I Still Use Ramp Tests

I did my first ramp of the year a in July and blew the roof off the ai-ftp estimates from the first half of the year. Now, I figured I would get a higher ftp doing the ramp, but still it was a surprise how low the ai-ftp estimate was. It’s interesting, if expected, that any 2 random users with completely opposite experiences. I will say I’m in more of a high-volume regime, whereas I’m guessing you and your kids are doing mid or low volume? Perhaps short hard stuff is given more weight than it should, and easy long stuff isn’t given enough? Hard to say… it’s all statistics, and there will always be people at the extremes.

Anyway, definitely planning to continue using the ramp test, I just won’t do as many of them as I used to.

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It’s worth mentioning the importance of training periodization here as well.

Rest and Recovery are absolutely critical to sustainably getting faster and not burning out. This is why, when following our plans, you’ll have a set number of weeks with some hard workouts followed by a week of recovery.

@hoge, after looking at your career, I’m seeing 19 weeks of hard work starting early in the year without a true recovery week and the only few days off being due to illness. This is essentially non-functional overreaching, which isn’t sustainable for anyone and is sure to lead to burnout. It looks like you tackled a ton of hard workouts and set all kinds of new personal records during this time, which is probably why your FTP jumped up so quickly for a short while around this time.

It looks like you took a considerable amount of time off and are now just getting back into training, which is great and I’m happy to see you using Plan Builder to set you up with a solid training schedule as well as to prepare you for your events next year! Following this plan closely and dedicating the prescribed recovery weeks to be exclusive to recovery should make for a much more sustainable plan.

Remember, stimulus + recovery = adaptations!

If you’re interested in reading a bit more about training periodization and supercompensation check out the links below!

@gcarver I wonder if this was partly because there was almost a six-month gap between your last FTP detection and the Ramp Test you totally destroyed in July. :thinking:

Either way, it looks like your detections have been pretty accurate since! :partying_face:


This must be very rider type specific experience and why some are happy while others are not. I remember testing late last year with a ramp test at 304 Watts. then I had a slow period of 3 months and when I was ready to resume more regular training at the beginning of January 2023, AI suggested that my FTP was at 301 level. There is no way that this was accurate as I was gassed at every exercise, failing multiple workouts and even not being able to keep prescribed watts during what was supposed to be recovery day at 200 watt average or just below. I stuck with the workouts for most of the spring muscling through them and not re-testing frequently. Later in early summer i felt much stronger on the bike and on the trainer and AI was still stuck on the same 301-302 range.

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I definitely don’t do enough all-out efforts. Ramp test is the main place I get one. Have been thinking I could/should do a bit more longform threshold rides where I just hold until it until I’m spent. Something like the kollie moore protocol. And it’d be a good hard-ride for the week to boot.

@eddiegrinwald pretty sure I ran the ai-ftp button a few times earlier in the year. It was just something trivial like 1 or 2 watts each time so I discarded it. The last time I discarded I do recall getting a feedback question on I why chose to ignore. Anyway, it’s all good. I’ve been taking the 1 or 2W bumps each period since July :woozy_face:

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I’m not sure how much I trust the AI FTP detection either.

I’ve done 11 workouts since August 1st. Two of them were 60 minutes and the rest 30 minutes. Before August 1st I was off the bike all of July and most of June. I did a handful of workouts in the late spring but that is it. Absolute no training of any kind (bike or otherwise) all fall and winter. I’m not in THAT great of shape in other words.

When I started out, I manually set my FTP to 225 based on past experience. Second week of August, after the 4th ride it raised it up to 231. Yesterday after a 30 minute ride it raised it up again to 234. Yesterday was my first ride in over two weeks!

All rides are selected using Train Now and usually it is the recommended ride that I pick. It generally is having me do Threshold workouts. Yesterday was Darwin -5 (2x10 minutes @ 95-99% w/3 minute rest between). Because they are 30 minute rides I’m able to complete but that is crazy intensity to come to after being off for over two weeks.

Aren’t these AI FTP issues really problems with Survey responses rather than AI FTP? If you “fail” a workout and rate it as such and as too intense it’ll give you a lower level workout next - if iirc if you do that for a low level workout it triggers an AI FTP reduction?

Similarly, if you’re passing workouts above a certain level, it triggers an AI FTP increase?

I have “failed” workouts and got a reduction in future workouts, (and rated moderate and got an increase), but not enough to trigger AI FTP so I may be misremembering the last update.


It looks like you hit your peak FTP last July when you were in a Specialty phase. Nice work on that!

Between then and your 301 AIFTP Detection in October which was a 5.3% drop, you still averaged over 7.5 hours a week on the bike. It looks like most of it was soul riding without as much structure, but there were definitely some hard efforts mixed in, as well as some racing (nice job at Race the Lake, by the way. I’ve always wanted to do that ride!) which is probably why your FTP stayed pretty consistent fluctuating only a watt or two either way after that initial drop.

It does look like you struggled with some Threshold workouts, in particular after coming back into structured training, which Adaptive Training continued to bump down in intensity for you, but you did crush a lot of VO2 and Sweet Spot workouts, which is great. The endurance workout you mentioned struggling with was before the big 5% drop in your FTP, but regardless, I wonder if there was something bigger going on around this time, as your FTP history shows that 200 watts shouldn’t have ever been much of a chore for you on a normal day.

I’d also like to mention that one of our recent AI FTP Detection updates analyzes each workout to ensure that there aren’t any unique situations inside the 28 day FTP Detection window that would suggest a change in FTP. This helps get athletes locked into the right FTP and ultimately most fitting workout difficulty even more quickly.

