Problems with ramp test

hi, everyone!
yesterday, after 6 months training on my own, I decided to start an structured training plan with trainerroad.
one of the main reasons leading me to subscribe to trainerroad was to accurately determine my current FTP and be able to improve through consistent and organized training, without exhausting myself or ending up overtraining.
during the last month or so I’ve been doing 20 minute’s FTP tests every week and the results have been really encouraging: every week I improved my score in 5 or 10 watts. the reason why I’ve repeated them so many times is that I realized that I wasn’t pacing myself correctly, since there’s always a last 3 or 4 minute power surge, which leads me to believe I have way more energy left. in other words: the improvements I have been seeing are due mainly to a better hability to pace myself. also, when doing 10 or 20 minute sweetspot intervals, I saw that my heart rate didn’t matched the 75%-85%bpm it should.
today I was eager to start my brand new training plan, do the Ramp Test and finally get a more accurate FTP score, without worrying in my bad pacing habilities. the results have been really dissapointing: last week, I did a 20 minute FTP test, scored 214 watts (which gives a 203 FTP, if multiplied by 0.95) and there was still a final 3 minutes power surge, which means I could have gone way deeper; today, I only reached a maximum of 240 watts in a minute (which, if multiplied by 0.75, gives a 180 FTP.) all the devices where working properly.
now I find myself with many weeks of structured training ahead and not a clue of what my current FTP is! honestly, and with all the due respect, I don’t think that the Ramp Test has shown my real numbers (another prove of it is that this sunday I did 3 sets of 20 minutes sweetspot intervals…at an average of 180 watts, and 145 bpm.). I’m a bad cyclist, that’s for shure…but not that bad! :wink:
what should I do? carry on with the plan with my previous 203 ftp and encreasing it in 5 or 10%?

thank you!

Stick to 203 and for the love of god stop testing so often. Don’t worry about “I could have paced a little harder for a higher number” and just follow the plan, you’ll probably make more gains just following structure instead of tiring yourself out with these max efforts to show a bigger number.

Also not everyone does well on the ramp test, so that’s not uncommon



There are so many posts with disappointed riders when it comes to the ramp test. Some people just dont get on with the ramp test, use a testing method that suits you as a cyclist. If you’re confident and happy with the 20min test continue to use that. But like @Cleanneon98 stop testing weekly!!

Test every 4-6 weeks. Once you have your FTP, forget about it till the next test. We all want to be the next Ganna, but FTP is simply a number to gauge the rest of your zones and work outs.

If you’re finding the workouts easy, bump up the intensity and re test, when your plan tells you to.


XDXD…you’re both totally right!!..these past days I started thinking that it was really way too much testing!!..i was feeling very tired and way too hungry and I think that my sleep quality was affected, too.

i was a bit dissapointed by the ramp test, yes; next time, I’ll stick to the 20 minute test. don’t worry…next time, will be in 4 weeks or so!

i’ll stick to my previous results and that’s it…and follow your advice and forget about it till next test.

thanks to both of you for answering so quickly and helping me out!

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To add, there’s something very valuable about learning how to pace a 20 min (or ever longer is better) all out effort. Another reason to continue on with your 20 min result. There is no real-world scenario to use a ramped effort. As a new-to-structure cyclist on a plan, you’re going to see results even if your FTP isn’t set perfectly. You can also do what a lot of others do and add on 1-2% manually (or more) if you feel like you need to.


Perfectly fine.
Some people do better on 20 minutes, some on ramp.

Key is always try to do the same test protocol… pick the one you like and do!

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yes, i’m sure I’m going to improve a lot. i have been doing judo all my life and realized that the only way of training I know is giving everything everytime…and that’s not the way things work, i’m affraid!

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agree 100% here…Me and a friend both use TR, he has since gone and got a coach and he now uses the 20min test, it suits him better. I am continuing with the ramp as strangely I quite enjoy it.

my 2nd to last ramp I got 245, I started my new week at 245 and found my workouts easy, so bumped all my workouts by 5%…which meant I was training at an FTP of 257. Next test I took (ramp again) I got 255.

What I am trying to say is, dont worry about your number too much some days you may just not be as strong as your previous tests and thats ok. As long as the number continues to increase, even by 1 watt.

“don’t feel bad about slow progress, any progress is still movement in the right direction”

So continue doing your 20min test, get your FTP and use it…if you feel strong on that day and the workout is feeling easy up the intensity and not your FTP. I will put money on it, that if you nail your workouts you FTP will naturally rise anyways.