5 min power from ramp test

I have been reading here various threads related to focusing of moving ftp up as a percentage of VO2 max vs raising VO2 max. My take away is that if ones ftp is a relatively high percentage of VO2max (say over 80%) then it makes more sense to focus on raising VO2 max. Some of the posts refer to 5min power from the ramp test. How do I find my 5min power from ramp test results? Just average the final five minutes? Thanks

Open the workout on the web. Below is a personal record chart you can read the best 5min average power from.

1 Like

Be aware that the 5 minute power from the ramp test will ALWAYS be the same percentage of FTP (approximately 121% of FTP). This is because the target power of the ramp test increases by a fixed percentage (6%) of the starting FTP value each minute. The relationship between the target power over the last 5 minutes and over the last 1 minute is therefore “locked” by design.

So if you are asking yourself “What percent of FTP can I hold for 5 minutes?” you won’t get a useful answer from the ramp test. You need a different workout or ride to gauge your all out best 5 minute effort.

  • That is true if the rider (and/or trainer via ERG) have closely matched the power steps.

  • However, if for any reason (rider inattention or lack of adherence to the power targets) can lead to some variation of the results at any point in the Ramp test (1-m or 5-m times included).

  • So, it’s still a good idea to check the actual data from the Ramp test rather than assume perfect match to the targets.

1 Like

Totally agree. Bigger point is that the ramp test is not a test of one’s 5-minute power.


Someone correct me, but your 5 min power from the Ramp Test is not indicative of what your actual 5 min power would be if you were doing a test solely to establish 5 min power. Is this correct?

1 Like

The ramp rest isn’t designed to determine a 5 minute max, but it’s a pretty close representation for me.

1 Like

It takes exactly 5 minutes to determine your 5 minute power. Do a 5 min max effort.


and then to do frac utilization you need to independently determine FTP from another test (e.g. 20-min) or other long max effort (like a race).

:+1: and if you do that, might as well do a real long max effort test for FTP.

1 Like

Once upon a time, I thought like you did. However, I learned that I was wrong.

I recommend that you design your training around your competitive goals, not some power ratio.

Your max 1 minute average power from the ramp test should be very close to your power at VO2 Max (TR’s ramp test is a bit different from MAP testing protocol). The FTP:MAP ratio is between 72%-78% and should hold true enough for TR’s ramp test. When using Hunter Allen’s FTP test, you would normally compare the 5 minutes all-out VO2 Max test against the 20 minutes timed trial to see were your ceiling is. If it’s on the lower %, you might consider pushing up from below (intensity at or below FTP) to expand you capacity at FTP. If on the higher end, more VO2 work to raise the power at VO2 Max (height of the ceiling). With the ramp test, selection of training plan (specifically the build) should address the “height” of the ceiling vs extending the duration at FTP as a general pass. To be more specific, you should do a time to exhaustion test.

Zone 5 or VO2 Max with power range up to 120% does not mean your power at VO2 Max is 120% of FTP. It’s a training level that represent the upper limit/prescription that is used to improve your power at VO2 Max (for the “average” person, think how sweet spot training work to raise FTP).

I was wondering about the same thing. Over the last 2 ramp tests I did, my 5 minutes power averaged respectively 165 and 185. With FTP estimations of 136 and 150. Is it reasonable to set the training at VO2max intensities at the ramp test average 5 minutes power? I undestand that some of that 5 minutes average power is obtained through work well below VO2max and some from well above the 120% of FTP. In the case of the last ramp test it is about 2 minutes below 180 and 3 minutes over.