Kinetic Fit Tip: Know Your FTP

We encourage everyone to ride the FTP Test Workout in order to establish accurate training zones for your current fitness level and get the best gains from your trainer workouts. The test workout is listed in the Fit app workout menu under Zone 5 - VO2 Max > FTP Test, select it and follow the directions onscreen. If you're using a Kinetic R1, Control or Smart Control interactive electronic trainer, know that the Fit app will put the trainer into “Fluid Mode” rather than “ERG Mode” during the 20-minute main test interval so it will be up to you to give it all you have for the effort like you would on a Kinetic fluid trainer. You'll see a target onscreen but if you're feeling strong you can exceed that power target. You want to go as hard as you can for 20-minutes without burning out before the effort is up. We recommend starting a little easier than you think you can go and amping up the effort gradually over the first 10 minutes or so and then holding it and finishing the last 20 minutes as strongly as you can.

Why Do I Need to Know My FTP?

The beauty of knowing your FTP is that you can tailor your workout program to your exact fitness level. No more killing your season by trying to ride 300-watt intervals for 30 minutes when your FTP is 230 watts. The Fit app automatically adjusts your workout target numbers to fall within your abilities to execute, adapt and improve.

If you're new to power-based training, don't be scared away by the terms. The simplest way to define Functional Threshold Power (FTP) is the maximum average power a rider can maintain for an hour. Your current FTP number is important for a number of reasons:

  1. It's your current, accurate gauge of your fitness level right now.

  2. It's a number that you can bump up, often dramatically, with a good power-training program.

  3. Your FTP establishes your training zones within the Kinetic Fit app.

  4. And finally, the Kinetic Fit app automatically sets your workout target intensity based on the FTP-test established zones — allowing you to TRAIN SMARTER, NOT HARDER


Establish Your Functional Threshold Power with the Fit app FTP Test Workout

There a number of ways of for athletes to self-test for FTP. We've decided to stick with a popular test as proscribed by Hunter Allen and Andrew Coggan, PhD in their book, Training and Racing with a Power Meter. Allen and Coggan created a workout that includes an all-out 20-minute time trial effort. After performing the effort you take your average wattage and subtract 5% from it. That number is your Functional Threshold Power.*

If for instance you've ridden your time trial effort and after 20 minutes your average wattage measured with the Kinetic Fit app was 245 watts, you'll multiply that by .95 to get your FTP. (245 x .95 = 233 watts is your FTP). This is now automatically done for you at the end of the workout within the Fit app. All you need to do is select "Yes" and you'll update your profile settings. 


Calculating Training Zones

Allen and Coggan define 7 levels for power-based training. The Fit app determines each of the 7 levels corresponding to the following % breakdowns:

  • Zone 1 Active Recovery = < 55% of FTP

  • Zone 2 Endurance = 56-75% of FTP

  • Zone 3 Tempo = 76-90% of FTP

  • Zone 4 Lactate Threshold = 91-105% of FTP

  • Zone 5 VO2 Max = 106-120% of FTP

  • Zone 6 Anaerobic Capacity = 121-150% of FTP

  • Zone 7 Neuromuscular Power = maximum effort

These are your TRAINING ZONES the Kinetic Fit app will automatically populate in your profile power zones with using calculations from your new FTP number when you ride the full test workout and choose to save the number.


Try the Workout

Figure out your Functional Threshold Power. Be sure your body is rested, this is like a short race effort. The Kinetic Fit FTP Test Workout is as follows:

  1. 20 minutes easy warm up

  2. 3 x 1-minute wind ups with a minute rest between (100 RPM pedal cadence)

  3. 5 minutes easy

  4. 5 minutes all out (hard at first, but not so hard that you can't complete the effort)

  5. 10 minutes easy

  6. 20-minute time trial effort (like the previous 5-minute all out effort, keep in control, hard but steady, you don't want to over cook it and die at the end)**

  7. 10 to 15 minute cool down


Additional resources:

*Check out Training and Racing with a Power Meter, by Hunter Allen and Andrew Coggan, PhD,for a much more in depth explanation of the concepts above.

Google: "training with power" and follow any number of links for more information

**If you're using a Kinetic interactive electronic trainer, know that the Kinetic Fit app will put the trainer into Fluid Mode during the 20-minute main test interval so it will be up to you to give it all you have for the effort like you would on a Kinetic fluid trainer.