Kolie Moore on the ramp test

At the risk of setting off another dumpster fire of a discussion, I was listening to Empirical Cycling and they were discussing the best and worst workouts. Kolie had the ramp test as a bad workout/test and very obviously took a dig at TR without explicitly stating it. I know he favors the longer tests, but he really dislikes the ramp test for FTP. I know it’s person dependent, but my ramp test and Kolie Moore baseline tests were within 2W. What are your thoughts?

Skip to 56min.

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I don’t get it, it’s the difference between accuracy and precision.

As long as you get numbers that allow you to train and make progress then so be it. Chad has said the true ftp test is having training at the right level.

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Historically I always felt I got over-inflated results on the TR ramp test. So I did the ramp test and then did traditional 20min test, and the results were within 5W. I did the Wahoo SYSTM ramp test, which gives you both an FTP and maximum aerobic power (MAP) estimate. I’d say the FTP estimate was as accurate as TR, but I significantly overtested on the MAP. I was able to just about complete the sessions but they were seriously grim and I fried myself a bit. Should have trusted my instinct from looking at the numbers and thinking ‘wow, that looks too much’, but at the same time I also think you should put your trust in a system until it stops working. It stopped working…

I’d say my go-to now would be a ramp test for an FTP estimate, then do a 20 minute test. Interestingly I think the Wahoo SYSTM 4DP test is very good and accurate, but it is as tough as the traditional 20 minute test. As @Simo429 just said while I was typing, I don’t care what the number is so long as I can train and see development. I weigh 90kg, I’m never going to be a 5W/kg guy or win hill climbs but I like fast group rides so ability to push hard and recover is important to me.

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What if you fall outside the average and you overtest on the ramp test? All your SS becomes threshold. All your threshold becomes VO2max, etc.

There’s probably little harm in testing low.

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I’m sure this will be different from the umpteen existing “What is FTP?” topics :stuck_out_tongue:

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What’s a ramp test?

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The ramp test is based on an average anaerobic vs aerobic capabilities. If you are out of this average, it will over or underestimate your ftp.
My anaerobic capacities are really low in comparison with my aerobic capacities, and have a fractional utilization (ftp/5 min max power) of about 87%. My 20 min test ftp is 114% of my ramp test, and I could probably push a bit harder on the 20 min test (difficult to pace out correctly).
I don’t really focus on the ftp number, but such a big difference totally screws the power zones.

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My goal wasn’t to start another one of those. I was actually more surprised at the thinly veiled jab at TR and Adaptive Training that he made.

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Sure, and I heard that weeks ago when I listened to it originally. It’s a known and predictable thing that KM is not a fan of it. The lengthy KM test protocol thread drove that point home for me. Hearing him refresh it with a veiled knock is not a surprise. Interesting, maybe.

Tongue in cheek for my comment, but it’s almost impossible for these topics not to head down that rabbit hole, despite the intentions.

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Who cares? Cookie cutter interval progressions and “AI” are never going to equal what a top coach does. Does it matter? Most of us average Joes aren’t going to pay $300-600-$1000/month that a top coach costs.

Hot take - do the longer FTP test so that you get a very accurate number and then use that with TR so you are much better dialed in. You say that you don’t like to test, well, one can’t have it both ways.

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Except that endurance workout are done in recovery zone, and VO2max are done in threshold zones. Not great for progressing. For sure they are easy.

But at least you aren’t going to crash and burn. Yes, you’ll progress more slowly. I’m just saying that this is probably preferable to overtesting.

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If we really want something to discuss here, I have always considered whether to post a simple question:

  • Is it better to train with an FTP value that is too high, or too low?

  • That can be in general training context, but also interesting to consider in light of AT in TR.

This assumes variability and such that the “perfect” FTP is not something easily identifiable. Just been a thought I’ve had for a while and played with as much as I can estimate my FTP.

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Then you won’t be able to do 4x15 at vo2 max in training, because nobody can…and you won’t be able to do back to back days of 4x20min at threshold without feeling like the workouts are trying to kill you, and you’ll fail the workouts and need to use your brain to lower your FTP.

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Now this is a good question. Could definitely see arguments for both sides. Training slightly low probably allows you to be the most consistent and never take a day off…and we all know consistently is one of the most important factors. Training too high might cause you to take an unscheduled day off here and there due to fatigue, but maybe that’s okay because you’re always pushing the envelope.

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For consideration, I would posit that you consider identical workout Frequency, Duration, “Intensity” and Recovery. I did Intensity in quotes because that is the “variable” in this consideration and the one thing that would be different, via the high or low FTP.

the difference between low endurance and high recovery isn’t like, a sharp cutoff. it’s a gradient.

and prescribed vo2s to % FTP aren’t accurate either since everyone’s vo2 max isn’t the same % FTP

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Yea it just came off as a little petty(?) like a backhanded compliment. I definitely use a lot of his training ideas, but I also use TR. And see a benefit in both. They did make a joke that TR would be crying all the way to the bank, which is why I felt it was a little personal to him. But who knows, I could be reading into it way more than I should.