Wherein I am sick to death of people complaining about the ramp test

The forum is full of people complaining about TR’s testing protocol, workout design, programming structure, but the moaning about “inaccuracy” of the ramp test is driving me nuts.

  1. We have got to admit that we are all precious little snowflakes and we all have a very differently shaped power curve. TR is trying to use a testing protocol that hits the widest part of a bell curve of power curve shapes. There isn’t a single test that is going to make everyone’s numbers perfect for every workout in every zone.
  2. There are other testing protocols even within TR for you to choose from! If the ramp test result doesn’t accurately reflect your abilities, use a 20 minute test!
  3. You’re good at what you do. For some people that means tons of Vo2 work and the ramp rest probably overstates their sustained power efforts. For people like me who have done tons of SS and super long Z2 rides, the ramp test understates what we can do for sustained efforts.

Get over it, people. I know that the ramp test is going to give me a laughably low FTP for anything from Z2 to threshold. So for me it is training experience and 20 minute tests to set the number. And even then, I might have to reduce the % for hard Vo2 sessions because I am bad at it and don’t have tons of experience there.

FTP is just an estimate of your fitness level, and everyone’s changes in different ways and responds to different types of training. Find a number that works for your workouts, adjust workouts if you need to, and go get faster.


Thanks I’m cured now. Long live the Ramp Test.


I do not love the ramp test.
I do understand the use of it.
I also understand that is not for everyone.
I have a friend who does VERY poorly on the ramp test. I mostly do OK. Always get to the 20 min and maybe a bit more. he usually struggling just to get to 20 min.
He is a monster on the 20 minutes test. Like he CRUSHES that…every time!
The only way I did it I died.

Anyway. People will always have something to say, because people are different. and in this case, we have to respect people opinions because it is actually valid opinion based on their own experiences.


What else do you expect for $20/mo?


I hear you, I am not a ramp tester (or an any tester really), so I don’t really care to debate the merits of various testing protocols. Anecdotally, someone I know locally did a ramp test and a 20min test on different days last week and got the same result. As you said, the test is designed to work for most people. I think a vocal minority, for whom either the ramp test over or under estimates their FTP, make their voice heard here, and so it creates the impression that the protocol is crap. Of course, we know the TR team has likely closely monitored workout compliance and all that and probably sees that stuff is working for most people.

Personally, I think it’s become a bit fashionable on the forum to post about stuff that doesn’t work about TR, whether it’s the testing, or whether sweet spot needs to include longer intervals, or if training needs to be polarized. I get that nothing is 100% perfect, but there is a subset of “the grass is greener elsewhere” with regard to various things that TR has adopted as their standard

Rant over! lol


I feel like there’s too much significance placed on the specifics of FTP testing protocols in general.
Whatever you use, it’s always going to be an educated guess based on some arbitrary fudge factor, and even an “accurate” FTP determined from an hour-ish effort will vary by day, so there’s really no point in stressing about it beyond finding a protocol that gives you a reasonable result and sticking with it. Most people would be better served by just testing more frequently, which I think is a point in the ramp test’s favour.

Also FWIW I use the 20 min test but the ramp gives me a similar result, and I’m 100% a long course tri sustained power guy. Saying the ramp won’t work for xyz riders isn’t necessarily true, it just might give you a clue as to which one you prefer.


I’m not sure I’ve seen much ‘complaining’ about the ramp test. But there have been many posts by people inquiring as to why they do not seem to get accurate results from the ramp test and people responding with the reasons why the Ramp Test is not the best test for everyone.

The fact is that the Ramp test won’t give everyone a correct FTP and if you are a beginner for whom it over estimates FTP and without the necessary skills to diagnose the problem they will just drive themselves into the ground and be left confused and wondering why they just can’t handle the work. All the while feeling like you are being gaslit with advice that you just need to sleep more, eat more, push through, rest more, etc. When the real problem is that Sweet Spot is threshold and threshold is VO2.

