Second Ramp Test...lower FTP?!?!

I just re tested my FTP after low volume SSB I and following the ramp test it tested down to 152 from 154 when I started TR 6 weeks ago. I’m sure there is a standard deviation that is normal but I was expecting a higher number rather than a lower one. Well rested, not sick and we’ll fuelled. What gives!?!

That’s well within the margin of error for most power meters.

Was the trainer warmed up?

Do you eat vegetables?

Did you remember to clean and re-lube your chain before the test?

Has your seatpost slipped?

Did you try as hard?

There are a thousand different reasons you could test differently, not the least of which is that base training doesn’t always produce an FTP increase.

Some additional details will go a long way towards getting a useful response. How long have you been riding?


Don’t get too bent out of shape about it. It seems pretty common to not-get an increase after Base I. If you’re feeling saucy, you could raise your FTP by a percent or two and try a 2x20 Sweet Spot workout, and see if it still feels sweet spot-ish. But don’t worry too much. Move on to Base II.

You have finished the first phase that is called Base :slight_smile: Base I is really easy introduction to the second phase that includes VO2 and threshold workouts that help wit rising your FTP. Base I is basically tutorial into structural training. You can make some gains but do not have to. I am sure that despite no higher FTP your ability to endure longer intervals and simply ride a little bit harder has improved a lot.


SSB 1 LV may not give you a big bump. Those should come later… mostly in the build phase.

Also ramp test execution… while requiring less overall technically than the more traditional tests… still has requirements. Ideally freshness, good motivation, and knowing how to push yourself really deep!

agree with @brenph - likely will not see returns yet. Also testing (any method) is a bit like playing golf - is it close? Yes - good! No - keep swinging. Practice makes it better.


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Same for me. I am giving up in the ramp test. I don’t think were “testing” the right systems with that test in base phase.

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Yep. 8 min test. Plus it’s a real workout on it’s own. I’m decidedly not a ramp tester. Although I may try again… haha! OP consider a different testing protocol as well, but the responses here are probably in line with what to be expected. Keep after it. :+1:

Some people just don’t make good or any gains during base, myself included. I think that I gained like two watts during SSBMV1 and zero after 2, but made good gains when I got to build.
But I could tell that I was stronger outside on the bike for sure after SSB.

@gsilvestri88 don’t let this bother you. Some may agree with me and some may not–I do NOT conduct ramp tests. I find I grossly under-bid myself on a ramp test. I think it’s a good idea to get conduct a ramp test for purposes of evaluating a baseline when you (1) First start structured training, and (2) after a long lay off. I add 1-2 to watts per week, and this has worked for me. Lately, I’ve gone back a few watts, and added a few here and there, because I got nailed w/ two nasty colds back-2-back that put a stop to my training. If you’re training well at 154, don’t drop it. Maintain status quo.

Thank you for all of the advice everyone I really appreciate it! Will keep after it, and I look forward to the gains coming soon!

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I make sure I’m well rested before I take the ramp test, and always have a goal in mind to push for at least three or four more intervals than last time, I know I’m done when I can barely start the next interval and my legs just die lol

A couple thoughts on this:

(1) what source are you using to measure power? A power source at plus/minus 2% will cover the difference as will one at 1% (depending on rounding) so I wouldnt look too far into the perceived drop in ftp.

(2) the focus of base training isn’t really to boost your ftp. While some see gains during base, the focus is to make sure that you have the ability to sustain the efforts in build, specialty and during your events.

(3) on a personal note I spent much of 2019 doing base training and found my ability to hold power over 3-6 hours greatly increased by about 20% where my ftp only went from 250 -> 265. Thismincreased fatigue resistance not only made training easier but also life as I was not as fatigues day to day

So don’t worry too much and stick to your routine and you’ll see gains when you hit build and possibly/probably at the end of base 2

You don’t always get gains from Base 1. You’re not training your VO2max system. Also +/- a few watts is essentially the same. You could have pushed harder and got the same watts that you got last time.

Just keep working through your plan and consider this the first step in a multi-step process.

Also, if your workouts are pretty easy, consider looking for alternative workout variations.

For example if you’re supposed to do Eclipse. Consider going to Eclipse +1.

I’ve been doing this, this cycle and I feel like I’m always getting a hard workout, without trying to step up to the next volume level. I know the high volume plan is too time consuming, but I can certainly do a little more volume that the initial medium volume workouts.

Similar situation, mine gone from 217(SSB LV I) to 214(SSB LV II) but keep 217 as my previous day was not healthy and even feel slight leg cramp before ramp test. 154 to 152 seems neglectable. Keep old value. Good numbers will follow after build phase.

How was your effort last minute?

Good listen Well worth a listen, goes into the detail of various FTP testing protocols, and the positives and negatives of each. There is another thread on here FTP Test that also is well worth reading through.

Personally, I find the ramp test a complete lottery, and rarely does it reflect where my threshold lies, it often gives me a figure that I then exceed in a 25m TT by a considerable margin or even in workouts on the trainer. So much so I no longer use it as not only is it inaccurate for me, it isn’t really a relevant workout for me. No doubt it suits some, but worth listening/reading up on other methods and trying a few to find one that suits you. Personally if your target requires sustained power such as time trials I can’t see why you wouldn’t want to test longer, it’s the nature of most events from Gran Fondos to road racing, so why cut corners when it comes to testing?