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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Thanks for reaching out.

Workout A is pretty straightforward:

• Sprint as hard as you can for a few seconds
• Crank out sweet spot power in the saddle for the length of the interval
• Recover
• Repeat for the specified number of intervals

The Workout B intervals have special missions:

Sit. Normal gear.

Climb. Hard gear. Alternate sitting and standing.

Ladder. Normal gear. Alternate sitting and standing, with more
and more time standing.

Super D. Spin 120 rpm in easy gear. Turn 90 in normal gear.

Mixmaster. Sitting. 20 seconds low cadence, 20 seconds
medium cadence, 20 seconds high cadence.

These drills are intended to help you make clean power on challenging mountain bike rides, both up and down. While they can easily push you above the orange aerobic zone and into the red anaerobic zone, that’s not the goal for Pump Up the Base.

Try to maintain sweet spot intensity (as measured by heart rate or effort, not wattage). Focus on doing the work as efficiently as you can. As you get more efficient, try to generate more power during these drills, while keeping your effort in the sweet spot.

The Pump Up the Base program is extremely effective because of the sweet spot training. At that intensity level you get maximum benefit with minimum beat down. After you’re done with Pump Up the Base, dig into Prepare to Pin It, which will make you anaerobic on purpose.

If you do both of these programs, you’ll be incredibly fit. For the next level, which I am enjoying, do some of the intervals on your RipRow™.

I hope this is helpful!


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