As part of my Discover Arbonne journey, I thought it would be helpful to post my Strava activities, to show what kind of exercise I’m doing whilst enjoying the benefits of plant-based nutrition and Arbonne’s Phytosport range. This is especially relevant when considering my weight loss and FTP score (a fitness test I do via Zwift).
I use a Wahoo Kickr 2 Smart Trainer with Zwift, a training system that allows you to use your PC to ride in virtual environments with others. It’s quite brilliant! Combining Zwift with the Kickr means that the turbo trainer automatically adjust the resistance (watts / power) to match the effort that Zwift demands of you (it’s called ERG). So no changing gears or adjusting resistance screws – just keep turning the pedals and everything else is taken care of.
Activity to Date
- FTP: 141 – 170 (17% improvement)
- Workouts: 8 (c. once every 4 days)
- Weight: 76.2kg – 73.2kg (3kg lost)
01 Nov 2018
The FTP Test is a Fitness test that requires maximum effort, sustained over a 20min period. There’s a long warm-up and periods of increasing effort before the final test, followed by a 10min warm down.
Honestly, I gave it everything and my legs felt like jelly immediately afterwards. I was sucking in the oxygen, sweating hard and feeling my heart beat through my chest but determined nevertheless, to see it through and get the best result I could.
Bear in mind that I haven’t been on the bike or done any real exercise for around 4 months so this was a bit of a shock to the system to be honest.
I have to say that I was a little concerned about the activity being recorded however. I tried to do an FTP previously using the same setup but for some reason, the software decided not to record the activity! After 45mins of build up to the big push and then 20mins of maximum effort, that’s not something you want to happen very often (actually, read ‘never’)!
This time I had no issues and I completed the test, tired by elated with a rather low FTP score of 141. Still, this gives me a great baseline from which to assess future improvements and my goal is to reach and FTP of 240 by 1 Dec 2019.
Read on to follow my other workouts. Latest shown first.
4wk FTP Booster Week 1, Days 2 & 3
28 Nov 2018
I didn’t manage to follow on immediately from Day 1, due to time constraints but as before, I increased the difficulty of Day 2 by 10% and enjoyed this workout tremendously.
The idea here was to reach and sustain high power outputs for 45secs or more, improving power delivery when it’s needed, such as for hill climbs or keeping on the back of a pack.
I felt a slight twinge in my right thigh and calf muscles during this exercise, most probably because I hadn’t warmed up properly. It also didn’t help that the patio door closed 10mins into the workout, meaning the temperature was far too hot, despite the desperate intervention of the fan!
Still, I was feeling so good at the end of this, that I decided to catch up a day and dive straight into Day 3. I took a short 10min break and stretched out my muscles but decided to keep the difficulty at 100% (rather than 110% this time).
Again, thoroughly enjoyed the ride, which consisted of long periods at sustainable effort (15mins at around 135W) with high intensity bouts interspersed with short rests for a further 6mins. Rinse and repeat! The warm up also demanded different cadence and I would alter my position in the saddle to work different leg and back muscles during the 15min stretches.
The Phytosport Difference
I thought maybe I had overdone it this time. The slight muscle cramp and a back-to-back workout left my legs feeling tired and stiff immediately afterwards. But again, I recovered quickly and a couple of hours later felt fine – a little tired, but delighted with my effort. No stiffness or aches the following day at all. Good job Arbonne!
4wk FTP Booster Week 1, Day 1
26 Nov 2018
Just one day on the back of Emily’s Short Mix (perhaps it was her cheeky tips that have motivated me), I’ve started a 4 week FTP Booster challenge. The idea is to gradually increase my FTP score through endurance, varying cadence and power inputs, bursts of energy, climbs and the like.
Day 1 is designed to work at, and over 80% of FTP to build endurance.
I found this relatively easy to begin with so increased the difficulty by 10%, which I was able to sustain to the end. Whether I’ll be able to do these on a daily basis is dubious (due to time, and the need for rest days) but I’m looking forward to doing another FTP at the end of this to see what affect it’s had.
Emily’s Short Mix
25 Nov 2018
A short workout around the virtual streets of London and the Surrey Hills. I loved this workout! ‘Emily’ keeps throwing you witty motivational comments, such as “Keep hydrated. Sip Sip Sip!” and “You can do this!” (sic).
Although average HR was down, average power compared to the SST was up. Perhaps that’s to be expected due to the shorter course, but I came away looking forward to doing this route again and continue to feel fitter and stronger with each ride.
20 Nov 2018
This is an hour, twenty-five minutes’ workout designed to improve FTP scores, build endurance and peak power. It’s designed to work within the ‘sweet spot’ and my average HR was around 140bpm.
My bum has started to get used to the saddle again, and so I’m keep to up the workouts from 1 a week, to 3. Each workout will typically be between 30mins to 1hr.
The Phytosport Difference
As before, I felt no muscle pain or tiredness over the following days, despite the longer route. Hydration was great throughout and I never really felt like I wouldn’t be able to complete this exercise. Recovery has continued to be relatively good and I’m looking forward to more of the same.
08 Nov 2018
This is an hour’s workout that requires significant effort, as you train close to your FTP score (max fitness) for large parts of the ride. It’s designed to increase your overall fitness and I have to say that I struggled.
I managed all of the segments except one, where I needed to pair things back to recover before the last big push. I was exceeding my max HR at times but kept chanting the old mantra “Enjoy the Pain! Enjoy the Pain!”.
The Phytosport Difference
As with the FTP test, I felt no muscle pain or tiredness over the following days, despite pushing hard. Hydration was great throughout, I felt I had power in my legs, if not my lungs, and recovery has been quick and painless.