Full Frontal Results - A Mixed Bag

Yesterday, I completed Full Frontal as the last session of the all purpose road plan. Today, I am reflecting on what to make of the results. On the plus side, when compared to my Full Frontal just before starting the plan, my figures are up in all areas.

FTP up 5.9%, MAP up 4.4%, AC up 14.8%, NM up 10%.

On the downside, I was unable to achieve the figures for FTP and MAP from the Half Monty mid way through the plan. Going into the test I felt pretty confident I would be able to maintain these figures based on completing workouts at 100% for several weeks. For reference, they were both approximately 10% higher than the beginning Full Frontal figures.

I’m trying to get my head wrapped around what happened. Here are some of my thoughts.

Level/Gear issues - I tried to complete all of test in level mode. There were many times, during the warmup and recovery periods, where my power exceeded the targets. I would say on average 20 to 30 watts. Not sure if this would affect overall performance, but I’m thinking workload is workload. Anyone do warmup and recovery in erg mode?

Cadence - related to above I tried to maintain a little higher cadence than normal. I wonder if this might have also influenced results.

Ventilation - I didn’t notice until finished my fan was not directly blowing toward me.

Nutrition - Given this only an hour test, I think is likely more a pre-test issue. I took in hydration with electrolytes during the test.

I don’t think it was effort related as my legs were shaking at the end.

I appreciate any insight others are willing to provide.


I got nothing for you but congrats on getting another FF done. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::nauseated_face::face_vomiting:

1 Like

Maybe all the things you mentioned contributed. Plus, some days we perform differently than other days. Plus, the two tests are attempts to measure some of the same things, but neither is perfect so you’d expect differences.

You were correct to stay in level mode. But probably selected the wrong gear and cadence for recovery. Pedal easier next time and maybe downshift.

I definitely felt like it wasn’t my best day.

I tried shifting way down during warmup and recovery, but maybe I should have tried different levels during these periods as well.

I would imagine Full Frontal would be considered the more comprehensive and thus more accurate test.

Not meaningful, but interesting my athlete profile diagram shows me as a Rouleur with MAP, AC and NM are basically equal relative to my FTP. They form an almost perfect semi-circle.


I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets told to do Nine Hammers more.

1 Like

That sounds like a fine result.
Completing two tests which both showed increases in capability.

As they’re different formats it is common to get different results. That, on top of different days and who knows how ones body is working on a given day, is enough to explain that.

I’d say massive congrats on increases across the board and enjoy the next plan on new numbers.

All your planning and setup sounds good to me from my own experiences.

Similar profile to mine. You should be able to do all of FF I Level 1. Really no need to change level at any point—it will just confuse matters. I think the truly hardest part is figuring out in advance what gear/cadence combination will get you to about the power you can sustain. Power bounces around too much when you make changes to gearing and cadence to really know what the steady state is going to be once you’ve stabilized unless you already know ahead of time. Even when you’re at steady state, power bounces around a bunch. Consequently, I found it easier to figure all this out ahead of time, put myself in a predetermined right gear at the beginning of each effort, and focus on cadence to make adjustments to effort. If I was feeling good, I increased it a teeny bit and the reverse if I wasn’t. 1 RPM point is 4 or 5 watts near 200 watts at steady state, although power spikes for several seconds when you speed up and dives when you slow down—so if you don’t know what you’re aiming at, it’s hard to get there.

I find ventilation, hydration and fuelling can all make a difference. Its not an easy test to pace even after several years so congratulations on getting it done.

I had my latest FF a few days ago and was coughing and spluttering like and old car on a Frosty morning during the warm up… Needless to say I initially thought this doesn’t bode well. However the mental strength kicked in and all metrics were shifted upwards and for the first time didn’t think I was going to die in the last 10 seconds of the 1 minute effort. I am convinced the attention to fuelling pre-test and during helped.

1 Like

@dmgadry61 Yes - I stay in ERG mode for warmup and recovery and switch to level for the test segments.

Some people see different test results between Half Monty and Full Frontal. The tests are always measuring how you are performing on that day and can vary based on hydration, sleep, fatigue, etc.

Your results look good and I would recommend just keeping an eye on how you feel for subsequent workouts and if you feel like you can bump your numbers then go ahead but do it slowly and in small increments.


I find the determination of rider types such a mystery. Your relative FTP is higher than mine, with the rest looking like the semi circle you’ve got, yet I’m classed as a time trialist…

If your trainer is wheel-on, your NM may be underestimated. Wheel slip. When I upgraded to direct drive, my NM went up 400W. Moved me from Rouleur to Sprinter.

So did my FF after a 12 Week block focused on Threshold and MAP along with 2 A Week With. Improvements in all 4 Categories, rider type has changed from Rouleur to Climber. Next block will focus on NM and AC to try and improve them. Warmups and recoveries in the small chainring but just didn’t find it suitable for me doing the tests.