FTP wont budge..soooo frustrating

I took ANOTHER ramp test today and once again my FTP did not improve. I have been on TR for over 2 years. I love the platform, I am consistent with 3-4 workouts a week and just finished SSMV. I am 51 and weight 155 lbs. I will admit that I also CrossFit 2-3 times a week, usually on days I don’t get on the trainer.
I have been stuck between 195 and 205. I will manually increase the ftp to 210 or even 215 at times, because I wonder if i’m just a bad “test taker”. My riding has improved with better ability to maintain sustained efforts…but I just cant believe I cant get my FTP into the 220-230 range…thoughts??

3 Likes

Have you tried the 8 minute test or 20 minute test to see if they give the same results? I have found the ramp test and I don’t gel very well, but the 8 minute one works well for me, i think it is the extra warmup time, for us 50ish riders… :wink:
Hope that helps, keep up the consistency. next option without getting too deep into it may be your nutrition, but that is a whole other can of worms…
Happy testing

1 Like

I have not…but sounds like it might be worth a try. My nutrition is pretty dialed in.

1 Like

I really wanted to love and use the ramp test but after “failing” it 5 + times I had to go back to the 20 minute test. I would consistently get 270 ish with the ramp however I can hold 330+ on the 20 minute and have Zero issues nailing all of my workouts after using the FTP from the 20 minute test 3x30 etc. I trusted the ramp for a cycle or 2 and feel like it was a big mistake and wasted training time.

4 Likes

Do you always ride at threshold/SS and never higher? How do you perform on VO2 workouts like Monadnock using the 20min result?

Because if you landed at 270 on a ramp test, that means you were at roughly 360 for the last minute, which would only be 115% of your FTP (if we assume 95% of 330 from a 20min test).

1 Like

There is a lot of discussion about this on various threads. You may be plateauing for a variety of reasons, but if you have been doing a lot of sweet spot and tempo work over the last two years, it may be part of the reason.

You may want to look at doing a VO2 max block to raise your aerobic ceiling. The Ramp Test seems to be sensitive to recent VO2 max work, so doing a block and then repeating Ramp Test may be a good assessment for you.

I found a similar thing last year after a number of years of training where FTP was pretty flat. I was able to really improve TTE (time to exhaustion), but FTP was stable. I was following SSB and Sustained Power Build plans for the most part. I decided it was time to try and take things to the next level and enlisted in some expert coach help (@brendanhousler from EVOQ.BIKE). He was able to do a power analysis and start working on my weaknesses. While I still do a lot of endurance work, we are hitting a lot of different systems now including VO2 max work. The result has been getting out of Plateau City and seeing a lot of gains getting ready for the upcoming season.

5 Likes

I do SS, then sustained power, then climbing road… so maybe that’s part of the issue. Thank you

Sorry I should have been more clean ramp has given me anywhere from 270-303 depending on how bad I failed at it. 270 was the most recent I tested the 20 min at 309 a day later and completed SSBMV1 and 2 and im now into Sustained power mid. I have used the 20 minute test and results in the crit plan and short power build. Its probably mental or just something wrong with me LOL

This hit home. I’ve been stuck at an FTP of 224-226 since September, although overall strength and sustained power are better. Did another ramp test on Tuesday on the heels of MV General Build (preceeded by MV Sweet Spot Base). Same FTP results.

I’m also 47 and maybe MV plans are too much for me. I need to try something different, so I’m going back to base training but this time at LV, adding endurance rides on Wednesdays and Sundays. Perhaps my legs will respond to a little less volume and more rest. I hope.

Can you expand on that? Don’t take anything for granted if you’re not getting results you expect. It’s those sneaky variables that can get you.

For me, at least, the ramp test is as much a measure of my willingness to hurt as it is of the power I put out under a given level of hurting. For me the “gold standard” for whether or not I’m training at the right levels is a workout like Lamarck, which is 4x10 minutes right at FTP, with 2 minute breaks.

2 Likes

well, I don’t eat very much processed foods. Mostly plant based. I don’t eat a high carb diet, but I try and increase my carbs for hard rides or the ramp test

Not that you need more options, but you could try this one too.

1 Like

I think this question nails it. I think if you get a significantly higher result on the standard 20 minute test (relative to your performance on a ramp test) and you use that set your ftp/zones, then the subsequent vo2 workouts are more likely going to be out of reach but ftp/ss will be on target. This could be a recipe for general fatigue due to overreaching on those intensive workouts as they might be out of reach.

On the flip side if you use the lower ramp test ftp to set your ftp/zones then the subsequent vo2 workouts will be more achievable and whilst your ftp/ss workouts might be a touch too easy you can ride on feel and simply use the targets as a baseline target. I think this approach makes it more likely you we’ll be able to train consistently without risk of overtraining and overreaching.

No science to back this up it’s just a theory I have and the approach I’m taking. My 20 minutes would likely put me at 290 but my ramp test pegged me at 258. My 20 minute ftp is a high percentage of my vo2 max.

1 Like

I think another nice thing about using the Empirical Cycling/Kolie Moore test is that it also measures TTE, so you can get a more objective measure of how your ability to maintain FTP (aka power at MLSS) over a longer time. Increasing TTE can have a dramatic effect on on-road performance even if power at MLSS remains the same.

2 Likes

I don’t know about anyone else but I’ve found it difficult to do a lot of lifting in addition to a MV plan. I wasn’t making a lot of progress either when I first started using TR last year. At the time I was putting more emphasis on lifting. Since then I’ve reduced my lifting to 1 or 2 days a week and I’ve seen much bigger gains in my FTP without a drop in overall strength. In addition to my lifting day(s) I’m also rowing 2200-2400m (10min) before most of my trainer rides. My lifting consists of circuit based workouts with 8-13 exercises that take me 45min-1hr-ish.

With that said I’m also in the camp of starting to not use ramp tests anymore. VO2Max workouts with longer intervals have become my decision for increasing FTP manually. If I’m consistently finishing workouts that have VO2Max intervals longer than 90s without struggling by the end then it’s time to bump my FTP. For example; last weekend I did Spanish Needle -3 and felt like maybe I’m getting close to ready for a bump. However, last night I did Baird +6, which has 90s intervals, and had to decrease the intensity on my last set of intervals after tasting some of my lunch. Guess I’m not ready for a bump yet. Not sure if this is a good way to go about it but it seems to be working for me so far.

1 Like

This wasn’t exactly my point, but likely true. What I was getting at is that such a significant difference highlights a potential weakness that needs to be addressed. In this case, I’d argue there’s a need to work on raising VO2 max power. It’d improve ramp test performance, and raise the aerobic ceiling for more FTP gains.

Ramp test FTP measure probably won’t fully capture this. But you’re getting stronger, so don’t get too obsessed with Ramp test FTP.

If you want to use a metric that captures this improvement, use the 20 min test, or maybe one of the Kolie Moore protocols.

1 Like

I like this approach

@Jkauffman

:point_up_2: :point_up_2: :point_up_2:

2 Likes