Anyone ever get destroyed by a ramp test?

Has anyone else ever been just destroyed for a couple of days after a ramp test?

After my last 3 or so ramp tests, I’ve felt shaky when I’m done, had trouble concentrating, even stringing together complicated sentences is tough for the first couple of hours after (first day when I first had this experience).

With a toddler, I normally do my workouts early in the morning, so the night before I try to have a carb-focused snack, I’ll get about 60g of carbs in a bottle during the test and leave the bottle on the night stand so I can start drinking it as soon as I wake up, and I generally take in 300-350 grams of carbs per day, sometimes more on workout days (depending on what goes into the bottles).

I’m not looking for solutions to anything at this point, as normally by my Thursday workout I’m in a position to finish it, but I’m curious if anyone else has had a similar experience. This doesn’t happen to me after workouts, it’s really only the ramp test.

Doesn’t everybody always feel that way after going way above VO2 max? Way back in the day I was a subject in a study that included weekly VO2 max tests for a month, and recall feeling shattered the rest of the day after each one.

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Holy hell dude. That doesn’t sound normal to me. I’ve never been messed up to the point of not being able to think/talk straight after an ftp test, and I usually do the 20 minute one.
Might be an obvious one, but are you paying attention to hydration and electrolytes? do you normally include high intensity in your training?


I pay close attention to hydration and electrolytes, for sure. I sweat a lot, and it’s really salty, for a ramp test I use a single 600ml bottle of water with about 300mg of sodium. Four longer workouts I’ll take in about a liter per hour, and close to 600mg of sodium. I’ve worked up to this, after doing the “test” with precision hydration and it has definitely helped my cramping.

Higher intensity work has been part of the routine since I started training more seriously in 2018. I starred using TR regularly from December 2018 to May 2019, then started back up in December with SSBLV, and have pretty compliant since then, currently in build.

Wow! To me, it sounds like you’re able to really push yourself to the limit. I’ve never felt like this. Like quite a few TR users, I regularly complete a 30 minute workout after the Ramp Test. I’m guessing you don’t?


Doesn’t sound right too me. Don’t forget, the ramp test is probably only 5-6mins of really hard effort.

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Destroys me too, the idea of doing another (even gentle) workout after a ramp test amazes me. I can do nothing after. Usually slumped over bike, dizzy and trying not to be sick. Totally wrecked…however this only lasts for say 5 mins, then just feel exhausted (still no way I’d do another workout) for another hour or so. But then I’m ok to play with kids/go for walk etc.

Wouldn’t do another hard workout the following day, but after that I’m good to go.


Just a thought, I’m assuming you’re doing the test after a recovery period? Maybe you haven’t completely recovered?

I kinda felt like that once, maybe not as extreme but definitely cooked. But it was when I did an extra ramp test early during what should have been my ramp test (wednesday - stupid i know) and I was ruined well into the following week.

Done the test on other recovery weeks on the Saturday and been fine so I know i need at least 3 or 4 easy days to recover. Some people will need more, some might need less

My first TR ramp test left me unable to unclip for 5 mins, then once managed to get off bike 10 mins laying over a fan holding back vomit. I was back to normal a couple of hours later though with no lasting issues.

I had basically hit my genuine max and held it for that interval, once the power ramped up body said no. Some people seem to have this ability, from my group of friends it is the punchier riders, but the diesel engines rarely have it.

That approach however resulted in a slightly inflated ‘FTP’ value for training, as it was for SSB1 it didn’t really matter so much. It did however flag smashing myself may not be the best approach, instead now I don’t push through my body screaming at me to stop. I could probably do another Z2 workout afterwards after a short active recovery period.

Yup. Ramp tests, races, hard group drop rides. Any time where I’m fresh and highly motivated I have the potential to dig myself into a hole unfortunately! Several hours (or the rest of the day…) of being barely functional, several days of rest or easy training to recover, if it’s a long ride or race it can often be the trigger for getting sick as well. Not a fuelling issue, and it’s something that’s happened to me throughout 25+ years of training for various sports.

My only solution is to try not to go that deep unless it’s a race (can’t race at anything less than 100%!). Doing it in training/testing is counterproductive. Not only does it wipe out a few days of training, if it’s in a test it can also give me an FTP number that I end up having to adjust down anyway to get through the block. Being fresh does seem to be a big factor though, as it’s typically after a recovery week or taper that I find the ability to squeeze out that few extra % that does the real damage. When I’m in the middle of a training block and carrying some fatigue I don’t really have to hold back at all.

