Best time to do a ramp test

I know TR now recommends AI FTP detection, but I still like to do a ramp test from time to time.
And I have a question. My first 3 ramp tests showed constant increase from 161W to 207W (but I started from being pretty unfit) and each time I had done the test during a training block with no previous rest.
My next two ramp tests came each after a recovery week and I got a result of 200W even if AI FTP detection detected first 208 and then 211 right after (or before, I can’t remember) my latest ramp test.

So my question is whether it is wise to do a ramp test as a first workout after a recovery week and a rest day, or if I should so some priming workouts before the test.

thanks for your help!

“Best” is relative (lame alternate to “it depends”) :wink:

Seriously though, some people are fine hitting a ramp test or hard workout right after a recovery week. Others prefer some form of “opener” to get their mind & body ready for the test. There is no absolute, so the only way to know what works best for you is to try both methods, review the results and go from there.

For the sake of consistency, it’s best to do the same thing before each test (opener or not as desired, weekly timing, etc.) so you introduce at least one less variable to the mix.

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Since training is always personal to you as the individual I do best with at least one opener workout. I also did best with some type of short warmup(10 to 20 minutes) before had with a few efforts. Even better with some type of muscle activation before doing the warm up. Do you get it you can always add one more thing to make it better. Find something that works for you and stick with it.

I have done multiple ramp tests over the 3 years here is my protocol. I perform the Ramp Test on a Tuesday after a recovery spin on Monday 30 to 45 minutes “AFTER” the recovery week or “Post Season” break. In the afternoon usually about 4 to 5:00 p.m. Lots and lots of fast carbs rice, pasta’s, lean meats and veggies for meals. Nothing heavy. Lunch at 12 to 1, snack in the car ride home at 3ish which is usually crackers, rice cakes something again light. Get home bibs on, make carb drink bottles 20 oz 50 grams. Grab a banana and head to barn. If I test in summer time I will turn the air on in the barn to make it as cold as possible in the morning.

I will bounce between Zwift or TR I really can’t tell only difference to me is Zwift jumps in 20W increments where Trainer Road is more percentage based on your FTP. Will do “Rogers” to get things going and follow up the Ramp test immediately. No caffeine, no AMP or Lactigo to help reduce burning sensations. Then after I am down usually 30 minutes at zone 2 to cool off as a free spin in zwift. Wednesday as a recovery day 30 - 45 minutes in zone1 and the do a 20 minute FTP test on Thursday to confirm results. I usually only do that maybe twice a year. I also don’t use the AI FTP feature as I think it moves up or down incorrectly sometime.

I know this was long but hopefully you can get something out of that.

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At a push 3:20pm

The better thing to do is not to put so much weight on a ramp test. Just do it and you will know if the test is about right when you do your workouts. Be ready to either adjust it a little or repeat if you think it’s not correct.

Hey @dave76 ! Great question :slight_smile:

As @mcneese.chad mentioned, it really depends on the individual, and you’ll probably most likely to find out what works for you if you keep things the same before each test and start changing one variable at a time.

By looking at your Calendar, I did notice that most of your Ramp Tests, with the exception of your last one, where you completed a SS Workout 2 days prior, have about 3-4 Endurance rides leading into it.

By plain observation, I would guess you’re more likely to perform better after a Recovery Week, hence the Endurance rides, than, say, a training week where you are completing higher zone-level workouts.

Again, you’ll need to test things out for yourself. But it’s important to note that, unlike AI FTP Detection, there are outside factors that can affect your Ramp Test that go beyond a Recovery Week or training week. Just to name a few, these can include poor sleep, stress, equipment, etc…

I have to agree with @Alen as well :slightly_smiling_face: Since you’ve done multiple Ramp Tests already and are familiar with them, just do the Ramp Test, and you’ll most likely know if something is off with the result. In these case scenarios, don’t be afraid to adjust your FTP manually by 5-10 points. Adaptive Training will work in tandem with your Progression Levels and fill in the gaps as you start completing workouts and recommend the necessary adaptations to your training plan.