Questions, answers and promotions for the popular base training program Pump Up the Base

Pump Up the Base workout B is kicking my butt

Hi Lee,

When I do Pump Up the Base intervals, workout A is pretty straight forward sweet spot training. My power level and heart rate stay pretty stable. Workout B is a different animal. Climbing, ladders, etc. blow me out pretty quickly. My heart rate goes anaerobic fairly fast and it generally ends in a beat-down. In a good way.

So here’s the question: did you and Lester intend for “B” workouts, the drills, etc. to be aerobic capacity intervals? That’s more or less what they have become for me. I keep the power out put in range of my FTP, but damn everything else is brutal, and by the end of the workout, I’m a wreck.

I sold my Pivot 429 and am building up an Evil Following MB. Stoked.


Dave F

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Balancing strength training with base bike fitness

Hi Lee,
As my deadlift (300lbs 2×5) and squat (260lbs 5×5) loads are going more and more up (at 170lbs btw), it also gets more and more tough getting both done especially with PUTB in mind, too. Are you regularly lifting once a week or more often?
Thanks in advance + all the best,

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Flat pedals, shoes and bike shop?

Hi Lee,

I just read over Pump Up the Base and am fired up to get going. In particular, I had been thinking of giving flat pedals a try for a while, and this is a great excuse to do so. Do you have a type of flat pedal and flat pedal shoes you’d recommend, or are they all pretty similar?

Lastly, is there a local bike shop that you’d recommend for shoes and pedals. I find most shops are real good with bikes and parts, but there’s not a lot of expertise with shoes out there. I’ve got weird feet and need more help than most. Thanks for you your help, and thanks for the REVO referral. I’ll be giving them a call soon.


Dave Farrell

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PUTB and P2PI intensity and timing?


I just bought both your programs, PUTB and PTPI. I’m doing the first week starting this January but with reading the information I’m a little unclear as to what effort I need to do the workout under Super D and Mixmaster. I do not have a power meter so I can not determine what the RPM is. Can you give me a little help in this?


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Power testing: in two sessions or all at once?

Hi Lee,

First of all, I just wanted to say thanks for the Pump Up the Base programme. It is the first bike related training programme I have done (although i have extensive experience with track and field programmes, predominantly sprinting) and was blown away by the progress I made over the 12 weeks; struggling to manage the 6x3min sets at 250w in the beginning and wondering how i was going to do 10 min let along 15-20 to being able to do the 3x20min reps at a significantly higher power output marginally lower heart rate, but even better is the look on my mates faces as they realise I’ve been waiting at the top of a climb for them for a couple of minutes and that I’m already to continue on down the trail.

Now I am about to start Prepare to Pin It, but I don’t know quite how to approach the testing. The testing in the e-book appears to be broken up over 2 days (sub-max and speed endurance/ max power), however, the blog posts on your own tests appear to have it all on one day (the longer TT also appears be a FTP test rather than the sub-max in the e-book) is this correct and which one would you recommend over the other and why?

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Pump Up the Base made me stronger. What next?


Howdy, I just finished a functional threshold power test (20 minutes flat out). Brutal. Over 10 weeks of Pump Up the Base, my FTP went up 8% to 271. I have no idea if that’s what I should be expecting. Stand up pedaling really improved, that’s for sure. Let me know what you think so I can figure out how to continue my training. Thanks,I hope you’re doing well.


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Week 10 of Pump Up the Base — Can I stop now?

Hi Lee
I’m on week 10 of Pump Up the Base but its now nice enough to ride outside and I don’t know if I can mentally handle riding the trainer when the trails are money. Don’t you think it’d make more sense training-wise to get out for trail rides now even though I’m not all the way done with the program?

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Pump Up the Base on my commute?


I am fortunate to be able to bike commute to work (25min each way) and ride at lunch (45min) for a total of 20 miles/day. I have been doing as many Pump Up the Vase segments in these time intervals as I can with about a 5 min warm-up. However, I am never doing the full workout duration and I want to know if this is ok or if my fitness will just be contained to short bursts? While doing the workouts on my commute I am getting PRs on Strava for sections that I literally rode 243 times last year. I know the weather will get crappy again and I will go back to the trainer but 70 in Denver is like crack to a bike addict like me:)

Also I have been training in my sweet spot (141- 160) based on my highest heart rate (188) on real rides. During the base workouts in week 1 and 2 I am struggling to come down from my sweet spot range without doing limited resistance. Also, when I am in the sweet spot I am riding high in the range. I can stay in the sweet spot without giving it much thought. I am in decent shape with a 49 resting BPM. However, I cant clean mount falcon without stopping and routinely get smoked up it. BTW that is my fitness goal: up mount falcon without stopping.

Also I have been weaving in the F6 and I love both programs!

Kung Fu Ninja in training!!


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Mountain bikers: pump up your pedaling this winter

This piece was written for, but I hope LLB readers will dig it.

Man does not live on the trainer alone. If the conditions are nice, pin it outside! Sprint training up the slalom track at Valmont Bike Park in Boulder, CO.

So many mountain bikers do their work in the winter — sitting and spinning, mostly — then they hit real trails and are shocked. Why aren’t I flying up these rocky climbs? Why I am I working so hard? Why am I falling down?

Mountain biking is more complex than road riding. Never mind all the turning, hopping and dropping: The pedaling is more involved too.

This article strives to help your winter pedaling training better prepare you for off-road riding. The physiological concepts come from my pedaling fitness coach, Lester Pardoe at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine. The technical concepts come from my experience as a busy skills instructor, dad and business owner. I need to wring every gram of benefit out of every minute on the trainer (and I need it to be interesting).

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Heart rate zone for Pump Up the Base?


I’ve completed my first week of Pump Up the Base and it’s rocking my world (or mostly legs and heart) – THANK YOU.

Can you direct me where “sweet spot” fits in in terms of heart rate zones? I’m using the Wahoo.

Max HR (on bike, estimated) – 175
Zone 5 Speed (anaerobic) – 162-175
Zone 4 Economy (anaerobic) – 150-162
Zone 3 Stamina (aerobic) – 137-150
Zone 2 Endurance (aerobic) – 125-137
Zone 1 Recovery (aerobic) – 112-125

On the sweet spot, I seem to be hitting between 155-165 and getting close to not being able to finish the 3m interval. Am I pushing too hard or do I need to suck it up?!

You’re time’s ultra valuable and I understand if you can’t answer my questions – still thank you for your book and time!

Travis McAshan

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Heart rate limit as a training tool

Ian in Australia had a serious heart problem.

Now he’s riding better than ever.

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A good midweek workout during race season?

Hello Lee
I am a huge fan of your books, already got PUTB, P2TI and Mastering MTB skills, they really added a huge increase both in my fitness and skills.
PUTB got me trying XC racing this year, and now that the season is over I’m looking forward next year to improve my results.

Got one question: I just began PUTB, I am on W4 this week, and I’m planning to rock P2PI right after to get in great shape for March, when I have my first races.
I am doing these workouts on tuesday and thursday, and I always get a long, fun MTB ride with friends on sunday morning.
Is that a good strategy?

During the race season, what do you recommand as a workout for the weekday?



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