Do You Know Your FTP Training Zones?

FTP – Functional Threshold Power (don’t confuse with File Transfer Protocol) is a maximum power, measured in watts, you can sustain for an hour.

To measure your FTP you need a bike with a power meter or a turbo trainer with the power meter integrated.

You can either do:

  1. 20min FTP Test, where you pedal as hard as possible for 20 min, then take an average power reading and the deduct 5% to get your FTP or
  2. Ramp Test. Each minute the program will call for higher power output, your result is  75% of your best one-minute power.

At the Turbo Cycle class we prefer Ramp Test, as it is more user-friendly, it hurts much less, you don’t have to be able to pace yourself, and takes much less time to complete.


Once you know your FTP, use this for a base for your cycling training zones:

Zone 1 – Active Recovery <55% FTP < 68%HR

Promotes recovery by increasing blood flow to the muscles and flushing out the waste products.

Zone 2 – Endurance 56-75% FTP 69-83% HR

Increases economy by more efficient use of energy.

Zone 3 – Tempo 76-90% FTP, 84-94% HR

Better sustainable power by improved carbohydrate metabolism. Also gives fast twitch muscles slow twitch characteristics

Zone 4 – Lactate Threshold 91-105% FTP, 95-105% HR

Better sustainable race pace, by improved carbohydrate metabolism

Zone 5 – VO2max 106-120% FTP, <106 HR

Better time trialling ability by better Developed cardiovascular system and VO2max, improved anaerobic energy production and speed up the turnover of waste products

Zone 6 – Anaerobic Capacity 121-150% FTP, N/ HR

Sprint speed: Increased maximum muscle power, developed a cardiovascular system and VO2max, increased threshold


Do you train on the turbo? Which program do you use, Zwift, Trainerroad or Sufferfest? 

By The Kreative Athlete

I help triathletes to get stronger, improve their movement quality and eat better so they can feel physically and mentally strong and achieve their goals.

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