You’ve Got Your FTP Number…Now What?

You’ve coached your riders to understand the benefits of establishing a benchmark metric known as functional threshold power, or FTP, a number around which they can set their intensity.

A number around which you, the instructor, can guide each person in your class to attain a similar intensity target that is based on their own abilities.


You’ve used one of the following methods to determine FTP:

  • The 3-minute test outlined in this HIT profile. This is the simplest and a great way to get your riders started on establishing an FTP estimate and understanding how to use zones.
  • The MAP (maximal aerobic power) ramp test, which is better for the general population and doesn’t involve pacing, a concept that is challenging for some riders. But this one requires some logistics.
  • A 20-minute field test per the protocol outlined in this profile. Ultimately, this is the one most of your riders should be shooting for. But keep in mind, there are some riders who may never be able to perform a 20-minute test at this intensity—and that’s OK.
  • A 60-minute all-out field test. This is the “gold standard” for determining FTP. Most of our riders are mere mortals, so I don’t actually recommend this at most typical indoor cycling facilities unless you have some very specialized cyclists and offer a class tailored just to them. If you plan on doing one, take the protocol outlined in the 20-minute test and multiply it by 3…with no breaks! Good luck.  

So you’ve got a number from your FTP test…now what do you do?


  1. I don’t know how I missed this post in the past when I’ve done FTP testing with my classes. We are doing them again today and I’m totally using this! Thanks for another great resource!

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