CJ: plans too easy?

I created a cj plan where it read my Strava and my ftp is set at 259. I can do 3 rides a week at 45 to 1 hour in length due to cross training other days.

Oddly the rides it is suggesting doesn’t even make me sweat. My heart ride stays very low around 100 (resting is 45 max is 178).

Is this by design? Scrolling through the weeks I don’t see the tss increasing much. Did I pick some settings incorrectly?

There are more discussions on this forum about why CJ plans are designed the way they are. So pro coaches and elites have known for a long time how to train correctly but most platforms have taken the marketing approach of “no pain, no gain.” You can read more here


For 90% of athletes hard periods should be rather short in duration. Maybe a month or two right before a seasonal peak event/period. CJ plans never get what we would call “uneccessarily hard” like starting with 2X20s but you can create some fairly hard plans if that is your prefererence but Coach Jack does not recommend them by default.

And set this level up. 10 obviously being the hardest

Understood - I’m by no means a pro/coach/elite but I would have assumed that my heart rate would have been at least in HR zone 2 or 3 for any workout.

In the rides I’ve done with CJ it’s not breaking my normal HR of just daily life activities (80-100), even for keeping general fitness that doesn’t seem correct? Or am I wrong (I’m ok for someone who knows this stuff to say I’m wrong :slight_smile: ).

I’ve done other structured interval plans from a pro coach that are based on your FTP and those would start with a tss around 40-45 and an intensity of 0.7 which has my HR around zone 2-3 with a decent sweat.

Again if I’m way off base here and don’t understand what I’m talking about, please say as much and I’ll let it go.

Good point. If you can send me a link to your plan from my plans that will help. And yes you might be one of those unique individuals that has a larger disconnect between HR and power. I have only heard of one other person like this. He could ride upper Zone 3 power and be middle zone 2 HR. Not sure if you have ever looked to see if that is you. He could ride long periods of time comfortably at sweet spot. It’s possible in this case CJ might be too easy for you. If you could send me a TCX file from one of your workouts that might help or a screenshot from some program so I can compare HR to power. Even in our app shows this.

One more question is how are you doing your FTP tests?

@Alex - Here is a screenshot from a ride not too long back. Let me know if this doesn’t work for you. As for FTP tests, usually, I do a 20 min test, but recently I’ve done a ramp test that’s the FTP that I’ve used in Trainer Day.

Wow, your HR is very low :astonished:
My today’s ride was a “recovery” one, with an average power around 170W with an average HR of 126. My FTP is (in theory) a bit higher than yours, and I’m probably older than you.
At your average power on your ride, and would be 20bpm higher than you. Oh well, intervals.icu shows an interesting number: Power/HR of 1.66 (mine, today, was 1.3): your heart is way more efficient ! Your high intensity intervals were short, sure, but still, your HR barely moved. Impressive.
Now, yeah, it seems that your plan with CJ is way too easy, if you have an HR that corresponds to intervals in power Z1 only !?

Yes you appear to be one of these “funny people” :slight_smile: I talked to my top coach friend (Andrea) about the previous person like you. I know what Andrea will want, he will want you to take his ramp test (only a little different than ours). He has multi-million dollar lab and been analyizing pros and non-pros for 30-years so he knows what he sees. He also thinks this is strange situation. What is your FTP? I see your eFTP. Can I send you his test?

@Alex - Yes you can send me his test. My FTP is 259. it was over 300 not long ago - maybe a month or two but I got covid and had to take a week or two off for other things.

@GoustiFruit - just for reference I’m 41, my resting heart rate is about 45-50 (at night sleeping it’s closer to 38-42)…I frequently get the low heart rate alert on apple watches while sleeping which I had to turn off. My dr says I’m fine, when I first started serious exercising (maybe a year or two ago) via indoor biking, rowing, and some running (I’ve always mountain biked since a kid) my resting hr was much higher.

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For reference - here’s one of the first rides of the plan I started this week from Trainer Day…a comparison if you will. Granted the ride structure is not the same as the previous one…but you can see why I’m saying what I’m saying - the HR is low through the whole ride.

One more question what is your max HR?

Max HR is 179 - based on the 220 minus age formula. In a FTP test the highest it’s ever been is around 165 - 170

I don’t want to waste a lot of time, nor do I want to be discussing these situations in a good way, but everything has been invented, a long time ago, and that age minus 220 formula is more than analyzed/proved as completely wrong.
I am 53 years old and I easily reach 186 bpm, this is my example, like many of the athletes I follow,
in my experience the more years of training and the better trained we are, the easier it is to reach higher levels.
So everything you are trying to reproduce is worth zero ;).
I have been in the laboratory for less than a year, this with the INCYS system I reached about 192 heart beats and 312w of power,
so the values ​​you point out are worth what they are, in fact VALID ZERO

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I agree, the max HR should be estimated from “real” data.

I’m (almost) 49. And last time I pushed really hard, I reached 186bpm. A bit scary, if you believe in the 220-age rule :smiley:

Still, the curve of your HR vs Power looks like you’re kinda a Lionel Sanders profile :stuck_out_tongue:

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Yes João is completely right. Forget the 220- formula. It’s not useful. You should do a test at some point. It’s not too hard or too painful to determine. After a good warmup three 30-60 second running sprints works with 1-minute rest between them. I would guess cycling should be the same. The third one just push to the max like a ramp test. I am sure google has many ideas. I will also get you the ramp test soon.

I am 55 and my max last year was 180 a few times.

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I’ve never tried to do a test of my HR by design. I have taken many Power Zone Max rides but even so my HR never was over 150 - 160. I’ll google it and see if I can find time to test it this weekend.

My concern of doing this on my own is the “risks” involved - meaning there’s not going to be someone there to monitor my vitals in the case something does go wrong…

If you read (I have read a lot on this), there are no risks of going to max HR unless you have a heart condition and even then it’s not likely to be an issue unless it is something serious. I am not a doctor though so you need to determine your own answer to that question, don’t trust my advice (this is a disclaimer). But anyone racing or doing serious sprinting goes to max HR regularly. It’s really easy for me to do running. Here is Andrea’s ramp test customized for 260FTP.

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In your case setting your HR zones based on heart rate reserve rather than max HR might make more sense because you have low resting HR of around 40. But if your max was 160 then even your calculations are off for your HR zones.

Without wanting to go into too much detail, I and dozens of people, many of them great friends, others, athletes I’m training them, in a Granfond like more than 160kms and more than 3500D+ and in competition rhythms we have to give what we have and we don’t have and at those times you can see our maximums,
about 1 year ago I went over 194BPM of my heart rate several times, this to give an idea of ​​the numbers, I had in more than 4:30h an average of 97RPM and 169BPM with an average speed of 34.7Kms .
Everything else is landscape. As I say, look less at the numbers, have fun and pull that little body,
what you want is cargo everything else is what you know sissy


Sorry for my English sometimes is good, sometimes is not, I try to speak correctly :wink:

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