TR FTP low balled?

Hey so I took the ramp test at the start of my training plan and it recommended a FTP of 230, so I set that as my FTP. Since then I noticed all my workouts have been not too bad. The only ones that really hurt the legs are the over/unders which have a TSS of around 120. Anything less than that is more of just riding at a pace thats hard but nothing that brings my HR seriously high (I don’t have a HR monitor but just based on feel).

I am making this threat mostly because Monday I did a 20min full gas on an open flat road outdoors with the same power meter I used for the ramp test and I held 275 watts (If you use the .95 it’s around 260 (which is defiantly bullish) . I am more concerned that my power zones are too low because it said that 275 effort was VO2 max or anything above 250.

Should I just wait for my next ramp test or should I do something?

Hey Kevin,

Ramp, 8 min, 20 min testing can be a bit tricky and takes some experience to get it just right.

A couple things you could do

  1. if you are finding the workouts on the easy side, you could bump up your FTP a couple watts each workout till you find that spot where the sweet spot workouts are hard but not spirals of death
  2. or you could always use the adjustment slider in the workout to make it a bit harder.
  3. or you could always ramp test again - that is the beauty of the ramp test as it doesn’t wear you down like the others. Read the ramp test directions carefully and go till you exhaust and can’t pedal anymore.

it took me a few tests to get the feel for it before I got steady results

For me, 95% of 20-min test is accurate. I can bore you with a mountain of evidence, but what matters is what % of 20-min maps to your physiology.

I’ve only done the ramp test once but for me it seems low ball.
My last 20mins test (2 months ago) got me an FTP of 281w
My last virtual TT (just under a month ago) was 266w for 44mins and 286w for 20mins (FTP of 272w)
But the ramp test put me at 252w. I think I just got my pacing wrong and jumped up too much over target when I hit the threshold minutes, dropped cadence for a second or two and fell into the spiral of ERG death. After 5mins of a yearly power PB I wasn’t going to be able to jump up to 350w from a cadence of 50rpm with ERG on I’m too much of a light weight but I feel I could have done more. With hindsight on the next test, I think I’ll keep ERG on till I get up to threshold and then toggle it off.
I’ve went with 272w for now.

Ramp test doesn’t “work” for me. I’ve tried, but it low balls me for non-VO2 max workouts. I use longer workouts and then adjust down VO2 if I need too based off the first interval.

However, I would point out that a 20 minute FTP test isn’t just 20 mins - my understanding is the clearing effort is important for it.

What plan are you following? If it’s Sweet Spot Base 1, the over and unders are really the only one’s that are above FTP.


Yeah think that is really important to remember. The TR workout (and I think most places) tell you to do 5min flat out then easy for 5mins before the 20min section

Ramp test is very accurate for me, I get pacing a bit wrong sometimes , i have to be really ready for the 20 minute test.
Ramp Test for me now is easier to do, knowing my target is 19 min 30 seconds (Break even point same FTP as previous), then push on past that. When i get FTP improvements, my thresholds seem to be correct, i use HR and Power meter. What i have found recently i was not quite pushing hard enough during the Ramp test, i looked at my HR and stopped of when i reached what i thought was my max… I now have a new max at my age (56) really (175bpm). I am testing on Monday next week to my new protocol and been on HV base so i will see if my theory works on me that is.
I would retest you are looking low .Retest on TR and if you can get HR strap stops guessing on feel. I think needs to be ANT+ or depends on your smart trainer.

Hi Kevin, a couple of thing I noted from your original post. If your new to structured training and TR then you may need to do the ramp test a few times to learn how to push yourself to failure. For me it took several tests before I understood how to perform.

There seams to be many people that advise about taking other testing protocols but one benefit with the ramp test is it’s minimal fatigue so could be done several times within a short period of time and have little fatigue - I believe listening to the podcast the guys have discussed this on a recent episode.

Indoor and outdoor FTP can vary - you can search this forum for many hours of reading on this subject.

Lastly not all workouts are hard, some will defiantly push you but have to trust the process as it’s all about building you up to become a faster, stronger cyclist.

Win win.

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For what it is worth,…
If I haven’t recently done a block of VO2Max work or a decent number of VO2max sessions a ramp test is typical 10 - 20% under my FTP.
If, as I have recently done a VO2Max block the ramp test is ~5 - 10% over.

Less just say I don’t trust or use ramp test to establish my FTP, I prefer ~30 minutes or more. I do the odd ramp test just as a session and because it amuses me how random the result can be.

Anyway, I would suggest a longer indoor test or take about 0.92% of your outdoor number as you don’t mention if you did a full blowout 5 minute first, plus cooling indoors can be an issue.
So maybe 92% as a starting number and adjust from there.

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