FTP Friday – Power Zone Training – Post FTP-Test New Zone Struggles (Mental & Physical)

Oh, no! He’s gonna write something about the FTP Test again!

I’ve read some discussions here wherein PZP members take a class with new zones after an increase in our FTP following a retest. We struggle with holding the zones, get discouraged, and contemplate lowering our zones. Sound familiar?

Here’s why we shouldn’t do that.


Our FTP Test demonstrated our fitness and we got a score that cannot be artificially high. As I said before, “YOU CAN’T FAKE STRONG!” The zones that were derived from that FTP are scientifically and mathematically correct for each of us, whatever those numbers may be. The instructors know this, and structure the rides to use those zones effectively. We often find new zones difficult; the increased stress can make us feel as though we can’t hang on: “What was I thinking? I’m gonna die!”

Guess what? Happens to all of us, even the pros.

How many of us have had those feelings, hung in there, and finished the ride? Feels pretty damn good, doesn’t it? PLEASE SHARE YOUR PERSONAL STORIES OF THIS HAPPENING TO YOU IN THE COMMENTS!!

By uplifting our fellow members who are now struggling (or will soon be struggling) with the increased load, the power of this PZ family contributes to our health. We know what this feels like, and we know the pride that comes with overcoming this demon!


The fear and panic we can feel when we are confronted by a larger battle than we expect can paralyze us. Despite having the physical capacity to complete each FTP-prescribed PZ workout, we may still suffer doubts. We have jobs, kids, sick friends & family members. Perhaps we’re ill or recovering from something. We may lose sleep, etc. All these things can sap our energy.

Not every workout will be a breeze. When we know that wonderful empowering feeling of conquering new zones/rides, how will we feel if we give up? Better to take a day off or do an easier non-PZ ride to re-energize (in my opinion). Power Zone training is not just for physical enhancement! How many times are the instructors talking about what’s in our heads, rather than what’s in our legs? Learning to face adversity by facing my own weaknesses is the bigger lesson for me in all this. I beat this ride and emerge stronger. I know you all feel this too! PLEASE SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE IN THE COMMENTS!

Thanks for the community that helps me do this: the true “POWER” of PZ training.

Good luck to all!

This article is part of an ongoing series on Power Zone Training. You can find the other entries below in suggested reading order:
#1 – What is Power Zone Training?
#2 – FTP Test Strategies & Lessons
#3 – Power Zone Training – My Zones Are Too Easy!
#4 – Living with new zones & more FTP test
#5 – Post FTP-Test New Zone Struggles [Mental & Physical] (This Article)
#6 – Decreases in FTP

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Lee Aldridge
Lee Aldridge is a former cycling time trialist and current competitive rower. These articles are reposted with permission from Lee's Facebook group posts.

1 Comment

  • marc says:

    I never even looked twice at FTP till you mentioned it a few posts ago. I’m glad you did! I’m only 1 week into it but I enjoy the iterative progression of it. Look forward to continuing this course for the foreseeable future. THANK YOU

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