Ramp Test Tips & Tricks

I have a playlist that ramps up and up and up until Linkin Park’s One Step Closer kicks in at about 18:15 into the test. That song is about 2:40 or so, so if you make it through, your FTP will go up a bunch. Just have to make it partway in to break even. But basically the goal is to get through as much of it as possible.

Bonus feature on the playlist is that you don’t start testing till the second song, to make sure Spotify isn’t weird or on shuffle.

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I find this to be a factor too. I’m contemplating going back to the 8-minute test because varying stress levels at work seem to affect how much of the ramp test I can gut out. I’ve had pretty wild fluctuations recently.

With my trainer there are other issues. Resistance isn’t always the exact same and as my ftp improves, this compounds the extent to which I have to shift and affects which step i have to do at what cadence. Negotiating all that makes it hard to actually reach muscle failure and I am not even sure I ever have. Although once or twice I found a new max hr.

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Does it matter if you stop and stretch during the flat bit prior to the ramp? I do my weekday workouts first thing in the morning, and my hamstrings were super tight when I woke up, but I didn’t have time to do a short warmup workout prior to the ramp test, and I don’t think stretching straight out of bed is particularly helpful.
Everything tightened up as I hit 120% FTP and I just caved and quit.

I do this too. Have a banger at the 18:00 min mark!

anyone care to share there spotify ramp mix

There are a bunch over here!

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A post was merged into an existing topic: Share your Ramp Test playlists!

I have no tip or tricks. My ramp test blow chunks, first test 150 FTP, second test after about 6 weeks of SSB training 154… Yeah I suck.

That being said, my outdoor FTP went from
151 March 2019
171 April 2019
159 May 2019
180 June 2019 now.

I can’t test worth a darn on the trainer, but my outdoor riding is improving drastically. So much so I have gone faster on my same course I ride frequently 2:05:00 was my best time before I started the SSB1 training. My latest ride on the same course was 1:56:33, that was a huge improvement. So I am not going to get caught-up with the FTP number. The consistency of the TR workouts matters more than just one FTP Ramp test number. As long as the workouts are tough and not easy for me the FTP number from the ramp test is working just fine for me.

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I’m getting back into structured training after six months of roughly 2 indoor and 1 outdoor rides a week (4-5 hours). I have a 100 mile/4.5 hour event on Sunday but am thinking of doing a ramp test today* as I want to jump back in a few days after I finish. I’d also like to know where I stand before this event.

Think it’s too premature or will fatigue me too much? I last tested at 297 watts but I would wager I’m around 270-280 given my Wattbike numbers.

Edit: By today I meant tomorrow

The ramp test is not such a huge stress it would have any impact on your weekend. Hell, unless you follow it with something hard it probably wouldn’t have much effect on tomorrow!

My thoughts - plus not a bad way to keep the legs open. Guess I’m testing… :grimacing:

I was in the same position as you moving from using kickr as power source to the assioma duos. I found that my old FTP of 246 using the kickr equated with 224 when using powermatch and the Assiomas. Interested to hear your account?

I just started cycling after 9 years of no riding. I had been riding for about 8 months, mostly 3 x week, and had done one Gran Fondo at 130 miles when I injured a knee. After 3 months or so off the bike, I signed up for Trainer Road and got a 2017 Wahoo Kickr. My first ramp test put my FTP at 150. It climbed steadily to just over 300 through Traditional Base 1 and 2. I got some Garmin Vector 3’s and found that they didn’t report nearly the power that my Kickr did. I went back and forth with Garmin and eventually returned the pedals assuming that they were defective. I bought some Assiomas, and found the same as the Vector 3’s. This made me look at the trainer. I ended up doing a Factory Spin down after communication with Wahoo. The Assiomas and Kickr were in pretty close agreement. My FTP dropped to 60% of it’s previous value. If you calculate back I started somewhere around 90 coming off 3 months of inactivity. I just did a ramp test after about 10 wks of Polarized training, current FTP is 188. I’m hoping to get to 3 watts/kg, about 210. By the way, I"m 65.

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Just wanted to share my experience. I feel like the Ramp Test has NEVER been a good representation of my FTP. A few months ago my FTP was 242 and I did a Ramp Test after the entire Half Iron Man Build plan - in which I worked harder than I ever have before on the bike! - but the test indicated my new FTP should be 240. A reduction. I was really disheartened. But then for the final 3 months leading into my half iron man I worked with a private coach who, after observing my trainer workers for a few weeks, raised my FTP to 252. The Build program in Trainer Road HAD worked - but I just wasn’t able to show it in my ramp test. Failing to demonstrate my growth in the Ramp Test was really disheartening, so it was really relieving when my coach let me know my FTP was in fact higher than what the Ramp Test said it should be.

Fast forward another few months - I finished my half iron man a week and a half ago, and I have a couple of weeks before I’ll start a full Base/Build/Speciality plan into a Gran Fondo I’ll be doing in April 2020. I have a bit of wiggle room before starting, so thought I’d try BOTH the Ramp Test and then the 8-min FTP test (48 hours later) to compare my results. Here they are:

Ramp Test - suggested new FTP - 230
8min FTP Test - suggested new FTP - 250.

I REALLY think the Ramp Test doesn’t work for me. 20 watts is a huge difference! I’m better at sustained power than I am for V02 and anything higher than 120% which means I really struggle in the ramp test.

In other words, the Ramp Test is just not for me. I understand it’s easier to pace the Ramp Test (because you can’t pace it really!) - but for me, I do WAY better (20 watts better) on the 8-min test, and suspect I’d be really similar on the 20min test. If you’re disheartened by the Ramp Test, it’s really worth taking the time to do an 8 or 20-min test instead - and you might want to stick with that from now on.

For those that are interested: the 2 tests were at identical times of day, with identical fueling, and identical meal the night before.

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Great post. I think this may be happening to me as well. Keep hitting PRs outside and my recent indoor workouts have been manageable. Tried the ramp test a few days ago and it was even a few watts lower… seriously considering giving the 20min test a try again…

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Peter, interesting post, thanks for sharing.

Do you use HR or just Power. Based on the 8min test 230 is probably high SST for you :slight_smile: Would be curious if SST intervals would then equal a SST style HR for you too. That should confirm it.

I really struggle with ramp tests too. Normally I fare a considerable amount better (~10%) on a 20 min test. Every time I have an FTP set by testing I find that my first Zwift race after that results in a suggestion of raising my FTP to 15-20% higher than my most recent test-based FTP.

…having said that I also find that training at the race derived FTP is close to impossible with good form so I stick with the less flattering, but more realistic numbers I get from the 20 minute test.

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I use a power metre. Powertap P1 pedals.

Try with “Blackened” probably the fastest tempo Metallica song.

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Outside and inside FTP can’t be compared. Usually inside is lower. For various reasons. One is cooling.

As for the ramp test. Completing 19 minutes will give you an increased FTP. It’s very important to force yourself not to quit by any mean necessary. Internal dialog, kids cheering you up once I reach FTP, and wife yelling at me once the going gets tough and cadence drops below 90 and I’m about to quit.

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