AI FTP vs FTP Tests ... why?

The title is a bit cryptic, but I really couldn’t find something better to write. I was just wondering … everybody seems to love AI FTP because they don’t have to do FTP tests, but why? I personally love tests!

Ramp tests aren’t my favorite, because they aren’t hard enough. But doing a 20-minute all-out effort is fun! Sufferfests 4DP-test is really fun, when using their platform I was always looking forward to the next test.

And going all-out for an hour on the bike. Indoors or outdoors. I love it. Going so hard for an hour I need to take a 5-minute break before being able to ride the last 2km home :innocent:

So I had this discussion with a friend today, who hates these tests, but couldn’t really explain why. So now I’m asking here. Why don’t people like doing FTP-tests?


I see value in “testing” because there is a lot of self discovery in truly capacitive efforts but basing entire training blocks on your execution on test day can throw someone off. What if you have a bad day? Next 4 weeks are suddenly 15W lower than they should be.

AI is awesome because in my experience the prediction has been right on the money. It’s not stopping me from all out durations of any distance but now I’m just not using those to base my training


Is this a trick question? You don’t update your ftp…


Fear of failure
Fear of not being able to push myself hard enough.
Fear of the pain I am going to be going through
Fear of having to do another one if I have a bad day.
Fear of my FTP being lower than before.

Last week I did the AI FTP test, and my FTP was down 2w.
Ive decided to keep that result as I’ve just started SSBMV after my A race.
I had to take a few days rest (post race) as I was so exhausted, mentally and physically, and was in the pits the day after ,so didn’t really get any rest.
So the burning question is… to do, or not to do …a real live ramp test


That specific fear isn’t relevant anymore, if you don’t fear the test in the frist place :wink:


Great for you, but “testing” as a broad topic is far from “fearless” for a large chunk of the population. There are countless topics, books, movies and other support products related to testing in a general sense, and some crosses over directly to FTP testing.


More rhetorical. It’s not always easy to tell whether a result is good or not. Going down 5 or 10 watts might be exactly what the athlete needs, but pride says keep it at XXX watts. And it could take 5 or 10 workouts to accept that it’s set too high.

Or, if an athlete just isn’t familiar with truly emptying the tank. If they’re always fighting that inhibition. They’ll chronically be too low. All sorts of things can crop up with focusing on a singular test day and basing training off it.


Too long @ high intensity.

Either give me a 1-5min all out effort because it’s over soon.

Or give me a 10+h effort because the intensity isn’t there.

20-60min is the worst of both worlds. Too long to be almost over. Too short to be chill.


Ramp tests would drastically underestimate for me, its just the way it is. Something like whilst the ramp hs great for 90% of people, it under or over estimates for around 10%. A properly paced 20min test will give me a FTP circa 50w higher and even a poorly paced one will give a FTP 30w higher. 20min tests take a bit out if you (more than a ramp test) so I’d rather not do them too many times in the season. My ex coach also preferred to avoid them mid season. So AI FTP is a definitive :+1: from me but if the ramp works for you @ClausJensen feel free to continue doing them. The podcast has talked about this several times.


I don’t like ramp tests
I don’t like the 20 minute test
I quite like Kolie Moore’s tests, but don’t necessarily want to do one of those every four weeks

That’s why I like AI FTP detection.


Couple reasons I think it’s really compelling and total game changer for TR. 1) It seems much more consistent. Granted, how it’s calculated is mostly a black box, but it’s seemingly not susceptible to conditions or bad feelings on test day. 2) You’ll have a great, consistent picture of your fitness over time. When I’ve used max tests, it relies on my getting out and doing them regularly, and sometimes I just miss, so reviewing a season, I’ll have gaps in tracking progress.

Adrenaline is fun. Endorphins are fun. I don’t get a rush of either from testing. But if you love to suffer for 20 minutes, I’d be happy to grab your wheel if I can hold it…


AI FTP is more popular because people want to train, not do FTP tests. It provides TR with a strategic edge over other competitors.

If you want to do capacitive efforts go ahead.


I don’t mind the ramp test too much, it’s only 5. 5 minutes of discomfort and 2 minutes of suffering but I much rather do a productive workout than suffer for 2 minutes


I dont love AI FTP and maybe you prefer tests… so that is two of us. You did write “everybody seems to love…” though to be fair.

people are scared of feeling uncomfortable, it is the same reason why people don’t like very hard workouts


Scared is the wrong word, I look at this way, ‘but was it fun?’ if the answer is nope and there is an alternative then I’ll take that.

Can do a more productive and fun workout instead. Fun might also be the wrong word but I get a decent endoprhin kick from SS, threshold & O/U workouts.

Am also generally not a fan of sessions close to or at max heart rate. Would be happy to be pointed toward any literature on the benefits or disbenefits. It’s hard to pick out anything useful from a quick google.


In a weird sort of way I like pushing to feel uncomfortable sometimes for what feels like a productive process; the ramp just isn’t productive for me. I’d rather push to that uncomfortable level on a 20mins test which is more productive for me. But I realise that its going to take a longer time to recover from a 20mins test (and will probably take longer again as I age) and thats just not productive resultswise mid season so I have to refrain from them and AIFTP D is a great option for me.


I’m just wiped after a ramp test for the next few hours

I’d say a mix, it’s no longer critical to test every 4-6 weeks to progress your workouts. I think a test every so often is useful to validate the prediction but maybe you only do them every 3-4 months. I moved back from ramp test to the 20 min test when I do them, as I think it’s harder and gives me a better indication of where my threshold lies.

I think doing your workouts in resistance mode can also free you up a bit. See the intensity of the intervals as a range rather than a fixed value. For instance for VO2 you might work at a minimum of 115% and max of 130% based on interval length. Feeling good, move up the range, not quite so good work at bottom of range.