Hi @Fezzek - while I haven’t read the complete Zwift articles, one thing to keep in mind is that A. Life isn’t fair and B. Genetics play a part in A.
Just like some individual’s capacity to quickly learn trigonometry, or others’ ability to quickly play an instrument beautifully, there’s a genetic potential that some individuals have to rapidly and positively response to most any exercise stimulus.
With that in mind, some folks will simply start off with a higher level of fitness and others will make more gains than others doing the same or even less training.
More training isn’t always better, though, so it’s important to assess your personal rate of improvement over time.
For most beginning athletes, we can see gains in a given 4DP metric of 1-2% per week of training for the first couple of months. As you continue to train, nearly everyone sees diminishing returns and gains less per week of training. Elite athletes often only gain 1/4% per week of training…which means while an average person could potentially improve their FTP or MAP by 4% in just 2 weeks of training maybe 4-6 hours/week - an elite athlete might be spending 22-28 hours/week to gain 4% improvement in those values over 16 weeks - 8 times as long, and 4-6 X as much training timer per week!
Also, I’ve worked with athletes who even while doing everything right will never exceed 3.5 W/kg for FTP…and it doesn’t mean that they weren’t trying hard enough or not training enough. It’s just that their physiology (stroke volume, mitochondrial density, etc.) make certain things impossible. While that same person might be a piano virtuoso or have a PhD in molecular biology, their athletic performance has a lower ceiling than their other skills and abilities.
Regardless of what you’ve got, continuing to balance your training with recovery over the long haul is the important thing to stay happy and healthy, regardless of whether or not you reach the highest level of performance that you want to reach.
Hope that helps! Neal