So I think it’s important to have people learn about what the ramp test is actually measuring and how FTP is estimated from that so that they can accurately identify any problems they may have. It’s all about educating people to be better athletes with more autonomy over their training.


The problem is not the accuracy of the ramp test. It is that we are trying to take the ramp test result and applying it to a zoned model and individualize it for a large group of people. All the while the zones are set off of one input value, FTP.

Humans have an aerobic threshold and anerobic threshold. I would think you really need to know both of these values and then prescribe to them. All the while you have to also be training your capcity to ride in the related zones.

I use WKO5 to analyze my workouts and they take zone prescription to the next level. But there is a signifiact weakness with that product in my opinion where they do not clearly tout a specific training protocol to gather the data for all the zones with a test that you need to individualize the results. Of course this is because they are trying to make an analysis tool that is highly customaizable for (mainly) coaches or other advanced data nerds who want the capability to do their own modeling and test their own assumptions.

This all said. I agree, the Ramp test or 8 minute or 20 minute test are all fine if they work for you. If you don’t feel that you are getting the correct zones, then you can utilize a different test. The best part of the ramp test which is not mentioned by the critics of it, is how consistent it is. Just push yourself to complete exshaustion. And if you are not sure if it is correct, follow it up with a 20 minute FTP test the next day and use your ramp test value as your target.


The people who complain, usually do so because the number is lower than what they would expect.
They need to understand that the number is a GUIDE…

once they understand, I think they usually stop complaining about it.


Which I think is where most of the confusion stems from. If you come into TR without any prior knowledge then you are thinking “Okay, this test is going to give me my FTP”. It is after all called an FTP test. And without some prior knowledge of physiology or training it can be hard to decipher why this ‘test’ is not giving the ‘correct result’.

But yeah I would agree that most ‘complaints’ come from people with low results. While most of the people with too high results often sound more frustrated and confused as to why they can’t complete the plan.

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Complaining about complaining = Peak 2020 / Internet :stuck_out_tongue:

The overall point that variability exists in individuals & training, so people need to be open about their test results (no matter which format is used) and be willing to adjust FTP (up or down) for any of the MANY reasons is the real takeaway here, as it is in so many of the other threads.

Slightly OT: Rants about ubiquitous threads is a funny one. I could tag a number of topics that are as old and tired as the day is long. But we still see them over and over again for a number of reasons. If the thread title is of no interest, keep on scrolling. If any particular thread is annoying by showing up repeatedly in the news feed, you can also Mute the topic so you won’t see it.


So is this a complain about people complaining about other people complaining?

This is some next level inception!


@mcneese.chad is so meta


:rofl: I am too old to really understand that #GenXonthewaytomidlifecrisis :stuck_out_tongue:


This forum is full of complainers, keeps things interesting though


Haha it’s like a reviewer who reviews reviewers. Or in your case a complainer who complains about other complainer’s complaints about threads that complain! :wink:


Copy that.

In fairness, I wasn’t “complaining”, at least that was not my intent. I was pointing out that there is not much need to complain about topics people don’t like to see, since there are easy ways to avoid them. I meant to be more informational than anything. Sorry if it sounds like a complaint :man_shrugging:


It didn’t sounds like a complaint to me but that kind of common sense kinda ruins the joke!

But I agree with you. Threads like this are a bit dismissive of people who actually have issues with things like the ramp test and don’t understand why and come here for information and to learn about it all (which is the whole point). If you don’t agree with the premise of a thread then join in the conversation with why you disagree or just skip over it. And like you said, you can skip it if you have no interest.

Also, I like that this forum is full of threads that both contradict and question the TR programming and methods. Some other similar forums for training systems that I’ve seen are just reinforcements of the coach’s or company’s ways of doing things with little discussion of whether there is a better way to do things than what is already laid out. Even though it can feel like the water is getting muddied, you learn so much about other methods and eventually you have a deeper understanding of the science and can make more educated decisions about your training.


Correction: elitist zealot complainers!

What we are elitist zealot complainers about varies.


Sure it does. In WK05 do the short, medium and long test every 4-6 weeks to maintain the model.