Want to start a training plan, ramp vs full frontal

I’ve been base building on casual rides and runs (with some intervals) but I understand a full frontal is both a skill and assessment?? I want an accurate measurement and for my plan to be at the proper intensity, from my understanding ramp tests are less of a skill? If I use that will my workouts adjust to the proper intensity for my smart trainer in erg mode? I’m new, I’ve run a decent bit but this whole world of watts and bikes is new to me and I wanna make sure SYSTM is working for me. Thanks!

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I’d start with a ramp test (Half Monty). It will give you pretty good numbers for FTP and MAP. I think the first time you do it, it will also fill in AC and NM based on population average ratios to FTP.

While you’re right that the ramp test is technically easier and doesn’t require the same pacing skill, it is still a skill to push yourself to your limit.

Once you’ve got a bit more indoor riding in your legs, try the Full Frontal. It’s worth it.

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I recommend a FF because you should learn how to pace yourself and this is perfect as you need to do it four times. And with the results from the FF your training will be more on spot, taking your strength and weaknesses into account. You can do another FF for finetuning after 4-6 weeks of structured training or when you finished your plan.
Personally, I have such a bad MAP that the FF thought that I have done something wrong during the test and set the MAP to a minimal value that suits my FTP. :stuck_out_tongue:

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Lots (and LOTS) of discussion on this topic throughout the forums, but my two cents in a nutshell: do the HM to get your first/baseline numbers, then do FF at least once AS AN ERG WORKOUT just to get a feel for the test length, pacing requirement, etc. Don’t try to kill any of the individual metrics, just use your HM numbers to ride a FF through.


Hey @Reezysneezy, welcome to the forums. As noted by @CPT_A , there is a yak ton of discussion on the 2 fitness tests in SYSTM.

I would add my voice to the “start with the Half Monty” test to give you a sense of what your personal metrics are in 2 of the 4 key metrics that make up your rider profile.

Imho, MAP and FTP are really where it’s at when it comes to training for the vast majority of folks and really where the focus is for most of the workouts in the app. That said, these aren’t the only metrics and AC and NM are also important and without testing how you perform here, you will not be taking full advantage of all that SYSTM has to offer.

Also, it’s important to know that certain rider types find that the HM ramp test will overestimate their FTP and MAP and others will find that it underestimates it. I’m in the lucky bunch where HM VERY accurately predicts my FTP and MAP.

So, if you want the MOST accurate testing metrics to base your training on, you’ll need to do the Full Frontal 4DP test. But, it does take a little bit of practice to nail the pacing, choice of which level to put your training in and gearing, all of which you can practice using level mode in any of the Open Vids.

Here is a good source of info from the Wahoo folks, def worth a read:


Please check back in and let us know how things went!

Edit: I moved your post to the Fitness Testing topic in the Training Category.


What I suggest is what I did when I started with SYSTM, the 1 week test prep training plan that includes the HM and then the FF. I did that when I started 9 weeks ago and am doing it now after completing two 4-week training blocks. That one week, which includes the two tests, is not a throwaway. It’s a week of legit workouts, so definitely don’t view it as a waste of time.

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For riders with little or no experience, I would suggest doing the Half Monty ramp test. If you read and follow the instructions correctly, it is the more approachable test of the two available ones. You just hit the ramp until you fail, and after the ramp test, you will be asked to ride within a suggested heart rate zone. That’s it.
You don’t miss too much from my pov if you start your SYSTM experience with the numbers you get from the Half Monty ramp test. That is because most of the workouts are based on MAP and FTP numbers you will get from Half Monty.
After several weeks of training with SYSTM you may want to do the Full Frontal Test, which requires the ability to pace yourself correctly and at the same time know how to use the level mode together with shifting your gears to adjust the power according to the pacing. To train these skills, you may want to do some workouts in the level mode so you can learn how your trainer and your power output react to switching levels and gears. For the actual Full Frontal test, I would recommend the one-week preparation that includes Half Monty and Full Frontal. Half Monty will give you a good idea of how you may want to pace the MAP effort and the FTP effort, and that is very helpful if you do Full Frontal for the first time.

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Welcome to the platform.

You may be more confused with ‘contrasting’ information regarding which test to take first. If you have become comfortable and confident with riding in level mode, and having tried several sprints, I would suggest going FF first. I say this as I read what your perception is regarding the tests and what your expected expectation is post testing.

I will say, don’t get hung up on the numbers at the end. It’s just your number so don’t go making comparisons.

I was similar to you. Came from a running background and dived into the deep end. Just to save time. As a throwaway, o have been around a while and have yet to take HM as a test.

Knowing how most people have higher numbers wrt FTP and MAP doing HM over FF, and the fact that AC and NM are not ‘measured’, it was inevitable that FF would be on the radar sooner, so I just did it.

But the caveat above is that I got comfortable to ride in level mode, tried various levels and sprinting combinations to feel how the trainer would react.

All the best with your testing whichever route you take. Read up on the links supplied by the others. And don’t overthink either test.