Does anyone NOT FTP test? Ramp or otherwise

Just throwing it out there. I am going on my 3rd year of TR. I don’t hate ramp tests at all. I used to really like the 20 min test and the ramp test is fine, though I don’t think it suits me all that well.

But my point is that a test has NEVER surprised me up or down. Going into the tests, I think about what they could/should be and that is about what I get. Now, I can understand that this thinking could influence the 20 min test, with its straightforward math. But in the ramp test, I never figure out ahead of time what I would need to do to get to x level.

Granted, my FTP over the last year has only fluctuated by about 10w +/- overall. I have bigger gains in my goals this year, and wondering if I continue on my incremental FTP increases as I complete work outs and assess how I am feeling vs. testing.


As long as I’m reasonably consistent with training I base it on “right at threshold” type workouts (Lamarck, etc).

Disclaimer is that lately I tend to focus more on extending TTE rather than constantly seeking out increases in FTP. The upside is that after a block of training I almost always see a measurable improvement (longer intervals), even when FTP remains the same. With this approach (which I stole from a WKO4 video), FTP value still often bumps up a few, but I never have a “disappointing FTP test” moment. I know I’m faster because I can go for longer stretches at a given power, my FTP bumps, or both. The former is way easier to achieve for me.

I haven’t ramp tested in months.


This is an interesting perspective, and I’d be willing to bet that many riders on a training plateau probably don’t see enough variability in their FTP to have to test as often as riders who are just getting started.


Great callout. Totally agree.

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I rarely test. Usually coming out of winter into SSB, maybe once middle of year.

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I’ve long convinced myself that I should just not test, because it just doesn’t go well, and I’ve had some luck with adjusting my ftp based on how I’m feeling. I adjusted myself to 285w for ssb2 (when the ramp test suggested 268) after doing 275 during ssb1 and feeling great and I haven’t blown up yet. But, I have been at it a few years and never expect any huge (or any) increases.

I stopped testing after my ramp test post SSB1… At this point my FTP is only going to go up at most 10 watts per training cycle. I wouldn’t be able to go without testing if I hadn’t already gone through 2 base/build/specialty cycles.

Compliance with the settings dictates any increase/decrease. I did have to check my ego once, and now with a January trying something different might have to check it again and drop it 5 watts… still unsure if I need to do that or not. I’m not sure though how to judge compliance with short power build, think it’ll be from the whiteface sort of workouts and xco specialty will be confirmed by the 108% interval compliance.

I haven’t tested in quite a while. I think if I tested it might show a small improvement. But I don’t think I could handle more stress right now, so I’m just skipping the testing. I usually don’t want to taper and do a test either.

I think you should test but the ability to do the workouts is almost as good a barometer. If you’re failing them then you’re either fatigued going into them or your FTP is too high.

Once you’ve been training a while you can probably estimate your FTP within 5 watts, an exception to that is that you’ve trained better or more consistently than before and have a better than expected bump.


For me, it’s a better barometer. I test too high on a ramp test, by about 5 to 8 watts. I know, from how hard I find my familiar over-under workouts or long threshold workouts (e.g. Lamarck, bang on FTP), where my FTP needs to be set.

I just started build and didn’t bother to ramp test. I’ve just transitioned to the TT bike as well, so I left my FTP as it was. Carpathian Peak tonight was very, very hard but “about right”.

I’m trying to pluck up the courage to do a ramp test on my TT bike on the aero bars, just out of curiosity!


I’m making my way through SSB 1 again and thinking I may not do the test again in the future. What workout do y’all substitute for the test?

I don’t do FTP test. I kinda have enough experience to roughly know where where my FTP is. Then I use the long over-under workouts to confirm it. I regularly do the workout Warlow, I know how I should feel when I do it.

Also, if I made it through Lamarck and Leconte, I automatically bump my FTP by 5 watts… until I can’t


Ppl have already mentioned Lamarck and Leconte. Those are good. It’s basically any threshold workout (95%-100%) that has intervals of 10-12mins and total time in zone of about 40mins…4x10 or 3x12 in an hour long workout.

Donner or Darwin bumped up a few %.


I’ll test if I feel like doing a max effort workout and to see if the test confirms what I already know. In fact I feel like I am testing the test to see if works. I usually know my number within 2 or 3 watts.

I used to not test and just guesstimate because the tests were dreadful. But now I’ve no reason to skip with the ramp test.

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I do something different… usually the ramp test falls on VO2 day in the plan, so I swap it with a VO2 workout. Habit I got in as the 8 min tests were a very good VO2 workout. I don’t like to pick something that hard that early in the plan (as lamarck) as there is an intention to some a relatively hard workout but not necessarily a .9+ IF workout.


I love my gadgets – HR monitors, powermeters, oxygenation sensors, etc. – but testing sucks, life is short, and I have enough cognitive and affective load with teaching/mentoring/managing teenagers during the day, taking the daily dive into failure that is the daily work of being a practicing poet, and otherwise adulting. Eff me if I’m doing a power test on a trainer, ever again.

I train by PE and keep an eye on HR. Watts, for me, are descriptive, not prescriptive. A few times each year, after the weather breaks, I do full gas “hour of power” sessions, which I use to set FTP. I’ll do an all-out 5 min once or twice a year.

The alphabet – CTL, FTP, ATL, etc. – are nice ways of attempting to quantify stress and to help plan/measure the stress dose from training. But, if you’ve been doing this for a while and just listen to your body, you don’t need to be a slave to those (and flog yourself through tests).


@Bioteknik Good point about when assessment falls in the schedule. I generally don’t follow TR plans but I am heavily inspired by them.

Yours is an interesting take as it seems like it might suit folks in various parts of the Base>Build>Specialty progression, and not just skewed toward sustained power like me.

Seems like a common theme that is emerging is that you need experience knowing how certain workouts are supposed to feel, ideally ones that you’re going to do anyway.

And as @larry has pointed out, all this might not be advisable for folks starting out with TR.


There’s certain situations where we even recommend tweaking your FTP based on results from a workout that’s not an FTP test. Lamarck is a workout with 4x10-minute intervals set right at FTP, and at the end of that workout the text mentions readjusting your FTP based on performance throughout that ride. It’s one of my favorite workouts since it’s such a good gauge with which to see improvement.


Nope, I can get a general idea where I am at by how a workout feels but if I do not take a test it is just a guess and I do not have a proper assessment. IMHO