Ask The Experts: What is the Half Monty Ramp Test?

7 min read

The first step in getting to a destination is knowing where you are. That’s what fitness testing is all about. Not only do fitness tests allow you to get a sense of your current level of conditioning, but they also personalize the targets in your workouts so you get the most out of the time you have to train.


Why a Ramp Test?

Ramp tests have been used for years by coaches and training apps to help estimate an athlete’s sustained power or FTP.  The idea is simple: after a short warmup, the rider incrementally increases their power output every 60 seconds, working their way up each step of the ramp until they simply can’t hold the power target. Just go until you can’t, then stop.

    1. No pacing required.
    2. Less physical and psychological stress.
    3. Allows you to test more often. That means your workout targets can be updated in the middle of your training plan so they’re the most accurate.


  1. Only estimate FTP. To train effectively, you need workouts with power targets that take into account more than just your sustained power (we see you, sprinters).
  2. Are not as accurate. Most ramp tests just take 75% of your maximum 1-minute power during the ramp and call that your FTP. For athletes who are more anaerobically-gifted, that formula could artificially inflate your FTP, making workouts not as effective as they could be.
  3. Easy to complete the test incorrectly. Even if you pause for a couple of seconds during the ramp-to-failure, that can skew the results. Other ramp tests don’t have a good way of verifying that you did the test correctly, making the results inaccurate.



Half Monty provides you with 3 critical fitness benchmarks:

  1. Functional Threshold Power (FTP)
  2. Maximal Aerobic Power (MAP) and
  3. Lactate Threshold Heart Rate (LTHR)

These metrics are then used to personalize the power and heart rate targets in your workouts so you get the most benefit out of the time you have to train.


Other ramp tests just take 75% of your peak 1-minute power from the ramp to get your FTP. Analysis of tens of thousands of Full Frontal 4DP fitness tests by our sports scientists has shown that this simple formula doesn’t take into account athletes who are more anaerobically fit, resulting in FTP estimates that are inaccurate for 17% of athletes.

Half Monty goes beyond a traditional ramp test by combining it with a 20-minute sub-maximal / tempo effort determined by your heart rate. By analyzing the relationship between heart rate and power, Half Monty allows The Sufferfest app to calculate your FTP to a much higher degree of accuracy than any other ramp test out there.


Our sophisticated compliance algorithm and validation process can identify whether you performed the test correctly. This means you don’t need a smart trainer with ERG mode to get accurate results. Our huge data set of Full Frontal 4DP fitness test results also allows us to use gender, height, weight, and age to further validate and improve the accuracy of your results, even if you perform the test without a heart rate monitor.


The app dynamically monitors your performance during every section of the test and displays personalized text prompts on the screen to update you on your progress and ensure that you perform the test correctly for the most accurate results.

Try The Sufferfest Training App Free for 14-Days.

Mac Cassin is the Chief Cycling Physiologist at Wahoo Sports Science. He holds a degree in Integrative Physiology from the University of Colorado-Boulder and has won multiple National Championships. The experience of juggling athletic goals with collegiate and career responsibilities has taught Mac that peak performance is achievable even for those who cannot focus exclusively on training.  While concentrating on exercise physiology in an academic setting, Mac competed at the World Championships, Pan American Championships, and World Cups on both the road and track.

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