Ramp Test Results after 6 week Base Build plan a disappointment

After 6 weeks of using a custom Build Plan that used Base Mid Level I I completed my ramp test before beginning the next phase of training. Results were very disappointing gong from 168 to 171 FTP which after training really hard and never missing a workout. My rest and recovery were excellent and I came into the test well prepared to do well. Understand that before last October my FTP was 215 and then I had a bike accident braking my ankle and off bike for a few months before I began riding again in March. I would have expected this FTP to be closer to 200 or higher. I was a believer in TR but now questioning whether I just don’t have the ability to go much higher with my FTP. I am 65 years old, weigh 125 pounds and am 5’ 6” tall. Power to weight ratio is 3.0.
Any suggestions or comments on why I showed almost zero improvement from 6 weeks ago? Thanks.

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How do you feel, physically that is? Do you feel like you’ve completely recovered from breaking your ankle?

man, thats sucks and i get why you might be not happy with this.

But you gained 2% of FTP.
There are many factors that contribute to having lower FTP “gains” during a test.
Weather (how hot is your pain cave), nutrition, rest level, how well you slept, even your age.
65 is not old by any means, but you might need more time to regain the lost power than a 30 yo would if that person had the same accident. Its sadly human nature. You will get back to it, it just might take more than 6 weeks.

I am 41, 155 and 5’6. Ive been on TR for about a year. My gains after each session is somewhere between 3-10 w.
But ive gone from 208w to 244w. It just take consistency.
TR is not a magic bullet.
It just one tool that will work if you give proper time to work.

Best of luck!


I think 2-3% is pretty average. I don’t have data to back that up, but that’s typically what I get. Sometimes a little higher, but I wouldn’t be disappointed with it. The Ramp test is an interesting thing. Holding on for 30 more seconds could be the difference between 0 and a good result. Sometimes folks don’t go as deep on the test on some days for various reasons. I might suggest either accepting the new FTP or manually increasing it to say 175 and see how the workouts feel. That would be a 4% bump.

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Good advice, thanks. I might try the new number of 171 for a few workouts and then if not too difficult, bump up to 174.

Yes, maybe I am being too hard on myself.
I did feel good this morning and my Oura Ring and Garmin Body Battery told me I was fully recovered and ready for a hard workout/training day. I guess I just expected to see at least 10-20 Watt improvement given where I cam from last fall. Thanks for your advice.

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Feel great. Both my Oura ring and my Garmin Fenix Body Battery say that I was ready today to push it; well rested and ready to go.
That is why I am surprised with such a minor improvement in my FTP…
Thanks for feedback.

i know it feels disappointing (i had a really small increase after a build phase earlier this year, so i feel your pain) but just keep consistent and get after it. the ramp test after the disappointing one was significantly better for me, and I’d bet it’ll be the same for you as well.

When you say “base” do you mean Traditional Base? If so, I wouldn’t sweat the actual test results too much. 1) It is a moment in time. What is more important is your consistency. 2) TB, especially MV, is not going to boost your FTP a whole lot. It will build your endurance, which sets the foundation for later gains. 3) It is one test…could have just been a bad test. If you are feeling good and completing the workouts with no issues, don’t be afraid to bump up your FTP independent of a test. Try 175w and see how it feels, maybe.

Remember…consistency is key. Keep plugging away and the numbers will come.

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I personally don’t get huge ftp bumps in base. It does prime you for build, which is often where I see the biggest gains. Give sustained power build. That’s where I really see ftp bumps

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try the following website https://intervals.icu/
if access is given to Strava it will draw down the power files and generate a couple of curves as well as a prediction of your FTP i found this more accurate than a ramp test.

A 10 watt bump for most TR users is a thing to truly celebrate. Above that towards the 20 watt mark is the stuff of legend (see @ambermalika in the latest YouTube Ramp Test).

Has anything else changed since your accident? Have you changed your training setup? Is there currently more life stress? So many things can have an impact.

It could be that this period of training has laid the foundations for a solid FTP bump come your next test. Don’t lose faith in the work you’re putting in :+1:

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Are you sure your data collection is solid? I ask because I found out that my trainer is very sensitive to wheel tension and calibration. To get reliable results I have to warm it up for 10-15 minutes and then calibrate it.

Thanks for the reply. I will give it another try in 6 weeks after next training block is completed.

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You say you used a custom build plan - how did this differ to Chad’s plans? Was it a variation on sweet spot base? Traditional Base? You’ve said it was a mid volume plan but a Sweet Spot Base Mid Volume 1 plan averages 5.67 hours/week, 347 TSS/week and 5 workouts per week. Compare that to a traditional base mid volume 1 plan and time increases to 6.22 hours per week but TSS drops to 266 across 4 rides per week. They are very different plans and I don’t know how that affects the outcome at the end of 6 weeks.
As others have said ftp bumps often appear more during the build phase - I’ve seen this as well and often when I start doing the short power build plans over traditional build or sustained power build I see higher ftp gains - perhaps down to more VO2 workouts in this plan?
How does your training now compare to when you had your higher ftp? Was that achieved through structured training and if so what type of volume and workouts were you performing? Is this your first block of structured training since your ankle break? I wish you good luck in your training - I wouldn’t be ready to throuw the towel in on TR after just one 6 week block. Sometimes a ramp test just isn’t performed great but you’ll probably get a feel during the next 6 week block if your ftp is too low and this was just a bad test or misconfigured equipment. Don’t be scared to up a workout intensity if it feels too easy. I prefer to do this 2 or 3 times before I make the leap to manually up my FTP but take note of the workout text during workouts. Just because you can up the intensity and still complete the workout doesn’t mean you aren’t then changing the effectiveness of the workout and starting to work in incorrect zones. Last night was a prime example for this with my planned Baird +6 workout. The 90 second VO2 max intervals were achievable and Chad’s text says feel free to increase intensity of later intervals if completing but he warns not to go too far as the intervals aren’t designed to be an interval to exhaustion. If you get through the interval and then have to stop, back pedal during the rest period due to exhaustion you’ve probably upped intenstity too far for what the workout was designed to achieve.

I think it has something to do with the combination of age and there being very little work over threshold in the first half of the base phase.
I am 54 and have only done the first half of base once, right when I started and did six weeks without missing a workout and gained exactly ZERO watts. But then I made a little gain on the second half and a nice jump when I got to build.
I certainly feel your frustration, but I think that if you will stick with it you will see some good gains if you go ahead and work through base and then build.
Have you read Joe Friel’s Fast After 50?

Thanks for the good information.
I am not saying that my new FTP is necessary too low, I am just surprised that my FTP did not increase by more than 3 watts. I thought that given how hard I had been working out with Chad’s plan, I would see a larger increase.
As for my training before ankle break, it was with an organized professionally coached group and was more intense than the TR workouts I have been doing. I decided not to go back to them after my ankle healed as the group rides were just not safe in my opinion. There were multiple outdoor accidents over the past two outdoor seasons and I decided to either ride alone outdoors or with one or two friends only.
I will try another 6 weeks with the Plan I am now following at my new FTP and retest in July and see what happens.


Thanks for comments.
I will have to check out this book you mention.
Take care.