More ramp tests vs add % to workouts?

Hi TR fam,

So I’m back to structured training after 3 years off and am in week two of my low volume plan (with additional outdoor endurance riding). I got an FTP of 234w using the ramp test, which is about what I would expect, however, in the past I have had an FTP of 290w. Already in this second week I feel the intervals getting easier than expected and I’m wondering if it’s my body regaining fitness semi-fast.

The question is: if workouts start getting easy should I look to incorporate extra ramp tests (eg after 3 weeks), or look to consistently add a % and wait the normal 6 week ramp test intervals. If the former, what have you all done to fit it into the plan without harming the interval quality.



It may be you are a fast adapter, previous structure and the amount of unstructured training you were doing, might mean you are regaining performance quickly.

I have done both the things you suggest. I just added 3 watts per week, No science behind the number. So did a Ramp test and he presto got a higher FTP that matched 13 watts increase.

The ramp test is the best way takes the guess work out and will mean your structured training is in the right Zone, no point thinking you are training sweetspot when you are in Tempo zone.

Especially early on in a plan, and coming off a long break I’d suggest testing more frequently than the base plans specify. You’re going to see lots of gains early, and you’ll be getting better at testing. This way you’ll be doing your workouts at the appropriate level, and also gaining more insight into how accurate the ramp test result is for you. For me I just swap one of the late rest week workouts with a ramp test and do an easy workout on the weekend.

I would bump the Intensity over extra ramp tests.

Also I’m trying @chad Chad’s MED (minimum effective dose). I’m four weeks into SSB2. I found rides getting easy toward the end of SSB1 but I didn’t up the intensity and I didn’t up my FTP. I got a nice bump in FTP from 254 to 264. Doing the same for SSB2. If get another nice bump, it will show me that the plans work at prescribed intensity. I think we all feel like the workout isn’t “working” if it doesn’t destroy us.

I’m 54 and having no trouble doing MV with this approach. Might be worth going through one or two phases like this to see how you do

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If you are doing SSBHV - bump the intensity as a few watts in SS is manageable if a little painful if you’re slightly ambitious - although long term fatigue is an issue. On MV/LV with more o/u and VO2 work you have to be careful as you may get a workout you can’t finish if you have an ambitious FTP …Spencer+2…McAdie+1 :face_vomiting:…for example!

Thanks for the advice guys! Going to play it by ear but test on the rest weeks instead of every 6.