How Fit Can Dan Get In 10 Weeks?


(intense music) – You may have noticed over
the past few months on GCN that there have been a few
references to my lack of fitness. Partly tongue-in-cheek,
but I do have to admit that there’s more than
a grain of truth to it. You see, in 2018 I reckon I did less than a thousand
kilometers in total on my bike. There are a few reasons for that. I won’t go into great detail, but there’s the fact that I’m @ and I’ve got a family, I don’t wanna get back
home and go out on the bike for three hours straightaway when I get through the door. There’s also the fact that
I’ve got quite a long commute into work, and work’s been very busy. Well, I’m definitely not
complaining about that because I’m very priviliged, I love work and I love
talking about cycling. (laughing) Above all of that, though,
there’s the fact that I haven’t really wanted
to go out on my bike. Otherwise, quite frankly,
I would have made the time. And I’ve been contemplating why that is and I think I know the reason. I’ve concluded that the
reason I got into cycling was not for the fresh air
or the beautiful views that you get or the sense of adventure, or the social or health aspects, it’s because I wanted to
get better and faster, do specific intervals
and see my numbers go up and ultimately get
better results in races. And before you say anything, I know I wasn’t particularly successful in that department, either, but that was the reason that I did it. I got as far as I could with my talent, but seven years down the line that power and speed has gone. I will never be as good as I was. You can start with the violins, now. The point that I’m trying to make is that I’m quickly getting unfit. I mean, there’s been a good reason why I’ve been using e-bikes
in videos recently, apart from the fact
that they’re great fun. Without one I can’t keep up with the other presenters, who are generally still fit as a fiddle. And I need to do something about it. I mean, I am going to 40 fairly soon and this could be a slippery slope. And above all, I need
something that’s going to offset the old mineral
water consumption. Beer. The pub. Beer. – You’re gonna need a second before we go. – Hm? And so, I’ve hatched a plan. One I think even I should
be able to stick to. I’m going to commit to a training program that’s 10 weeks long. Each week I will do five
hours of training in total, of which four is going to be on the bike. And in order to be as
time-efficient as possible I’ll be doing most of that on an indoor trainer. So, with all that in
mind, I’ve got in touch with Sufferfest and
they have kindly agreed to provide me with that very specific 10-week training program to
get the most out of myself, and also with Elite who
have kindly provided me with a Drivo II indoor smart trainer, upon which I will be suffering. So, a total of 40 hours
on the bike over 10 weeks. How hard could it be? More importantly, how fit
could I get over that time? Well, in order to find out
I first need to establish how fit or unfit I am right now, and that unfortunately is going to involve plenty of pain on an indoor test. I’m going to do the Full Frontal 4DP Sufferfest Test which I spoke to Neil
Henderson about earlier. He is Sufferfest chief science officer and coach to Ryan Dennis, world time trial champion, no less. Neil, thank you first of all for agreeing to coach me
over the next 10 weeks. Hope I’m not taking too much time away from Ryan Dennis’ plan. But, I need to do some
testing, I understand. I know a little bit about
the Full Frontal 4DP from what Si and Chris did recently, but if you’d go over it again so I know fully what I’m in
for, that would be great. – Yeah, big picture of
what we’re doing here is getting an idea of where you’re at across another of different time domains. So, we’re going to start off with some short sprint efforts that are about six seconds long, that’s telling us about your
peak neuromuscular power. Second effort you’re gonna do is gonna be a five minute effort and that’s gonna be what we call your max aerobic power, kinda similar to the Power VO2 Max. So that kinda establishes
your upper aerobic ceiling. That is one of the more
intense test efforts, but don’t worry, we do follow it up with something else a
little more challenging, a little more sustained
on that 20 minute effort. That’s gonna then be your FTP, your kinda maximum sustainable power. We do those in that
