Indicators on FTP bump?

I have my next ramp text next Tuesday and while I’m hopeful of a decent improvement I was hoping someone has found a correlation regarding improvements in sweet spot or threshold and FTP?

I was never blessed with much patience and whilst my body has welcomed a rest week there’s a certain element of benchmarking previous workouts and gauging a realistic target.

Thanks in advance

I was in a similar boat to you and just completed a ramp test with a 7.5% improvement in FTP. When I look back on the training block I just finished, my biggest indicator for fitness improvements was that many rides felt easier than I expected. Even breakthrough workouts like 2x25’s and 5x9 on 30 seconds rest.

As you’ve been going through your block what have your survey results looked like?

Mostly hard to moderate.

It’s been a poor year in terms of cycling and structured training for me so I’ve applied a significant focus on drills and improving form which took a while to embed again since I began in early September.

It’s my first time with low volume plans too although I’ve incorporated plenty of endurance ride so I’m keen to see the results. I was disappointed my second FTP bump (148 to 158).

I’d take a 7% bump all day long!!

Harsh critics lol


If supposedly hard workouts feel easy, then that is a great indicator that you are getting stronger. Go into the ramp test with confidence, and crush it!

Curious to see if this holds true… I had thought it had been noted that a ~4 progression level would align with being in the middle of the “bell curve” for the selected FTP.

Thus I assume if your levels are >> 4 you probably have an underestimated FTP setting (or have outgrown the setting and are due an increase). Of course if some levels are higher and others much lower it gets trickier to apply such a guideline.

I can’t speak from much experience with this assumption yet, as I’ve lacked commitment to an actual training plan and using Adhoc personal selections or TrainNow w/o any testing, but I do wonder what you’ll be able to report for us all watching from the sidelines :slight_smile:

That sounds like a solid progression and good indicators that you’re getting stronger ! I would be happy with a 7% improvement in FTP every time!

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Eh, I’m not so sure about this. Level 4 workouts are generally quite easy. I’d actually go as far as saying if someone can’t at least hit a 4.0 in a lot of areas then their FTP might be off. I’ve been a level 10 sweet spot earlier this year and didn’t change ftp, so I wouldn’t necessarily put too much stock in levels as a basis for ftp, to be honest

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I started doing intervals by heart rate, and have some good data. So I look for improvements in power-to-HR as one indication that FTP has gone up. However HR is individual, so hard to give specific advice, and TR plans tend to make eyeball analysis harder by slightly changing interval formats.

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Sweet spot has never made significant increase in my FTP, it has only made me stronger at that Ftp.
As said above by @WindWarrior heart rate and threshold zones are a good indicator for me also. What I’ve seen is if a over under work out is not as hard as I normally expect.I either had a day I was fresher than normal or my FTP is increasing. But that’s all personal anecdote.

I find that over-unders are a good measure of where my FTP is at - the burn in your legs should be gone by about halfway through each under, obviously this point will move as the workout progresses and you tire. If you don’t get a burn or a very minor one then the chances are that your FTP is too low, if you don’t recover at all then it’s too high.

You can’t base it off a single workout either, you need to be doing a few and constantly feeling that things should feel a little harder. Last year I pushed several weeks’ worth of workouts up by 2-3% as they just felt too easy. The next ramp test saw an increase of 3% so my feeling about where I truly was wasn’t far off.

Remember that power meters aren’t 100% accurate either, your 160W FTP could be 158W or 162W and be within the accuracy of the meter.

Glad to hear your experience with it and it is sort of surprising to me. I assumed it wouldn’t be a perfect number and was more aiming at “if PLs are all really high you probably will see an increase” vs specifically at 4.0.

I wonder in your case - when at SS 10.0 were your other zones similarly high?

Example: I think some of the ~8-8.5 Threshold workouts put 50-60 minutes at threshold in a 1:15 timeframe or so. They may be 2x30, which is clearly dramatically easier than 1x60, but I’d guess (for me) if I could do such a workout (especially at anything under “all-out”) I would almost certainly have a higher output for a 1 hour time trial race effort.

This all coming from someone (me) who seems to over-test (especially with Ramp test) and then struggle to do > 95% for extended periods of time that I “should” be able to do so my longer time at SS / Threshold is something I should work more on.

No, when my SS was 10, it was at the end of SSB HV so I wasn’t working other zones much, and as I progressed with short power build and CX specialty, I may have at some point been at or above level 7 for vo2, anaerobic, sweet spot and endurance and haven’t considered raising my FTP (I don’t test, I have a good handle of where I’m at plus or minus a few). I’m into week 3 of a modified SSB1 HV (2 sweet spot, more endurance at 12-14hrs/week) and am just now considering a 2% bump