Full Frontal - The Thread

This thread is about everything and anything to do with Full Frontal.

I will ride my fourth Full Frontal on Sunday following a twelve week general fitness training program. My previous FTP was about 154 and MAP was about 200. Those were both improvements over efforts a few years ago.

I have a question associated with setting targets for each element of 4DP versus “going for it”. My goal in training was to be able to reset FTP to 200 and MAP to 260. These would be 30% improvements and I think that’s pretty solid. Possibly, setting the targets sets my sights to low, but the flip side is these are too high and I will need to reduce during the session due to glorious suffering. Thoughts?

The other aspects of this is related to strength training interface. Normally, I would go to the gym tomorrow morning for leg presses (sets of 680#). Should I target my strength training after Full Frontal or does three days give enough time to recover. I did my Taper Effort this evening.

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you’ll know 10 minutes in if it’s too low or too high. I’d do legs at the gym next week

I find that the 20min and the 5min I need to have some sort of target to aim for. Otherwise I blow up half way through. I usually start at a target of a power record I have made in the last few weeks, then about halfway through adjust it up or down. The other 2 metrics i can just go all out on.

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For the prep week I’d follow the FF prep plan precisely - and this close not do any serious gym work

Re numbers - this is really hard without seeing your progress through the plan, seeing all the workouts, how hard they were for you, how much ‘progression’ you’ve seen in terms of any feeling a little bit more achievable and so on.

I’m afraid only you will know roughly what to aim for based on your training.

What I would say is after a few years, the most difference I expect to see is around 2% - but I’ve now done about 10 of these tests. And sometimes it’s lower, sometimes it’s higher.

So - aim for something that’s your gut feel to start out the 5 and 20 - and see how you go.
At the end of the 5 min effort you want to feel like you just can’t walk anymore, literally spent.

If you feel like that, possibly HR hitting close to maximum, then you’re 5mjns is set. You could (even though the point of 4DP is everyone is different and I’ll get shot down in flames now) consider a quick mental maths game and multiple the 5 min number by 0.8 to have a rough estimate of a 20 min number you can increase/decrease from as you go. That only works if you have a device parallel recording power though and you can see average power for that 5 mins.

Hope it goes well for you. And there’s always next time —- it takes a few of these to get used to FF and what you can push yourself to do

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I have tried riding to targets , but the results have not been that good because a target is a fictitious number you may hope, or wish to achieve, it may be beyond or lower than your capabilities. I seem to be better at turning off all distractions and just focus on pedalling .I have been told my power lines are fairly smooth, but while riding the numbers jump all over the place so I am never sure exactly how I am going.

I am considering trying the test 2 weeks running. The 2nd week switch to erg after the sprints.In theory, with perfect pacing it should be possible to nudge the numbers up a bit .I appreciate that is would not be a max to destruction type of test .Using the previous weeks results as a guide would mean still riding very close to your max, but would the numbers go up? Opinions anyone? worthwhile ,curious or just being silly?

I have always followed the given targets, and during the effort i really feel if they are low or not, remember it is NOT ERG!! so using level mode, the power output really depends on you, but do focus on pacing!
best of Luck on your FF ride!

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A weeks rest will hopefully be enough. Tough mentally doing it two weeks in a row but hey.
It could easily be max to destruction both weeks. I guess you won’t know until the second weeks effort what it feels like physically or mentally as nit many people try it.

End of the day, the outcome is you want to presumably be more capable somewhere on a bike (indoors or out) so FF can help you set workouts to more or less a good baseline so that the workouts then tax you and you achieve that goal.
That’s all FF is designed for really IMO - to set the workouts we do to help us build.

I’d say if you felt at the end of the first effort that you had more to give you could redo it if you want and try and make it harder (irrespective of what trainer/method you use, erg or not).
If you were maxed out then you’ve probably got a set of numbers you can use for workouts and you’re sorted.

If those workouts get progressively easier in the months following, redo the test so that the workout baseline changes and your workouts then tax you again.

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You already got some great advice here.

I would like to add that, maybe, you shouldn‘t stress yourself out with a too specific expectation and numbers in mind. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the suffering.
Make sure you give your absolute best during the workout and get adequate rest beforehand: The one week Full Frontal Prep Plan is a good way to start. Leave the leg training for another day.

I am two weeks away from finishing my training plan and my next test is getting closer. During the last couple of workouts I already notice that my suffering at a certain wattage is reduced and started playing with the intensity during the videos (a few percent, nothing crazy). This gave me already a pretty good idea what a 10/20 minute effort at higher power output feels like.
This knowledge will be my rough guide during full frontal.

