No accuracy in the Ramp Test

ramp-test

#1

I have done the Ramp Test twice and in both this test gives me in the end a FTP way above of where I am if I make the test in the 20 min FTP Test, but waaaay above. I was in 303 FTP with 69 kg and when I finished the Ramp Test it gave me 341 FTP, yes I have got better for sure I have no doubt of it but 301 to 341 is a huge difference. I will do the 20 mim FTP Test and I think I’ll be in around 315 - 320 FTP Unless that the ramp test is for some specific measurement that I am not doing that is totally wrong as an FTP measure, I usually can do the GAPP training after the ramp test and this time I got killed at 1/3 of the training, I just got my two legs cramps for the intervals at 422 435 and 460 watts it was crazy, way way above my capabilities.


#2

Well they are different tests so they will give you different results for sure.

If you think your ftp is 320, set your ftp to 320 and train. If you think your training is too easy, dial it up a skosh. Or reach out to 330 & train…if it’s too much dial it back a skosh.

If your FTP is 320 even just your trainer accuracy will cause it to vary between something like 313 and 327. It wouldn’t surprise me to know that the difference between a ramp & 20min test could be 6% or 7% for a given rider.


#3

What is your setup? These missing details might help explore that variance you’re talking about. I would make sure whatever equipment is being used, is appropriately dialed in - i.e smart trainer or power meter.

With that said, I would echo what the first reply stated. You know yourself better than anyone so dial things up or down accordingly.


#4

It is the wahoo kickr… I´m thinking that maybe the calibration was needed, also that this ramp test may be for a different kind of result, meaning kidn of cyclist… I´ll do the 20 min FTP test when I recover and compare the results


#5

It’s also possible that you just don’t pace your 20-min tests all that well and undershoot your true capability. That’s pretty common, as a 20-min all out effort is tough for a lot of people to pace correctly. The Ramp Test, if you don’t just quit on it, takes you right to the point where you can’t physically pedal anymore. I’d bet that 95% of us don’t really bury ourselves on a 20-min FTP test.

It’s also possible that your VO2 capacity is high relative to your muscular endurance, so you might be able to tolerate those 1-min intervals well above threshold better than some, which might give you a somewhat higher ramp test result.

That said, previous poster nailed it. If you think your real FTP is 320, put it there and adjust as you may. FTP testing of any type isn’t meant to be a strict “be all” metric. It’s there to track progress, and give you a good idea of where you should be training and racing, instead of just winging it or guessing. Ultimately, you’ll know best what you’re really capable of through your results in training.


#6

Are you warming up before the ride? You shouldn’t. Are you standing? You shouldn’t do that either. Just some thoughts on making sure you’re following the “rules” in case it’s not the trainer.


#7

excelent point


#8

ha! very well explained and with lots of logic it may be that… I´ll do that and calibrate accordingly. Thanks for the advice.


#9

On an indoor trainer especially, it is mentally very taxing to go all out for 20’ In fact, I think the hardest 5 minutes I have ever endured on a bike is the 10’-15’ section of a 20’ test. “You mean I’m only half done? There’s no way I can hold this for ANOTHER 10 minutes” “I must have gone too hard.” “Man, I suck.” Are just some of the thoughts that creep into my head as I pass 10 minutes.

There is no pacing in the ramp test. You go until you can’t pedal any more. It’s unlikely you’re going to dehydrate or overheat since only the last 5 minutes of the test is REALLY hard.


#10

The ramp test can do a reasonable estimate but if you set out to do it with a target power in mind and are willing to go super deep then you can overshoot your actual FTP by a longshot. I’ve done this before. I felt so proud of my “increased” 30w+ until I started doing threshold intervals afterward with the new setting which, as you can imagine, were impossible to complete.

Best way to approach the ramp test is to take the result with a grain of salt, then start doing workouts and manually adjusting it accordingly.


#11

Yep, that’s what’s happened to me in the past outdoors, especially before I became better through practice at pacing the FTP tests. I imagine it would be worse if I tried it indoors, for sure.