I think there’s a plus side to it though. Over the years I’ve found that on those days when I am tapered and prepared to go as deep as I can regardless of the recovery cost, then I tend to get a bigger performance boost relative to my training fitness than most of the people I train with. Often put in race day performances that surprise both myself and others that know me. Just unfortunate that they also often are followed by at least several days and sometimes several weeks of trying to get back to normal :frowning:

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I definitely don’t. This last one (March 31) was the first time where I even considered doing some other sort of physical activity. Surprisingly, I had the legs to take my daughter for a ride in the Burley on a hilly route around a local lake. It was a super low intensity ride, even with the added weight of a trailer and toddler, but a short workout immediately following a ramp test has never felt possible.

This question really resonates, and I think it might be something for me to keep a closer eye on. I’ve been going back through the workouts from the last few training blocks, and I’m seeing a pattern in the charts and notes…

Starting with Base 2, I can consistently complete the Tuesday workout without issue, in the 4th week the Thursday workout starts to become hit or miss on whether I complete it as planned (time or intensity). The 5th week (last intense week) I shifted the workouts to Wednesday, Friday, Sunday to get an extra day of rest, completed without issue, then couldn’t complete Petit and Beech as planned because my legs just had nothing to give.

Next was Build (destroyed after this ramp test for a couple of days), and during the first block of build I struggled to complete everything as planned. I’d chalked it up to the workouts looking more like sustained, high level output, which has never been a strength (I’m now doing what I should’ve started doing 20 years ago, and trained this weakness), but maybe it is just accumulating fatigue. Great observation, and good food for thought.

I think I need to explore this approach. This might be exactly what I did, get an unrealistic FTP value upon which the workouts were then based, which made them unattainable. Thankfully I saw a slight drop in FTP after the last test, so maybe this block will be a bit more achievable.

Nothing to add, @TheJames, except that your avatar/icon is awesome. :+1:

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Ramp test, no.

The 20-minute test, all the time. :face_vomiting:

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My last time (earlier this week), I purposely didn’t dig quite as deep. With all that is going on, I didn’t want an ftp that would wreck me in the harder workouts, and I figure a slower climb in ftp over the course of the year is probably a better long term approach. So, I just decided I’d dig in to make it at least 20 minutes in the test and then tap out before I’m hurting too bad (happened at about 20:20). I might take that approach in the next couple of tests - make sure I can get to 20 minutes so I register a 2% ftp bump and then move on.

I like where your head is at with this, I could probably use a dose of this perspective. Pacing, whether running, riding, or just at life in general, is not my strength. I’ll dig deep on a ramp test believing that I’ll be able to dig equally deep every workout, definitely not accounting for the accumulating effects of fatigue as time goes on.

I’m working on a longer timeline, when I evaluate my goals, and after my only A event of 2020 (unless it gets canceled, won’t know until May 4), my primary goal for this year is weight loss, and building muscular endurance. FTP gains will take care of themselves through consistency, but focusing on growing absolute power is a 2021/2022 endeavor.

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are you sure it is not a fueling issue? Not maybe amount of fuel so much as timing?

I can dig very deep, can completely shell myself in workouts and races, and yet the only time i ever feel truly dizzy or nauseous is with hypoglycemia.

I’m suspicious of this as well, which is part of the reason I keep the bottle with carbohydrate/electrolyte mix on my night stand, so that I can start drinking/taking on fuel as soon as I wake up. Generally, this approach has given me 10-15 minutes from the time I start drinking to the time I start pedaling.

I did switch, just this week, to mixing my own maltodextrin/fructose/electrolyte mix. During SSBII I started experimenting with different off the shelf mixes, and reviewing my notes, I switched from taking in my on-bike nutrition via liquids to solids when I started the first block of build, and I don’t know that that was working for me. I’ll be keeping an eye on how switching back to liquids might impact things.

I was able to get through Washington +4 yesterday without too much issue until the last interval, which is where I would expect to struggle. That doesn’t really add any context to the original ramp test question, but I’m pretty renowned for including more information than is necessary or useful.

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I don’t understand the obsessive need to fuel for such a short, hard test? All the diabetic cyclists that I know say that races or interval sessions result in their blood sugar going through the roof.

Not diabetic, but I eat low-carb and my BG spikes with vo2 max intervals. The liver is very good at cranking out glucose from a variety of substrates (lactate, glycerol [from fat], and protein). I think a lot will depend on the hormonal environment for each athlete.

No, but it does leave me feeling absolutely horrible for a couple of hours. Much worse than other tests. My preference is doing max testing instead of a ramp test. The ramp test is designed to test max aerobic power, and my preference is to do an all-out 4-6 minute effort instead of ramp. And similar for FTP/MLSS estimation, I prefer going out and doing an all-out 20 or 30 or 50-70 minute effort.