In my opinion it’s a good idea to start the 5min and 20min blocks without looking at any numbers and do it by feel. After a few minutes, check to see where you land and adjust accordingly.

If you really decide to do two Full Frontal Tests so close together, please share your experience.

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Thank you Mr P .While I always get it all out during the test, if I repeated the test in erg at + 2-3% I have often wondered if I would be able to complete the session. Perfect even pacing, nothing to worry about or focus on except doing it.I usually wonder should I go up a gear, down a gear, shift cadence, is my power output telling me I should be giving more etc.All this would vanish if in ERG

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Thanks Sir Martin, I appreciate your response. After giving your all during the test, the 2nd test would not be about giving your all, but merely trying to beat the numbers, with the trainer set up to enable you to do it , so the aim is an improvement rather than bleeding eyes plus a bit more.It is just to settle idle curiosity .

Some people do FF without any targets at all visible. I am not one of those people. I usually have an idea of where I’ve improved, and have a rough idea of my numbers. I go for that number - actually - I go a bit higher because I want to give my body the potential to prove me wrong. I also do a lot of self-bargaining - like mini-over/unders throughout e.g. “give me a minute at 205W, and I will let you have a minute at 195W”. This really works to keep my spirits up.
The biggest thing about FF - it is a mental test. My own self-talk has made a lot of difference in my perceived level of effort and my actual results. I’ve done FF quite a few times, and it is a skill.

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There’s nothing wrong with setting a target if it helps you, especially when you’re relatively new to the test. Pacing is a skill and it takes some time to learn to do it right. And, also remember not to get mentally bent out of shape if you don’t hit the goals you set for yourself. Remember that 4DP (just like any test) is a snapshot in time and some days, you just don’t have it. But, every 4DP you do helps improve you, as you get mentally tougher, learn to pace, and learn that you CAN perform sometimes even if you don’t feel great.

I would skip the gym or push it off until after 4DP. No reason to risk it. I’d follow the prep plan pretty closely until you learn what your personal perfect taper week looks like. In other words, follow it until you learn the best way to modify it. But the returns to a weight lifting day in my view do not outweigh the potential downsides.

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Ah, it took me a minute to catch up to your plan. Got it. That‘s an interesting thought. You could be right and you can probably finish the workout with 2-3% more power output.
But I think you are still concentrating a bit too hard on the numbers.

At the end of the day, I believe Emily has the right idea:

You can never hit the exact same numbers twice because your mood, state of mind, rest and even determination changes from day to day. I believe every metric is just to give us a ballpark figure to work with. If your FTP is 250, for example, it‘s 250-ish and could very well be 240 or 260.

At the end of the day, dedication to follow your workout regime in the long term and a healthy lifestyle will always superseed a 2-3% harder workout.
On a good day you absolutely should think about possibly increasing the intensity of the video no matter your 4DP results.

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I had no targets in my last 2 tests and I found it much more relaxing, if the word relaxing can be used in FF .I even find the mental focus stuff an added stress. I seem to go better when in this little bubble that just involves legs

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Thanks for the feedback. When I arrived to the gym at 430AM I had the notifications and feedback against working legs. Accordingly, modified session to stretching, muscle gun and some bench presses, but nothing on legs.

I did the Recovery Spin today in preparation for a day off tomorrow.

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Sir Jim, I know what you mean, your ego tells you that the training is working and you have improved like Dan Loyd , the reality is a few minutes down the line you blow

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As far as setting goals for 5 minutes and 20, I’ve recently switched to doing Half Monty a week in advance of my FF tests. It really helps me to know how to pace.

Pre test, I follow the Full Frontal training plan.

During the test I stick to level mode for NM and MAP efforts, following those I switch to ERG mode and set to 110% of FTP, couple of minutes in decide how that feels and may increase up or down, normally down! I find it much easier having a number to target rather than go by just feel, but then everyone is different! Oh and back to level for the AC effort (man that hurts).

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Hi everybody.
I thought this is a good opportunity to share a video about my 4DP Full Frontal Fitness Test.
I will show you here the whole effort and comment on the results a little bit.
Since the video is a little bit longish you can skip trough it by using the time stamps in the comments section.
Have you done yours already?
No?
Well, get it done and be awesome !!! :smiley:

I hope you enjoy the video.
If so, please subscribe to my channel and like the video.
You can help me to improve the content of my channel.
Just drop a comment.
BE AWESOME !!!

Sincerely yours,
Sir Roland (KoS)

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