The FTP test is the most accurate way to calculate your power zones, but sometimes taking it can be intimidating! That's why I put together this Peloton FTP Test Strategy so that Power Zone training can be a little less overwhelming.
When I first started doing Power Zone training, I was extremely nervous about the test. I didn't know what to expect or how to properly do it.
I've taken a few FTP tests over the years and it's gotten easier! Each test I've taken I've been able to - with the coach's help - develop a strategy that helps me get the maximum output during the test.
In this post I'll share with you the strategy I follow when I take FTP Test and tips and tricks on taking the test.
Peloton FTP Test Strategy
The most important thing to do when taking the FTP test is to do a warmup ride before taking the test.
Peloton has specific FTP warm up rides that can range from 5-10 minutes long. The benefit of doing one of these rides instead of a generic warm up ride is that the instructor will begin to talk about strategy.
After you take your warmup ride, I recommend going right into the FTP test. I like to stack my workouts so the FTP test I want to take comes up next.
In the FTP test I like to break it down into 4 quarters, each one 5 minutes.
If you take a Matt Wilpers FTP test he'll call out these quarters of the ride and guide you on what to do.
The first 5 minutes of the FTP test is to settle in. This should be comfortably hard, but something you could hold onto for an hour.
If you have previous Power Zones I recommend hiding them so you truly ride based on your feel and not chasing after a number.
After the first 5 minutes, take a look at your average output. The goal now is to slowly increase that number in the remaining 15 minutes of the ride.
The second quarter (or minutes 5-10) should be slightly harder effort. This can be done by increasing your resistance or cadence.
Try to avoid getting out of the saddle at this point - while you can increase your output significantly doing this, it's not beneficial because most of the Power Zone rides are not done out of the saddle.
Once the halfway point hits, it's time to increase your output again! I like to focus on increasing my output by increasing my resistance. My cadence usually drops a little during this point, but overall output remains higher.
My focus is on dragging the average output up this quarter and staying consistent with my pedal strokes.
The home stretch!
During the last quarter (15-20), I recommend going all out. I still hold off on riding out of the saddle, but in the last 3 minutes of the test the instructor will give 30 second options to get out of the saddle.
I usually take them at this point - my legs are ready for a little break and the out of the saddle push does help increase my output a little at the end!
Finishing the Test
Once the clock hits 20 minutes, the FTP test is over!
Peloton will use the average output from the test and deduct 5% to create your new zones.
The 5% reduction is meant to simulate a 60 minute test, and the fatigue that would happen.
After the test you can move into a stretching or cool down ride. I prefer to do a cooldown ride because my heart rate is usually pretty high right after the test ends.
The only downside is that there aren't any FTP test specific cool down rides, so you'll have to hop into a regular cooldown. I try to stick to a cooldown that has low resistance so I can flush out my legs.
More Power Zone Resources
If you like Power Zone Training, you'll want to check out a Power Zone Pack Challenge. These challenges are a fun way to connect with other riders.
If you want to create your own training schedule, here's how to create a custom Peloton Power Zone training schedule.
To make training easier I recommend adding a Power Zone Bar at the bottom of the Peloton screen. This will display your zones during rides.
One way to stay on track with training is to use Peloton at the Gym.