20 min FTP test or Ramp test after wrong pacing in 20 minute test


I now completed SSB LV1 and while starting the plan I did a 20 minute FTP test as I have done ramp tests before and noticed that I perform better with the 20 minute test. The result for the 20 min test was 273w. However, while doing a sweetspot workout the day after the intensity felt too easy for sweetspot so I bumped my FTP to 300. I did all other workouts with my FTP set as 300w and all went as planned(including over unders!).

I realized that I went too hard at the beginning of the FTP test and I also find it really hard to give it everything I got in a ramp test. My goal is to improve
my muscular endurance so which testing method should I opt for while starting SSB Lv2? should I go for the 20 min test again?

What FTP did you get from the ramp test?

The final work week of SSB LV1 has three workouts within a few percent of FTP during the work portion. How did those feel?

SSB LV2 will bring you even closer, with gems like Kaweah, Donner, Palisade and Lamarck.

One alternative is to use these past and upcoming workouts to fine tune your FTP setting, however you decide to estimate it. It’s really just about finding the right intensity at which to train.


Your muscular endurance will be improved by the training you do rather than the testing protocol.

It sounds like either test protocol could work for you, you just need to learn HOW to test

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As @pkwell says, the actual figure provided by any of these tests isn’t important (other than stroking your ego when you go from X.y Watts/kg to (X+1).0 Watts/kg), it’s about making sure the workouts are the right intensity for you.

The reasons for switching from the 8min and 20min FTP tests to the Ramp Test have been covered before, indeed - the thread title and your comment:

I realized that I went too hard at the beginning of the FTP test

demonstrate one of them.

You don’t mention how experienced you are at any of the test protocols, certainly with the 8 & 20 min tests you need to know how hard you can push yourself before you actually commit to doing so, another of their failings. With the Ramp test it’s basically one of three things that will cause you to quit: mental; legs; breathing. For me it’s the breathing, though the legs aren’t far behind!, and as I’ve progressed through the plans I’ve figured out that I test about 2% lower than the value I can manage in the workouts so I manually adjust my FTP.

Just because any test gives you an FTP doesn’t mean that it’s correct for you as it’s a generic test and will be accurate for most people but there’ll be outliers both high and low. With a few months of workouts under your belt you’ll be better placed to figure out how it applies to you.

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I was able to complete all of them without much difficulty but was pushed to my limits. I am more used to the 20 minute test so I guess I will stick with it. I will then see how I feel on the subsequent workouts and decide if I want to bump up my FTP or not. So training at the right intensity is my priority now…

Thx for the replies everyone!

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“wrong pacing” is the best reason to do the ramp test instead… no pacing required. If the results are in both cases too low, try to figure out whats wrong on forehand… If you can do workouts @300, the workouts before the test would have been way too easy too.
So you should have increased your FTP before (and paced on that for the 20 minute test). That way you could prevent (or minimize wrong pacing). You need an reasonable estimate of you current FTP for pacing the 20 minute test. it’s difficult when you are new to training with power.

But I would also suggest to check why the ramp test goes wrong. I know it’s not for everybody, but if it works, it’s a really easy and most important repeatable test.
Maybe you were just fatiqued for the ramp?

Wait. You got 273w from the ramp test AND you got 273w from the 20 minute test (from your first post)?

I am sorry. I forgot to mention that the ramp test was done last fall and the FTP test was done in January. I returned to training after a 2 week break from physical activity and a month of unstructured riding.

Heart… I cannot reach my maximum heart rate(207bpm) during a 20 minute test(for the most part) so I usually stay at 175-190bpm during the test. During a ramp test I get completely cooked after reaching my max. heart rate but my legs can still keep pushing.

Ha. Okay well you can’t compare. Go do another ramp test and let us know what results you get.

Also - you can just do both if you want. Ramp test one day and the the 20 minute test the next day and see how they compare.

Compare two test result four months apart isn’t really a good comparison.

Did the ramp test today as I was mentally unprepared to do the 20 minute test. I got 292.5 watts as my FTP and it didn’t hurt much as the 20 minute test! just 4 minutes of pain and that’s it!!

I will see how the subsequent workouts feel and decide if I need to change it or not.I have given it everything I got in this ramp test so I will keep that in mind. My best one minute power was 390W. I guess I will stick with the ramp test from now on.

so to summarize,

at the start of SSB LV1 - did a 20 minute FTP test - result: 273W. Sweetspot workouts felt too easy so I bumped my FTP to 300W and I was able to hit the targets.

now, at the start of SSB LV2- did a ramp test- best 1 minute power: 390W, FTP: 292.5W. Pretty sure I can’t compare the two or can I?

This is the whole reason why the ramp test exists

You can’t. I mean, you’ve done so much training between now and then.

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I think there’s a strong case for simply estimating your FTP as well. For those that don’t do well with the ramp, or find the longer protocols very demanding (even the 8 min test would greatly alter my weekly training plan).

I’ve heard a lot of people talk about estimating their % increase in FTP. I just bumped mine up 5% and I think it’s probably pretty close. For newer riders probably should stick to the ramp test. I need to attempt it again, I have a pretty big mental block with it because I always under test with it. I think the more you ride inside the easier it is to understand where your FTP should be set to, and the more you learn your body estimating FTP probably becomes more useful.