Clinical FTP test

Hey all-

On Monday I will undergo a two-layered fitness test: cycling and running. The test will be in a ‘clinical’ environment, meaning I will be wearing a mask etc. Not sure how it’s called , but this type of work:

I took the test also in 2019 and it will determine for me my power- and heart-rate zones, my VO2 max. and potentially some other things I’m forgetting now.

Coincidental, I have an FTP Ramp Test planned the day after. Would you agree I can skip the Ramp Test and use the FTP result from the fitness test on Monday?


Maybe. Depends on the equipment in use (bike, trainer, related body position, etc.) and if it is identical to your normal training setup or not.

  • If the gear is notably different, it could easily impact the relative results of your FTP.
  • The simple difference in flywheel speed on a single trainer can lead to differences, not to mention if you have an entirely different trainer with the same bike.
  • Fans / Cooling could also have a huge impact if these conditions differ.
  • Then there’s the fact that you are testing with a mask that could well lead to differences in mental state at the least (according to accounts I’ve heard) vs not having one on in regular training.

Then I see a potential issue with the relative timing of the fact that you seem to be doing two tests in the same period.

  • Bike or run first, and the recovery time between them might yield different results vs just one on a given day.

Long story short, you have to consider what is the same vs different between your testing situation and your actual training where you plan to apply that data.


In addition to all of @mcneese.chad points, unless you are going to do a lab FTP test every time, it probably makes sense to do the TR Ramp Test so that given your current fitness capabilities, you can see how well (or not) the Lab FTP test and the TR Ramp Test align. You could then use this info to scale what a future TR Ramp Test gives you.

For example, lets say that the Lab FTP test gives you 300 watts, but the subsequent TR Ramp Test gives you 330 watts. That would say that given your current physiological makeup, you “over test” on the TR Ramp Test, and you might want to scale down by ~9 - 10% future TR Ramp Test FTP values.


Thanks for your insights - I did not think of the difference in set-up, equipment, etc. (Bike will be first, by the way.)

So far the TR Ramp Tests that I took didn’t cause me to fail any workout afterwards, so not sure I’d need to scale down the results if the difference is very big between clinical and TR test.

For now I think it’s best to take both tests and see. If you’re interested, I can report back on it here.

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It was a hypothetical scenario.

Personally, I just do the test the same as possible whenever possible for repeatability, not accuracy. I really don’t give a damn what my FTP is, the number is meaningless outside of doing intervals.

You should wait a week and do you ramp. I would not do maximal testing two days in a row and expect to be able to perform equally on day 1 and 2

I would actually do the ramp test a day or two before the clinical trial. At least for me, ramp tests aren’t super taxing, meaning they don’t affect workouts the next day or even running in the afternoon.


Had the clinical test this morning. It definitely is not the same as a TR Ramp Test and will therefor do the Ramp Test tomorrow or day after. Not only in terms of set-up, but also as what/how they calculate.

The clinical test determines what we could call FTP as the moment you enter your anaerobic zone, meaning the moment lactate (starts to) overtakes oxygen levels (correct me if I’m wrong). -Edit: It does so via the analysis of one’s breathing, hence the mask.-

I have yet to receive the final results, but the MD already shared that this point is at 315W for me. I maxed out at 390W, whereas two years ago I maxed out at 345W. In that sense I am already very satisfied. Also the running I did better at: went into anaerobic at 14.5 km/h instead of 14 km/h two years ago.

For reference, my last FTP Ramp Test put me at 316W. That was on May 11th.


So, for some closure: today did the TR Ramp Test and was put at 318W. Relatively minor difference with the clinical test. Will keep TR at 318 (+0,6%, yeah!).