Ramp Test vs 20 Minute FTP Test vs 8 Minute FTP Test

Awesome.
Maybe (definitely) my downfall is just never training the anaerobic side of things… :sweat_smile:

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Discussed plenty here already

https://www.trainerroad.com/forumt/ftp-test-ramp-v-old-school/29375/2

Word for word: This is me too.

I rarely FTP test because it’s just so horrific and frankly i’m a wimp but 20 mins tells me what i need to know and it works out well for my training, as calibrated by over/unders etc. I can raise or drop my FTP manually now based on how it feels according to fluctuating fitness during the year, but i’ll do a 20min test once a year, maybe.
Ramp tests give me about 35-40W down, for probably the same reason as you: I can hold near my FTP for over an hour but my 1min power is like a little girl.

I may be wrong and i know the ramp test is there for a reason etc but it just doesn’t work for me. - Not just for the vanity of getting a result of 280W instead of 325W but if i then try and train off 280W it’ll be too easy and i won’t break a sweat.

Hi everyone. Is anyone still using the 20 min or 2x8 min FTP tests instead of Ramp Test? I’ve used Ramp Test a few times but thinking of going back to the old style. As a Time Trialist I’m thinking it may give me a more accurate figure

I don’t mean to be rude, but there’s an absolute mountain of information on this subject already on the forum. Try searching and you will find days worth of reading.

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In addition, this thread about testing even longer than 20 minutes:

This link will enable you to join my ‘team’ and get access to a ready made version of the test:

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You should have a read though, wealth of information and views already posted answering your question in depth.

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Yes. And maybe on your second question, depends on your physiology and other factors. The Kolie Moore protocol thread is an interesting read.

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Referenced thread:

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On any given day there are more than a dozen 20 minutes tests and maybe 10 8 minute tests executed. So they still get used on what I would call a fairly regular basis.

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There are tons of threads about this here that are constantly being replied to and have the up to date information you’re looking for. If you think the 20 minute will be more accurate, do it. If you don’t, then don’t.

They are all good techniques to measure just that. Ramp measures how long you can go with 1 minute incrementals, 20 min measures your best 20 mins, 1 hour test measure your best 1 hour. Simple

None of them are 100% conclusive or indicative. All of them are good data points that you can use and base your training on, then come back and do the same test to see progression.

It’s just like using 2 power meters that measure a little different. You either get 250 FTP on your trainer and train based on that and improve or get 260 FTP on your on bike PM and train based on that and improve. You don’t mix it up.

Case in point, although I have not always followed my same PM rule myself, there has been a period of time where I have measured all my tests on the same 4iiii power meter.
With it my 20 min FTP (95% of 20 mins) was around 262
Ramp was 262 (for me. For someone else it could’ve been way different)
1 Hour was a very low 245 (1 hour climb with 0 breaks)

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One tip from me: Ramp test favors people with higher VO2 max in my opinion.

As someone who’s better at VO2 max than long efforts, With my ramp test results, I have a very hard time completing the hardest Sweet spot / threshold efforts.
VO2 max heavy workouts however are much easier and I feel like I could add another interval at the end in some cases.

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To throw my 2 cents in, i favor the 20 minute test as a more accurate result for myself. I am more of a TT guy so the longer effort suits me well. I have done my share of ramp tests as well but i typically get lower ftp estimates from ramp tests versus my 20 minute tests. I just had my best 20 minute test today and this is the 2nd straight time ive opted for the 20 minute test instead of the ramp test. In addition to being harder, the 20 minute test also requires more recovery and motivation going into it but for me it is better i think.

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I just did a ramp test and got 30 watts lower than what I have recently been completing workouts at for the FTP target. The ramp test ended because my legs just slowed down till I couldn’t press the pedals anymore, not cardio even though that was pretty taxed. I’m in here for triathlon, so I am also starting to think that the 20 min test is still better for me. I’m planning on doing a 20 min test in two days and comparing results.

But… I also wonder if maybe I should take a lower value because maybe I’m biking too hard? I’m simply happy at this point to see that there are other people like me that don’t feel like the ramp test results in an FTP that feels right for training. I totally see though for traditional bike racing how that might be a really effective tool, because they probably surge more in races compared to a triathlon.

Would love some advice.

New to TR, Did my first Ramp Test on Wednesday March 18th,2020 and got a result of 247W. I definantly gave this everything I could, I physically could not turn the pedals over any more.

I previously have always used the 20 Minute test and my last test was on January 28th, 2020. At that time I tested at 282W.

I have continued training and have not excuse for the 35W drop other than the difference in testing protocols.

My specialty has been Long distance stuff(150+mile/12+hr) so I believe my power curve would be more suited for the 20 minute test. Would that account for the difference?

I started Sweet Spot Base I Mid-Volume with my FTP set to the 247 that the Ramp Test gave me and did the first workout it scheduled(Mount Field, https://www.trainerroad.com/app/career/coryrood/rides/75628142-mount-field )

If you look at the 3 sweet spot intervals you can see that my HR for each interval was 145/147/146. My max HR is 193 so about 75% of max and in my 20 minute test my LTHR worked out to be 174bpm, so working at 83% of LTHR.

These HR values seem low for where I was expecting them to be? Any opinion on this? Should I manually enter my FTP back to the 282W?

Thanks!
Cory

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The ramp test is a max aerobic test, and then uses 75% of 1-min best power to estimate FTP. Think of the 75% as an average, so if you are outside of average then the FTP estimate can be either too high or too low. I’ve also had some ramp test results that are too low relative to longer tests and sweet spot workouts.

In your situation, I’d continue using the 20-minute test.

Or try Kolie Moore’s test protocol, whitch is also very nice workout. I have been using it instead of a ramp test and every workout is better now.

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After making my previous post I decided to do some science on myself. Two days later I did the ramp test a second time and got the same result. I waited two more days then did a 20 min test. I got 242 on the ramp tests and 258 on the 20 min test. My best honest estimate is that four months ago I was round 270 (based off an 8 minute test in December), on account of I could complete trainerroad workouts fairly reliably at that effort. Again, I’m coming from a triathlon background, and even further back is xc running and xc skiing.

So how do I translate this to training? Since I’m doing Olympic distance triathlon mid-volume, I’m going to go with the 258w. This is based on the assumption that this plan is built upon building time trial effort rather than criterium or mountain bike surging capacity, if that makes sense.

So that’s three stress tests in the past week. I thought I went in around 270w , Ramp Test told me 242, and the 20 min test told me 258. I’ll stick with the 8 & 20 min tests going forward.

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Cory, read my recent posts. We’re in the same boat. My ramp test also ended the same as you, my legs became lead and I simply couldn’t turn the pedals anymore. I was curious about this and did one more ramp test and one 20 min test that week. I scored much better with the 20 minute test.

I’m going to stick with 8 & 20min tests because I think that’s relevant to my objectives.

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