New TR feature - FTP estimate - thoughts

Funny you pick wendler as a counter example. I have 531 forever sitting here on my desk and the start of every single program talks about setting an appropriate training max to base your lifts off of. He, more than any of the other bigger names in that space base everything around training max not your real 1rm.

Either way, certainly not worth arguing about. I was trying to use it as an example to make a point about ramp test results being meant to more guide workout selection, and less so tell you your ftp but It seems i worded it poorly and that message was lost.

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I believe I misread “training max” above which caused some confusion on my part.

For strength training the avg non competitive person TM and 1rm are going to likely be near the same. It’s been over 10 years but I did a Wendlerish program based on my 1rm and had no issues progressing, also possibly I would have progressed no matter what. For the avg cyclist the two FTPs are likely very close as well.

We agree on more than it probably seems, including not necessarily obsessing over what one can do out in race conditions or perfectly rested and tapered vs repeatedly on a trainer inside to use for a basis of training. I just don’t think that for the vast majority there is any significant difference between functional threshold power and for “functional training protocol”. If they are different and if AT works as it should then it doesn’t matter.

Scenario like this came up on the fitt insider podcast interview with Nate that just came out. He basically said you need a starting point so someone new or someone coming back from months off (he might have said 6 weeks?) would need to test.

Does TR still default to something like 200 watts when you first start? I guess in theory with AT you could leave it at the default and just AT survey yourself into the right workouts but that likely would be discouraging for a newbie or a waste of time for someone coming back.

There is definitely a place for testing, a place for knowing yourself, and a place for this estimator whenever it comes out.

Fingers cross I’m not actually black listed like Nate joked about for answering no to his IG stories survey about will you use it. I was in one of the first rounds of AT testing, so was actually hoping I’d be in early on this too. I said no basically meaning I wanted to test and compare, in the hopes it would eventually mean less frequent actual tests since I generally don’t fall into the group good at knowing oneself.

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I dunno, and my sister’s ftp is about half of that and would immediately start failing all workouts.

When I started it defaulted me to 84 :woman_shrugging:

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If TR was smart, they would have the initial testing group still actually test, so they would get the TR FTP estimator FTP (now know as treFTP), and then be able to compare it to a ramp test FTP (from now on know as rtFTP :rofl:). Without doing this comparison, they wouldn’t really be able to see how well treFTP matches the rtFTP they are trying to not have you do.

If I was TR, behind the scenes I would be calculating the treFTP every time someone is supposed to do a ramp test, so I could compare people’s rfFTP to the treFTP. This would given statistics on how well the treFTP works for the general TR population, and if it is possible to identify any sub-populations (e.g., age, gender, training history, etc.) where treFTP doesn’t work well.

If I was TR, I would stop referring to FTP almost completely, and definitely stop equating anything to do with ramp tests to FTP and/or a rolling fitness assessment for consistent TR subscribers. FTP is a hugely confusing and arguable concept, and listening to TR folks talk, they definitely seem to have their own definition of it compared to others.

Everyone should Google “FTP” vs “LT” vs “MLSS” vs “CP”. It’s a super deep rabbit hole and I haven’t found any light at the end of the tunnel.

It seems to me that what we are really after is proper training zones. Reading the literature, I have yet to find a singular magic number. So why are we trying to identify one or even talk like there is one? Aggregating everything, what we are really talking about is identifying and working in a “threshold” zone: e.g., power range where one can do repeatable efforts from 8-30 min with ~5min or less rest intervals. Identify that zone, and you have a great basis for setting up everything else. And a ramp test is an easy way to get people near that zone. So are other metrics, like doing 10 and 20min repeat workouts. Or a 20 min max effort. Or a 30min max effort. Etc. Each assessment will yield different numbers, but they will all fall around a threshold point where TTE rapidly drops off at higher intensity and rapidly grows at lower intensity. Where a person should train in that zone comes from experience level and racing/fitness goals. And once you have an initial guess, it is easy to refine it while training by doing weekly efforts that are hard.

The problem only comes in when we try to pin down some singular number that no one agrees on what that singular number means. We’d make a lot more progress in debates on proper training intensities/recovery and also in assessing fitness if we dropped trying to chase a unicorn.

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Good points. I know and understand ML, but that was not my point. It was about not going all out and deriving conclusions from that data. I guess you summed up my conclusion:

If you don’t go all out, your training zones will be less precise (and therefore possibly less effective)

with:

Will that ever work as well for people who push less hard? No, it cant, but then again the act of pushing hard is half the battle so why would you expect it to.

