Peloton FTP Test: A Comprehensive Review
FTP test Peloton is designed to allow you to spin within your limits while pushing yourself as hard as you want. This means that you customize the training program based on your individual physical condition.
As a whole, the FTP test is the highest power output you can maintain for about an hour. It’s defined as 95% of your power output in a 20-minute max effort ride.
Essentially, the FTP test uses the highest riding power you can sustain for an hour in the Peloton app. Consider taking Peloton’s Power Zone classes and structure your training accordingly.
Find out how the power zone can help you improve your bike riding performance. Let’s explore this and other interesting facts about the FTP tests that Peloton offers!
What Is Peloton FTP Test?
The Peloton FTP test is a common assessment tool meant to establish your fitness level, and provide you guidance in reaching certain goals.
It provides you with a score that indicates the intensity of the workout you should participate in to achieve your desired outcome.
How Long Can A Peloton Test Be?
The FTP test usually lasts around 20 minutes and is done in stages. However, a 10-15 minute warm-down before the test will increase your performance and safety.
The FTP test and FTP warmup have the same “power zone” category in your peloton app. If you like, you can find them by looking up the duration, 20 minutes for the test and 10-15 minutes for warmup.
Power Zone classes
Unlike other classes, Power Zone rides are focused on maintaining a specific power output to achieve a training goal for the day.
Sometimes you will be tasked to hold power outputs for a long time but with shorter intervals of time in between.
Other times, you will have to hold really high power output; with extended rest periods in between.
Power zones are tailored for you and the workouts so that you can train at your own pace. Consequently, taking power zone classes rather than standard ones will consistently lead to improvements in your performance.
Seven Power Zones
There are seven “power zones” on the bike and you get a bump in resistance if you keep pedaling at the same level of intensity.
I’ll talk more about your individual power zones later on, but in this class, there are cues to maintain a specific zone because it is important to have consistency in your workout.
Power Zone Training focuses on just seven zones. Here they are:
- Zone 1 is easy and considered Active Recovery.
- Zone 2 is harder than zone 1, but this is a good match if you still want to be able to have a conversation.
- Zone 3 indicates a level of difficulty in holding conversations – despite being able to communicate, there is now a bit of difficulty; aka – “difficult but not impossible”
- Zone 4 is tough, and conversations will typically stop because it takes such a long time there. You should be able to hold this pace for 20-60 minutes.
- Zone 5 is a level of hard intensity you should only be able to maintain for 10-15 minutes.
- Zone 6 is a pace that, in order to compete well, you should only be able to maintain for around 5 minutes max.
- Zone 7 can’t go at an all-out pace for a very long time, because it’s over quickly.
Power Zone Workouts
Power Zone rides are typically broken down into three categories: Power Zone Endurance, Power Zone, and Power Zone Max.
- Power Zone Endurance training slows down heart rate so that you can continue to train for longer periods at a lower intensity. There is also a lot of variable intensity work in zones 2-3.
- Traditionally, “power zone” classes were just company-branded as such and could include any of the zones between zones 1-6. However, they are most often focused on zones 4-5.
- Power Zone Max classes can include any of zones 1-7, but typically have an emphasis on zones 5-7.
Taking the Peloton FTP test
To find your personal Power Zone ranges, you’ll need to take the FTP Test. This stands for Functional Threshold Power – which is the highest power you can maintain consistently for an hour on a bike.
On Peloton, we estimate FTP by taking a 20-minute maximum effort test. It might be a little hard at the moment, but it’s pretty fun in comparison to the 60-minute max effort test we have as another option.
There are two ways of taking the FTP test. The first way is to start and complete the “Discover Your Power Zones” program, which will have you testing your FTP each day for a week. The first day will be on a test of your FTP.
The “search FTP on the bike” method is best done with a workout earlier in the week under your belt. When you go for your test, make sure to take one of the available FTP warm-ups and not enter it cold; otherwise, you’re liable to never get an accurate score.
After the warm-up, select your coach for the test. You’ll be able to track your FTP score, as well as your personal power zones with them in 20 minutes.
After an FTP test, your Power Zone score should automatically be recorded and saved in your profile. You will see a custom Power Zone bar at the bottom of your screen for all classes and it will have different colors.
Updating Your FTP Test Manually
You will need to manually update your FTP score if you don’t see it. To do that:
- Go to the Stats page of your FTP test and take note of your average output value.
- Click on your username in the lower-left corner
- After that, click the red gear symbol in the top left corner. Then navigate to the Preferences tab.
- Under “Power Zones,” click “Edit Power Zones” and “Custom Value.”
- Here, enter your average output from your 20 minute FTP test ride and click “OK.”
- On the next screen, make sure you select “Display Power Zones.”
You can now see the Power Zone bar when you next take a class.
As you continue Power Zone rides, you will likely notice each zone’s output becomes progressively easier to achieve—if so, it would be worth taking your FTP test again to see if you can increase your score.
Tests of this type are useful because they tell you what your maximum efficiency is in each zone, as well as the total power output.
The Average Power Zone Test (APZT) is different from the FTP test as it uses a single power zone to calculate your score. This allows for more accuracy and consistency
To maximize your FTP improvement, I recommend you retest it four weeks after the initial test.
You should usually see an improvement after the first few rounds. After that, it’s recommended that you retest the FTP every 6-8 weeks or when any improvements seem marginal.
