Bombed an FTP test....Should I manually increase my FTP?

Hi all,

I spent last Saturday and Sunday cutting a bunch of branches off the trees overhanging my house. For those of you who haven’t done this, you do this a using saw on the end of a 10-15 foot pole. You reach up and put the saw on the top/side of the branch and saw up and down by pulling on the end of a long pole. I realized Monday that this a hamstring and triceps intensive exercise as both muscle groups were quite sore. Today, Tuesday, I attempted to do a scheduled ramp test. I was feeling good midway through, my HR was low for the effort. I calculated after the test that I was averaging about 4bpm less and doing about 10 more watts than the comparable step of my last ramp test. About halfway through step 14 my left hamstring cramped and I had to stop. I figure I had about 8-10bpm left before I hit my max HR.

My plan is to increase my FTP about 3% and start my build phase. Does this sound reasonable? or perhaps I should take a second rest week and retest?

Any input appreciated,

The test isn’t a lot of stress so, if me I’d re-take it the next day.


You’ve given no info on the reason you expect that a 3% increase in FTP is practical (other than going into a test with not enough rest).

Any estimate on FTP increase would require some review of the workouts in the recent past, and how they went vs the expected demand. If they felt good to easy, an increase is likely. If you were scraping by or using bailouts, then an increase could be problematic.

I suggest rest and retest.


“You’ve given no info on the reason you expect that a 3% increase in FTP is practical”

Oh, I read that one could expect 3-5% gains per block. That is how I came to that number.

I do feel stronger but I’ll take it easy this week, retest, and see how it goes.


  • As ever, the YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary) axiom applies.
    • If you search, you will see LOTS of posts on the forum where people don’t gain anything and even lose FTP.
  • Point being that nothing is guaranteed.
    • You should plan to test and evaluate your own progress. You could see greater gains for all we know, or be one that takes a backward step. We simply have no info to even make a reasonable estimate of you matching that estimate or being totally off in one direction or another.
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I would fully expect a lessened result with DOMS going on in the legs. However, I have no basis on which to judge what a reasonable “bonus” would be. I vote that you get over the DOMS and retest.


One thing to keep in mind. Don’t chase FTP increase as a mark of success. The FTP test is to set your training levels. In the past I used to leave my FTP at a higher value (for ego reasons) and try to ‘train into’ the updated value. Often I had to bump the workouts down to complete them. I think you are better to have your FTP a little low, and bump UP the workouts if they are too easy. Like others said, you can do the ramp test more often than in the program.

Also read up on the intent of each workout. If an under/over workout ends up being VO2, you are going to burn out eventually. So be mindful of the current workout and subsequent workouts.


Never accept a lower FTP number if you’re still able to do the workouts at the old one and you know you could have gone harder.

Just redo the test.

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Don’t guess your FTP, as it just leads to another thread starting, “I Can’t complete my sweet spot workout”


FWIW I’m cr@p with the ramp test and ERG. I tested a disappointing 238w on Tuesday, my test a mid July was 265w. I expected to have lost some watts after a sh1t month but not 27w. At the start of tonight’s session coach Chad said to switch off ERG and treat the session like a test of the FTP test. The result was a 20min max of 262w, including the 2min 50% recovery, a theoretical FTP of 249w which is more in line with what I was expecting :grinning: A bit off my FTP at the start of May of 281w or my best pre op and iron tablet boosted FTP of 308w but hey ho :grinning:

The plans have the tests in them for a reason but you also have a good reason being your own coach to make an exception to what the plan calls for.

Bump it 3% and go for a week through all of the workouts. You will quickly realize if you made the right choice.

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