4DP FTP seems below my true FTP

@devolikewhoa and @Eerke:
Gentleman, I believe the two of you are at an impasse. :slight_smile: There is no point in trying to convince the other party. Your numbers and the way you approach a fitness test is yours and yours alone.

I’m pretty sure you are both doing your best to crush the Full Frontal and there are a lot of approaches to victory.

Please, let’s move on. Thank you very much.

To quote the FF SUF article:

A well-paced 5-minute effort is one where 2.5 minutes in you start thinking, “I might just be able to hold this, but it will be close”. If you get to the 2-minute mark and start questioning whether you’ll make it out alive, you went out a little too hot. If you get to the 3-minute mark and think, “I have some energy left in the tank, I need to up the pace” then you didn’t start out hard enough. That said, starting a little bit easier will get you closer to a perfectly paced 5-minute effort than blowing up spectacularly 3 minutes in.


Could you be any more patronising? I’m not trying to convince him of anything. He’s invented something I never said to argue against.

The written word is a tricky thing. Many times there is a rift between what sender and receiver get out of a certain information. I‘m sorry if you feel misunderstood. I‘m not trying to patronize.

We are getting off topic and away from helping with the issue the threadstarter had in mind.

I don‘t believe anything in here is meant to provoke. I just want to ask you nicely to please let this conversation go.


I think the key point is that you should pace your 5 min effort as if there is nothing else to come afterward, rather than holding back slightly for the 20 min slog. This is mentally very tough to do! But it’s the only way to get an accurate MAP and FTP.

I think the test protocol is difficult to master. If you blow up in the MAP section then it’s game over. But if you under-achieve in the MAP and then smash the FTP with the energy you held back, then you end up with distorted numbers ie low MAP and high FTP.


@Peteski Well said - for me it comes down to heart rate. I know basically what I can hold for 5 minutes and no more and same for 20 min. I focus mostly on that during the test because if I go over what I can sustain for the period (except at the end) I am likely cooked and probably won’t see better numbers.

I’ve done FF twice so far, and both times, rider type was Sprinter and weakness was MAP.

I have a lot more experience in running; did track in high school and longer distances as an adult. If we expect strengths to line up across running and cycling, my strength should actually be AC.

The fact that it hasn’t worked out that way might mean that I haven’t worked out how to pace the test correctly. I think I go out too hard during the 1 minute effort. I also can’t seem to push hard enough during the 5 minute effort, so there is more gas left in the tank for the 20 minute effort.

I find it a little unintuitive for relative strengths and weaknesses to look like a zigzag, with the weakness somewhere in the middle. By that I mean, if I’m best at 1 minute, I expect 5 minute to be better than 20 minute. No one says, “My events are the 100m and the 10k, but I’m bad at the mile.”

I suppose it’s down to pacing the test correctly. Which is a big ask the first few times, or really for anyone who isn’t good at suffering. I wonder how common it really is to have your true weakness be either AC or MAP. I’m not bothered by it myself; I figure I’ll just gradually work on pacing the test better. But a lot of people seem to be taking things too literally… maybe it would be helpful for coaches to add some more context to the explanation of results.


lol okay i think let’s just take a step back.

I thought that YOU were doing the same thing re: me!

I’m not trying to get into an internet argument, not trying to be patronizing. I agree with you that motivation can vary and that sometimes you can dig deeper than others, i just think that still means it’s asking for a "max effort’ and therefore it is not possible to “overdo” it, unless of course you fly and die (i.e. poor pacing).

the things you interpreted as straw men were really just me going through, one by one, the only reasons i could think of where max doesn’t really mean max.

But anyway, i apologize if you felt that i was doing anything untoward. I didn’t mean to.

And i still renew my suggestion to the OP. If you do think that your 4DP FTP doesn’t represent your “real” FTP for ANY reason, try a long-form test. They are not as terrible as you think and in fact i think they are easier, mentally, than a 20 min.

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You don’t seem to realise that perception and output are different things. You say ‘max effort’ (obviously an internal perception) and then promptly switch to output (external reality).