Assuming you are still following the same training program, it is safe to increase your FTP by about 5-10 watts. You may be able to get a higher number, but this will depend on the individual.
Instructors That Perform FTP Classes
All Peloton instructors have a commitment to their customers and are hard workers, but only a few train specifically with power zone workouts. They include the following:
|Peloton FTP Class||Peloton Instructor|
|20 minutes FTP Test Ride||Matt Willpers|
|15 minutes FTP Warmup Ride||Matt Willpers|
|10 minutes FTP Warmup Ride||Matt Willpers|
Why Is FTP Important In Peloton?
The FTP is important to all riders because it allows us to progress with our fitness level and improve performance. It helps to set the intensity level right and have a training plan. This is the case for most professional cyclists.
If you are new to fitness, it is good to know your FTP so that you can select a training program that is suitable for your level and allows you to see the progress you’ve made.
improve your FTP Score with These Tips
Here are the basic guidelines on how to take the FTP test and how to do it well.
I’ve seen a lot of people do the Power Zone program and try to add on 5 additional hard rides each week. They think more is always better, but it’s obviously not.
If you do too much other intense work after using Power Zone, it can reduce some of its benefits.
If you want to prioritize your riding performance, work most of your capacity at lower zones 1 and 2 and add a tiny amount of working at zone 3.
Resting Before FTP Test
Sse the FTP test to assess how fit you are over time than to join a “power zone” ride.
It’s a good opportunity to see how much you’ve progressed with your fitness, and it also lets you measure your progress by comparing it to the last one.
You need to be in the zone so that you can get accurate measurements!
To prepare for the day of your FTP Test, it’s not just about what you eat the day before – it starts days before.
You need to make sure that you’re eating enough in close proximity to your test and also adding more carbs to your diet, if necessary.
By doing this, you can make sure that your glycogen storage is full by the day of your test.
Yes, a 20-minute ride can be difficult. If you want to continue setting new records in your training, it is recommended that before the first ride of a new record you experiment with different food strategies.
To ensure an accurate FTP test, it is recommended to do a warm-up beforehand. This should be a light training ride lasting 5-10 minutes at 50% of your maximal effort followed by a break before the test.
This ensures that the sympathetic response is stimulated and leads to better performance in the FTP test.
Before more demanding workouts, a brief warmup can make you feel more at ease. Plain and simple, your readiness for exercise is increased and you’ll run the workout with reduced risk of injury.
You should know what your best FTP test and the average pace were prior to attempting the same workout.
You might be really good in the first minute or two but then go too hard, without a plan which would end up hurting you in the long run.
A fitness program designer suggests starting a speed workout at 5% below the best average pace for your last five-mile run, increasing it by up to 10% per mile until you feel like you’re unable to continue.
You choose a build and the coaches give you some pointers on it – but don’t get too confident too early. Starting with a big bet right away might not be the best idea.
Though they look like regular classes on the surface, these FTP tests follow an exact protocol. Each class typically lasts for about 20 minutes in length and is divided into four 5-minute blocks.
It’s not advisable to muscle out your max effort towards the beginning of your workout, but rather save it for closer to the end.
The idea is that you gradually increase your strength throughout the session, and get a better quality of rest at the end result.
Is Peloton FTP Test Hard?
This is a higher-intensity workout. My goal from this class is to feel my body challenged instead of going out of my comfort zone. It’s better to just stay put but have little wins and boosts throughout the day.
Taking the FTP test is challenging because you have to cycle at the highest possible energy level. For the most part, the FTP test is difficult because it’s physically demanding and you’re not allowed to coast.
FTP test is one of the hardest work-outs out there and I rate it as a ten on a scale from one to ten.Denis Morton
How to Increase Your Peloton FTP?
Our body is very responsive to training, so it will gain strength if you lift a heavyweight. If you keep lifting heavy weights, the muscles will adapt and get even stronger – but if you stop training for too long, they’ll start to weaken too.
Training at the power zone your body naturally prefers is the primary way to increase FTP.
When you train in this zone for a number, of weeks, it usually leads to exercise adaptations like an increased lactate threshold that allow for higher levels of output for longer periods.
Therefore, training around the anaerobic threshold will allow you to increase your FTP faster in a shorter amount of time.
Can You Do An FTP Test Without A Peloton Bike?
You don’t need a Peloton bike to do an FTP test. You can get power meter data without one and use it as input for the calculation of your FTP score.
A power meter provides helpful data that helps you track your output and record it properly in order to find out your FTP score.
If you want to use the FTP test scores, then it’s best to do the power zone classes afterward.
You can also do FTP Testing in the fitness center near you that specializes in fitness assessments. This will get you the most accurate data and recommendations from exercise physiologists about your current fitness level.
The Final Verdict
Peloton will give you a new riding level and let you participate in real-time group rides. In addition, they help customize your workout experience so that it is personalized for you.
Power zones are more accurate than calorie counting because they show you exactly what you’re able to do instead of relying on arbitrary numbers. They are also the best way to motivate yourself because they’re the easiest.
FTP testing can seem like a simple task, but if you’re planning to use the information during your workout sessions (to create a plan), there are things you need to do in advance.
You can use the bike to perform your FTP test at home, get workout suggestions based on your results, and hire qualified instructors with expertise in cycling to help you train.