About 12 weeks ago, I was wondering what might be reasonable training objective for the BMU plan and stumbled across this page. To help others who may also be in this position, I now include my stats to provide another data point along with some context to help the stats make sense.
I’m a 48 year old male based in the UK.
Although I was relatively fit in my 20s, for most of the last three decades, my physical condition has suffered as I always prioritised work over training. During that time, I would have the odd fitness spurt, but nothing sustained. I went into the training carrying a little bit of flab which I wanted to lose, but I wasn’t grossly overweight, and I saw weight loss as a side benefit to my primary objective of improving cardio function and stamina. Cycling-wise, I’ve haven’t done anything competitive although when I lived in South Africa in 1998-9, I did enjoy a few weekend fun rides back then, but nothing serious at all. I’ve always enjoyed aerobic work, but have never particularly excelled. Life over the last 25+ years has largely been sedentary.
So, the stats:
FTP / Weight = 202 / 93.5 = 2.16
After a month:
FTP / Weight = 229 / 93.5 = 2.45
After end of BMU:
FTP / Weight = 257 / 91.7 = 2.80 (+29.7% from outset)
I used the shorter FTP test and in all of these tests (including the first one), I gave it my all. My tank was empty at the end, I was in Z6 and my heart rate ended at 100% of max for the first two, slightly lower for the last one.
I felt that the early weeks of BMU were too light and not having much of an effect. That changed a little when I did the re-test after a month and then, as time went on, I became too scared to do a re-test as the latter runs were certainly challenging enough for me. I only had to “bias down” once, and that was for the last 10 minutes of one 90 minute session when the cadence changes were killing me. I got used to the constant aching leg feeling, and took some form of masochistic solace that it the training must be having some form of positive effect.
Throughout, I didn’t focus too much on my nutrition – I reckoned (rightly or wrongly) that giving the body at least what it needed to recover was probably key – and I wasn’t focused upon losing weight. My slight weight drop in the last session was probably due to the more intense training of phase 3 plus a reduction in the amount of booze which I was consuming. No doubt, others could do better on this front with a more rigorous and scientific approach.
So overall, I’m very happy with a 30% improvement in W/Kg over the programme, most of which has come from an increase in power. Admittedly, this figure is probably over-inflated as I was unfit right at the very start but had some a little cycling in the dim and distant past.
Finally, thanks to Shayne Gaffney and Zwift for publishing and enabling the plan.
I hope this is of interest.
Now, what’s next…?