What is the reason you stop the ramp test?

For me, it’s my heart can’t beat any faster - how about you?

  • My legs get tired
  • I can’t breath any faster
  • My heart can’t beat any faster

0 voters

————————————-
Edit: added question:

Can any information be gleaned from why people fail the ramp test to inform the sort of training they should do or avoid? Or set expectations on the response to training?

E.g. can muscle endurance/utilization of oxygen be more readily trained than cardiac output/oxygen delivery?

——————————————-
Edit: addition of study on max HR and reasons for stopping:

These are some interesting stats In the poll. And compare reasonably well* to the results from this study below - which tested people’s max HR on a treadmill ramp, but also asked them for the reason they stopped.

Note: *if you group heart/breathing together, which were probably a little difficult to tell apart for people in this study, as most were likely non athletes who may not be dialed in to their body sensations).

  • Leg fatigue: 81%
  • Shortness of breath: 17%
  • Chest discomfort: 1%

You missed vomiting through your nose!

I used to go until I physically could not go any further but that resulted in an inflated number - by that I mean I couldn’t hold it for over 10 mins let alone 20+.

The last ramp test I ran until it was very uncomfortable and I didn’t want to keep going. The result from that was within a couple of watts of a TT style effort I did for ~30 mins to catch up on a training ride. That was a pace I could have held longer if needed but could not have gone over without burning matches.

6 Likes

Avoiding an overestimated and unsustainable FTP

6 Likes

How can i FEEL if my heart cant beat any faster? Lactic acid accumulating in the legs, and the feeling of oxygen debt i can FEEL, but my heartrate I can only see as a number on my headunit.

probably when you hit your max HR. But your max may vary day to day… I did 2 ramp tests.
178 at breakpoint
176 at breakpoint.

Max on over unders are ~ 170
Max last 4 weeks: 181 (sprint effort on outdoor ride)
Max last 12 months: 187 (MTB race)

So for me the ramp test is done when my legs can’t turn the pedals anymore, lungs are pretty maxed, but not limiting, same for HR, getting up to max, but not at the limit

2 Likes

A bit of them all but the main reason are legs cracking due to the lack of oxigen reaching to the muscles.

Breathing and heartrate for me, my legs (if I’d have to choose) I’d say are my trump card.

I have to be mentally prepared to suffer, some music some caffeine etc.

It’s lungs for me. But also I have a decent sense of when I’m at a point that if I keep pushing, I’ll end up vomiting. Ramp test isn’t worth that, so I stop.

Worth noting also that I only trust ramp results about 1/3 of the time. I discard results when I know I didn’t get to the “end,” and the number shows it.

1 Like

I think you should also include a mental element, simply breaking in your mind. I more often then not simply break mentally before either my legs, muscles, heart or lungs give out :wink:

3 Likes

Oh, good point! I must confess I’m guilty of this…shut it down early because I’m looking out into the future and seeing threshold workouts fading to VO2max.

:grin:

I’m only cheating myself…

1 Like

Agreed! The mental component is important. Since ramp is always a test to failure, it’s kind of demoralizing. Three steps above FTP, it’s so easy to start thinking “why am I doing this? I know how this story ends.”

2 Likes

usually my legs start screaming and my mind is like AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

1 Like

I wish I had that foresight!!!

Usually it’s leg failure. Sometimes I can’t maintain the spin anymore and I pull the plug. Sometimes I hit the erg spiral of death.

Need to edit to include: ALL OF THESE :grin:

1 Like

S-T segment depression.

1 Like

If it happens, you’ll know :grin:. It’s not a pleasant experience.

+1 to this. That’s what I think of when a ramp test legit goes all the way to failure. Cadence drops and you just can’t hang on anymore.

I think my last ramp test might be one of @tomski86’s ‘mental failures’ since my cadence didn’t really tail off at the end…it was at the 400W step…once you know a little about the ramp test you know that’s the 300W mark & if I’m being honest I was thinking about how un-fun 300W threshold intervals would be.

Comparing that to my past ramp tests it seems clear I was just giving up before the end. Probably not much before the end but more left in the tank just the same. I was weak! All tempo/sweetspot/threshold work has been in a fairly extreme aero pos’n for the past few months & it started to wear on me.

3 Likes

Can any information be gleaned from why people fail the ramp test to inform the sort of training they should do or avoid? Or set expectations on the response to training?

E.g. can muscle endurance/utilization of oxygen be more readily trained than cardiac output/oxygen delivery?

interesting! here is my last failure point:


On ERG mode. You see the power fall a bit below target (340/380) followed by a slow decrease in cadence, slowing down from 97 --> 78 and then the point where you can’t move the pedals anymore. Not sure if there was an option to stretch this further, but the new number seems OK, so no need to break my legs :smiley:
Ebbets and Palmer felt just alright on the new FTP, so I’m happy with the effort

1 Like

Yeah you can totally see from the first pic that you just snapped… Tends to be the same with my mental snaps, a split second decision and you’re done :wink:

2 Likes