Ramp Test : Just Doesn't Work For Me


After many attempts at the ramp test, I find I simply can’t achieve the FTP that I can with the 20 minute test. Firstly, I’m puny, 52Kg, therefore can’t generate big power values. For the 20 minute test I can achieve an FTP of 225W, requiring a 20 minute output of 237W, this I can achieve and subsequent training using this FTP would suggest it is representative of my capabilities as I can achieve the necessary intervals, rarely needing to bale out of a workout. During the ramp test, I can only achieve around 270W, giving an FTP of just over 200, simply because I don’t posses the physiology to put out wattage greater than this magnitude. Does anyone else find this is an issue ?. I would much rather perform a ramp test than the 20 minute test however only if it gives a true representation of my FTP for training. I don’t want to drop down to 200W and lose the adaptation I would achieve using 225W.


I took a peek at your profile and when you were using your 20 minute test FTP, you failed a good amount of your indoor workouts. If you are regularly failing or turning down the intensity of the workouts, you are missing out on more adaptations than if you had a lower ftp and completed the workout.

My recommendation would be to try following the plan you’ve selected with the Ramp Test ftp and then re-test using the Ramp Test again and see what your workout completion looks like. I’m guessing you’ll have a much higher completely rate and see an improvement the next time you do the ramp test.


A couple quick thoughts:

  1. The ramp test is relative. The fact that you’re lighter weight should not in itself mean that the test won’t work for you. Everyone that does the ramp test should hit that ceiling where they just can’t put out any more power.

  2. The test will not work for everyone. On average, TR has figured that about 75% of a rider’s maximum 1 minute power on the ramp test equates to their FTP. This is just an average, though, and not everyone is going to fit into this neat little box.

  3. If the 20 minute test gives you a better result and you can back up that number in your training, then by all means go with that number. Maybe a different solution would be to perform your 20 minute test and ramp test close together (not on the same day) and then work backwards to figure out the “correct” percentage based on your maximum 1 minute power.

  4. Such a big discrepancy between your 20 minute test and ramp test makes me wonder if something else could be off here. Are you going as deep as possible on your ramp test until you absolutely cannot, no matter what, turn the pedal again? For about 2 or 3 minutes the ramp test is really not fun, but you have to gut it out.


That’s the sensible approach. I guess it’s just difficult to accept a lower FTP however as you say, better to start lower and build up rather than failing workouts and/or reducing intensity. My last event was back in September and since then I’ve been sticking to outdoor rides, nothing structured, so a drop in FTP is to be expected.


FTP ebbs and flows with the season! Mine is down as well from peak season, but when I look at where I started the previous year, I’m doing just fine.

Every year is a new opportunity to get the fundamentals right for the next season :grin:


I think it’s just wishful thinking on my part that my FTP has remained at 225, my “season” finished in September therefore I haven’t been following structured training since then, just riding outdoors. I’ll accept the drop and train to the new number and hopefully build back up with time. I’m just starting back into base anyway so I should expect a lower starting FTP.


You’re still almost at 4 w/kg so I’m not sure what you’re complaining about haha


I think that’s why I was more annoyed about it, dropping below 4, but it’s totally irrelevant going into base training so I’ll man up and take the hit :slight_smile:


FTP is just a number.

My Opinion:

  1. Swallow the pride, ego or whatever hangs on that silly number.
  2. Take that value for what it is.
  3. Apply it to your training.
  4. Crush your workouts to their fullest of intended intensity and duration (with minimal Intensity decreases or back pedal breaks).
  5. You will improve from your current state by doing things as intended rather than tweaking and likely causing problems while chasing some old value.


As others have said - base your ftp on whether the workouts ‘feel right’…not whichever test gives higher number (however hard physiological that is!)