Standing During Ramp Tests

Hi all,

Recently watched a Sigma Sports YouTube video of ex pro Matt Stephens completing a ramp test in Zwift. (
During the test they had a coach there; sorry forgot his details and credentials as I focused on that ‘point’. You know that point where suddenly it all got very real and you are on the ropes. When Matt hit that point the coach then told him to get up and go for out of the saddle. In fact during the recap at the end he was advocating being out of the saddle.

Having completed both TrainerRoad and Zwift ramp test they both instruct you to remain seated. Why is this and how does it effect the results?

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One TR rep comment:

My take from the Ramp Test introduction and the mentions of it in the podcast, the Ramp Test is meant as a steady and incremental addition of stress, to failure. The point is to get your peak effort from that gradual increase and fatigue.

  • In that light, standing may well be a crutch, by attempting to use your greater body to “cheat” further into the test than you could achieve while seated.

  • Per the TR rep, you may well be spiking and getting further than you could seated, which may well prove problematic in the following workouts (FTP too high).

  • Also consider the fact that standing takes more overall energy and fatigue. Mentioned in at least one instance, If you are able to stand (despite the greater physical cost), you may well be doing so in a way that is counter-productive to the test intentions.

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Just out of curiosity… did you get similar results from the two ramp tests? Zwift gave a higher number for me.

Back on topic, I think standing during the end of a ramp test is a bad idea. Standing at the end of a 20min ftp test makes a certain kind of sense ensuring that you have “emptied the tank” but I believe the last minute of power during the ramp test is too critical to the calculation so you don’t want to be adding any kind of variation at the end.

Honestly can’t remember the exact numbers as I did not do them together. Don’t remember there being much difference or any reason for me to think one was better than the other.