Ramp tests not reflecting current FTP

For an experiment I have dropped from mid volume to low volume to see it it is a fatigue problem so I suppose I need to give this several months?

Yes think the trainer and power meter are consistent and good. Tacx Neo Smart only.

Tacx Neo Smart is my trainer and power meter. I’ve consistently failed for 3 years!
I haven’t tried the 20 min test but that’s my plan next time round. I don’t think it’s a fatigue issue as this time round I’ve taken a break, and some minimal effective dose not to lose all my fitness over that break. But I’ll report back after I do 20 min test beginning of Jan :blush:


Did that info help to cast any light on the problem?

go into your account settings and its there under gender beneath your profile pic if you have one. It’s ok if you don’t want to share but usually ramp tests not working out that well are due to the training leading up to it - consistency tends to give better results each time, but you could be doing too little or too much or not the right kind of training,
There’s usually a reason and maybe another few pairs of eyes could point you in the right direction.
It’ll also depend on what trainer you use, whether you’ve changed trainer as they all read differently etc etc etc or maybe you’re just one of those that the ramp test doesn’t “work” for.


there you go

Seems this thread has you set up right.

If the 20min test feels too short or you want to dig a little deeper, this could be interesting (and a long thread to follow):


Ok Johnny I have made my profile public. Because of covid I have not been able to do any Club TT runs so I cannot compare I think from gut feeling I would be slightly better. Due to covid I did not get out to many general club runs although I did start back in September these rides last 4 hours plus and I noticed that without them I had gone backwards so they are tempo rides but diffinately help a great deal. My trainer has remained the same wahoo kicker and I get the watts on the trainer road app. Because I am training for TT I have been using a TT bike on the trainer my workouts have been therefore aimed at threshold. I have done the 8 minute test the 20 min and the ramp test without much change I do believe that I do better at the ramp test slightly. I have done base, build and speciality and back to base, My weight has remained much the same prob a bit heavier than last year. I have taken food 2 hours before, carbs on the bike etc without much improvement

Done :blush:

This is sounding similar to my story.

Started in Jan after a few months off the bike @ 154, made my way upto 210 in Aug, then seemed to crash despite following the plans consistently. I’m currently at 188.

Won’t go into full details (TLDR), but it’s taken me 11 months to realise that the 20min test is the better metric for me and that the Recovery Week (I’m on LV plans) does more harm than good.


You need to raise your FTP? Are your friends all Domestic Pros?

There is no way on Gods Green Earth that I could even come close to what you’ve achieved!

Hopefully you’ve received the advice you’re looking for in this thread? That aside, I just wanted to let you know that I think what you’ve achieved is pretty bloody amazing!!!


Haha! No but I think one of them thinks he’s my coach :laughing:

And thank you! Never too old :wink:

Yes it’s been good advice. I’ve heard lots of times on the podcast that ramp test is not fun, but I was perhaps still unclear as to why people may underperform relative to what they achieve in their sessions (e.g. knowing that setting your FTP at what you achieved in the ramp test will mean you’re not putting enough effort in on the workouts), but now I’m clear on how to rectify the situation and hopefully get a more accurate turbo trainer-based FTP.


Here is an interesting article on FTP: https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/the-physiology-of-ftp-and-new-testing-protocols/

You can see how FTP is not necessarily tied to 60 minute power and can even be at 40 min power. All these tests are just taking the max power for some interval and applying a factor to get to FTP. But that factor is not the same for everyone.

To anyone saying you should raise your FTP, you should ask when was the last time they did 100 miles under 3:50.

Also if you are a small female, the FTP value will look low, but in W/kg you might still be up there.

You should only care about the FTP number to use for setting appropriate interval intensities. Just pick a test, over time it will tell you if you are improving and by applying your own factor you can get to the appropriate interval intensities.


You said that recovery weeks do more harm than good, does that mean you do not take a recovery week or do you do a little bit less? By looking at others like Nate they made continual progress from low 200’s watts gradually up by 20 watts each time, how can this be and I am up and down like a yoyo? I keep thinking if I could only work it out then I could build on it and this could motivate me better.