It looks like your riding since that block has been unstructured for the most part, and there’s a big chunk without any power data, but as your name suggests, you do ride a lot! I’d be curious to see what sticking closer to the low-volume plan that you’ve recently been on would do for you. I’m seeing a good handful of weeks where you’ve ridden every day, and I wonder what a little more recovery would bring into the equation. It’s clear that you can be really consistent!

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Hey @jjb5489!

I took a look at your Calendar, and AI FTP Detection is working as intended :slightly_smiling_face:

Your FTP is relative to where it was back when you were training consistently. One thing our data shows is athletes are able to increase their FTP relatively quickly if they are really low to where their recent peak has been, especially after that nice little block of training you did in August.

While you are not following a training plan, you are, however, successfully completing the recommended TrainNow workouts like Darwin -5, and AI FTP is taking that into account. This workout is meant to feel hard, so I am not surprised you rated it as such. Good job on crushing it after taking some time off!

I also see a pattern of consistently completing 30-minute workouts, and I am assuming this is due to time constraints. But just keep in mind that, unlike one-hour workouts, you are crunching in the benefits in 30 minutes, and the effort, while shorter in time, will still feel hard, if not harder.

I know you mention you usually pick what TrainNow recommends, but as we recommend our athletes on training plans to pick a Workout Alternate if the training for the day seems like a bit much, I’d like to encourage you to pick a workout from the Workout Library if the recommended workouts in TrainNow are not in line with how you feel. At the end of the day, you know yourself best. :slight_smile:

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@Macy, that’s correct, just because you failed a workout on a given day it doesn’t mean your FTP has decreased and likewise the other way around. What does get adjusted are subsequent workouts to keep your training on track.

Survey Responses

Adaptive Training takes your survey response into account when recommending adaptations but they won’t affect your Progression Levels. The survey responses are appropriately weighted against many other factors, including more quantitative data from your recent workouts.

How you respond to your post-workout surveys will not make or break your training. Just answer honestly in the moment, and the surveys will help fine-tune your training recommendations. If you forget to respond to a survey, Adaptive Training will look at all of the other factors that go into determining your Progression Levels, so you’ll stay on track.

AI FTP Detection

We used Machine Learning (a subset of Artificial Intelligence) to analyze millions of rides, to understand how FTP changes over time and in response to training. Our system looks at your personal biometrics and the unique details of your recent and past cycling data to detect your FTP without the need for maximal efforts or specific workouts.

Now, During the Specialty phase**, AI FTP Detection will stop prompting you to update your FTP** so that Adaptive Training can guide you to peak fitness for your priority event or goal. By not updating your FTP during the Specialty phase, your training plan can focus on fine-tuning your fitness through your Progression Levels.

However, you will get prompted FTP adjustments during the Specialty Phase if one of your Progression Levels surpasses level nine or one of your Progression Levels is lowered below level two. If a Progression Level increases beyond a level nine or lowers below a level two during Specialty, your FTP will be adjusted by roughly 2%.

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My numbers are well-aligned all around

AIFTP: 284
eFTP (intervals): 287
mFTP WKO5: 285
Real life test 1 hour: 288


@eddiegrinwald Thanks. I’ll stick with the AI recommendations then and will start the short volume plan again.

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What are your “eFTP Min Duration” settings in intervals.icu?


I’m Diesel Engine, (time-thrialer according to WKO5), something like all-rounder, so I don’t have good short efforts, but above average in long ones. In this scenario 600s looks more suitable for my characteristics.

Thank you for looking into that. I thought I remember following the plan as prescribed but who knows?…
I did take some “time off” the trainer and am just now getting back on it. I love the results, but I would be lying if I said I wasnt a little scared.
I do plan to take it slow and incorporate more outdoor workouts…only going at the speed of fun. I hope this is enough to get some long term sustainable results.

Interestingly enough, even after failing some workouts and giving honest responses, it did not seem to back off for me too much.

No problem!

It looks like you’re in a good place now. You’ve had some time off, and you’re back in the Base phase on a low-volume plan, which is great. Do your best to follow the plan when you can, and don’t overdo it.

Answer the post-workout surveys honestly, and don’t add in much extra volume if you can help it. Be honest with yourself, and if you need an extra rest day, don’t be afraid to skip a workout!

Lastly, make sure to keep your recovery weeks as recovery weeks. Don’t add any intensity during these times, even when riding outside. It’s important to give your body the time to recover and adapt.

Best of luck moving forward and feel free to reach out if you need any help from us! :+1:

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I should say that I do like the option for AI detection. Sometimes I just want to workout and I would hate to be forced to do ramp tests all the time. So thank you TrainerRoad for making that happen. It gives even more value to the program

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I usually hit the ai ftp button then go ahead and do the ramp and my numbers agree really well too. Maybe not quite well as yours….but within just a few watts and I love it. Respecting the rest week is still a struggle….but I think TR is the best thing going.



I feel that I probably should still use ramp tests, even though I don’t.

Quite a chunk of my riding is outdoors (at least once and usually twice / three times a week). Often these are my longest rides and often probably have the highest TSS of the rides I do in a week. At a guess, I would say that something around 30% of my monthly TSS comes from these rides.

But as I have neither power meter, nor any sort of computer on my bike, I don’t have any real data from these rides, or any way of putting it into TR.

So the AI can’t take account of it.

Even so, on RPE, I think the workouts that I do in TR are close enough to what they should be for my needs, so I continue to resist the urge to see if a ramp test would agree with my AI FTP

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@ivegotabike If your TR workouts feel as they should, then it sounds like AI FTP Detection is working properly!