A strawman argument is when you invent something that someone said yourself in order to argue against it. This is exactly what you did. Look at what you claimed I had said and what I actually said.

I never said that the perception should be anything other than a max effort. I suggested a higher than normal cadence, which you can still do with a perceived maximum effort, would reduce output power a little bit but be beneficial. Still a maximum effort, just not a maximum output, which is almost impossible to do in training anyway.

Similarly, I did some running today with 1 minute ‘max’ intervals interspersed in a longer run. Do you really think the coach who designed the session wasn’t referring to a perceived level of exertion?

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I agree, you can only under-achieve your MAP by either not trying hard enough or totally blowing up due to going out way too hard. There is no such thing as over-achieving MAP in this test. What makes it difficult is that under-achieving MAP for whatever reason has a knock-on effect on your FTP performance. I see quite a few people posting FF results with FTP much closer to MAP than you would typically expect, suggesting they probably under-achieved MAP and hence over-achieved FTP - which is quite possible with this test protocol. So I make a big effort to absolutely smash the MAP part of the test to the point where I seriously want to call it a day afterward and then just drag my remains back on the bike to at least begin the FTP interval! I’m always surprised how much I actually recover once I get going again, to the point where the first few mins of the FTP actually feels quite comfortable in comparison to the end of the MAP thrashing!


I simply try to get through the 5 mins at the highest power output I can possibly hold, which really hurts badly at the end! Then I deal with the 20 mins with whatever I have left knowing full well that it won’t be my finest ever 20 min effort (but then it’s not downgraded by the usual 0.95 multiplier in classic 20 min FTP tests). The results I get correlate very well with the HM ramp test and where I know my FTP is from longer efforts, so that’s a good sign I think.

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yeah me too, and same experience how FTP feels almost comfortable, and DEFINITELY more comfortable than a standalone 20 minute test that you’d then multiply by .95. The standalone 20 minute are not only (I think) the most brutal duration, but, for me anyway, they overstate FTP. Whereas the max effort five minute followed by a 20 minute actually correlates very well with an FTP estimate i get from longer efforts or tests, plus you get a five minute test along with the package. Quite a bargain!

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sure. I think we just misunderstood each other.

But thanks for setting me straight, keep storming this castle brother :joy:

@SirAlexanderLee how do you this? I’m new to SUF and not sure my FF numbers are correct (similar issue to the OP in terms of the workouts being easy). I’m having to up the intensity for each workout to 110%-120%.

With doing FF once a month, how do you program it into your monthly training? Eg how many rest days beforehand etc?

One year later, with a big pause on SUF (only 2100 km between november 20 and february 21) but riding quite often, I did the Half monty and Full frontal test week and the numbers are pretty close:

MAP:286 watts
FTP: 236 watts
cTHR: 165 bpm


NM 900 watts
AC 362 watts
MAP 278 watts
FTP 232 watts
cTHR 175.47039199332778 bpm

There is still a big difference between the cTHR from HM & FF, like one year ago.

Honestly, I think this route is actually better because when you get into a race you know what gear selection you need to suffer at what given pace, i.e. 50/13 at 100rpm for that 1 min effort may give around 500 watts for a 73kg rider or a MAP of 50/15 at 95 rpm could potentially be changed out to a 50/17 at 105rpm HR stays in the same zone but the rpe with the power feels different even though its only a slight drop by maybe 10 watts but speed doesn’t decrease because your cadence is holding it up.
So using gears for the test still has off trainer benefits as well I find.

I beg a differ! The point of the FF in real simple terms is to raise your IF value all the way around. Your utilizing all your energy systems. The only way your going to do that is to accept the destruction that is going to be your body for that one hour. So it really is a mental game because all that training prior to should theoretically have you increase however we all do eventually reach that proverbial plateauing of our fitness.

Do we know how the NM value is calculated ? My result is 900 but I peaked twice above this value, with 1031 and 992:

Best 5s average in that 8s sprint then best if both attempts

I think