SUBMIT your Questions by NOON Sept 16th for the next AskaFasCat Podcast

Hey FasCats… It’s that time again! Q&A#11 :raised_hands:t3:

We’re here to answer all the questions you may have including the nitty gritty on off season training, building your annual training plan, nutrition, recovery, racing, etc. We will be recording the Q&A Podcast next Thursday, so submit your questions in this thread (or send an email to if you want to remain anonymous) by Wednesday at noon! We are looking forward to answering all your questions!

As usual we have a prize for the most thoughtful answer… this time We are giving away a GUEnergy and Panaracer GravelKing SK Prize pack!

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Finishing up my 3rd year cycling at age 39 with no athletic background prior. Obviously I’ve seen meaningful gains in power and endurance each season. #winninginthekitchen helped immensely! I know eventually the equilibrium between muscle build, time available to train, and age will flatten my progress arc.

My question: Is there a general “rule of thumb” career arc for beginners? When should I expect my power to flatten and become harder to improve? Year 3, 5, 7, never?

Thanks for the podcast, I’ll hang up and listen.


This is obviously going to be a weird off-season in the age of COVID. Even if my gym is open, I’m not sure I’ll feel comfortable going in to do the off-season resistance training I was planning to do.

If weights aren’t an option this off-season, what is the best thing I can do to continue to raise my FTP to reach my goal of 4 w/kg next year? (currently at ~3.5 w/kg)? I’ve got more flexibility in my schedule presently than in years past, would it help to keep the volume up through the winter at 10+ average weekly hours? Should I continue doing high intensity once a week through the winter? Something else?

Thanks, looking forward to this podcast!



Springing off this comment, what practical alternatives exist for implementing strength training “at home” with minimal actual equipment?

You’ve mentioned that getting a squat rack and related equipment is “cheap”, but not everyone has the space or funds to dedicated to a rather large piece of equipment. In the aim of “making the most from the least” and in light of consideration that we may have far less access to new equipment, can you recommend alternate exercises and alternate equipment options that can be done with minimal and low cost equipment?

Things like single leg squats for body weight movement to increase loading vs more equipment. Maybe even add things like milk jugs with water, rubber bands and such vs kettle bells or bars & weights could be useful to know and more readily available to people in these tough times.

Think of it like “Strength Training Lite” (pardon the oxymoron :stuck_out_tongue: ) for people new to strength training and/or those working with limited resources but still wanting to take advantage of what strength training offers.


I think I have a good diet in terms of nutrients; cook my own food and eat a lot of fruit, vegetables, nuts etc. but sometimes I wonder if I get enough carbs. This is probably super simple, but how would you recommend experimenting with eating more carbs? Just eat some rice or bananas occasionally during the day? What’s a reasonable ballpark number of calories to try and on what should I look for. Is it just if I feel more energetic and don’t put on weight?
Thanks for all your great work, Eoin

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What is Frank’s opinion of using kettlebell/dumbbell for barbell alternatives like goblet squats, Romanian deadlifts, single leg Romanian deadlifts, and step-ups? I’ve been working with a trainer and he wanted me to make progress on these alternatives to work on form, strength, etc. before progressing to the barbell. Also, what do you think of kettlebell swings?

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Finishing the 18 week sweet spot - I feel fast and fit. Now that a ‘season’ of racing and events might start again, do I redo the weights and base? or can I continue with other plans to sharpen the fitness I have? Summer '21 will hopefully be a place for me to peak at some event.

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I’m working with a physiotherapist to build up my core stability and glute activation on the bike so I can keep riding until I’m 100. Since I’m going to be continuing to focus on levelling that up for this winter rather than the fascat resistance training that I did last winter, should I still follow the same on the bike workouts and progression as I would be if I was doing the resistance training? I definitely got faster this year but I want to build longevity and #ftfp as much as possible! Thanks so much!

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(20 yo male collegiate cyclist)
Just when I was waking up early, eating right, ftfp’ing, and noticing improvements, my crankarm snapped (this no-joke happened this morning). For a handful of reasons, my best option has me waiting for a new part for nearly a month. I have no access to another bike or a gym. How do I stay fit? Is it even possible to continue growing and follow my plan? (I know you don’t recommend running.) How do I mentally cope with the fact that all of my competition is out there training? What does a highly effective cyclist do when they unexpectedly don’t have a bike?

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I have signed up for the rift Iceland gravel race. 125 miles and ~7000 ft of vertical elevation gain. Race day is July 25. I’m planning on doing the 18 weeks of sweet spot starting November 30 which takes training into end of March. My question is what to do after and when to do the gravel simulation rides. How close to race day and what is a taper for an event of this magnitude.

This year I have done several 5 hour rides but think the rift will be in the 10 hour range for me.

Thanks your thoughts and comments are appreciated


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Do our Gravel Plan after you finish sweet spottin and the plan lays out when you do your long simulation rides.

You also have time to lift weights before you plan to begin your sweet spot plan (would complement your sweet spot immensely)


Thanks for the thoughtful response! Feeling motivated to keep chasing that slope of improvement and focus on the process.

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you bet! Here’s the slope of improvement graph :sunglasses:


I wish that I had submitted this question. I was just listening to the podcast episode and was a little frustrated by the comment “if there’s a will there’s a way.” I live in a third floor apartment in the metro Detroit area. I am almost certain that my floor is not rated to hold any significant weight (my 1RM is 400 lbs) and my neighbor is not a fan of me doing plyometrics. Gyms are slow to open (high Covid impact in this area) and more often then not I see people in public places not wearing masks, so I am extremely hesitant to go in when they do in the interest of getting back to normal racing. So options?

  • I have started doing more core and form work as I realized that was a performance limiter for me. So more yoga glo
  • Can I do different bike related workouts, like MTI or VO2 intervals in the event that the gyms stay closed into October and lawn workouts stop being an option? The trainer sucks, but that winter wind and ice is no joke
  • in place of being able to do some of the heavier workouts can I do high rep, low weight lifts?