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sorry to ask what you learnt? because I still am in the dark as to the problem and how to resolve it. Can you help in any way?

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That’s for me. Everyone will have their own experiences, but I find myself really flat after a recovery week whilst doing the LV plans. After a weekend off (I ride mon, wed, fri) my legs are always fresh.

It would differ on mid/ high volume plans though, but might not neef a full week of low intensity.

Again, as mentioned earlier, finding the test that works best for you (and your riding) could help explain yoyo’ing power. Frustratingly, it’s all trial and error.

Somehow i missed the part where you mentiones the 100 miles in 3:48…

googles speed calculator

:flushed: :astonished:

I mean… wow… this is impressive…


@Michelle_Lee you really don’t need any help from us you are seriously fast already, dishing out a fair amount of pain to your competitors I imagine and extra kudos to you for the work that must have gone into getting there. Couldn’t access your calendar for a look but I bet you have a ton of long rides in there…? And you’re not to my mind failing at anything, seriously!

@skakilpatrick the same goes to you. Your past rides and workouts show lots of long rides and not much VO2 max work.

To both of you - your FTP number does not define you - you should be looking more perhaps at watts/kg - if we all had say an FTP of 300 I have no doubt you would be both way faster than me as I weigh more. The ramp test was brought in to be an easier way to set an FTP without having to have some idea of what it already was to pace an 8 or 20 minute version. And it works for most but if you look around the forum there are so many outliers that it doesn’t work for.

The ramp can’t be failed - you just didn’t get a higher number than last time but there’s already plenty of threads on here about that the ramp test leaning towards your VO2 max and if you’re not stressing that enough the roof isn’t going up a ton but your floor is certainly rising. So your FTP would in real life be higher but not reflected by the ramp test. As a comparison my ramp tests are could but I cannot sustain that pace for an hour so my muscular endurance is way off.

It is only one number based on an estimate of an estimate after all.

FTP test vs Ramp test this is a good thread to read and there are many more.

Quite a few people still go for the 8 and 20 minute tests for these reasons and you can always adjust your FTP up or down manually to make the workouts more effective.

Check out this thread too and see where it puts you…

and see if you still feel “bad”… :slight_smile:

As a 55 year old has been I’d kill for your kind of speed and endurance - a number means nothing out there in the real world. Your ability to push and ride harder for longer do.

Steady away


Thanks Johnnyvee - I’m not sure how to make the profile public from looking at your instructions, but never mind! My profile looks to be public but I could be looking in the wrong place.

I have looked at the bell curve article you posted, and that’s really interesting and also funny (regarding men messing up the stats!). I am not as bad as I thought looking at the bell curve, but still surprised that the ramp test doesn’t indicate my actual FTP (even looking at the bell curves as it’s likely to be the same for others too). And today, I’ll be upping my FTP again as TSS should have been 65 but was actually 81. This happens a lot!

Finally, you’re right, there are some seriously long rides in my calendar :slight_smile: But that’s a topic for another day…

Thanks for the great links and I’ll post after my Jan 8/20 minute test if it was more accurate in setting my workout ftp :slight_smile:

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Its just a number…
At the end…some people can push harder and deep much deeper on harder efforts, while other can go longer at a lower power that is closer to their FTP.
I would suggest trying the 20 min test. I bet you will get a number that is closer to your abilities than the ramp.


that’s because we have such fragile egos. :rofl:

Seriously though just reading what you put (sub 3:50 for a 100 miles - you could lap me on the same ride) think you’d have to do a sustained VO2 max block to push up the ceiling. There’s plenty of posts about, sorry to say, masters athletes - though they’re a bit older than you, finding VO2 max diminishes so that shorter intervals are harder but longer ones are much easier.

Here’s an interesting post thread ;

read the post from IPArthur from feb 12.

Sticking to the longer tests seems to be the way forward for you and I hope you find the answers you need. :+1: