FTP test thoughts

Hey hey! I see people discussing the FTP test quite a bit, and saw Theia’s article that was posted in the Jan session earlier today, but I just sorta was wanting thoughts on how people go about this! I’ve been upping my FTP manually as things start to feel easier, because every time I do a test I see that the number I get out is much lower than what I “feel” like it should be based on how I’m feeling during the workouts.

I’ve tried using numbers from races, but they are also lower, probably because I’m still working on figuring out how much effort I can actually put out during races without passing out too early.

So thoughts? How do most people change their FTP number? Ramp test? 20 min test? Race numbers? Manually? I know this is super subjective and based on what YOU find to be the best way to measure, but I’m more curious and interested in the discussion to see how people manage this! I like the idea of using the course via the article posted today, so I might try that!

@cjhanson it’s been so long since I have actually done an ftp test I can’t even remember when it was, 4 years ago maybe? I manually adjust my FTP when workouts begin to feel comfortable. I will be adjusting mine up by 5 when recovery week is over and see how it goes. Last time I adjusted my FTP I adjusted it up 5 watts then did a week of workouts and they still felt pretty comfortable so I added another 5 watts and that was just right.

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I use a number gleaned from events on Zwift. I also use a round number, so calculations are easier. The ramp test is interesting and I liked doing it, but it gave me a number that is too high. I haven’t ever done a proper 20 minute FTP test, because it seems both unpleasant and difficult to pace.

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After I finally realize how to adjust my FTP, I moved it 13 points today and it was a pleasant challenge today (moved from 187 to 200). The last 4 drills got me with the timing of switching to a higher watts 300 in less than a minutes and back down. Those `16 cycles got me with the gear shifting and made my quads burn (slower cadence high power)


I just started Zwifting in September and one of the first things I did was the FTP test followed by the FTP training plan. At the end, I did not re-test. Instead, my FTP has increased a few times during the past few months after a free ride where I ride strong. For now, I will leave it up to Zwift to determine my FTP. That will change over time, I am sure.

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Hi, I started this coaching with an FTP of 78 after the 20 min test however personally I thought that was low for me. I’ve also in amongst the coaching sessions done a few group rides and my FTP has automatically increased along the way after those several times now to 104 - an increase of 26. In the sprinting challenge today I did manage to get to 300 watts which I was really pleased about. I’ve really enjoyed the coaching & I’m sure as I get stronger my FTP will increase.


I’m historically terrible at FTP tests. A 20 minute test gives me a number that is so low it’s useless. I did several years of ZA by basically guessing at my FTP and adjusting if the workouts were too easy. Now I do ramp tests and I’ve done them enough that I know “how” to do them and try to get a number that is semi accurate as far as workout difficulty. I still don’t hesitate to adjust it manually if I need to though.


A while ago I made the video below showing FTP test strategies.

Some riders are better at the 20 min traditional test, others are better at the ramp test. The 20 min test is not a great predictor for riders like me, who have predominantly fast-twitch muscles and have difficulty holding steady and/or sustained efforts.

Plus, most people despise taking the test… So yes, there are other methods and as I mentioned in last week’s Q&A manually increasing it is just fine based on how the workouts feel.


I’ll be curious to see how my workouts will turnout as I did the 20 minute test and it was dead awful! My Zwift-generated FTP score was 20 (!) points higher than what I got from the test. If I find things easy, I’ll probably just bump it up over the next while. I’m just starting with the program so I’ll try not to jump the gun though.

That makes sense, @ChaCha