Heavy rider

Hi all,
I’ve been cycling on zwift for about 6 weeks now and when i started i was 20.7 stone.
Im not at 19.1 stone (122 kg) and im determined to get to 15.12 stone around 100kg.
They question i have is have an FTP of 200 at 122kg and im really struggling when im doing these 30 min workouts.
I find it so difficult to consistantly hit around 220 watts for over 10 mins. Is this due to me being really heavyfor a rider or is it purly my fitness?
I feel like im powerfull and pretty decent yet my power output is pretty pathetic.
Thanks in advance.

Did you do an ftp test to set it at 200 or has Zwift set that automatically for you?

Hi mate, thanks for the reply. I did the FTP lite test and got it from there. :+1:

It may be worth repeating it given your impressive weight loss. This will have an effect as will 6 weeks of cycling.

You can adjust the bias of the workout if it’s too difficult. Knock it down a few percent of need be. 220w for 10 mins might just be outside your comfort zone until you’ve developed your stamina.

What trainer are you using?

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Thanks for that. I have been adjusting my weight as and when i loose it to try and keep everything in perspective.
Im using a watt bike Atom. My bum kills and my hands every ride lol but i think thats down to weight although my seating position and handle bars are not set up perfectly.
On the positive side im getting fitter and the rides are getting longer :+1:

You should probably use the normal Zwift Ramp FTP test rather than the Lite version when you next test yourself @Chris_Hill2 - you may find it more accurately represents your ability.

Hi Dean, i appreciate that but ive been holding off due to the fact i think id really struggle. Im only at 30 minute work outs atm due to fitness, my bum and my hand kill me. Im hoping another stone then this will all get abit easier :+1:

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Fair call… as Stuart says, use the bias to get through your workouts but as your abilities improve, the more accurate tests will help fine tune your workout targets. Great improvements btw :muscle:

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Hi Chris. To improve your fitness you should also ride or walk outside. At least once a week you need to exercise for as long as possible. Then you should eat only healthy foods and maybe do some dietary counseling. In 12 months you will be slim and have doubled your fitness.


When your longest workouts are 30 minutes, it’s normal that 10 minutes above threshold will feel very hard. There’s nothing wrong with dialing down the intensity a bit. The important thing is to carry on and try to get to a point where you can ride longer, even if the longer rides are low intensity. If you stick with it, you will continue to see fitness gains over the course of several years of training. When you’re first starting out, exactly how you ride matters very little as long as you do plenty of it.


Are you following one of the Workout programs and are you doing power intensity rides too? The majority of your rides should be around HR Zone 2. It’s not a race to be burning off as many calories as quickly as you can.

Hi Colin,
Yes im using the zwift programmes, i started with the 20 minute lower intensity work out around 35 stress level. Now im upping it to 30 minutes john mix etc… with a higher intensity level and im burning around 250 calories per ride.
Ilare there better workouts to burn more calories for s simular workout time?

As I said, looking at it as calories vs. time isn’t the best approach for fitness. Lots of recent studies/advice say that 80% of your rides should be in HR Zone 2. This will build up fitness better than many, short, high-intensity efforts. You could choose to ride with one of the RoboPacer groups, - whichever aligns with that goal.

Cheers colin, I’ll look in to what that means exactly and yes someone has mentioned about the pacers on zwift. I will look in to that.
Thanks bud

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I recently finished this training plan Zwift workouts: Back To Fitness | What's on Zwift? it starts off reasonably gentle and works harder towards the end of the 12 weeks, saw my ftp increase from 108 to 210


Sounds like this is something i can look at. Cheers Martin

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If you are struggling with workouts, your FTP is set incorrectly.
My question for you is how did you come to 200w?

If you took a ramp test keep in mind that this favors punchy power which can result in a higher estimate than your actual FTP, especially in riders with a much higher punch ability than sustained power
If you did a 20 minute test, perhaps you should pick an easier workout and build up to it.
What trainer do you have? If you are riding on a wheel-on trainer power numbers can vary with tire pressure, which can result in a less-than-accurate FTP which can make workouts hit different zones than they should as power numbers would change day-to-day

Either way just do what you can and do more than last week and you’ll improve over time

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it’s just physical conditioning brother, nothing to do with weight. for a relative beginner i would recommend just decreasing the intensity of the workouts for now and focusing on making riding an enjoyable habit

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The OP answered everything you asked in their posts.

They did the FTP lite test and are using a Wattbike Atom.

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yea, thanks i noticed after posting
my other notes are still relevant