order so that we really get a better idea of what
you could actually sustain by putting that five
minute on the front end, it really does take the sting out and so that 20 minute
really is more realistic to what you could sustain for potentially up to about an hour, especially once you get
through the entire 10 weeks. And then we end up with
a final one minute effort for what we call your anerobic capacity and that’s a little bit
about diving really deep into those anerobic reserves, really producing a ton of lactate and really emptying out the tank. – Wow, it sounds brutal. I’ve gotten all of those durations of the test before but
definitely not within an hour, probably not within the same day, I don’t think, in the past, but I’ll give it a go. I’m not sure what to expect, actually. I’ve got no reference to the
past 12 to 16 months, really, of what I’m capable of, because I’ve lost a fair
bit, so I think pacing is going to be potentially
quite difficult. – Yeah, for sure, since you’re coming up from the couch here,
it’s one of those things that, like, being a little bit on the judicious side at the start is probably gonna help you out. We often say in that first five minutes, take the first couple minutes feeling like you could definitely do more, normally you’re just
hanging on for dear life in the last 90 seconds or minute or so of that 20 minute. Good target is often to use maybe about 80% of what you
did for the five minute if you see what your average power was and just start about there. – I’ve been psyching myself
up since you mentioned this test, so I think I do know what I’m in for. We’ll see whether I’m ready, @ how many credits I’ve got left, actually, after suffering a lot during my career, I’m ready, I’m gonna go do the test now. – Yeah, perfect, good luck Dan. Suffer well. (upbeat music) – It’s time for the test. My first sufferfest. As Neil just explained it’s
called Four Dimensional Power, or 4PD, or Full Frontal. So, rather than just
doing a 20 minute test and extrapolating my FTP from that, I’m also going to be
doing a max sprint test to look at neuromuscular power, and that’s the one that’s
going to come first followed by a short break and then a five-minute effort to establish my maximal aerobic power, then a 20 minute test to establish FTP, and then finally, a one-minute all-out effort to find my anerobic power. There’s a very good reason
for this specific protocol. It’s because every rider is different, and your FTP only tells
part of your story. So based on the results of the test today, Sufferfest will set very precise intervals that will make sure I’m
suffering to the full at every duration and therefore making the maximum gains possible over the next 10 weeks. And the fact that the
test is very specific is going to be crucial to me because I’m only doing
four hours training a week, and I want to make sure I get the most out of those hours on the bike. Currently, I am just five
minutes into my warmup heart rate already creeping up to 120, don’t know if that’s
because I’m really unfit or because I’m really nervous. Well, I know I’m nervous,
because I’ve been to the toilet twice
before the start of this. I’ve heard it’s gonna hurt
a lot from a few people. (intense music) Just under two minutes until
the first part of the test, which is the first of
two max-effort sprints. The easiest of the test, actually. (intense music) Just under a minute to go
until my five minute effort. So, instead of being in the Tour Britain I’m not at the Geo
Italia in the mountains. I think I’m gonna aim for about 300, that seems quite conservative. I’ve got no idea what to expect, but I know after a couple of minutes whether I’ve increased it
or that’s about alright, or if it’s too much, maybe. (intense music) I think I paced it about right. I reckon I’ve reached a bit over 300. Slightly depressing in itself considering I’ve done a couple of rides in the past where I’ve averaged 300
watts for four hours, but still, gotta start somewhere. Annoyingly, I haven’t got
long until the 20 minute test. Although that is part of this. For the 20 minute test,
the average of that will be what’s used as my FTP because the five minutes that I’ve done that you will do beforehand
will bring that 20 minute power down enough to be representative of what you can do for an hour if you’re completely fresh, and I’m definitely not completely fresh. Three minutes to go. (upbeat music) Ten?
