Ramp test issues. Help!


I am new to TR, having joined 8 weeks ago from years of no structure. I set my FTP at 276 from a test on zwift before I switched.

After 4 weeks on SPB HV my ramp gave me 268. I decided to stick with my 276 as hadn’t failed a workout in first 4 weeks.

Just completed the final 4 weeks of the plan (using the 276) and felt v strong by the end, also completing all workouts. Just tested again and got 269.

My problem is That I just about get through the 18 to 19min ramp and can’t for the life of me pedal when it goes to 19mins. Looking at HR it is close to max as you would expect.

Am I just not conditioned for such high % of ftp efforts?

Based on the last 8 weeks I am keen to bump up to 278 or even 280 but concerned testing has me going backwards.

Any thoughts much appreciated.

If you can complete all of the workouts that Sustained Power Build HV throws at you, I don’t think your conditioning is the problem. You might however benefit from a focused block of VO2 training. A lot of TR users feel quite strongly that the Ramp Test favours those with good VO2 abilities.

Other than that, it could be that you need more of a mental contribution. Accept that it’s going to blow your doors off and when minute 19 rolls around, put your head down and work.

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Welcome to structured training :slight_smile: FTP is just a number it lets you know where your body legs lungs and the rest of lifes stresses are at that point. Stick with the 276 do The base 2 training to build more strength endurance. If the workouts do feel too easy then Retest. But considering how you describe the end of the FTP test, its no different to the rest of us.
It does take a bit of practice mentally, is your pain cave got cooling fans? were you well rested? sleeping well etc? How was the music playlist?
The thing to remember is the FTP test is taking you to 136% of FTP at 19 minutes if you can get past the 19min 30 seconds and maintain the pedaling you will get FTP improvement.
The purpose of the test is its a Test.


I simply lack the strength to push out the amount of watts required at 19min. Will re test ahead of base, planned for Dec after rest and off season strength programme.

I thought it may be mental (and it still could be) but the maxing out of HR gives me some confidence I am going as deep as I can.

I certainly will stick with 276 for now given the workouts feel at the right level ie can get through them all but most are very difficult (except SST I seem to find easier)

A relative rookie/ noob compared to a lot of users on here, I will echo the strong thoughts of Ramp Test favouring V02 abilities.

Coming in relatively untrained in Jan, the Ramp Test didn’t give me a correct FTP - having to constantly increase workout % throughout the plans.

Having read up on here about Ramp Test/ V02 etc I’ve found I test much better with 8 min test and having given the Ramp Test a 2nd chance was once again disappointed in results.

From here on out I’ll be sticking with the 8 min test.

I agree with everything above. Only point I’ll add is that SweetSpot Base High Volume has no VO2Max or even Threshold - it’s 100% SS and endurance. SSBMV has some VO2 and Threshold, so if you’re keen on sticking with the base plan, you could switch to mid-volume and add back in time during the week / weekend using + versions. Just my $0.02.

I have a theory that the FTP testing method should be decided based off the kind of training you’re doing.

Last year, I was focused on sustained power in my workouts and did a Sweet-Spot Base, Sustained Power Build, and Century Specialty. I found any attempt to test with a ramp test was woefully under my capability and I had to up my ftp number manually. When I did a 20 minute test, however, it was generally spot-on if I got my pacing right.

This year, because everything got thrown on its head by covid, i did Sweet-Spot Base, and a General Build, and the ramp tests have been much better, because I’ve adapted to more VO2 Max Training.

Granted this is just me and results would most-certainly vary from person to person. But I think the Ramp test favors those who focus on V02 Max and aerobic training, and others might benefit from sticking to 20 minute or 60 minute test methods.