How hard am i supposed to push on ramp test

I am a 38 year old male. Slightly overweight. Got into training 2-3 years ago. Did a half ironman last year. I was slow. Basically i am not top notch fit. When I did the ramp test for trainer road , for my last interval my HR was 190. Is that too high, should i not push that hard?


Sounds like you did it right to me :man_shrugging:


You push until you can’t go any more. Can’t. Not “don’t want to”.


I’ve seen all my highest HR readings during ramp tests.


I cant reach my max hr on the ramp test… I still go to failure but the legs don’t go in the end :smiley:

my hr max i around 206 typically fail at 190-197 (motivation and fitness need to be very high to reach 195-197).

I reach max hr once or twice a year (normally in races sprinting for something or just going too hard for too long xD)


push until you are drapped over the bars, can’t breath and legs feel like they are about to explode. Ignore heart rate (unless it stops)


Potentially, hide the HR. It can be a limiter :slight_smile:


The only people who can really answer that question are you and your doctor.

Anecdotally, I’m sure most of us would tell you we rarely see our max heart rate during training outside of the ramp test. But, you are you, not us, and your situation may be different.

I say this because there is an under currant of concern in your post, not because I think there is something abnormal going on. However, I feel that men have a tendency to jump right in on training plans/exercise from off the couch without giving thought to the peripherals of general health and well-being. Training is learning, and if part of that process is consulting a qualified professional (in my case a PT), I’m all for that.


I don’t look at my heart rate, the only thing it will do is give you something else to worry about when all you need to do is pedal harder.


If you’re healthy and have no known cardiac issues then you go until you can’t keep the power target anymore. HR is super individual so one person might blow at 185 where the next might blow at 200. And you might blow now at 190 but after some specific training you might blow at 185 or 195 next time. So while it’s interesting to look at after it shouldn’t influence you during the test.

Basically you shouldn’t be able to speak at the end and you should struggle to turn the pedals.

It’s also worth saying that once you aren’t able to hit the power target then stop pedalling and move onto the cooldown. I’ve seen several beginner’s ramp tests who keep pedalling at 200watts when the target is 300 and the test won’t end.


Thanks all. Yes, I freak out when my HR hits 180+. I probably have 20-30 seconds more in me at 190… but I always back down. Given that for years I probably never saw my HR climb north of 160.

I did my most recent FTP test last night. I hit my max HR at about 18:30. I got through another minute and 15 seconds. I thought I was going to puke when I stopped.

Today I’m p1ssed off I didn’t get to the 20 minute mark.

Ramp test intensity should be getting to the point where you think you cannot do more than another 10 seconds then lasting 30-90 more. Your legs will make the decision for you.


The ramp test brings me about 8 bpm higher than any workout, race, or maximal effort ever has. This is a good sign that it’s actually pushing me to my limit! I do find that seeing my heartrate is distracting during workouts and it psyches me out. I review it afterwards to make sure nothing is wrong, but I don’t have it displayed on my main Wahoo screen and I don’t look at during my workouts.


I can do straight out sprint efforts that get me to my max HR too… ie. I give my maximal sprint efforts the same intensity I would give a ramp test. I just dont know whether its my legs or HR making the decision for me. I think its the latter.

I always block my heart rate for that reason, I go until i know I physically won’t be able to hold the power. In other words, til I feel like I’m dying and then keep going a little more


What to freak out about?

Ramp test - push as hard as you possibly can…then a little more. If not slumped over bars in a total mess…go harder next time in my view!

I have found a fool proof way to measure this. When you finish a block of training, take a deep look at the first really hard workout of the next block. Look at the actual watts for each interval. If your training has been going well, it should look challenging but “fun.” Now go do your ramp test. Assuming you have properly buried yourself, and stuck to your plan in the last block your number should have taken a nice jump. The next morning hook yourself up to a blood pressure monitor and re look at that first hard workout for the next block. Your BP should jump 10-20 units due to the fear you now have for the workouts at your new FTP.

Really, its crazy how quick your mind jumps from “F*%K YEAH look at that FTP!” to “Oh F$#K, look at that FTP!”


This happened to me unintentionally on a ramp test when a notification popped up mid ride and obscured my HR data. It bugged me initially but I ended up going further because I wasn’t focused on being at/near max HR. @MTBTRIGUY just go until you can’t go any more, then try to go just a touch more!

The ramp test gets my HR up but not as much as a 20mins test or a TT. I’ve not looked at all my ramp tests results but the last one had a max HR of 188bpm (95%) recorded, whereas a recent 20min test and a few TTs this season saw 196bpm (99%). :thinking:

1 Like

Do I understand correctly that one is supposed to keep everything more or less the same and stopp only when this stability breaks down?

  • sitting, not getting out of the saddle (or do you get of the saddle?)
  • same cadence during the whole test

How would that work without ERG when changing gears and changing cadence is the only way to produce more power?