Feature Request - Blind Ramp Test

After reading a fair amount of literature outlining how the brain and expectations/experiences of RPE influence failure, I’m wondering if it would be useful to “blind” the ramp test (thereby not being constrained by previous results - as I know I am…).

It would be useful to have the option of removing all metrics from the screen, with the only visual indicators of if you are hitting the required power would be the normal workout track (i.e., the blue bars - can’t think of the proper term), and perhaps some kind of +/- X watts as power fluctuates above/below the target power.

I had a breakthrough in FTP moving from the 8 min test to the Ramp Test, but have stagnated a little since (if I get to 19:30 in the Ramp Test, I mentally check out a little) and I have a feeling not knowing power would give a better indication of what was physiologically possible without the brain getting in the way.

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I am an advocate for doing blind Ramp tests. That’s the only way I do them now.

In short:

  • It needs a smart-controlled trainer in ERG mode for best use.
    • You need a power target with dumb trainers and that defeats the purpose of the blind approach.
    • You might get better results by seeing just the line graph, but that may not work well. I can’t say as I’ve never tried, but may not be ideal.
  • I recommended covering everything except cadence.
    • Keep below too high of cadence and do your best to be smooth and consistent through the test. Eventually, you will get fatigued and cadence will tend to drop.
  • You can use various methods to hide the data (except cadence) from sticky notes and such. I do that and it works well.
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I agree this would be useful. But the easy way is to just turn the screen off or turn the iPad / phone away whilst in ERG mode

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On Win10, you only need to bring another app on top of TR. Turn off comments, and you’re done.

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How do you ‘blind testers’ get around knowing that 19:30 is a magic number?

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I might ask my wife the next time to randomly set a “new” FTP at the beginning of my test. Or just not look at my time.

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As stated, I hide EVERYTHING other than cadence.

That means not watching the workout timer and I also cover the clicks in my room. I have no data other than cadence accessible during my tests.

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Some good suggestions - makes me wish I had erg mode…

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Isn’t that the point of the blind test? As you can’t see the time, your relying more on sensations than a magic number. All you really need to see is cadence

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Yes, my personal intent in testing “blind” is to remove the “goal” time, power and heart rate. That stuff messes with my head and I often freak out if it seems too hard or too easy at different points in the test.

The beauty of the Ramp is that you can simply pedal along and continue until you can’t (assuming ERG use). The point is to go to complete failure and maximum capability on the given day. Failure can come from the legs, lungs, head or any combo.

By removing the 19:30 “target” (and the others) I just have to keep pushing and telling myself, “one more minute… keep on pushing… you can do it…” and whatever else enters my head in the moment. For me and others, that extra data is unnecessary at least, and potentially detrimental to our performance in the test.

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I agree with @mcneese.chad here. I also put my playlist on shuffle so I can’t tell the time by the music. Just keep pedalling until your teeth fall out.

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Good point I forgot to mention. Yes, set playlists can be an issue too, if you know their run length.

I use shuffle just as you mention to keep it more variable. I still have an idea on song length, but unless I am doing the math of the various song lengths (which I don’t allow myself to do), I still have no effective knowledge on the test duration.

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I was just about write a new post about this.

I have just done my 2nd real ramp test after getting my Watt Bike Atom. I would like a ramp test where all I saw is the 1 minute countdown timer.

I found as I got closer to what I knew was my old limit I found it harder to push through. My cadence numbers dropped. I found the numbers just re-enforced the end was coming. I know this mind over matter, but would like to concentrate on the time and not let the other numbers rub it in :slight_smile:

I just did a ramp test yesterday and had my eyes closed from about 10 minutes on. It’s a good feeling when you finally look up and see 20+ minutes on the clock.

However, I do know how long the songs are on my playlist. Might have to switch to shuffle as someone else mentioned.

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I did my first blind test today. I put a towel over my iPad. I broke 200 watts for the first time. I’m now at 203. Not huge by most on this forum, but nice to break 200.

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I’ve been doing the ramp test with my phone screen off since getting a smart trainer, and I love it.

Just…go.

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I’m a fan of the blind test, but I kind of use both to my advantage. I’ll stay blind up until it feels really really hard and then I’ll use my suggestion to get further. If 19:30 is your only goal then it will be a limiter. Try retraining your brain that 20:15 is the goal. You can hold on for another 45 seconds and that’s like 9-10 watts on your FTP.

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I’m not sure that changing to a blind test makes much sense for the following reasons:

  1. You’re changing your testing protocol which means you won’t necessarily have an accurate reflection of your power to compare with previous results

  2. What is the aim of going blind? Presumably it is to try and achieve a higher FTP. That must mean you’re flying through all of your workouts easily and could handle more stress in your training. But, if that’s the case, why not manually bump up your FTP or individual workout intensity?

EDIT
Just to add to this. I can see why going blind would be good for a race or other high level performance situation, but not for the test, since the test will dictate the intensity of all further training. I often end a ramp test around a milestone time (normally a full minute) and this is definitely a mental restriction, but I find the FTP I get from this test serves me well for a full training program following on from it.

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I don’t just advocate for a blind ramp test. I also like to do my workouts blind as well where it makes sense. It’s not always easy to free your mind enough to squeeze out the maximum you can do and I personally think this helps. Yes, I’m sure the number you get from doing it non-blind is good enough for a following training program. And yes, I could manually adjust my FTP, but this works well for me. Its one less thing for me to think about and that is what I “think” my FTP is. I just test, get a new number and go with it.

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I would like this option. Though doing it on a non-smart trainer, I cannot see that working. If I had one, I would definitely prefer it blind. That way my mind does not beat me as easily.