Before any rider's programme can be formulated a Ramp Test will be undertaken to define their training zones and gauge performance. The test will determine Maximal Aerobic Power (MAP) as the test is done aerobically from the beginning and reaches the maximum capacity of the individual’s aerobic system at the end. Basically what happens is after a good warm-up we start the test by pedaling at 200 watts (a relatively easy pace for most people). We then increase the wattage by 20 watts *every minute until FAILURE. The power that you reach on the very last step is your MAP.
*There are a few variations to this protocol depending on the test subject
- Female riders should use a 15 Wmin-1 ramp rate (15 watts per minute steps)
- Male riders should use a 20 Wmin-1 ramp rate (20 watts per minute steps)
The test seems very easy at first and then creeps up on you little by little. Even though the test is relatively short in duration, it requires the rider to push themselves’ to exhaustion and therefore is very demanding.
The Ramp test will give you data on the following:
- Maximal Oxygen Uptake (VO2max)
- Maximum Heart Rate
- Maximum Aerobic Power (Cycling)
VO2 max; Oxygen consumption is defined as the amount of oxygen that a person can consume per unit of time (usually one minute). This concept is expressed as VO2, where V=volume, and O2 = oxygen. A person’s maximum oxygen uptake value, often abbreviated to VO2max, represents the maximum amount of oxygen which can be extracted from the air that we breathe in and used by working muscles. Individuals with a high VO2max values are able to sustain high energy use rates aerobically.Using the variables in the test it is possible to calculate the riders VO2 max. From the example below this rider’s results produced a VO2 max of approximately 61.22 ml/kg/min.
The above RAMP test can be arranged as a one off Service