Real FTP vs 4DP Ramp

Hi All,

Just looking for suggestions on a way forward following a recent Half Monty Ramp Test.

Just completed the rest week of the first block on a Crit Training program. I completed a Half Monty at the start of the block where my FTP was calculated at 313W. After a month of training with a 3:1 block structure I retested today at 307W.

I know, from outdoor training rides, my FTP has increased from the initial test. For example, I completed a training ride last weekend where my actual output was 308W over a 1h 22m climb. While on the same ride my one minute wattage was 548W & 5 second wattage 1225W.

I’m guessing fatigue played a roll during todays test or my calorie deficit is biting back (though I did try to undertake the test adequately fuelled).

Understand power meters read differently, my figures are for reference only - to indicate something is slightly off.

So, moving forward with my program - I don’t want to miss the benefits I would have gained by an increase in the 4DP Ramp Test, therefore, is it advisable to increase the percentage of 313W?


Was the training ride with the 1h 22m climb at close to FTP part of your training plan?

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Hey @JGreengrass

No it wasn’t. On the weekends I sometimes swap a scheduled XSYSTM ride for outdoors to mix it up.


@Mulletcocktail It is a 6 watt difference so I think you are fine either way. Seems like the numbers are pretty consistent but we are all not the same rider every day so you could have been off or had a great day when doing Full Frontal or you could have been one of those who don’t test as well with the Half Monty or you just stopped on the ramp when you should have pushed through just a bit more.

Regarding the 3/1 schedule, if you are under 40, and have a good handle on other life stresses (work, family) then stay with that scheme. Otherwise I would recommend 2/1.

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Your 6 watt difference on a 300+ watt reading is easily within the error range of a power meter, or the natural fluctuations of human performance.

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Yeah. 6W is only 2% of 300 and much smaller than the combination of all the extraneous factors involved. Also, there is no true actual underlying FTP that you are trying to measure. FTP is defined as the result of a test, and there are various test that will return differing results, and will vary further if the circumstances of the test vary. Its real value is that if a particular test is done under consistent circumstances, then those results can be compared to gauge the effect of training. Comparing the results from one type of test to another, and conducting the test under different circumstances, will produce significant greater variation in results.

FWIW: When I want to get a solid measure of my performance, I always do the 1 week test plan that includes the HM on day three and uses that to set targets for the FF on day 7. I believe this gives me a more accurate and reliable assessment as it provides me a consistent 6 day lead-up to the FF, which reduces some of the variables involved.


Thanks all, your comments are reassuring.

I guess the focus of my question is - should I slightly increase the FTP % for my next block so I engage proper “progressive overloading”? Which, as I understand, should ultimately increase my FTP.


If you want to, go ahead. If you cant finish an FTP based workout, scale it back by 2%. I think it is a low stakes decision. You’ll improve even if you don’t make the change.


@Mulletcocktail I would suggest starting your increases on a workout by workout basis and note how you feel and go from there. Make the changes in very small increments.

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Day to day variability in maximal performance can often vary 5% one way or the other. Also the Half Monty can get different results for different type of riders. For those who are stronger at MAP it can show a higher FTP, and those better at sustained (likely you with that 1hr 22min climbing performance!) it can under read a bit. A 4DP will likely show true results and gains. Finally, a calorie deficit can have a negative effect a few days after it occurs, so even if fuelled on the day of the test, a previous day of low energy availability can come back and bite


Thanks. Yep cranked the Tour of Norway pt.2 session up to 325 tonight.

Tough but manageable.

Thanks Andy.

Yep totally agree the test itself is reliant on a few variables.

Wasn’t sure if I was experienced enough for the full test but will give it a go after my next easy week.


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