Psychology of the Words We Use & Rename the Ramp Test!

As a newish TR subscriber who has been following the podcast for a while and as someone who came to cycling late, I have a (possibly crazy) idea that I wanted to share. As I have been following the forum now and have been looking for information on various topics, two things keep jumping out at me:

  • The fear of the FTP Test/Ramp Test

  • The concept of “failing” a workout and the demoralizing effect that has on people

Would it be possible to change the way that we talk about these things? I wonder whether it would be helpful to not call the FTP assessment as a “test”, which is associated with a lot of anxiety for many people. Since TrainerRoad is all about the “training” to get faster, why don’t we call it something like “Training Intensity Calibration Check” or TIC-Check for short :joy:? We could joke that the mountain-bikers should do a TIC-Check after every outdoor ride :wink:… There are lots of possibilities and some fun to be had coming up with a better name, don’t you think? I think it is important to use accurate but also helpful words for what we are trying to talk about. (I am a translator, so maybe it’s an occupational hazard that I think a lot about individual words :sweat_smile:.)

And as for “failing” a workout, why do we call it that? We don’t talk about “passing” a workout, do we? We talk about completing it, right? So would it not be more accurate to talk about “taking an incomplete”? I think several people have pointed out in various threads on the topic that one is not really failing a workout by not completing it, because there is always something to learn from the incomplete effort. And honestly, if I make it 85% of the way through, that’s still a B, right? I like to think about it in the context of @ambermalika 's idea of approaching things with curiosity. Why couldn’t I finish? What can I do to have the next workout turn out better? etc. I have been so interested in the conversation recently on the podcast about the “stories we tell ourselves” about different aspects of our performance and how important the mental aspect can be.

So I haven’t (as a newbie here) had a workout that I couldn’t complete yet, although I am sure that will happen. And I have dialed back the intensity sometimes by not meeting the suggested cadence, but I haven’t considered that failing… I know when I finish a workout now the numbers flick around and then there’s a little burst of confetti, which I think is fun. I sure hope that there’s not a big buzzer sound and a flashing red F :flushed: if I don’t complete one. That really would be rather demoralizing…

My next TIC-Check?? / WIDI (workout intensity dial-in)?? is next week, so I guess we’ll see how well it works out for me to try not to think about it so much as a test, but more as a diagnostic tool. And of course maybe in the world of cycling, the FTP Test is something that cannot be renamed… I’m just trying to approach it with humor and curiosity.

Hoping some clever folks will play along and make some suggestions for better names (hopefully G-rated and positive).