New to cycling and zwift - Expected Watts/KG?

So I recently made a post asking for some advice on a zwift setup and very much appreciated all the help! ended up going with the Wahoo Kickr Core and am extremely happy with it. Have just been playing around so far, but intend to do a step test followed by an FTP test once my ANT+ dongle arrives. I want to make sure all my equipment is accurate and as working as well as can be so once I start really getting into it I know I’m looking at accurate information.

So my question is, as someone who lives an extremely sedentary and inactive lifestyle, what sort of watts/kg would you guys consider to expect someone very very new to cycling get at the end of his first FTP test? I don’t mind being slow, in fact I very much expect it, I just want to make sure I’m working with accurate numbers. I’m 73kg/160 pounds, not overweight just very inactive. Making sure we’re homing in on that inactive part.


When I started Zwift three years ago, I had been very inactive, and I was about your weight. My first FTP test came in at 154 watts.

1 Like

Thanks for the response Jim. So anything in the 120-170 range would be pretty normal for someone starting from nowhere then?

Also, any particular advice when it comes to what sort of rides or workout plans I should consider that you guys have really liked over your time on Zwift? Especially those who started in a similar situation to myself!

I think that’s reasonable. I only have my one data point.

I’d recommend doing group rides that are within your capabilities. Or do free rides and find someone about your speed to hang with for a while. Skip the structured workouts in the beginning. I found it much more motivating to try to stay with the peloton than to do workouts alone. Once you get dropped off the back, you’re done!

When I started, my favorite group was the Friday Night Bikes and Beer ride led by @Wes. I felt such a thrill the first night I was actually able to stay with the group for the entire ride!

1 Like

Everything Jim said. :slight_smile:

I’ll add, for anyone just starting up a decent exercise routine after a good time of sedentary lifestyle an FTP test is probably the worst thing you can do. If you push at 100% or even 80% when you are just getting back into the swing of things you are likely to stretch and tear your muscles and tendons beyond what they would like in the first few months of what is in reality a rehabilitation.

Long slow rides for a month or so will lube up all that needs resorting, then in month 2 give it the beans and see how your legs feel.


Cheers again for the responses guys! @Jim_Mattson I’ll certainly check out some group rides, wasn’t sure how someone just starting out would go in them.

I’ve been doing some light riding for the last month on a spin bike following some of the GCN indoor training videos. I’ll certainly be pacing myself and intend on spending the first bit just exploring the different courses and routes Zwift has to provide, perhaps some group rides too. After that I was considering getting into some sort of more serious training plan.

The main reason I wanted to do an FTP test was so I could have an idea of what sort of pace I should be riding at over the next month. The spin bike I was on had no information outside of estimated speed which was horribly inaccurate as well as time, so having a bit of an idea as to what a rough estimate of my FTP may be is something I’d love to find out. I’ll make sure not to overdo it when I do the test itself, just really want a ballpark figure to work off of!

An FTP is this:

Measured in watts, FTP is the average power that a rider can produce over the course of an hour.

Maybe you believe Zwift can offer you a shorter test to ascertain this number, but the best way to find out is to ride for an hour and see where the number drops. Beyond any FTP tests in Zwift, the program will auto-calculate your FTP for you as long as you do 60+ minute rides. This form of FTP test I believe in. :slight_smile: It’s as real as it gets.
Not trying to slight your efforts in any way, I just enjoy the counter point to the masses who think power is everything.

1 Like

Since you are going to be exploring the worlds, I suggest you get a Hack called ZwiftMap. It places a small overlay map on the screen that shows your location. You can size and move as you wish.
You can make the overlay background transparent as well so all you see is an outline of the roads.


Hi, Zac,
welcome on board ))
Well, as someone new to Zwift also, with about 3 month inside, could suggest you only one thing: try and do not expect anything! Why do you need those guesses with some expectations? You’ll be riding exactly what you will be riding )).
I came to Zwift after 18 years of smoking, and office type work. But again, 3 month later I think I’m doing pretty well. So just start riding, enjoy it and your general shape will be improved.
Although, I never did any of official FTP tests, but in 3 month my Zwift FTP (the one calculated by Zwfit based on the activities) came from about 160 watts to 257 watts, and this without any expectations, never did even one training ride - all my rides are just usual ones or rides in events.
Good luck to you!

1 Like

Thanks again everyone for all the advice, I really do appreciate it. Certainly has given me a few different ideas as to how to approach my first month or so on Zwift, love the look of ZwiftMap too!

1 Like

Hello Zac, think of FTP as a place to start from to go to as a measure of progress and progress only. W/KG is a bit different and based on your size. So don’t get caught up in the watts thing. Do some FTP builders and progress get fit and enjoy the results.

1 Like