Help with a training program and tips for a fitness test on a stationary bike / exercise bike


I am about to undergo selection tests for the Swedish military in January. The most critical test is a fitness test on an indoor stationary bike / exercise bike, as I am inexperienced as a cyclist. However, I have been physically active throughout my life, so I am not completely untrained. Lately, I have been focusing on strength training, which has led to a decline in my cardio.

The fitness test is structured as follows:
• 5 minutes: 150 watts
• Then, the resistance is increased by 25 watts every minute until you can no longer cycle.
• Throughout the test, you should maintain a cadence between 60 and 70 revolutions per minute, which means the pedal frequency is low?
• There are no pedal straps, making the test even more challenging.
• You cannot stand, you must sit and pedal during the whole test

Currently, I am reaching 275 watts, and with my weight, I need to achieve 450 watts. The test is at the beginning of January, so I am aware that time is running out.

I would be extremely grateful for general tips and suggestions for a training program for exercise biking!

Thanks in advance!

Can you help us understand why you need to reach 450w?

The test protocol you outlined is basically a standard Ramp Test, but hitting 450w is quite an achievement, even for a trained cyclist.

You are describing a ramp test around 75% of the last step is your current ftp, so 206 and you need to reach 338 or a 112W increase or a 64% increase in 4 months, that’s just not possible even if you were previously trained and now detained

Hey @Gustav :slight_smile:

Good luck on your selection tests for the Swedish military in January!

I’m also curious about the 450W :exploding_head:

I have to agree with @Power13 and @ArHu74 that what you’re describing sounds a lot like a Ramp Test, which I wouldn’t be surprised if they tested your bike performance with :slight_smile:

If you’re interested in signing up for TR, I would consider looking into our Polarized Base and Build Phases and definitely taking advantage of scheduled Ramp Tests in the plan to see how you do with them!

  • The Polarized Base blocks are designed to establish your aerobic base fitness with an emphasis on shifting training intensity to the ends of the spectrum and feature simplified threshold workouts as the high-intensity portion of these plans.

  • The Polarized Build blocks are designed to build upon your aerobic base fitness with a growing emphasis on longer sustained threshold efforts, and the introduction of VO2max efforts when compared to Polarized Base.

I’m curious about the 450W level … did a little googling and found this link:

It contains the following passage, but still not sure it explains the 450W level:

Physical capacity

Ergometer test: Conscripts had their cardiorespiratory exercise capacity examined using an ergometer bicycle (results were recorded in watts (W)). Only conscripts without disease or injury and normal electrocardiography were allowed to perform the bicycle test. After 5 min of bicycling (pulse between 120 and 170 beats/min), resistance was increased from a low level (initial resistance determined by weight (e.g., 125 W for weight 70 kg) by 25 W per minute until the conscript interrupted due to exhaustion [4].

Bicycling was performed at 60–70 revolutions per minute. If a conscript did not attain 180 heartbeats per minute, the test officiator could choose to re-test the conscript. There is a strong correlation (correlation coefficient r = 0.88) between the described maximal power output test (Wmax) and maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) [5]. Moreover, VO2max can be calculated using the validated Eq. 1.76× (watts × 6.12/body weight (kg)] + 3.5. Thus, a Wmax of 270 W for a young adult weighing 70 kg translates into ≈42 mL/min × kg [6]. A change in examination protocol was probably established in August 1984 as a minor shift in exercise capacity was noted at that time (likely a more frequent stepwise load was used during testing [4, 7].

EDIT: Also, I’ve never heard of that equation for calculating Vo2max before. Maybe it’s really well known, but I don’t know ….

Anyway, I just applied that equation to a ramp test I did around a time when I had gotten some physiological testing done for vo2 max … and it it’s REALLY damn close to spot on!

Ooof. That’s tough when you crunch the numbers!

Is it just a “want” to attain 450W? Is it a scoring system where maximum points are given at that level?

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Trainer Road sweet spot base plan until four weeks before the test
Take a recovery week
Two weeks of anaerobic capacity training (sprint interval training
Recovery week with a few anaerobic efforts
Take test

The anaerobic capacity training will help you train for the test.

Good luck!

Are you sure that 450W isn’t just the highest wattage shown on the ramp? It’s not a wattage you are expected to reach, it’s just high enough that everyone for your weight is expected to fail before they get there. A ramp test is till failure, not till completion.

@Power13 @ArHu74 @Caro.Gomez-Villafane @batwood14 @mailman @GoLongThenGoHome @AJS914
I was wrong about the 450W :slight_smile: I need to reach a level of 350W to have the oppurtunity to apply to some of the more interesting “educations”. Do you belive that this is possible?

Got any tips regarding training for this?
How often should I train during the weeks?

At the moment I am 2 weeks into a 4 day split, do you have any suggestions to improve it to easier reach my goal?
Day1: Cycling: 5 min warmup, 25 min of 3 min intervalls with 2 min rest in between.
Day2: Upper body strength training
Day3: Lower body strength training +
cycling, 3 rounds of ramp test (same as the “military test”)
Day4: Low heart rate runing / recovery

@Caro.Gomez-Villafane & @AJS914
Thank you for the tip, will look into those programs!

Possible but very unlikely unless you very tall and detrained, april/may should be more realistic

Just “reach” it or also sustain it?

You have a better shot at just reaching 350w obviously, but it will still be tough.

Based on your first post, you are currently reaching 275w….so in the space of ~2 months, you need to be able to go another 3 minutes. It will be challenging and require a lot of high intensity work.

I think you need a much higher volume at endurance pace if you want to do your best. I’m only seeing an hour every four days. You also need rest days. Even a TrainerRoad low volume plan at 3.5 hours per week would be better.

Is this current score?
1 <2 w/kg

2 2 - 2.4 w/kg

3 2.5 - 2.9 w/kg

4 3 - 3.4 w/kg

5 3.5 - 3.9 w/kg

6 4 - 4.3 w/kg

7 4.4 - 4.7 w/kg

8 4.8 - 5.1 w/kg

9 over 5.1 w/kg

I imagine people with score over 7 are going to special rapid movement cycling division that has a goal to do the blitzkrieg behind enemy lines through rapid movement? Like eco version of Rommel’s Ghost Division during WW2? :wink:

How many times have you attempted the test?

If you’ve only had one go at it, it’s possible you simply quit early because you don’t have a good measure of how far you can actually push it, and your current potential is actually significantly higher than this - not uncommon for people who are new to ramp tests.

On the other hand, if you’ve had several attempts before landing at this value, then it may be a truer measure.

The answer to your question may be different depending on the answer to this one.

Is it possible? It’s hard to tell!

However, we do have a Low Volume 40k TT training plan that may be better for your cycling needs instead of trying to do 3 rounds of Ramp Test on a given day :hot_face::

The 40k Time Trial specialty plans prepare you for long, sustained efforts at high percentages of your FTP. These tough efforts require well-developed muscular endurance and favor riders with good steady-state power capabilities—two key areas targeted by this plan. Completing it will enable you to ride harder for long durations and leave you ready for success in your next time trial.

The low-volume version of the 8-week 40k TT specialty plan includes 3 workouts per week, each ranging from 60 to 90 minutes. The last 2 weeks of the plan serve as a taper, reducing volume but maintaining intensity in the final leadup to your goal event.

I think the 40k TT plan with have you working the correct energy systems and the scheduled Ramp Tests within the training plan will be a good opportunity to get you familiar with the type of effort you’ll be facing on test day, since it’s not something you want to do all the time since it can actually create more fatigue than progress.

Let me know if you end up signing up for TR and I can help you get all set up :hugs:

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