FTP (Functional Threshold Power) is a term you will hear a lot in your classes at Cyklus.

Simply put, the FTP test generates an estimate of how much power your legs could output for one hour if we were to put a pro cyclist’s brain in your body (Temporarily of course! We’re not crazy!). Don’t worry- no one will ask you to pedal at full throttle for an hour.

It is also the power level that is the maximum effort you can do aerobically (working out while maintaining your breath) before going anaerobic (a breathless workout effort).

We perform this test in a shorter time period, and then we reduce your power for that shorter duration to arrive at the estimate of your FTP.

The calculations we use to arrive at your FTP number are:

80% of your 3 minute max power output

85% of your 5 minute max power output

90% of your 8 minute max power output

95% of your 20 minute max power output

The most frequent FTP test will be the 8 minute test. You would only ever see the 20 minute test in one of our Iron Ride cycling classes. It is important to maintain the hardest effort you can for the duration of the test! Of course, an FTP test is also a great training interval, so don’t be afraid to go hard.

We use the FTP test to set your power zones. As you may know, training at different intensities produce different physiological responses. When you know your power zones, you can train at a specific intensity to obtain a desired result. Our coaches design their rides around these power levels (intensities) to optimize the training benefit of the class.

Once you have tested your FTP on Spivi, training in the correct power zone for any given moment in class is easy! There are two ways: ride between the yellow lines near the instructor bike, or look at the performance table and your power level will be in a color coded box (expressed as a percentage of FTP). Just adjust resistance and cadence until you are in the power zone the instructor is cuing.

Remember your instantaneous power output (in watts) is also displayed on the computer of the bike itself (alternating between kilo calories). Soon you will have an idea of your FTP, recovery, and sweet spot power levels. Or not, feel free to just ride between the yellow lines (the riding zone), or to the color the instructor cues. All will achieve the same training goal.

Pro style training made easy! Now get on that bike and achieve some pro style improvements!

Ready to ride after reading that? Book a class now! Or read this post on the power zones associated with FTP levels.