Ramp test question concerning adjustable intensity

After a summer of joy riding (bought my first mountain bike in March) I started SSBMVI 5 weeks ago. For the initial ramp test I cut it off early so I wouldn’t be brutally sore for a week. Throughout the block I gradually raised the intensity 1-2% per week and finished week 5 at 106%.

My question is if I do the ramp test at 106% will the resulting FTP take the increased intensity into account?

the ramp test uses the max 1 min power number you produce, so messing with the intensity (if you even can??) will make zero difference - its all about the max 1 min power number however you get there…

You really shouldn’t ‘cut-off’ a ramp test as it defeats the entire point of taking the test and it really isnt THAT hard an effort in terms of recovery etc. Many of us do a full ramp test and then an easy spin for a while and do another session afterwards. The entire thing usually only takes in the region of 20 mins so you really shouldn’t be sore all wekk!

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You cannot increase the ramp test difficulty except by doing the ramp test.

As stated above, cutting it short effectively cut your training short for 6 weeks. Fitness testing protocols should be done as prescribed in order to achieve the desire results.

I think it’s Frank at Fascats who says “bad data in = bad data out”.

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If you take extended time off from intensity then do a 20+ minute all out effort and aren’t sore, I’d argue that effort wasn’t truly all out.

The last time I took time off then jumped into a ramp test I buried myself and the resulting DOMS lasted nearly a week.

If I increase the intensity on my next ramp test the targets will change which should result in a test that more closely resembles my actual FTP.

I understand the concept of the test which is why, as my body adjusted, I raised the intensity of the weekly workouts gradually so that the targets would align with my actual FTP. Hence why I did my last week at 106% across all workouts

You cannot increase ramp test intensity. You could manually change your FTP, which will affect the power at each ramp, but you can’t do at say 101%. It’s a fixed increase at each stage.

Bailing on the ramp test is not ideal if you did it simply to not go all the way. It’s a capacitive effort, which means in context that last minute should be your limit. I appreciate what you’re saying, but I’ve done 20 minute tests and the ramp test after extended breaks and it has not negatively affected me in the ways you’re describing. As stated above, it’s very common for people to tack on an easy z1-2 workout after to spin out their legs, and the test itself is designed so that you can start training the very next day at a meaningful level.

I think you’ve got a psychological preconception about how it’s going to feel after completing it (or perhaps how you felt one time) that’s not strictly accurate. 20 minutes of building up to 1 minute of torture is not as bad as all that in terms of physiological demand and required recovery.

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I get what you’re saying but that doesn’t work for me. My next ramp test will be an all out effort it’s just the first one after extended time off. That does clearly answer my question about the ramp test intensity, thank you.

It’s not all out for 20 minutes. It’s all out for maybe 2-4 minutes of the test. The point is to go to failure (where your legs don’t move anymore). You can find that you can do a z2/3 ride shortly after no problem.


I don’t think you understand how testing works. If the idea is to produce a MAX effort then you go as hard as you can, even more so when you’re trying to calculate training zones otherwise you could be working on energy systems that doesn’t have the desired effect.
Just because you’re sore or not doesn’t mean you didn’t go as hard as possible.


I know very well why and how to test :slight_smile:
I also know what it does to me when I jump into it after taking an extended break from intensity. Instead of staring with maximum intensity I eased into it which resulted in a very successful first block that ended up being very close to what my numbers would have been anyway. Now with 5 good weeks of training I’m ready to send it on the next test to get exact numbers

The point of the test is to find a number. Which if you want an exact number you have to go to failure. If I can get an estimated number that is plus or minus 2% while saving myself from up to seven days of DOMS that’s an easy trade off. It’s also not a regular occurrence. It’s only the first test after an extended break.

Question being a MTB person you are probably geared more towards anaerobic efforts. Which has been know to over estimate one’s FTP when using a ramp test because the Vo2 nature of the test itself. Could it be what you consider suffering from DOMS be the fact the workouts following the ramp test are using a inflated FTP which is making you work harder and causing sore muscles. I am not familiar with the onset of DOMS so i don’t know if soreness is a sudden symptom or is something that comes on gradually,. Just curious if you going all out after a extended off period then start working at an elevated work load is causing you to become sore or not

It’s directly related to the ramp test. By Middle of week two I’m fine and hitting numbers no problem. The initial brutal soreness is just unnecessary. My job requires lots of walking. It’s not fun having to waddle down the street for a week lol

I do think you’re on to something about the VO2 max though. I switched to cycling after a decade of competitive CrossFit which is primarily maximal efforts. So knowing how to dig deep and having the lungs but not the muscular endurance results in a greater breakdown of the actual tissues

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I am the opposite if i do an 8 minute test i can not complete a Vo2 workout at the FTP number the 8m test gave me and have to reduce intensity. If i use a Ramp test i can complete the Vo2 workouts at 100% but feel some of the SS work to feel too easy. If i were you I would not do a test if it caused you pain and just manually set my FTP at a level of 6% higher then its set for the current block and use that as a starting point for the next block. Continue to increase the in workout intensity as you go along. TR gives you that flexibility. However you have to be very careful and walk a fine line because some workouts are supposed to feel easier then others. People can get buried if they continue to up the intensity and start to accumulate more and more fatigue

All great advice, thanks. For me it’s usually only the first test. I’ve never been sore from the test leading into sweet spot base two. Now that I have 5 weeks of hard training in my legs the soreness will manageable and I can bury myself safely.

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Short answer, no. Just do the ramp minute longer, that has the same effect.

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