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Article last updated June 30, 2023
Are you trying to come up with a killer fitness program that will truly work your muscles out? We understand that it can be quite difficult to determine how hard you really need to go. After all, our body is uniquely shaped by individual lifestyle choices and adapts to the physical activity (and inactivity) that we exert upon it.
That means simply choosing between an easy, intermediate, and hard workout can be a lot more challenging to decide when everyone's body fitness is built so differently. That's where Functional Threshold Power (FTP) comes in!
If you don't know what FTP is, we got your back! Continue reading this blog to learn more about what it is and how it can help you improve your workout!
How Does FTP Work?
FTP is traditionally used in competitive sports to determine the theoretical maximum power a rider can sustain for one hour; this is useful in predicting the precise pedal power a rider has down to the wattage. The results can then be used to ramp up training effectiveness and intensity in a highly personalized manner.
FTP is such an effective measuring stick for training intensity that it has rapidly become the must-have smart feature among exercise bikes on the market today — and it is also one of the reasons why our recently released Smart Bike comes with FTP assessment technologically baked in!
FTP is used to evaluate an individual's physical fitness level and then personalize courses and challenges that align with the tolerance threshold of each rider. The core purpose is to push people to their limits without breaking their will to succeed; this feature can be found by accessing the RENPHO Smart Bike.
However, while FTP and lactate threshold are related, they are not interchangeable. FTP is your average sustainable power within a given duration. On the other hand, lactate threshold talks about the point where your blood lactate concentration is higher than your resting values.
What Happens During an FTP Test?
The FTP test is an amazing method of measuring your level of fitness, especially if you're preparing for an upcoming endurance ride event. While you know that it determines the maximum power a rider can sustain in a given time duration, what exactly happens during the test
The RENPHO Smart Bike determines FTP by starting with a low resistance setting, which then gets slightly more difficult as every minute passes until you can no longer pedal. Through this method, you can assess your skills and check how you can tailor your workout to better help you reach your target goals.
What Benefits Does an FTP Test Give Me?
You already know that an FTP test assesses your cycling fitness by measuring your average sustainable power within a given timeframe. Given that, one question you might have now is what does it do for you? What advantages does it offer that you can use to improve your workout?
Like all other physical exams, FTP provides you with several benefits, and here are some of them:
- Optimizes your workout: The very essence of an FTP test is to examine and show how you can improve your cycling fitness. For example, doing the 1-hour test will provide your average power in watts which you can use to ensure that your next workout session is tailored towards your current fitness level.
- Measures your progress: Taking an FTP test is not a one-time thing! Taking it every 4 to 6 weeks can help determine if you are making any progress or if you’re falling behind.
- Helps you set accurate pacing strategies: Aside from optimizing your workout and tracking your progress, an FTP test can also help you set strategies to help you prepare for future events or competitions.
How Do I Prepare For an FTP Test?
It may sound like a daunting task, but FTP is nothing to fear. Still, you shouldn’t underestimate it as it can be as tough as intense exercises like running and swimming. Just know that you're guaranteed to break a sweat, so it's best to dress in comfy clothes and warm up in preparation for an intense session. Aside from dressing appropriately, here are more tips you can use to help your body prepare for an FTP test:
- Rest: Ensure that your body is adequately prepared for the test by allowing yourself ample time to sleep and rest.
- Warm-up: Engaging in some light exercise prior to taking an FTP test can effectively prepare your body for the upcoming challenge and optimize your performance.
- Pace yourself: While it is important to push yourself during the test, avoid going all out too early. Otherwise, you might lose your energy quickly. Maintain a consistent effort throughout the test.
Depending on which test you take, the FTP test will last 15 to 20 minutes or even more and the difficulty will increase every minute until you can no longer pedal. Various courses in the RENPHO Smart Bike AI Gym App are then automatically calibrated to your FTP result, so it is recommended to cycle as long as possible for each training course to be calibrated correctly to your physical fitness level.
What if I Get Too Tired to Pedal?
If 20 minutes seems too much for you, don’t you worry! The FTP test ends once the cyclist reaches the point where they are unable to pedal any further.
The main objective is not completing the test, but pushing the fitness of each rider by increasing the pedal resistance each minute until they can no longer continue. The test concludes once the rider can no longer pedal the bike. This is intended to stress the body and assess its effectiveness at withstanding fatigue by adapting to dramatic leaps in weight resistance.
We use FTP to accurately understand a person's fitness threshold so that the AI courses can learn and adjust to your upper limit without ever pushing you beyond what cannot be achieved. Our belief is that the most effective workout regime is not the one that breaks you and leaves you tired for days. Instead, the aim is to provide a reasonable challenge that allows your body to recover faster from fatigue and adapt to a new threshold of strength that is much higher than before.
Should I Take Multiple FTP Tests to Get an Accurate Reading?
One FTP test is enough to calibrate the courses found within the AI Gym App. We do however recommend performing a new FTP test every 30 days or every 4-6 weeks to check your power increase and benchmark the leaps in improvement made after attempting several AI-personalized courses. You can try ramping up more frequently if you’re planning on participating to a marathon or cycling event. After all, our Smart Bike is equipped with the necessary features to help you achieve your target fitness level.
Is an FTP Personalized Workout Suitable For Me?
The RENPHO Smart Bike embraces the philosophy of scientific fitness, which is why it uses FTP to customize the difficulty of training courses to each rider's physical performance. This differs from traditional exercise bikes on the market which provide a variety of training resistance difficulty levels without taking the individual rider's fitness into consideration. Therefore, FTP personalized workouts are effective and suitable for those above the age of 14 and should be an option to consider when looking for an active cardio workout from home.
Crossing the Finish Line
Functional Threshold Power (FTP) is an amazing method to improve yourself and take your cycling to the next level. It is helpful when it comes to creating a personalized training course that takes your body and level of fitness into consideration. Whether you're participating in a cycling marathon or you simply want to get the most out of its health benefits, going for an FTP test can help you personalize your overall fitness.
Fortunately, the RENPHO Smart Bike is equipped with FTP assessment features, making it convenient for you to take the test for free whenever you need it.
So what are you waiting for? Take your cycling efficiency and fitness routine to the next level with the RENPHO Smart Bike. Don't miss out, grab yours now and try the FTP test for yourself!
The information provided on this blog is for educational and informational purposes only. Always consult with a qualified professional before starting any fitness program or making changes to your diet.
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