g-force Ramp Test
The g-force UT Ramp Test provides an efficient and effective means to assess your current fitness level. By gradually increasing the resistance at regular and continuous intervals (similar to riding up a hill that gets steeper and steeper) until you no longer can continue, you will be able to determine your “maximum anaerobic power”. This is an important assessment that will not only give you an objective analysis of your current fitness, but also allow you to determine your “functional threshold power” (FTP).
Functional threshold power is the maximum power output that you can sustain for one hour. It is the measurement of how efficient our physical “power plant” operates. In most cycling events (except track sprints) the person with the highest FTP will have the best chance of winning whether your racing in a criterium or completing a “personal best” in your favorite century. Improving your FTP will improve your performance and overall physical fitness.
FTP is calculated by taking the maximum watts achieved during the last full minute of your UT Ramp Test and multiplying it by 73% (Max watts x .73 = FTP). This will give you a number in watts, so if you were able to achieve 320 watts during the last full minute during your ramp test your FTP would be 234 watts, which should be the maximal watt level that you could ride for one all out gut busting, nothing left hour!
The great news about FTP is that it will improve dramatically with correct training! In the following LeMond Training System workouts, you will use your FTP to calculate your exact watt level for each workout to maximize your training. Remember as your fitness improves you will need to retest yourself and update your FTP, it is recommend you do a UT Ramp Test every 4 weeks to keep your fitness moving forward!
To do a UT Ramp Test choose a well-ventilated room and place a large fan directly in front of the g-force UT. This is an intense effort and although it will not last long (8-20 minutes) core body temperature can rise quickly and both affect the results as well as potentially causing heat exhaustion. Prepare as you would a race or a big ride, rest for a day or two before and get yourself mentally prepared to give it your best effort.
The UT Ramp Test starts at a low watt level (30-50) and gradually builds until you reach your peak and can no longer continue. Once you have selected “Ramp Test”, which is one option when you select “LeMond Training” you will be asked to choose an amount of watts that the UT will gradually add each minute. Generally, 20 watts allows for an easy beginning and more gradually builds to your max. If you cannot make at least 6 min. using 20 watts per minute then go down to 10 watts per minute or if you are lasting much more than 18-20 minutes go up to 30, 40 or even 50 watts.
Once you have completed the test hit the (-) button and you will go into a gradual 2 minute “cool down” which is important after making a max effort. It is highly recommend that you use a USB stick and at the end of the cool down the UT will prompt you to download the data. Once this is accomplished, find you highest watt level for your last 60 seconds. Apply the formula above to determine your current FTP. Now choose one of the workouts below and follow the instructions to personalize the workout for you.
Remember these are very high intensity workouts and should only be done twice per week with at least a day of recovery in between. If the workout goals seem too easy go back, retest, and reestablish your FTP. On the other days easy rides stretching and upper body work are appropriate.