Ramp test - how did you reach failure?

Trying to think this through, but wanted to see if there was any reason to consider how you reach failure at a ramp test…was your breathing maxed out…was your endurance maxed…was your strength maxed?

The last two tests ive done, moving from the 420 > 440 ramp (320 FTP, ~4.25wpk @ 39yrs old) my legs simply couldnt turn it over for more than a few seconds at a high enough cadence, once i fell below 85 rpm, it was a quick death by ERG. I felt like if it would have stayed at the previous ramp, i could have churned out another 20-30s before my breathing was maxed out. Is that a sign muscular strength may be a limiter, or am i over thinking it?

On a big effort I’ll start breathing really loud and on a ramp test I have a very difficult time staying on the bike after failure, I’ll lay down and get back up 10 minutes later to finish the cool down. When I do a ramp test my heart rate gets up to 208 for almost a minute peaking at 210. I have never passed 200 riding outdoor so maybe that says something.

I dont feel like my muscles or my lungs fail its everything in my body.

This is typically how I fail…cadence starts to fall and its impossible to pick it back up so test ends.

Not answering your question but to your point about staying on the previous ramp…remember that the test calculates your FTP based on your 1min max power during the test.

So…assuming the ramp is 420 and you last the entire ramp your FTP is 420 x 0.75
If TR never increased the ramp and you road another 30s your 1min max power would still be 420 and so FTP still 420 x 0.75 (yes you would have held if for 90s but your 1min max would still be 420)

If TR increases the ramp to 440 and you last 5seconds your max 1min power is now 421.67 and your FTP is 422 x 0.75 so even if you last 1second more at the next ramp its better than 10s at the same ramp you were on.

Make sense or am I just rambling?

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Déjà vous on how failure was reached… :slight_smile: Sure I contributed in one of these threads

Disappointing Ramp Test 70
Failed ramp test- what next? 31
Ramp test failure 24
Ramp Test Tips & Tricks 89
Ramp Test “Blind” 35

this is along the lines of what i was thinking as far as having different modes of failure. My ramp test ended about 5bpm before my max (anecdotal, since inside is way different than outside), but when im done, i spin the legs out for 2-3min to bring the HR down, then start up another AE or tempo workout to knock out another 50-70TSS.

yeah i totally get the need to ramp to the next level to progress the test, just wondering if this is more of a que to a specific limiter.

The way I have seen it is that even if I lose a couple of watts as long as I have good consistency I will improve and likely exceed those couple of watts on my ftp so nothing really lost.

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It has always been muscular failure for me. I don’t think I’ve been far off maxing out my breathing but legs certainly feel like they loose strength before my lungs stop working.

I can’t say I’ve ever failed in a specific way. My legs are loaded up and I’m struggling to keep up the force and cadence, my heart is pounding out of my chest, and I’m breathing so hard that my GF can hear me from the couch above the garage. So I can’t say what the ultimate limiter is.

I just looked back at my first couple ramp tests and I would finish with a HR of about 178 but now I always finish around 190 +/- a couple beats. So I think that points to my previous failure being muscular endurance but whether that is lactate shuttling or O2 utilization at the muscle, I don’t know.

That seems similar to my experience, I found (in erg mode) as long as i could keep a high cadence , 100-1112 , I was fine. But when i got near the end the cadence dropped ,because my legs just wouldn’t turn smoothly. Then when I tried to muscle through it , the end came, painfully and quickly.
You could try using resistence mode for your next test ,to see if you could muscle through it without erg mode kicking in. But you would probably see the on screen watts dropping anyway, and then you’re on borrowed time.
Comes to the same result. No easy way around it.
There is a problem (for me) because I had a good ramp test, dug really deep and was surprised to see a 14w improvement, which at my age, 64 seemed unlikely.
The problem being, that now I’m doing Speciality MTB marathon , the vo2max intervals are very hard, and I struggle to hold the watts for the total duration. Sweetspot is fine, but I did San Joaquin +5 yesterday, and really struggled, and am tired today. With the SSB2 I didn’t get tired.
So ,if you do a fantastic ramp test, don’t be surprised if you have to lower the intensity a little on some of the harder workouts, till you develop the adaptations in your muscles.

Ummm, I sat on the bike?

(my brain has been beaten with the ramp test. When the brain can’t do it, the body can’t either. )

When the will is strong, everything is easy! (anyone here know the Herb-ism?)

So it’s kinda weird as there’s a mental aspect and a muscle aspect.

Usually i try to push my mental aspect by telling myself that if i havent reached 190 bpm i havent really pushed hard enough.

But also when my muscles start hurting too much i kinda stop, pre-emptively, so im guessing i probably fail too soon on my ramp tests…

Last time i did a ramp test i tried something, i closed my eyes and focused mainly on my breathing. As an FYI time passes by a lot slower when you do so, but the RPE was a lot lower, it was the music, my breathing and me. Deep nosebreathing for as long as i can and then switch to regular deep breathes when i can’t do that anymore. Then eventually i opened my eyes a pushed till the end…but it didnt feel like i worked as hard while i had my eyes closed.

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The last 1-2 minutes my arms slowly start to tingle, they eventually start to go numb, then the last minute my vision starts to fade and I loose peripheral. My legs then just grind to a halt when I hit the limit. Boom. Suddenly done. It’s more mental than anything, how far are you willing/can push your body past 100%