Is my FTP too high?

Every time I do FTP test or get a bump in FTP it feels like the workouts are impossible to complete.
I did a ramp test, got 235 FTP. Today I tried to do the 2X20 FTP and could only manage 10 minutes on each interval and I was dying. Basically locking up the trainer because I couldn’t maintain cadence. It feels way to hard. Is there a reason I keep testing ‘high’ on the FTP test and cant sustain workouts? Also I did an FTP builder plan and every workout was shattering. I need advice on redoing FTP and working in a manageable range. Help?!

I would suggest doing the FTP test not the ramp test, the ramp test tend to give high numbers for certain type of riders.


I was just going to say this :slight_smile: or even better, set your FTP low, like 200W manually. Then let Zwift keep it updated when you do hard rides and races. I find this is more accurate than actual testing.


Personally I don’t use the FTP from races either, it is not repeatable it is just a 20min test. The FTP test has a specific structure to make it a “true” FTP value.

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I agree with Gerrie. Try doing the short or standard FTP test and see what you get. In my experience, the result you get should be pretty well dead-on with where you should be in Zwift workouts. That is, the challenging ones (like 2 x 20 @ FTP) should be hard but - at the same time - you should be able to complete them.


I’m confused about FTP intervals, especially 2 x 20. FTP a measurement of your max ability in over 20 minutes with a couple days of rest beforehand (fresh legs), yes? How is a rider expected to hold 20 minutes at that wattage and do it AGAIN in the same workout while accumulating fatigue throughout a block of training?

I nearly die at the end of an FTP test and there’s no way I could replicate the freshness/motivation in an ordinary workout once… let alone twice. I realize FTP is 95% of your 20 minute test, but still, twice seems like a lot to expect and for me would be destined for interval failure. Any experts wanna weigh in on this?

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I have the same problem. There’s no way I could hold 95% if my 20 minute max for an hour. Maybe for trained athletes it’s possible but for beginners/intermediate I don’t think it’s achievable.


If you look at the FTP test (see below) you will see there is some hard efforts in the beginning, the whole test is over an hour. The whole design of the test is to estimate your “one hour max power” (FTP)

So if your FTP is sy 300w then it should not be impossible to do that 2x 20 min, because in theory you should be able to hold it for 60min.


Except it’s not a measure of your MAX over 20 min. It’s an estimate of your 1 hour average power output. In Zwift’s case, it’s 95% of your best 20 min effort AFTER being fatigued by the higher intensity blocks that precede the ‘test’ portion.

So, for example, to record an FTP of 230 watts, one has to be able to sustain an average of 242 watts for 20 min (again, after some harder efforts up front to fatigue the legs a bit). Doing 2 x 20 min blocks at 95% (e.g. 230 W) with a proper warmup and rest in-between the blocks is certainly possible (assuming one’s FTP is set correctly!). If it’s impossible? Then your FTP is set too high.

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You would have to train at your new FTP first in order to try to hold it I think. Theoretically you should be able to hold at least 95% of your 20 min max at your old FTP though.

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Right. And that 5 min block at 110% of FTP is work! Compare that to the relatively pleasant warm up and 10 min @ 50% between the two blocks in the 2 x 20.

Not that anyone’s saying they’re ‘easy’. They’re hard. That’s why lots of people probably opt for the 2 x 15 FTP, or SST instead @Keir_James.!

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Wow, lots of great discussion points here.
Thank you everyone for the feedback.

Not to through more into the mix, but I previously had a 225 FTP from Zwift in a ride I did, then the ramp at 235.

I think the key for me here is to make sure to hit the pre-fatigue portion of the FTP test and not try to coast through that and into the 20 min block. It would probably be more accurate.

Is the longer test more accurate?

I usually do the shorter one as that get me to good FTP number to use in my workouts. I would say just stick to one that you trust. The big idea with these shorter than 60min tests is so that you can do them more often. doing a 60min test will tax your body to much to do it often.

One you have a good base lie for your FTP then the pre-fatigue portion will be very important and it will be at the correct level. You need to try to hit those numbers as best possible.

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Suggest you lower your ftp for your tests or trg by about 50 watts until you can complete a session

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thanks, I was looking for something like that.
I’ll drop it by 50 until I can complete that workout.

Dropping it arbitrarily by 50 Watts to make workouts easier basically defeats the purpose of FTP tests and training.

For most cyclists, 50 W is a big change (it’s more than a 20% reduction from the FTP you got during your ramp test.). Setting your FTP to 185 W will certainly make every workout A LOT easier, but you won’t gain nearly as much from them.

If 235W is really too high, set it to 225W and see how that goes. You can also use the FTP bias buttons on the Companion App to make adjustments in 1% increments on the fly.