Doesnt Max Heart Rate tell you your FTP?

The more I wear a heart rate monitor while doing TR, the more I understand exactly where I am at in my efforts.
I know 172 is my max because no matter how intense I get, it never passes this threshold on any workout in the last year.
So my question is… Is it not safe to assume that once I hit my max heart rate on a Ramp Test and then maintain that for as long as I can (about a minute or two), is it not safe to assume that I’ve gone all in on that test for that day?
Furthermore… why blow myself up to get 3mins? Why not assume about two mins will be my max and then extrapolate from there once I get to max heart rate.
Ie… 30sec into 280w, I reach max heart rate.
Assuming I can sustain this for about two mins, why not stop the test there and base the results off of an assumed 300w after two mins?
I ask this partly because I am that lazy as to not want to test, yet again, how long I can hold max heart rate… It hasnt changed in a year. And partly because, I wouldnt mind getting in another workout on ramp day. If I dont blow myself up, I think i could do that.

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“Thats Why they play the game.”

If you are going to estimate a ramp test because “you are that lazy” (your words) why not just use AI FTP detection?


Are you saying your HR caps out and you still have 3 minutes of effort left? I’m intrigued… I definitely don’t have that experience. Last 3 minutes of my last ramp test my HR went from 164 to 171bm. Looking over several more previous ramp tests my HR has never “maxed out” 3 minutes before ending, and the last minute usually still eeks out 1BPM more.

I’m left thinking if you don’t want to test you should just stick with ai ftp?

AI FTP tends to drive up my FTP in a way that feels unsustainable in my workouts

Exactly. I hit max HR and know I have about two minutes before I’m cooked… with no increase in HR after 172. A full two minutes is generous. I’ve actually never gotten to three so I pretty much k ow thats beyond my capability at this point.

I haven’t done a ramp test for a year now due to AI FTP Detection, but the last time I did I got the results in the graph. My experience is that the HR will increase steadily throughout the test and eventually I will not be able to keep up. I typically end at the same max every time plus minus a beat.

I am from being able to keep the max for three minutes. Especially given that you get an increased watt target in ERG mode every minute I will have to increase my heart rate or fail the test.

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I don’t think workouts are the best way to reach max HR. Even with the ramptest i’ve never my absolut max. Would get to around 185bpm on the ramp test. Then i did a Zwift race where it was push for 10s more or get dropped and it went to 190bpm.

As for the HR to FTP question. HR is just way to variable to give you an good number. On one day my threshold HR is 175, but if i do a threshold workout after two hard rides before, it will be somewhere around 170.


Probably not you HR max, in fact almost certainly not, it is probably in the 175-180 range.

In short the answer to the title: No

So you want to use an estimate (false assumption of max HR) and then assume you can hold it for a given time and this is good enough to estimate MAP and then the assumption you are in the middle of the bell curve to use the multiplier 0.75 to estimate FTP?

If aiFTP does work for you or you dont fancy doing the ramp test to completion, try a long form test, 45 minute TT should good enough. :wink: :grinning:


Thats what the post ride surveys tackle. Just use AI FTP D and if it feels unsustainable mark surveys as ‘All Out’.


Often (But not always) this is also due to the user. Are you doing these TR Workouts on the trainer, answering post workout surveys honestly, and not blowing yourself up with extra “unstructured” workouts or swapping all sorts of workouts around?

AI FTP is fantastic, but it can get less accurate the less you adhere.

With that said, just do the tests, or use AI FTP. Multiple people have said it above, HR is too variable.

If you want to do a longer form test, check out the Kolie Moore Thread on his protocol. Remember, “tests” are good workouts too and tell you what you can really do in real life situations so there’s value in them beyond knowing the number…


No need to push at max HR for two minutes: just go all-out for about an hour and there you have it. Also, no need to do another workout that day :wink:


For what it’s worth, my max heart rate readings usually show up when I don’t have HR displayed and always outside on the final, all out pushes to stay away and ‘win’ our spicy weekend group rides.

Not seeing the number perhaps removes one more governor.

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Stop looking at your HR during a workout / interval…you are “programming” your brain / body to quit once you hit ~172.

So many people will glance at their HR during an interval and say “Oh jeez, I can’t hold this” and then blow up.


Yea, i’ve never hit my max on the trainer let alone on the ramp test. I sounds counter intuitive that you should hit your Max HR when doing the ramp but it is a FTP test and not a max effort test. FTP is an effort based on how hard you can go for a longer (about an hour) period of time and no one has been at their max for an hour.
Some people can find their max on a trainer but i think the best i’ve seen is about 2-5 beats below what i’ve seen training or racing.


Hum, I never hit my max HR on a ramp test or attempted to hold it for 3 minutes. My max HR typically hits when I’m sprinting. Indoors, that’s typically after the first or second attempt while pushing out >1000w peak power (more of a stump than a true sprint).

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Yes… I think you are mirroring what I am seeing. Increase to max heart rate. Hold for as long as possible (about 2 mins for me and 3 mins for you). Then failure.

Thank you. Good suggestions. I do use AI FTP, but I also use intermittent Ramp tests to keep it in check. Otherwise, it feels like it thinks I’m better than what I am. I wouldnt mind doing the long test as well… I’ll give that a shot.

Thank you for the input. I think what I am seeing from the responses is some riders never hit max HR. I wonder if thats what happens as you become a more developed rider. Maybe I am getting there sooner because of my age and/or fitness level.

I can see why you might think that. I’ve tested myself for that exact reason by not looking at heart rate as you suggest. For me, I can tell where I am at starting at about the 130’s within 2 or 3 bpm based on how I feel and respiration. So it really doesnt matter if I look at it or not. I can definitely tell in the 150’s to 160’s pretty much exactly where I am at. This doesnt correspond with power output because there are too many factors there… but my heartbeat and respiration always give me the same feeling based on where they are at.

That’s interesting. I’ll go check out my last “blow up” race

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