Ramp Test: how to do a strength test on the smart trainer?

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Foto: BKOOL

Strength tests are essential to understanding your cycling performance’s progress. Performing this test on the smart trainer provides very reliable data since no external factors influence the result. That is why today we are going to talk about the Ramp Test, one of the most popular tests on the smart trainer.

Why do you have to do a strength test?

Before explaining the Ramp Test, it is worth mentioning the importance of performing watts tests, as they allow us to know our FTP – Functional Threshold Power. This value is essential for effective training.

A well-defined FTP offers the possibility of establishing training sessions that are truly adapted to the cyclists’ characteristics, thus being more useful for improving performance.

What is the Ramp Test?

Performing a strength test on the smart trainer consists of doing a hard and demanding workout for about 20 minutes during which the intensity of the exercise is measured. The result of this test will dictate the cyclist’s evolution on the smart trainer.

In this case, the Ramp Test consists of a test in which the cyclist progressively increases the number of watts in intervals of between one and three minutes. The cyclist starts with a base wattage, increasing the intensity by 6 to 8% at each interval.

This test does not have a set time. The test ends when the limit is reached and the exercise cannot be continued.

How is FTP calculated with this method? By calculating 75% of your highest power reached in the intervals during the test. This will give a very accurate value.

Aspects to consider in the Ramp Test

It is important to note that before starting this test it is necessary to warm up for ten to fifteen minutes to avoid muscle pain or injury, especially in the legs.

As we have pointed out, the test ends when the limit is reached. However, one of the most common mistakes people make is to try to continue with the test even though there is hardly any strength left. This is counterproductive as it causes you to end up doing the exercise badly, ending up much more fatigued.

The Ramp Test can be performed on a regular basis to achieve an even more accurate result. With this test, we mainly improve our physical condition and our performance on the smart trainer.

Advantages of the Ramp Test

The main advantages of the Ramp Test are:

– It requires less time than traditional tests to perform. 

– The pace factor does not influence its development. 

– It is very accurate as it can be performed continuously.

The Coggan Test, an alternative to the Ramp Test

Although the Ramp Test is currently one of the most widely used for strength training on the smart trainer, there is another variant that is also very effective.

The Coggan Test is another good alternative that can be performed in twenty minutes – it is a shorter version – but only works depending on the type of competition we are going to perform.

ramp test
Foto: BKOOL

This is done by performing a previous protocol of several ascents and descents to then perform the twenty minutes of the test at the maximum possible performance. In order to carry out this test, you have to divide the test into a warm-up and a main part.

The main part of the test is composed of five minutes of maximum effort, five minutes of recovery, fifteen minutes of maximum sustained effort, and five more moderate final minutes.

Through these times you will obtain an average watt to be multiplied by a correction factor of 0.95 to give the watts threshold value.

Conclusions

The Ramp Test has become very popular among cyclists in recent years due to its accuracy. Performing this test in BKOOL is simple, as you can design it in the workouts. You will then know your FTP and will be able to set up training sessions adapted to your cycling performance.

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