First Ramp Test impressions and a query

Hi All,
Yesterday I completed my first test, It wasn’t as dreadful as It’s sometimes portrayed. I do recognize that there’s a willpower element that affects the result. I think I could have gone a bit harder. Next time I will hide the HR number.

My question:

Towards the end of the test, I felt I had a lot of legs still left for pushing for longer, however It was my heavy breathing was reaching the limits…Is this common?. Any insight, based on this observation about my particular weaknesses?


There’s a few threads on this and there was a discussion on the pod cast if I recall it’s more to do with reaching your maximum oxygen intake and then your central governor, being your brain, pulls the plug for you. I often finish ramp tests heaving huge lung gulls of air but my legs aren’t fully cooked. It’s trying to fivd your maximum 1 minute power and scale it back to your FTP.
If you can keep going as your focus narrows and you think you’ve done a good enough job that’s great. Your next few work outs will show whether it’s near or not and you can always manually adjust it up or down.
Sure soneone will be along shortly to give you the science and more eloquent answer. There’s also a TR FAQ on the ramp test…
I think most find after a few minutes they can knick out an hour endurance session - I know I can and do.

1 Like

What @Johnnyvee said, plus make sure that you are breathing effectively.

Breathing faster but too shallow can provide your body less oxygen than breathing slower and deeper. That’s why hyper ventilating is bad.

Some people (me included) have a tendency to tense up or a poor fit in the bike and that can also restrict your breathing.

Then There’s allergies. I can feel fine, but if I don’t take my allergy pills everyday, then I struggle to breath well for the first 15 minutes of intensity. If I just stay on top of my meds, then all is well

1 Like

I consider them much less dreadful than any of the other assessments.

Next time you’ll probably do a better job at pushing yourself to the limit.

I’m going to agree that you flip your phone over or hide the HR number when it starts to get high.

Otherwise, I really don’t know if you’ve indicated any other weaknesses other than just needing to do this assessment more than once.

Just adding that I have never once finished the ramp test feeling that my legs had topped out - it’s always my breathing as that’s the limiter in getting oxygen to my muscles and processing the by products in my legs. Learn to force out all the air actively and let your lungs fill - breathing deeper as @huges84 says can make a big difference in this but also many workouts.
You could try this by finding a Vo2 Max workout do one interval without thinking about your breathing and then a later one try deeper active breathing and see if it makes a difference. You’d only have to do a few intervals to see if it makes any difference and try to spin faster than normal if you can. On the group workouts that Amber and Chad have done they’re all spinning around 100 rpm.

1 Like

What is limiter depends where you are with your fitness:

  • 1 year ago when started, my legs gave up first
  • after 2x SSB legs were fine but breathing became limiting factor
  • currently in middle of SusPB, let’s see what next test brings

Regarding hiding HR, I prefer knowing it during test: it’s little mental boost, not giving up before reaching at least same level as previous test (in year went step by step from 192 -> 205bpm during final minute)

1 Like

How long did you last before you bailed? That can give us some indication of how far into the workout you made it and how far you’ll need to go next time. The break even point for your second test is around 19:30. Since this was your first test, it could be likely that you exceeded that because the arbitrary FTP value you start with may be low. Or it may be high. Your next test will be a better relative comparison.

1 Like

and if you do it with a laptop or PC you can watch that estimated FTP figure creep up as an added incentive… :slight_smile:

1 Like

I started the test, did the 5 min mandatory warm up. Then, did 15 one minute efforts at 5% increments + 11 seconds of the last increment (#16). My estimated FTP was very close to the number given by the ramp test.

So 20:11 seconds is a good result. Assuming the FTP you started with was a good estimate, you had to put forth a strong effort to get basically 41 seconds past the break even point and if you weren’t doing your first test, you would have seen a pretty good improvement with this result. You can expect the rest of your testing to be similar and perhaps not even make it quite as far as you did this time. Breaking even is tough as it is.