XP for Workout Ramp Blocks

The XP earned for ramp blocks in workouts is about half of what it should be. For example, if you are doing 100W for 10 minutes, you get about 100 XP. If you do 200W for 10 minutes, you get slightly more. However, if you do a ramp-up from 100W to 200W for 10 minutes, you earn about 50 XP. Logically, you should get at least the amount you earn for a steady block at the wattage at the start of the ramp, and at most the amount you earn for the highest wattage at the end of the ramp. Ideally, it would be an average of these two numbers.

This is not actually how it works You get the same for a single block regardless of power.

This article explains XP: How Zwift Calculates XP for Cycling Workouts | Zwift Insider

There’s the following:

  • Free Ride Intervals: 5XP/min
  • Warmup/Cooldown Ramps: 5-6XP/min
  • Normal Zone block: ~10XP/min
  • Intervals: 12XP/min

The power does not matter. So, build all workouts out of intervals if you want to maximize XP during workouts.

It’s somewhat bemusing that the xp for a free ride interval is so low. Last year’s Zwift Academy workouts had the testing blocks set up as free ride intervals, so you’d get less xp for the effort than the recovery blocks.

XP for workouts are a bit weird, not based on power at all.
I think ramp ups/downs are lower as they’re meant to be warming up or down. But use the sporadically throughout custom workouts.
Over and unders get the most XP per minute regardless of the power of the segment.

I agree. In some workouts the ramps are the hardest part - it’s odd that you only get “half credit”. Seems like the XP awarded should be based on effort.

1 Like

I’d prefer it to be something based on effort, but the issue is people can set their weight, and keep their FTP low - not many folks have true max efforts to set their zFTP too - so if they use FTP, zFTP, some form of w/kg or CS as an indication of effort it would provide more incentive to not do maximal efforts, or to manipulate weight.

Personally I’d be fine if they gave XP for amount of energy used (basically calories), this way if you put more effort in you get more XP, and as you get stronger you get more XP. But, this would be very problematic for lighter riders or riders with low raw power who cannot produce the same wattage as a stronger rider, so many people would not like that at all. If they scale it by weight then it incentivizes weight manipulation.

As it is now they may as well just give a flat XP per minute because an interval set bouncing between Zone 2 ranges and a set of 30/30s get the same XP per minute at the moment.

For workouts you can set your FTP to whatever you like so no need to change anything else.
I think that is the issue.

I don’t really see why it is different to free riding? why do you get more XP going uphill doing a workout than if you’re not?

On the other hand you get more XP free riding than in an interval workout if you’re going over 36km/h if I recall correctly. (So chilling with coco is more XP than a 30/30 interval set.

Yeah, I mean they could just use time pedalling for XP with both free rides and workouts to simply incentivize time in saddle.

Thanks Aaron. Last time I looked into this, the calculations for workouts was a big mystery, so this is helpful. It still does not make sense to me that a ramp earns half credit when they are often harder than blocks that earn full credit. I’m not going to recreate the entire Zwift workout set that I’m doing as custom just to fix it, so I was hoping Zwift would change their approach.

1 Like

I think this is more-or-less how the rate of Drops accumulation is set (based on effort). There are other factors too: incline, speed, ride-on’s, RoboPacer multiplier.) And the issue is exactly as you state. I’ve got a little one who rides zwift, typically pedaling around at 60 watts. Her rate of drops accumulation is pathetic.

Don’t believe so, if you are just riding with coco then it’s just XP per distance and maybe what you get for banners.

While if you had workout intervals you get distance along with the XP for an interval and perhaps also for the route badge

So you could get huge XP doing workout mode on a uber pretzel for instance.

I never thought about FTP changes with regards to drops. I suppose I cut myself out of well deserved drops when I was injured in 22! :wink: left my FTP at over 300 when I should have put it back to 120. :wink:

Last time I made suggestions about that (particularly for uphill free riding) there was a storm from the people who like their workouts on mountains. I also think that normal riding uphill should get higher XP.

That’s not the way it works. In a workout you do not get XP for distance, only per minute.

I think the cut-off where it equalizes is 36km/h. So with Coco on flat you’re getting more XP per minute than in a workout.


Ah yes, you are right. You can do some XP farming workout blocks however that get a lot of XP. You don’t even work too hard in the intervals.

I have done a lot of testing with interval blocks. There were some posts online where they said doing 56s blocks would somehow cheese the algorithm, but even as of last week someone posted a video of this, and they weren’t getting more than 12XP/min with intervals.

If you see any video showing otherwise let me know. I believe right now even with intervals at 1 min or less you still only can max out at about 12XP/min with intervals.