Poor ramp testing

I suspect that this is just me not testing well (repeatedly) but not sure where to go from here.

All the last 3 tests I’ve done have left me at ~198 (today dropped to 193), but every work out in ssb1 lv has required me to up % at least 3% or feel easy.

Do I try another test (after not riding to work etc) or make a guess and manually up my FTP to 210ish?

I don’t think I will get lots out without an increase of sorts.

maybe you just don’t test well with anaerobic efforts. Do the 20 min test

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Don’t stress it. Bump your result manually and see if the workouts feel suitably taxing.


If you struggle with the ramp test you can still use the other 8-minute or 20-minute tests. they are still viable ways to test and are still in the library. You can also self adjust your FTP as danielm suggests. You say you are having to raise the intensity 3-5% in the workouts. I would raise it manually 3-5% to see if you are still able to hit the target but the workouts are manageable. If you raise it too much, you will quickly realize it because the workouts will get really tough. You should be tired at the end but not completely wiped out.

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Bump it manually 5W and then give the workouts a try for a week or two. Remember, you are doing low volume which means you are not riding that much and have loads of recovery time. You should not be expecting to seriously struggle or feel trashed after each ride. That is not the goal of training.

Another option might be selecting the harder version of the workout if there is one. For example, instead of Ericsson, do Ericsson +1.

Lastly, as others have mentioned, perhaps do the 20min test.


Used 5% increase to 210 so lets see how it goes.

Can always drop it a bit.


This exact thing was happening to me. Same numbers too. I crushed my last ramp test and increased m FTP by 25W to 230. Needless to say the subsequent workouts were brutal! So I dropped it down to 210 and am going to go from there. I might try the 8 or 20min tests next go around.

I think FTP is important but you gotta be able to do the work and get quality work in.


Not surprising. 205w to 230w is a 9% increase. That is unlikely to happen for all but the newest riders or ones starting back that will see a quick rebound.

It is much safer to plan on a 2-3% increase and do a workout or two to see how it goes. That increase is a reasonable and common one in many plans for many people over a 4-6 week period.

Resist the urge to overestimate the FTP as it will do more harm than underestimating.


i think TR would benefit from dropping the result of the ramp test as “FTP” and just call it training zone setting or something. People get wrapped up in it representing hour power and most of the time it doesn’t for a variety of reasons while still being useful for setting training zones.


A rose by any other name…

I don’t think renaming the metric would ever allow people to ignore the constant fretting and comparisons that occur with FTP. That would likely be true even if they took the step of making something entirely “new” that wasn’t FTP in disguise.

That metric would still vary from person to person and over time for the same person. The desire to evaluate, grow and compare something like that is innate in humans overall, but even more so for people in this area.

We see growth and competition on an internal level at the very least. And that expands to external in most cases as well. My point being that you can’t escape the inevitable outcome of people comparing anything that can be measured. Add in our fragile EGO and all bets are off, IMHO.


That is the best way to go, no need to re-test to get some supposed “accurate/exact” FTP number. You’ll know soon enough if workout are too easy/hard based on the IF, the workout description/intentions and your RPE.

I had a similar “bad ramp test”, due to the fact that I was using PowerMatch for the first time and I may have reached the trainer’s power ceiling. So my poor test was because of equipment/software communication failure having trouble with my low cadence and high power at the end of the ramp test. See below…
I had my head down at the end of the ramp test and thought I was grinding out the last 1:30 of the test, only to stop and find out I was way under the target power. I was initially very upset and frustrated. But after I slept on it and then looked at my past weeks and months workouts, I realized that my fitness had been steadily increasing. I had increased the intensity in some workouts in the past weeks and felt strong in the final work week before my recovery week. Also, each of my previous FTP tests I had a 2% increase.

So instead of retesting or being frustrated by my “bad ramp test”, I simply raised my FTP by 2% and the first workout so far felt right. I will continue to evaluate this new FTP and determine if it feels appropriate per the IF and the workout description/intention. I’ve done enough TR workouts over the past 9 months that I know how certain zones should feel. It’s easy to get caught up in FTP tests and their accuracy etc., but once you start doing the workouts you should know soon enough if your FTP is correct or not. If its not you simply adjust accordingly.

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I agree there’s not perfect solution because everyone is different. I think programs like WKO4 and Xert that design intervals based on your complete fitness signature are headed in the right direction and maybe TR will eventually head that way as well. I’m also of the belief that its more sustainable to have a workout finish too easy in the long term than the potential consequences of failing and the effects on recovery and motivation etc. I’ve read in at least a few places that a ramp test should be used to set the FTP target for the 20 min test, and can be checked by doing a 2x20 min FTP session a few days after a ramp test. Maybe TR should implement that across the board.

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Thanks, glad to hear I dialed it back correctly :+1:

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I couldn’t disagree more with all of that. You have a FTP, then how you choose/need to express that FTP depends on your cycling decipline and that will guide your training. There is no need to “check it” by doing a bunch of other tests.


How does a ramp test represent your particular FTP though regardless of your discipline/training plan? I’m not going to rehash an argument that’s been going on for decades though https://forum.slowtwitch.com/forum/Slowtwitch_Forums_C1/Triathlon_Forum_F1/MAP_vs_CP_20_test_P3003230/

I didn’t read the whole thread but even that thread Dr. Coggan implies that a MAP protocol with fixed increases in power x .72-.77 should give you an estimate of ftp that is reasonably accurate… he also says that a 20 min x .95 would do the same… always with outliers for either test.

So pick the protocol you like and test away. The TR guys have mentioned this on the podcast as well.


Every time I’ve done the ramp test I wind up with a lower FTP than my current one. Each time I’ve then self-bumped my FTP up by 5% and I’m able to do the workouts more or less ok.

I’ve about given up on the ramp test. Maybe I’ll go back to the 8 minute test or just keep self-managing it based on how I feel I’m progressing.

which for some people leads us to the OP’s problem, or the huge thread in this forum about people overestimating their FTP. Test+recheck is one solution many have proposed over the years, and remember testing=training. Its not like you wouldn’t get a physiological benefit from a 2x20 session at your “new” FTP

The workouts in SSBLV1 are “easy” - meaning they will not push you towards the point of failure.

It’s worth doing some harder workouts like Lamarck or Kaiser before judging if your FTP is too low.


Most of my previous response was in regard to this question. Even Coggan says you can use a ramp test to estimate your ftp.

2x20 is a fine way to evaluate your ftp accuracy, but also has a relatively high training load… so would I do that to verify an ftp at the beginning of a build plan? Probably not if I wanted to benefit from the plan as written.