FTP loss during SSB1


I’m a young/old dude (56) and 2017 was my second season, the A event was a double century in May 2017 and weekly Wed night worlds where I was able to hang onto the wheels of the lead group for the first time. Fitness was pretty high up until late August, when I took some time off and then a short 4 week block before riding the Mt Figueroa Gran Fondo in early Nov. A couple weeks later I injured my back pretty bad, difficult to sit up. The doc said it was ok to ride the trainer in early December and by that point I had dropped from 275 (summer) to 236 in December when I started SSB-1-HV because I couldn’t ride outside and had two years of high volume under my belt. After 6 weeks of mostly sweet spot (a couple outside rides - 70 miles flat and 18 mile climb at 5%) my ftp bumped up to 247 for a nice roughly 5% gain.


Just finished a mix of SSB high and mid. Added some strength training. Went from 292 to 305 FTP. Huge help knowing the 19:30 time delineation. Big fan of Amp (formerly PR) Lotion. Especially for short efforts like the ramp test.


Had posted last night about a 18w drop on ramp test. not entirely convinced it was a good measure of current fitness and also considering lack of vo2 work lately I decided to give the 20 min test a bash. Ive tested with both before and each came back within a few watts. 20 min test came back 27 watts higher than ramp, 9 watts up on start of ssb1.
Just spotted a separate discussion on ramp test not always tracking well especially if your not training above threshold


A decline as measured by your 1 minute max in a ramping protocol. Mine measured 8 watts lower even though i just set my best time on what was previously a 7 minute segment on strava. Beat it by 30 seconds.

I ended up putting most of it back after the first week of ssb2 and my hr never getting within 10 beats of threshold during kaweah.


I’ve noticed something similar myself.

I usually lose about 2% FTP coming off of specialty and into SSB1 and then by the end of SSB1 I’m back to where I was at coming into the previous round of specialty. I really only see FTP gains at the end of SSB2 and during build.


N=1 here, but after that Tuesday ramp test, I did my normal wed & thurs workout and then took Friday off from my usual pool/run workouts so I could hit up a 20 minute test instead of the Kaweah that was prescribed for SSB2 week one. End result, FTP of 261 vs the 244 that the ramp test on Tuesday gave me. I’ve been heavily ironman focused the past 6 months, so am assuming my strength just lies in those efforts as I haven’t done much VO2 work. I’ll probably still try both ways next time as well to see if that gap diminishes with the increasing amounts of VO2 work in SSB2

Disappointing Ramp Test

So I’m seeing similar behavior as some others have posted regarding FTP dropping using ramp test after SSB1 (basically if your not doing VO2 work then your fitness doesn’t fit the zone the ramp test looks at) I’ve been doing wattage based structured training for a few years so I’ve personally already worked through those early big gains we all see when we first start doing structured wattage based training workouts for the first year or so. Is it me or is this thread concluding the ramp test is a good for athletes that are new to structured wattage training?

The consensus seems to be (assuming you have been doing wattage based training for at least a year or so) that you want to use the 20 minute test at the end of SSB1, the 8 minute test at the end of SSB2, the ramp test at the end of Build, and I suppose it doesn’t matter what you test at the conclusion of speciality since you have whatever fitness and ftp you are going to have for your A race. For the moment I’m assuming that ideally we are following the following plan order: ssb1, ssb2, build, speciality, A race. Certainly if we put in 7 months of work during training plans we would like to know where we end up at the conclusion of the entire training plans but from a pure performance perspective I suppose it doesn’t really matter. It is whatever it is.

It seems to me that the goal at the beginning of each training plan is to complete the workouts with as much adaptation as possible. To that end we want the ftp to be high enough that we eek out every possible training adaptation while not being so high that we crack and can’t complete workouts.

My instinct tells me the ramp test was probably created to create a very simple, easy to understand, and easy to execute test for athletes/riders new to wattage based structured workouts but may not be as useful for athletes that have been working in the ftp world for awhile and have to manage functional power year-over-year rather than just entering the realm.


Based on what they said on the podcast around the ramp test announcement, I think they decided to de-emphasize the 2x8 and 20 minute FTP tests due to extreme noncompliance. Put another way, they are comparing the ramp test against the accuracy of people who skipped the old tests and just estimated their change in fitness by feel. Compared to that, I bet the ramp test plus adjusting by feel is going to be really good.

If you’re willing to do the 2x8 or 20 tests, I’d expect them to be more accurate (and I bet it varies by discipline, with time trialists, and triathletes like myself, getting the most useful number with the 20 minute test). However, I think changing the test you’re doing based on what you think will give you the highest number for the upcoming training block is the wrong way to look at it: you want to balance repeatability / comparison over time, which would point strongly toward doing the same test every time, vs. a test that reflects how you’ll handle the upcoming block. So if you’re willing to do that…

  1. Do the 20 minute test at the start of SSB 1, because you want to know what sorts of efforts you can hold for longer periods of time.

  2. Do the 20 minute test at the start of SSB 2, or possibly the ramp test, because you will mostly be doing sweet spot intervals, and the plan will help you build up how long you can hold harder, 120-125% efforts.

  3. Consider the 20 minute test, the 2x8 minute test, or the ramp test at the start of your build phase, depending on what sort of efforts you’ll be doing (vo2max intervals will probably show up, and you want to be able to do them).

And if you start to dread the FTP tests (which it sounded like a lot of very good, fit cyclists end up doing!), then consider the ramp test and be willing to adjust to taste. :slight_smile:


Did you do low, mid of high volume?

I did a modified high volume SSB1 and I will do a test tomorrow


From what i have learned about sweet spot and base programs in general is that during this period it is nog about getting the power higher. A drop is ‘normal’. Especially I think in efforts that ask ‘allot’ of effort at Vo2 max like the TR ramp test.
Sweet spot is about building the muscular foundation. Increased carbohydrate storage, fat burning, muscular endurance and incorporation of fast twitch muscle.
The whole big base high peak thing.
I’m interested in what you can peak to in the build and specialty fases.

When you do the next workout at your new ftp and you heart rate is much lower then 85% of max 5 minutes into the interval then you can bump it up to you old FTP, note the sweet spot interval must be at 94% of ftp for this to be somewhat accurate.