– Okay. – Get ready, Lloydy. – Three, two, one, steady at the start. (intense music) Only three minutes in. I was doing 160 but this is quite harder, hold 250 watts at the moment. I think I’ve averaged about 240 so far, two, four, five. (intense music) – Oh, Lloydy! Come on, mate, dig in. Don’t stop! (men clap) – Good effort, mate. (GCN presenters cheering) – Come on mate, dig in. – Yes! – Beautiful stuff! – Spiritual home in this, Lloydy! Nice work. (relaxed music)
(muffled voices) – Good effort, mate. – Tell you what, you’re actually doing pretty bloody well. – Yeah, that was good. My power has gone up since
you all came in, actually. (GCN presenters cheering) (intense music) – 11k to go mate, 11k! – Only 11k! – You’ve got this, mate, you’ve got this. (GCN presenters cheering) – Last three minutes! – 240, pick it up again.
– Come on mate. – I’m not sure I can last three minutes. Just about recovered from the 20 minute enough to talk. I think I’ve paced that not too bad. Already got 245 watts, I reckon? It did go up. Got excited when I had a crowd come in. That one’s 260. And dipped back down in
the last minute or so. Now for the five minute
and the 20 minute test it’s quite important to pace it, because if you go too fast at the start you’ll really die and your end average will be lower than it should be. But with one minute, you can afford to front-load it, go
really hard at the start and just try to hold on
even though the power will be going down, so that’s what I’m going to try to do, but it does make it a long minute. An anerobic one minute effort. Though, not after the previous efforts. 10 seconds. Five, four, three, two, one. (upbeat music) Ugh. (heavy breathing) Oh, that was hard. I’ve just about recovered. It’s about three hours
after I’ve finished my test, and I’m sure you’re going to want to hear what the exact results were, so my maximum five second
power was 1,035 watts. Not too shabby, got
into four figures there. And for five minutes I did 309 watts which is about what I was expecting. And then for 20 minutes I did 244 watts so that is what will be my baseline FTP, and then for that final one minute test I did 440 watts. Now, those results have,
somewhat surprisingly, categorized me as a sprinter. Now, I think the reason for this is I’ve lost far less of
my very top end power than I have on the longer duration test, so that could change over the duration of the next 10 weeks. If you’re interested, my
current wait if 73 kilograms, we surround about four kilograms more than my racing weight was back around about 10 years ago. Now, I’ve sent all the
results over to Neil, who’s been standing over them,
so I’m gonna call him now and get the verdict, and get my program. Neil, I’ve just about recovered a few hours after I did the test, but I think it kind of was expected, from my point of view, nowhere near where I was before but I didn’t expect to be there. – Yeah, I’d say I looked at
some historical comparisons of what you did today
versus what you’ve done, maybe, let’s say about 10 years ago and definitely you’ve had some decreases here and there, but we
got a plan to help you turn that around. – Yeah, talk us through this
plan because I’ve got 10 weeks, got four hours on the bike, it’s gonna be an hour or so off the bike each week, too, so let’s start
with on-the-bike training which I’ll be doing mainly
on an indoor trainer to keep it focused, but what’s the plan over that 10 weeks? – Yeah, big picture,
we’re gonna have a balance of work and rest. So, we have 10 weeks to work with and we’re gonna do two weeks of kind of more intense training for week one and two, and then for the third week pull you back. We’ll repeat that again, two week on, one week off, and for the final four weeks it’ll actually be a three week on and then followed by an easier week at the end before you get to retest and see what kind of improvement you make in the Full Frontal from today
versus 10 weeks from now. – And how’s it gonna be
divided between different intensities of effort? You gonna concentrate me
on one type each week, like FTP or the anerobic effort, or is there a bit of each one each week? – Yeah, there’s a little bit of a mix. This coming week is going
to be more transition to just getting you back
on, so we’ll pull back the intensity a little bit
this first week for ya, second week is gonna
have a little bit more of a focus on @ strength, a little bit bigger gear work, and just like you
mentioned, some of the stuff off the bike, some of
the strength training and things like that are
all gonna be part of that. So, really, it’s the
balance of work and rest. We’re not gonna put the firehose to ya in the first week. – So, the stuff of the
