge, but also what you needed to get to that next level 💪

      The cadence being that high works on improving your neuromuscular activation, as well as places greater demand on your cardiovascular system. Most everyone finds the fast cadence work difficult if they’re unfamiliar with it, but with practice and consistency, it will become second nature. This program tries to work on both sides of the power equation (force and velocity) which is why some workouts are more reliant on cadence than others.

      Keep it up! You’ll see the results 🦄

  36. Shayne,

    OK. 38,000 calories and much cursing later, I am all done with the training plan but for the FTP test. Going to climb the biggest steepest mountain around to determine my FTP. I have climbed this mountain a number of times so should have a good idea how well the high cadence fetish plan worked! 🙂 It certainly was difficult and I apologize for all the terrible things I said about you over the past 12 weeks. I think the high cadence VO2 max efforts were the most difficult workouts.

    I will let you know how it goes. Thanks for putting together the training plan!

    Art

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