“I hated it, I’m never doing another one”
Is not uncommon to hear when the three letters F.T.P are mentioned.
It has this reputation of being:
- Brutally hard
- Unrewarding (unless you have a really good day)
- Really hard
- Unproductive as you have to rest beforehand and take time to recover afterwards
- And did I mention hard?
What is FTP?
In a nutshell, ride your bike for as hard as you can for the best average over an hour and if you recorded this with a power meter, then the number you are greeted with is your Functional Threshold Power (FTP)
Sounds horrific right?
Which is why, no one, quite literally no one I know has ever done one.
So a bright spark one day came up with a 20 minute test.
20 minutes sounds like a piece of cake in comparison to an hour.
With this test, you ride hard to gain your best average over 20 minutes. Use 95% of this number and you have your theoretical FTP.
But people have gone one step further. A ramp test.
Now, after warming up for 5:00 you can now do a test which “steps” up every minute on the minute until you can no longer pedal (I was finished including warm up in 19 and a half minutes).
The benefit of this new test is that it’s quicker and easier to do.
Plus, the hard work part only takes around 4-5 minutes compared to 20 of the older test.
So there are 3 common ways to work out your FTP number.
But what is the point in it?
Why do we need to measure it?
Assessing this number regularly is a way of measuring your performance which some people will love (others not so much…)
But the way we see it is that it’s a benchmark. A realistic view of where you are right now so that the next 8-12 weeks of training are bespoke to you.
Of course in this 8-12 weeks, you’ll need to be adding in a stimulus of some kind to make any changes happen.
When it comes to training, there are two key variables:
– Volume (number of hours)
– Intensity (how hard you are working)
Increase one of these and chances are your FTP will change (hopefully positively).
The risk of changing volume is most of us have jobs and commitments and therefore can’t keep upping this number.
The secret sauce at HURTBOX is to work on the latter.
A magician should never reveal their secrets, so you won’t be getting the top tips here on this one, but if you are ensuring you are varying your training each week, using varying intensities and ensuring you are working hard (but not overtraining) then you can use the FTP test as a gauge of success.
Of course, we’ve done hundreds of hours of testing on various programs to ensure the sessions we create are the ones that’ll give you the best bang for your time.
If you are looking for that short cut, you know where we are.
P.S. If you are interested in trying out an FTP session, fill in the form below and we’ll get in touch with details on joining us for a trial session (FTP sessions are happening throughout the week commencing 29th October 2018)