Questions regarding my Ramp Test results

Hey everyone - new member here with a few questions around my recent ramp test results.

Bit of background first - I have been away from cycling for the past 11 months due to an injury. Before this, I spent 2 years racing and did regular structured training. At my peak last summer my FTP was around 285w at 62kg. My max heart is 196 BPM.

Two weeks ago I started easing back into riding on the turbo where I’ve spent the majority of my time averaging around 150w with an average heart rate of 155. During each ride I would always do at least one 20-30 minute effort where I would average 185-190w with an average heart rate in the high 160s. These efforts never felt really hard and kind of felt like high Z2 efforts. Just a couple of days ago I did a 45min effort averaging 185w with an average heart rate of 169 (maxing at 180). This felt like a great work out but not crazy hard.

Anyway, today was the first day of my training plan, which meant my first ride was a ramp test. I used ERG mode and my FTP came out at 203w. I failed at the 260w mark where the resistance was so strong I literally couldn’t turn the pedals. Now I know that after a year off the bike my fitness is pretty much non existent and my FTP isn’t going to be great, but 203w just seems very low to me. Especially given the fact that only a couple of days ago I was spending 45 minutes at 185w and I’ve done multiple 30 minute efforts at 180w without feeling like I’ve done a big effort.

So I suppose my question is - is this a normal result? My workout tomorrow is 5x12 mins at sweet spot, which means I’ll be aiming for around 185w and at the moment, 12mins at 185w doesn’t feel like that’s going to be a sweet spot effort.



Its normal, some folk get on with them others dont. Personally for me I prefer a 20minutes test. I forget my exact numbers but pre TR I had a 20 min FTP of 281w. I lost a it of weight and my first TR Ramp saw it at 270w (which actually correlated to the same w/kg), next ramp 265w, then 240w, then 232w and then recently 221w I dropped it initially (I was struggling to hold long sessions) but after that (at 249w) I didn’t as work outs felt they were relatively comfortable (or at least correlated with my perceived effort) and did non ERG efforts equating to that. I recently done another 20 min test (Non ERG) and did a 283w for the 20. I anticipated it was too large a jump up however, so I’ve adjusted my FTP up gradually.

Do your 5x12 at 203w and if it feels right keep it or adjust upwards (maybe in the session its self) and maybe consider a 20mins test in future. Good luck :+1:


Try the new FTP, if it’s to easy adjust a few % intensity up (left lower corner in workout in the app) until it feels right. You’ve got the experience!


@martynmcwhirter looks like you need to do some cadence drills and a little VO2max work.

It’s interesting that you never got close to your max HR during your ramp tests. Cadence should roll off at the end of your ramp test but your cadence was in the 90+ range until the 15 minute mark and then started to slow down over the next 5 minutes. In the end you couldn’t turn the cranks anymore but your HR was still about 10bpm below your max.

That’s an interesting ramp test signature. Maybe you need some special attention on your cadence at or just below MAP.

Anyhow, ~30% drop in threshold power is a big drop! But it will come back fast for you. I got sick earlier this year & lost 20%…over the course of ~8 months I’m back to hitting all time highs for everything under 20s power, hour power, MAP (and there for TR FTP), and I think ~15min power? So it comes back…and it’s fun to get those new-b gains again.

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My peak HR in TR ramp tests is usually 10+ bpm lower than my max. Don’t know if that’s abnormal or not, but it’s pretty consistent for me

Thanks for all your comments. I did the 5x12min sweet spot intervals today at 185w and it felt like a good workout.

I’ve got another 2 weeks before my next ramp test so I’ll see how I get on.


I’ve found that the sooner I accept that the results are the results, the easier it is to get to a successful training block. Unless there’s some extraneous reason for the poor result (too much fatigue, poor sleep, not feeling well), I accept the results and move on knowing that I’ll have another opportunity to do better in 4 weeks. Btw, if there is one of those reasons I mentioned above, I’ll usually push the test a few days to be better prepared for it.

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