FTP - 42w down. What to do

Newbie here so I’d appreciate some advice on what to do.

I did my first FTP and found I was 42w down on my Zwift FTP. TR starts off at 70w and notches up by 10w so the test took twice as long as Zwift which starts at 100w and increments by 20w so that could be the reason my FTP was so far off as I was cycling twice as long?

My first workout seemed far too easy and concerned even with adaptations it won’t be pushing me. Can I do another out of synch FTP test to try again and will it change all subsequent workouts or should I sit tight as TR’s FTP test is more accurate and I’ve been living a lie for the last two years on Zwift?

Thanks, apology for the waffle.

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In my personal experience, the Zwift FTP ramp test overestimated my FTP. With that said, the most important thing is to be consistent with whatever test you use and stick with it. However 42w difference is very substantial. I’d try another workout or two and if it’s just not challenging then, yes, another FTP test.


Also new (week 1), similar thing happened to me. I ramp tested at a power that I can hold for 60min+. I’ve been upping the workout intensity to compensate. Interested to hear if anyone else has similar experiences.

Also remember that your progression levels will be at 1 starting off so the earlier workouts will be a much lower level. If you’re crushing the early workouts but answering the survey appropriately, the AT should bump those levels rather quickly by suggesting tougher workouts.


Yeah, now it doesn’t matter what your FTP within a certain margin. Especially when noice and when erring on the side of lower rather than higher. Full steam ahead OP!

As I understand it, the Zwift ramp test is fixed, starting at 100W with 20W steps.

On the other hand TR scales to your existing FTP, starting at 46% with 6% steps.

Based on that, I’d expect someone with a 333W FTP to do about equally well on either test, but people with higher or lower FTPs would have diverging results.

The question is, how far into the TR version did you make it before stopping? The break even point is 19:30, if you got pretty close to that I’d let it be.

What was your TR FTP set at before you started the test? It sounds like you had it set way too low if it took that long. If it started at 74w, that means TR thought your FTP was about 150 at the start.

I found the first recommendations after I joined AT to be ridiculously low, so for my first several rides I just picked crazy stretch rides and it upped my levels quickly to the right place.


That’s not uncommon for people to start at. Also, at the first ramp test, TR has no reference for a % FTP, so they use something lower maybe like 150-180 or even less, depending on how you indicate you trained before.

Practical advice:

  • increase ftp manually by 3-5%, see how it feels
  • increase workout intensity until it feels right
  • mark all workouts as easy and let AT do the work. Takes a few workouts until you’re in the right zone, but better than being crushed by too heavy workouts
  • get in touch with support through chat or mail. They can look at your ramp test and see if there was something off, or give you tips specific to your case.

This now makes sense. I did about 35mins and ended up with an FTP of 227 compared to 269 on Zwift.

I don’t get that your FTP test can be started at other than 150 though. A newbie to indoor cycling wouldn’t have a clue where to start.

Thanks didn’t realise this starting point was flexible! :+1:t3:

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Thanks for your advice makes sense I’ll try it

Yeah, that’s a good 10 minutes longer than most. The result was likely on the lower side, but this will sort itself out as you progress through the plans.

I wouldn’t worry too much about it, it’s honestly better to err on the side of caution and ease your way into a new training plan.

If you took the test again the experience would be totally different because it would be based on your FTP of 227 rather than 150. It’s best to manually input your estimated FTP into your profile before doing your first test. I’m guessing TR’s onboarding didn’t walk you through that piece. 19:30 is where you should break even with your FTP. So below that and your FTP will go down. Above that, your FTP will go up. If you are going far beyond that it says your FTP at the time of the test is far too low. Most of us get close to breaking even, but it’s pretty uncommon to go far beyond the 19:30 mark for someone that has done a few tests. Those gains get harder as you go.


Set your FTP to what you think it is before you start the test, in this case, what Zwift told you it was. This would vastly reduce the guesswork, the length of the test, and the noodling with the number afterwards.

Seconded - just do another TR ramp with a higher starting FTP and see where you get to. It’s not that much investment.

Stands to reason that starting it way too low might cause issues, since you’d be piling a load of endurance/tempo on at the start as it ramps up through those zones.

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Thanks for all your good advice guys. Appreciated I may just split the difference and manually input and work from there as I know my FTP has dropped some.

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@DougieD What ended up happening with your subsequent ramp tests?