bike, strength training, a bit of yoga, I’m understanding, is a mental strength training, which I think I could do. I wonder if I could have pushed myself a little bit harder in
a couple of those tests if I had been mentally stronger? Although I was, I was almost six @, I pushed myself pretty hard. But the hour off the bike, how will that be divided up and what am I likely to achieve with that? – Yeah, we’re gonna give
you a little bit of a mix. In a perfect world, we’d have
maybe something most days that you’re on the bike,
because you’re gonna have four days on the bike each week with the components that we have for strength training, yoga, and the mental toughness, we’re just gonna insert
some of the highlights and some of the key things that are gonna be helping you out in that week and as we build up over the 10 weeks. – Cool. I’m looking forward to that, actually. So, 10 weeks, four hours a week, one hour off it, given my history and the lack of training I’ve done for the last year or so, what are you expecting? What do you think I
can get to in 10 weeks? – A lot of times, we’ll say
a good rate of improvement is around 1% per week, though there’s a caveat
that you have experience as a professional athlete,
and so it’s likely that you may respond a little bit better than the average and so
I wouldn’t be shocked if we saw some gains even
in the 15 or 20% for you, though I’m gonna set the goal bar as about a 10% improvement for you. – Well, I’m personally
aiming for 300 watt FTP, which is way more than 10% improvement. – That’s getting you up–
– 23%. – Yup, yup, it’s in the
realm of possibility. Easy, no, possible, yes. – Well, we’ll see how we go. I’m gonna be so interested to find out how much gain I can make over the course of the next few weeks. I’m actually really looking
forward to seeing the numbers hopefully go in the right direction. Alright, I’ll chat to soon, cheers Neil. – Cheers Dan, have a good one. – And this is where I’m going
to be doing my suffering for the next 10 weeks,
at least on the bike. This is my sort of pain cave or suffer station, I guess
you could call it now. Sort of squeezed into
the corner of our garage since my wife acquired this Jaguar. Well, it is quite good for resting your towels on whilst you’re training. Now, as I mentioned earlier, Elite are sponsoring this
for the next 10 weeks and they’ve given me their
Drivo II smart trainer to use in that time and I’m very chuffed about
that for two reasons. Firstly, it’s really heavy and solid, which is gonna be quite handy given my new found sprinter status, but secondly, the power meter
inside is extremely accurate, plus or minus 0.5%. So more accurate than most power meters that you’ll get on bikes
out on the open road. And that’s so important to me ’cause I was particularly
anal about my power data when I was a full-time rider. I even used to calibrate my
own power meters regularly by hanging weights off the cranks. So up here, I’ve got my
flat screen television with my laptop hooked up behind so I’ve got my Sufferfest programs there and then believe it or not, I’ve got two fans. Not had many fans in my life, so to have two at the same
time is pretty unique. I particularly like that one there, it’s resting on top of a wheelie bin because it makes me cool, which is quite hard to do, as you know. I don’t think I’m gonna be
able to back out of this now, I’m fully committed. If you would like to join in, you are more than welcome. In fact, I’d love to have
you along for the ride over the next 10 weeks. We could have a mini
competition to see who can make the biggest percentage
gains over that time, which would be pretty interesting. You’ve got plenty of time to
get involved if you so wish, we’re gonna put all the details into the description
just below this video. My program starts on Tuesday,
the eighth of January, so you’ve got plenty of time to suffer in the full frontal test, like I did a little bit earlier on. Once we get to Tuesday the eighth, I’m gonna give regular
updates on my social media, so Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as uploading all
of my numbers to Strava, where you can find me at
Daniel Lloyd from Bournemouth. Plus on top of all of that, I’m gonna give you updates
on my progress weekly, every Tuesday, on the GCN Show, which basically means I’m not
gonna be able to slack at all during this training program. For now though, I’m gonna
bid you a fond farewell as a mentally prepare myself
for my first training session. In the meantime though, if you would like to
see the reasons behind the testing protocol from Sufferfest, it’s not just because their sadists, there’s some sound scientific
reasoning behind it too. Si explains all in the
video that’s just down here.

100 Comments

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *