Ramp Test Tips & Tricks



step 1 - turn off brain

step 2 - pedal until your legs stop

the ramp test is more of a mental battle than a physical one. its rare (id say impossible) to increase power until you die. the brain won’t let that happen. its all about seeing how long you can manipulate the mind to pretend your not hurting yourself, all the wile having the goal to see how bad you can hurt yourself before the brain shuts off the monkey body. its a battle of will power. i ask my self…“who’s in the drivers seat? does the mind (my inner voice/ true self) run the monkey body, giving orders and running the show? or will i show mental weakness and let the monkey body over power the mind.” with out the brain the leg muscles would fire until the heart gives out. so that has to be the goal (however impossible that may be.) don’t worry about times or power numbers. you should be aiming for death. see how close your mind will let you get to that goal.


@mcneese.chad suggest shifting this to the “Motivational Quotes” thread? :rofl:


That’s kind of a thread winner, isn’t it? :stuck_out_tongue:


I just completed my FTP ramp test. The problem with “aiming for death” is, even though I improved my FTP, discovered a new max HR I didn’t know I had and worked through that metallic taste in my mouth post test, my legs quit on me. I wanted more, my brain had more, my lungs had more, but my legs took charge.
Step 12 Cadence: 107
Step 13 Cadence: 105
Step 14 Cadence: 103 (Previous FTP)
Step 15 Cadence: 89
Step 16 Cadence: 62
Step 17 Cadence: 49 (only held for 8 secs)


When your legs are empty and won’t turn the pedals, even if your life depended on it… you know you’ve done your all… nice one!


How do you know when you quit early and that you could actually have done more. I always wonder afterward if I had anything left in the tank but when I stop it’s because I’m turning the pedals but just not meeting the required power target. At what point should you say that’s me? Usually I quit when my power is 30-40w below target and I just cant get it to move up any more.


Are you suppose to reach your max HR doing this test? On my last test I only reaches 190, my max i 200 (196 measured on vo2 max test)

But I stopped at 190 because my legs would not pedal anymore. It was to heavy. I went from 100rom to 60 pretty quickly. Are you suppose to keep oedaling until you cant turn the pedals at all?

However, I did not stand up, is standing uo cheating? I think I read somewhere that it was. But im sure I could keep going for a bitlonger if I stood up.


When you get off the Turbo and throw up.

Did a test this morning, just about kept the average for that minute. You’ll be in disarray.


I thought that’s the way we should all feel at the end of the ramp test. Legs/Lungs/HR all maxed out?


Once your cadence does a pretty serious drop you are done.

I think in the early beta the workout text used to suggest once cadence went below 70rpm you were finished.


That is what I tought to. Thanks.
I remember when I took a vo2 max test and they said the test was over as soon as I went below 80rpm.


Correct, TR says don’t stand up.


The current TR ramp test directions say go until you can no longer hold the prescribed power, regardless of cadence.


Does anyone else make strategic use of caffeine for their Ramp Tests?

I don’t drink coffee or energy drinks so am very sensitive to caffeine - pop a quick caffeine pill 30 minutes before the ramp test and I am flying! Time it so Britney’s Work B*tch comes on at about 18-19 mins for maximum effect!


Agree with this, at the end of the interval if your average power is below the prescribed avg power for that interval… you’re done.

My tactic is to keep the cadence high like between 95-100 but that’s a personal preference thing, however, if your grinding its much harder to spin the legs faster to keep on top of the power. I found you end up over compensating and going 10/20 watts over therefore cooking your legs unnecessarily.

Basically threw up after today’s test. Not recommended but knew I gave everything haha


Yesterday was NOT THE DAY for ramp testing, 1st attempt got interrupted by a business call and killed my focus but finished it, I knew I could improve it so a few hours later I attempted a 2nd test, my phone decided to do a system update and died when I was just about 180w.

By then I wanted to kill things, as soon as the phone finished its system update and rebooted I decided to attempt a 3rd ramp test. I knew my legs where toast but still managed a 21w increase in FTP.


New to this. I attempted 3 ramp tests tonight with my new 2017 Kickr. A few things seem off. My FTP (89) and power (63) seem way too low. I’ve read to maintain 80-90 rpm to maintain power and do not change gears. I started at about 60rpm and when asked to hit 125 I had to spin at 115rpm all while changing gears. It’s as if the resistance on the Kickr is not working. I had to stop the test because I simply couldn’t spin fast enough or stay stable in my seat. What do I need to do differently? Yes I calibrated in both the wahoo app and trainer road app beforehand. Thanks


Are you certain that you were using ERG mode?

It sounds like it wasn’t adjusting the resistance to match the Ramp Test target power.


I will double check mode. But I believe I was. This is exactly what is happening.

Jessica Costa


My Kickr Snap for the Ramp Test defaults to “resistance mode” every time I load that workout. I then have to go in and switch it to ERG. Also cadence is a recommendation, perform the ramp test at your natural cadence.