FTP Test or Ramp Test?

Which is the best to do to refresh my FTP prior to starting a training plan? Never done a ramp test before.

I think the short test is a better predictor of your FTP than the ramp test. I’ve heard that the ramp test can over estimate the number, but it is also good to use both or all 3 tests to verify the numbers you are getting.

Shayne from GC Coaching has commented on this in their podcast “Never Going Pro” - a ramp test is a great way to judge what your max aerobic power is or VO2 max things like that. But a true FTP test should be a lot longer like 20 to 30 minutes, ideally. And then if it’s a 20 minute tests, you should ideally do some kind of burn out effort, like I think Zwift uses the three or five minute 115% effort before because you’re trying to decrease your anaerobic contribution to the power produced. That’s why people have a ramp test and they have a super high FTP because it’s being over inflated.


Hi Adam, I did the Zwift Time Trial Tuesday today - flat route, 17,6km. Was a real FTP test for me, with 28 mins. Much fun, can recommend it.

But the key is to decrease your anaerobic power before starting the 20 minute test, so unless you did a 10 or 15 minute warm up with at least a 3 minute burn at 115% of your FTP, then you are going into the TTT with fresh legs and this can over estimate your true FTP.

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Did 26 mins GP Lama’s warm up before joining the TT, can recommend it too!
It was not my first FTP test, I am pretty sure it’s not over estimated.

Edit - link added:

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Just performed Trainerroads ramp test today and it gave me an FTP of 279W. That number may be overestimated, may not be. The whole point for me is to have a consistent FTP test that is backed by a quality plan that will have very hard but doable workouts that in the end make me faster. So long as the workouts that follow are properly set up for me having a ramp test result of 279W then I am happy.

Second item to note is that I will always do the ramp test moving forward to track performance increases. First ramp test was 225W (Dec 1, 2019), second test was 253W (Jan 9, 2020) and today is 279W. Whether or not it is accurate and comparable to someone else’s 20 minute test doesn’t matter to me. What is important is that my fitness is certainly increasing and at a quick rate (54W in less than 5 months).


How would you rate that podcast overall? I drive 2 hrs or more a day and can always find time for good training podcasts. I am through more than 100 of the Trainerroad episodes now and will run out before I know it and need to line up something new. What do they usually talk about?

It’s a good one, they are all on team DIRT and Shayne owns GC Coaching. They talk about training on Zwift and being dads, they usually interview a guest as well. GP Lama has been on, Tyler the vegan cyclist, etc…

Other good ones are DC rainmaker and GP lama’s the fit file for all things sports tech. Zwiftcast of course. Ted King’s King of the Ride, Payson McElveen’s the Adventure Stache, and The Slow Ride podcast.

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Perfect. Thank you.

Fast Talk from Fast Labs (and originally Velo News) is excellent, listened to the whole thing from episode 1 last year. (The Trainerroad podcast I found too n00b-centric and repetitive, unsubscribed after maybe 10 episodes.)

Yeah, I agree. They answer questions posted on their forums, so the same things get asked over and over… n00bs! Every once in a while there is a gem however.

Perfect, Thank you. I have also subscribed to this one and will get into it given some time.

Upon further thoughts i will start or bump a cycling podcast thread. I want to know what everyone is listening to. I am interested in growing this list.

That explains a lot for me, thanks.

I did a ramp test on Zwift and got an FTP of 201W. I then started an FTP Builder plan but found the intervals at threshold way too hard. I was pretty much at max heart rate at the end of every interval.

I then did an outdoor 20min FTP test and got a result of 162W, which seems way more realistic.

Zwift uses an abbreviated ramp test. I use one that increases 5 watts per minute and it is very accurate but it takes 16 to 20 minutes.Another one increases 20 watts every four minutes.Shane Miller has a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtKTdf9yhZE

there was another thread that talks about how you have to learn to pace the FTP test, so it will probably take a few tries to get an accurate reading on it. this is definitely my experience – pacing yourself properly takes a lot of practice.

the ramp test is easier to take, but because you need to be in the right “warmed up state”, it’s easier to overshoot what your actual FTP is.

i’ve had decent luck with doing either FTP or ramp test maybe 2 or 3 times, doing some workouts to check that it “feels right”, then just letting zwift increase my FTP as i post better race times or group ride times.