Should I set my target FTP instead of the FTP testing result in workout?

I am wonder what FTP value should I set for the workout session, as my friend would set the FTP to slightly higher than their current FTP, that would make the training a bit harder.

I am currently doing so for my 6 wk Beginner FTP
Builder, putting a ftp value which is higher than the tested FTP value by 11%.

By raising the FTP for the workout, it would be not be that easy (if not it would be too easy), and so far I have done to week 4 tempo, except the days after weight training, i can manage to complete with full stars.

my friend also suggest me to put a higher FTP instead of exactly the tested one. So want to see how other members doing on this. Thanks.

If a workout based on your actual FTP is too easy then your FTP isn’t accurate (if it hasn’t been that long since your last test and assuming it isn’t a recovery/easy ride workout session).

What FTP test did you use to set the value? The short and long ones are supposed to be all out efforts, I.e. feel like puking at the end and your legs can’t turn over the pedals anymore. Most people I’d say don’t have the mental strength to go that deep for a Zwift FTP test (myself included). The ramp test should be the same, keep pushing until your legs are physically unable to meet the target wattage.

Personally i also doubt about my ftp test result.

For the 1st time I did the test, I choose the 20 min one. I didn’t go for the ramp test before that and I may have set a higher ftp than I should have and so the warm up may consume more energy than I suppose to. During 20 minutes, I am pretty conservative as I’m afraid I’m unable to complete the test and fell down, so I stay at a pacing like i did in a whole-day ride at almost 15 min. Only during last few minutes I raise the power a bit.

After the test, it’s like I just did a workout, and feeling even easier than a tempo ride. I got 138 at the end at 2.4w/kg. A bit disappointed but accept it as I didn’t have any hard ride or training for a long long time.

But after that i put 160 for every training session. I didn’t put 138 as I am afraid it may be too easy for the training. Heart rate is usually under 160 for most sessions. For foundation session with a lot of zone 2 ride, HR was usually under 140.

For the second ftp test, I did the same 20 min version after 4 weeks, but it was taken after the day of hard session (100 KM ride + some weight training), my legs were tired actually. And then i forgot to lower the ftp value to 138 for the test and set at 160 as usual. For the 20 min test, this time I do it like a interval, unlike the endurance pacing in last time, yellow, green yellow, green like this and a bit red zone at the end. Finally got the result of 144 in the 2nd test at 2.6w/kg.

So the question is, should I still put 144 for the rest of training? But it would make the last 2 weeks of 6 wk FTP builder plan even easier than my first few weeks.

I’m just wondering the approach of other people do:

  1. Put the tested FTP no. regardless of the physical status during the test, or
  2. Put a ftp figure that you target to achieve, which maybe 5% higher than your current ftp (e.g. my friend ftp is 18X and she want to get 200, so she put 200 ftp in every training session, and I’ve followed her approach)

I didn’t do an FTP test to start with; I rode some races and tour stages (longer than 20 minutes) and Zwift calculated what turned out to be a pretty accurate number (you get the encouraging “we’ve detected an increase” message). It worked for me because the events were all out efforts; I think I would struggle to pace a 20 min FTP test.

Do the ramp test next time. No need to pace yourself. Sounds like you know your true FTP is higher than what the test showed so put in what you think it is in to zwift so your workouts are more likely to help you.

If you want to do the 20 minute test then choose what you think your FTP is and divide it by 0.95, this is the number you should be sitting at for the 20 minutes - that is pacing yourself correctly.