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Christopher mumford

For males, 2.2 pounds/ inch would make a 6'2 male weigh 165 pounds. I do not know any males that fit this profile. Is this realistic? Thanks for the curious food for thought.


Joe, great article! Reminds me that I should lose some more weight.

FYI, small typo in your article. One pound equals 0.45 kg or 450 g not mg

(454 g to be picky)

Love reading your blog.


While riding up a hill, is there a component of power that is being used to overcome the effect of gravity? Has there been a study done to measure that?

For example using an analogy from circuit analysis, total power is defined as the sum of the resistive (real) component and the reactive (imaginary) component. Refer to complex numbers.

On a flat road the imaginary component due to gravity would be zero just like in a purely resistive circuit the reactive component would be zero. Whereas riding up a hill the effect of gravity needs to be overcome and the total power (from the reading on a powermeter) will be the sum of real and imaginary component. I believe that the real component is close or just below the rider's FTP and the imaginary component is the one used to overcome the effect of gravity.

In electric circuits if the reactance is very high then the source generating power (alternating generator) has to produce more reactive power which reduces the overall efficiency of the generating system. If reactance is very low then total power is very close to real power.

I wonder if a similar study has been done based on this analogy that is know how much of the watts generated going up a hill are used to overcome gravity.

Joe Friel

FG--I've never seen anything on this.


Does it make sense to you though?

If you ride up a hill that is say 5 minutes long and your FTP is 250W but you are able to average 320W on the hill that is 28% above the FTP which would put it in VO2Max or Anaerobic zone. How is the additional 70W explained?


Very interesting. I did some calculating on a couple of Elite triathletes considered to be the biggest pros in the sport in Matt Reed and Torbjorn Sindballe. Reed is 6'5", 180 pounds (2.33) and Sindballe is 6'2" 176 (2.37). I'm sure when Peter Reid was racing he'd be right there too.

Joe Friel

FG--You would have gone up the hill faster at that power (or any power) if you had less weight to lift.

Coach Ian

This is a great one Joe. I did the math, I am 3.2 and quite muscular. I have been using the information in the Paleo Diet For Athletes to lose weight, I have lost about 30lbs, so far. My arms and legs are a lot smaller. But I still climb like a slug, every incline seems to just slow me down. I also lost a lot of power, with the weight. Getting down to under 200lbs (I am 6' 3") seems impossible. I am training for a RAAM Qualifier in September.

Any Suggestions?

Thank you!!


Ian--Hang in there. It takes time to improve climbing. You're doing the right things. Just keep it up.


Ian - I am in the same boat as you. I am 5' 11" 200 lbs - muscular but I do carry extra body fat (although I have lost a bit of it over the past 6 months). My training partners have more traditional triathlon builds - one is 5' 8" 140 lbs, the other 5'10 175 lbs. I struggle to keep up on the hills, although I am finding that the gap is getting smaller between us. What I do find is that on the flat portion of our races and during our taining rides I am far more powerful. I agree with Joe's comment - hang in there - look at the hills as an opportunity to develop your power and hit every one you can find. In a short period of time you will notice an improvement in your climbing speed and that will provide the motivation you need to continue facing the hills head on!

Coach Ian

Thank you for the encouragement guys. When the road is flat, I feel so strong, like I could pump out lots of speed. I have 5 and a half months to go, I will keep working at it and let you guys know the results.

I will be in Wales soon, very hilly. I find that when I attack hills, half way up, I burn out, and then go into 27 in my back cassette and climb at 10km/hr. Anyways, enough about that. I will report back in 8 weeks.

Jeff Joseph

Some of you don't find the numbers to make sense -- but here's a fair number of pro stats--
Andy Potts -- 6'2 175 ratio: 2.36
Chris Lieto -- 6'0 160 ratio: 2.22
Chris McCormack - 5'11" 150 ratio: 2.11
Craig Alexander - 5'9" 150 ratio: 2.17
Eneko Llanos - 5'9" 160 ratio: 2.32

or women--
Chrissie Wellington- 5'5" 132 ratio: 2.03
Desiree Ficker - 5'7" 125 ratio: 1.87
Michellie Jones - 5'10" 133 ratio: 1.90

puma speed cat

This is very detailed and informative article. Thanks for helping me solve my dilemma!

Ajf 4

Luckily I read your blog, like your blog, this is the one I've been worried, thank you.

Rerto Jordans

I love your blog. I wish more blogs nowadays had valid information like this!

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