I seem to recall they switched to 2W/kg. Pretty sure when I first started on TR the default was 200W so you needed to do a couple of tests to hone in on a reasonable value (notice I didn’t say “accurate:rofl:), that took a while with the 8min and 20min tests.

Your FTP changes tend to be asymptotic, i.e. large beginner gains slowly levelling off to a steady value. You are unlikely to see a series like: 200 - 202 - 200 - … - 200 - 250 for example. So actual testing in the early stages of training (or when switching from another training program or changing kit) makes a lot of sense. After a year or two it’s less likely to vary and most will have a good idea whether it’s accurate/appropriate so an estimation is probably good enough unless you have a desire to be more precise. My FTP is 288W, if I took a test (Ramp or otherwise) and got a value of 289W, other than confirmation that on that day my FTP was reasonably accurate I haven’t gained anything.

Personally I’d be better concentrating on my short power, truly pathetic is one way to describe it! Here’s my intervals.icu chart of my age adjusted percentile ratings. (Edit: the brown line is current “season”)

image

Have to disagree here with your statement:

You end up comparing a “one of” with a “one of” which doesn’t make much sense.

My FTP tests so far in Trainerroad using the ramp test:
311, 303, 326, 333, 346

These were taken over a 6 month period to last week. I compare them as a set as opposed to 'one off’s and can see a clear trend that holds value for me because I feel confident that I’m doing the right things.

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My point exactly, one value is useless, 2 are kind of valid if ± the same, 3 start a patern, etc… That’s why regular all-out/testing is useful in my opinion. It actually takes into account environmental variables, I welcome them instead of try to get to the theoretical max of my performance. It gives perspective and therefore I’m in a better position to asses my situation.

Actually, it helped me foresee a burnout in the past. In this case of the 303 value, I was a bit sick in retrospect.

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Thats what Intervals.icu’s eFTP is good for (my app). You can go out to do a 20m max effort and if you still have gas in the tank (and haven’t run out of hill) just keep going as long as you can and you will get a better number. Likewise if you blow up at 18m you will still get a good number and won’t have wasted the effort.

If you are out and about and feeling good you can just smash whatever hill comes next and see what you get. Doesn’t matter if that only takes 12m.

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Is it possible to :heartbeat: this as well as give it a :+1:?

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What is this claim based on? You’re guessing. My Ramp Test FTP has always been BS, despite it being a max effort. There are ways of estimating FTP without a max effort, such as heart rate drift at different intensities and durations or the RPE / compliance combo with a set of over-unders.

What makes your Ramp test FTP ‘BS’?

On your point of estimating FTP, what accuracy do you think will be achievable? Can you post a %HR vs Power chart for a set, of say 50 intervals?

I personally find HR to be a very unreliable metric. That seems to be the opinion of many others too, hence the popularity of power meters and the reliance upon them for training and/or training result analysis.

Intervals.icu estimates you FTP based on peak performances. For me, it is 1 (!) Watt of my real FTP. So i think it should be no big deal to estimate an FTP instead of doing specific tests

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Slight tangent, where is this dispalyed? I’ve just been looking through the beta app and website but can’t see a toggle? Or is it just a coming soon internal feature at the moment?

It’s a long term aim/goal, I think it was mentioned on the original podcast about AT as well as the one from a week or so ago. Some people took that to mean it was available, etc. It may be a feature available only to TR staff but beyond that it’s just vapourware ATM.

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My intervals.ice eFTP is only within a watt or 2 within days of my ramp testing (obviously, this makes sense). But with base training it tends to decay over time because I am rarely doing any effort over 104% FTP. However when I re-tested my ramp it increased 4% from my first ramp test before SSBLV1. So the issue with the estimate on their website (and potentially TRs estimate) is that if you don’t have any suprathreshold data it might bring your eFTP too low?

If I had changed my TR FTP to the intervals.icu one continuously I would have shortchanged myself at the end, training at levels too low for myself (which AT could have changed, but that takes time…). I think it is a complex problem - but the thing TR has going for it is the amount of data they have looking at specific workouts, tests, and FTP data.

But what the hell do I know.

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You do need to do a max effort every now and then to keep eFTP up to date. I might change the decay formula at some point. At the moment if you reduce training load it decays slowly. Would perhaps be better to decay only if you haven’t set a new eFTP in the last 6 or 12 weeks or something.

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