Ramp Test Tips & Tricks

Hey everyone,

Just thought I would start a thread on people’s tips and tricks for the Ramp Test - motivation, cadence, anything that helps!

The reason I wanted to start this thread is I am finding executing the Ramp Test is a bit of a skill in its own right - kind of like how football players have to train to run the 40 yard dash.

My tip - I am finding it useful to force a quicker cadence than usual. I naturally go to a lower cadence (85-90), but I end up burning out my legs well before my lungs when doing the Ramp Test.



Fast tempo music. I have an FTP test play list. It helps. You don’t want a slow tempo song to appear right in the last minute.


I calculate a time based goal in advance using the formular .75 for the last minute. So I roughly know the time needed to get an improved FTP. And then a second time for a ftp chnage I would be really happy about. That helps me to get into a mindset which will not allow me to quit early.

Ironically the comentary says something like „only a few make it to this point“ at which time the ftp would get worse :nerd_face:

And of course Music.


Interesting. I did this once and swore never to do it again. I found it too easy to mentally checkout once I reach a number larger than my existing FTP and thus potentially not reach my full potential.


High cadence, a good warmup at your target cadence so you get into a rhythm, start breathing from your belly before you get to gasping and make sure your body is hydrated and fuelled. Forgot once due to a busy day and missed my target by about 90seconds. Repeated a week later when fuelled and smashed it.


I’m kind of curious whether this makes a difference or not, but would adjusting the target ftp beforehand help as far as altering the time it takes to reach exhaustion? I think the way my ftp is set now, failure comes around 20min.

The cadence thing is big, I have yet to really get it, the tough part is once I get past threshold and my legs start to slow ever so slightly, the resistance seems to get worse and keeps driving down my cadence (or rather, I have a hard time keeping my cadence up)


How are others incorporating trainer calibration (or pwoermeter) in with their ramp test?
Wondering if others spin lightly before hand and then calibrate and start test or use the first 5 min warmup and calibrate before the full ramp begins?



Thats why I calculate the second time :slight_smile: but i agree its tempting to just stop after reaching the point of improvement. :see_no_evil:

High Tempo Industrial and or Electronica are my go to’s when doing the dreaded Ramp Test!

Have the music blasting through Bluetooth Headphones so that I can’t hear the KICKR or my breathing as I hit 19 mins in and try to get to 20 mins!


Could you explain how you calculate the number of required minutes to achieve your target FTP? Cheers.


Lube chain, wear carbon soles shoes, 2 cups coffee, large bowel of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, air king fan, Metallica “and justice with all” starting with track 5 “Shortest Straw”.


I find it easier, rather than go by time, to guesstimate where I think I am FTP wise and then, knowing the calculation, see what I need to average for my best minute to hit that target.

If you want to map it back to length of time then just scrub the workout and see roughly what minute block that target power falls into.

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I keep it consistent. 15 minutes of “free ride” at 90rpm on my easiest gear until the trainer has warmed up. Then I do a spindown and then go for it. If you’re doing the same thing every time it doesn’t matter.


Totally agree. I’m going to turn off the text next time. I love Coach Chad 99.99% of the time, but for some reason, the text in the ramp test is demotivating and deceiving. He tells us we’re doing better than most or even better than the team at times that would leave you with a reduced FTP if you stopped.


19:30 or so is break even for your current set ftp. Making it just a past 20 will give a small bump. If you can make it to 21 you should get a pretty good bump If you make it to 22 your ftp was probably set a bit low and you should have retested earlier. The ramp test isn’t like the 8 or 20 minute tests where you need to have an idea going in so you can pace.

I find some some loud, fast tempo music really helps. Definitely don’t try to watch a TV show. A high cadence until close to the end. When I feel the speed draining from my legs it helps (me) to actively target an slower cadence instead of continually trying to spin faster, which takes a lot of torque to make happen, and fatigues faster. I also find the slower cadence help slow my HR a tad right at the end.


Interesting about intentionally targeting a slower cadence. How much do you drop your cadence by?

Hi all,

I am new to TR and actually the whole smart trainer scene and I have a question regarding the ramp test.
I am going to be using the KICKR core for the ramp test, does the TR automatically adjust the resistance during the test or should I shift gears?

I saw the video on the 8 and 20 minute FTP test where it was stated that you shouldn’t shift gears during the testing interval, but I wasn’t able to find the answer on whether or not you should shift gears during the ramp test.

Thanks in advance

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@GPx you do not need to shift in ERG mode.

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Thank you for the quick reply :slight_smile:

I have a spotify playlist just for this test with music that currently motivates me. I usually fail at around 20-21 minutes, so I have a very motivating song start at around 19:00. I know that if I am able to make it through this song that I love, I will get a big FTP bump.