Should there be a warm up for the ramp test?

That makes sense. I guess I wonder though what the rationale is for not having an “extend warmup” button during the ramp test. It seems that they are suggesting that there would be a drawback to an extended warmup (but then they say if you do, just do it consistently). So do we know if there are any negative effects on the accuracy of the test?

EDIT: Also, I love how being on the forum with you is like instant messaging. :slight_smile:

What about when you get “older”?
I start every ride chugging along at 100-150W feeling like an old man (i’m 48). Half an hour and a few openers later i can put in a good performance in any workout at my FTP of 320W.

I don’t do ramp tests. They make me look crap. I stick to the 20min tests (rarely!)


There is no drawback, per se, but there is the opportunity for confusion among less educated, possibly newer users. It is essential for the RAMP test to be the same each and every time, and by having different options for extending warm-up, it can be a challenge to properly educate our users and ensure that their first experience is simple and easy.

By simplifying the test it makes for an easier first experience, while also allowing more advanced users to extend their warm-up manually once they have determined that that is what they want to do :+1:

  • That is related to the “masters age” in my comment. That often means the 35+ age range, and is one of the particular examples that Coach Chad has mentioned with respect to warm-ups.
  • Sure. Riders are free to add or modify the warm-up as they need. Could be a simple extension or I know some do one of the dedicated warm-up workouts prior to harder workouts. There is no “one-stop” option.
  • The workouts are setup with what works for “most”, but it is not meant to be the only option.
  • This heads down a different road, but the FTP tests (no matter which one) are about assessing your fitness to set training zones. It’s not supposed to be about “how it looks”.
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I always use a warm up schedule (ramp test warm up on TR). Its good to stimulate your VO2max system before the real test, just to signal the body somethings going on.

Today, I didn’t intend to do a ramp test warm up, and I have never done one before in my 15 prior attempts, but in the early minutes of the ramp test, it was clear that something was wrong. My HR and RPE were through the roof, and I wasn’t even sure if I could make it to the FTP step, let alone 33% higher than that. I was confused and a bit disappointed because in my 3 years of consistent TR usage, I knew that I should be good today. So I pulled the plug and switched to another workout on the calendar for the week.

But then, in the new workout, I recovered, my HR plummeted, and I started feeling good. I started a fresh ramp test and noticed that my HR was tracking a whopping 17 beats below my first attempt. This was highly unusual. In my prior ~600 TR workouts, my HR on subsequent intervals is NEVER lower than on the first one. I went to failure and in the end, I ended up tacking 10 watts onto my ftp from my last test.

  • Normally, based on past performances, I would expect a warm-up to be detrimental to test performance, not today.
  • Maybe it was the timing of my pre ride nutrition & caffeine (a little closer to the workout than usual).
  • Maybe if I gutted out the first ramp test, I would have started feeling better (I doubt it).
  • I’m not worried about this test overestimating my FTP, as I ultimately tested about where I expected to test based on prior workouts.
  • What scientifically could be going on my body and/or mind to cause such a dramatic and unexpected deviation in performance? I felt a little jittery at the start (I am highly sensitive to even a single cup of coffee), but I usually see this as a good sign.
  • Anyone else have such an experience?

Hmm, how long in between ramp tests? Did your HR/RPE decrease gradually or was it more of an acute thing?
If it’s the former it could potentially be nutrition related, at least based on my own experience- I’ve had something similar happen when I eat close to a workout, but it usually takes a good while to subside.
Another thing that comes to mind is performance anxiety. This is something I struggle with a lot- I’ll feel like absolute garbage, my HR shoots up, and I bail pretty quickly. However, once I’ve “given up” and taken the pressure off I go on to perform really well. Of course it’s hard to say from an outside perspective though!

Something that doesn’t add up to me.

I had thought the ramp test looked backwards from failure point, to find the highest rolling 60s of power. Then took a % of that.

Why would time at the beginning impact it?

I can see the point behind not standing and sprinting to the line, but this seems irrelevant. If consistency at the beginning was that critical - then the answer to this post is a single response - NO.

Even in a 20 or 8 min protocol it’s not about the warmup but the % of the average. Warming up may impact a person to person. But the formula is the same.

Thanks for your thoughts. After quitting the ramp test at 11:15 (I have never quit one before), I immediately switched to North Twin +1 and did that for 14 min and then back into the Ramp test. I started the second test about 26 minutes after the first. Looking at the workout in between, my HR plummeted in the first 90s at 50% FTP. I took this as a good sign and when it was clear I wasn’t feeling better, I gave it another go. It’s all just super weird, as I am usually one of those riders who doesn’t need to warm up. You’re probably right that the 25 extra minutes to digest a bit was the difference. I’m getting older and going to have to start paying more attention to the details.

I ALWAYS have performance anxiety, but it never seems to have a negative impact. I tend to thrive off of it.

I always do LCST, mostly because it’s nice to have two data points if something doesn’t go right on the actual test. That said, I tend not to worry too much about the FTP tests these days as I’ve been going long enough to know if I need an increase based on how certain workouts feel.