Ramp Test No. 3

I did a Ramp Test at the Sports and Exercise Science Dept. yesterday, just to see how my training was going and if I’d made any improvements. I did one ramp test in May 2009 as part of a study for Jon’s PhD. and another in April 2010, so thought it would be good to do one this year as well.

As usual, it was pretty tough. It’s just a bike ride on a stationary bike, with the resistance starting at zero Watts and increasing by 1 Watt every 2 seconds. I just have to keep pedalling until I can pedal no more.

The first time I did it I managed to get to 384 Watts and at the time weighed in at just over 78Kg. Last year saw an improvement, with my weight down to 75.6Kg and I managed to get to 397.5 Watts. I saw yet more improvements overall this year as well. My weight was down to 69.6Kg and I was determined to get over 400 Watts yesterday. However, on the day I only managed to equal my previous maximum of 397.5 Watts. As I approached the 400 mark I was desperately trying to keep going so that I could beat last years mark, but there was nothing I could do. There just wasn’t any power left in my legs and I couldn’t turn the pedals anymore no matter how much I wanted to.

The good news of course is that my power to weight ratio has obviously increased, so in the real world I should be quicker than I was before.

I also get plenty of other figures from the tests, such as my Gas Exchange Threshold and Critical Power. Here are a couple of little graphs (because I like that sort of thing) to show the improvements in my Power to Weight Ratio and VO2 Max.

Power To Weight Ratio

Power to Weight Ratio

VO2 Max

VO2 Max



So, overall, it’s good to see some improvements. They are mainly due to weight loss but at least I’ve maintained my power output at the same time. I can’t see myself losing much more weight – I did afterall go to KFC for a ‘Big Daddy meal’ with Jon straight after the test and then to Spoons for a sticky toffee pudding! – so if I’m going to continue to improve I’m going to have to aim to get that maximum power up above the 400 Watts. It gives me something to aim for next time.

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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