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How to Find Your FTP (Functional Threshold Power)

Power (displayed in watts on your M3i bike's display) is a measure of work output over time. It is calculated by the following formula: P = F x V, or specifically, Force (your gears) x Velocity (your rpm). Power is produced when a rider is pushing both gear and speed, and it is an effective and accurate method of monitoring effort levels during classes. If watts are displayed on your bike, you will be able to check in and monitor how much power you are producing during your rides. Using the Keiser M series app ( click to download for free Apple Store or Google Play ) is a great way of recording your average watts over time and keeping track of your progress!

To maximize power output, riders must regulate gear and RPM. While pedaling fast may appear challenging, without any resistance the power output is low. In contrast, pedaling very slowly with heavy gears may also provide a less than desirable power output. Therefore, to maximize watts, and in principle a riders effort, manipulation of gear and RPM must always be considered.

FTP Definition

In order to estimate your Power Intensity Zones, you will need first to find your Functional Threshold Power (FTP). Functional Threshold Power (FTP) is defined as the highest power a rider can sustain for one-hour at steady state (i.e. lactate threshold). For cycling, FTP is a measure of fitness and an important metric that indicates the amount of work you can sustain for long durations. From a physiological perspective, it’s the cycling power you produce when your lactate production has risen, leveled off, and then closely matches your body’s ability to remove lactate.

The results of knowing your FTP allow riders to estimate individualized power zones. The power zones are as follows:

Zone 1, Active recovery. <55% FTP

Zone 2, Endurance. 56 to 75% FTP

Zone 3, Tempo. 76% to 90% FTP

Zone 4, Anaerobic threshold (FTP zone). 91 to 105% FTP

Zone 5, VO2 max+. Above 105% FTP and below 150% FTP

How to find your FTP?

The Ride's Trainer Sergio Velasco has created a video with each of the steps to follow to perform the test with the Keiser MSeries app which includes a FTP test of 30 minutes total duration time. The Test includes a main part of 5 minutes where you will try to generate the maximum sustainable average power during that time while maintaining a constant cadence between 80 and 90 RPM. At the completion of this Test, your FTP will be calculated by Keiser MSeries app and update in your rider profile.

In order to calculate your FTP, Keiser MSeries app will take the average power from your FTP test and subtract a percent. For a 5-minute test, for example, 85% of your average power is used for your new FTP. An accurate FTP will ensure that you are able to get the most out of your workouts with power by setting your zones correctly so that efforts are not too hard or too easy.

How Often Should I Take An FTP Test?

The objective of an FTP (Functional Threshold Power) test is to get an accurate indication of your current fitness level. As you progress through using The Ride, your fitness will improve. Since your FTP is used to adjust the intensity of your power-based training to your needs, we recommend that you repeat the FTP test at least every 4 weeks.