Information | FTP at Macclesfield Performance

What is an FTP test?

Your “functional threshold power” (FTP) is the maximum power (Watts) that you can sustain on average, over a 60-minute time-trial effort ride. 

The FTP test is a means of determining your functional threshold power in a controlled environment and over a shorter time frame, without the discomfort, risk and resulting fatigue of cycling hard for 60-minutes.

What are the benefits of doing an FTP test?

For any keen or competitive cyclist (or multi-sport athlete), training at the exact intensity necessary to develop the specific areas of fitness you need is not only essential in ensuring you reach your maximum potential throughout the season, but also critical to reducing your risk of injury and over training. 

Training using “power zones” is the easiest and most accurate means of doing this, especially when training on an indoor bike (unless you have a power metre on your outdoor bike).

You may know of more commonly used methods such as rate of perceived exertion (RPE) a method used to determine exercise intensity levels based on how the athlete “feels”. 

FTP helps you define power ranges to work in, relative to the purpose of any particular training session. Therefore your intensity is more accurately measured using the information gathered during the test.


The FTP test is not just for competitive cyclists!

No matter who you are the FTP test is a great way to measure fitness progress. 
It’s a simple 20 minute test, that can be repeated at regular intervals and changes in power and heart rate can be great indicators as to how your fitness is changing and how your body is adapting and improving through your training.

What should you expect during an FTP test at Macclesfield Performance?

Prior to getting on the WattBike you’ll be introduced to a coach and have the opportunity to discuss your goals.  We’ll get you set-up on the WattBike, your fitness devices connected (if you have them) and then we will take you through a functional warm-up both off and on the bike.  You’ll be introduced to the data screens and the main FTP session explained. 

You can choose whether to have a coach guide you through the main FTP session or be left to your own devices to get “in the zone” for the 20 minute session!
Once the test is completed, we’ll take you through a thorough cool down, both on and off the bike.  Then we will finish with a review of your data and the opportunity to discuss next steps!

What information will the FTP test give me?

The two most valuable outputs from the FTP test are “functional threshold power” - total average watts sustained during the 20 minute test, and your “functional threshold heart rate”.  From these two results your power and heart rate training zones can be calculated.  These training zones can then be used to ensure your training and programming is correctly applied over future workouts or training sessions.

Completing an FTP test on the WattBike Trainer at Macclesfield Performance will provide you with numerous other data outputs aswell that can be used to evaluate your training. The Wattbike is even able to evaluate your pedalling efficiency and your power distribution. All of which will be accessible to you after the FTP test and can help identify other areas of your training that you need to work on for example your strength, muscular balance, proprioception and conditioning.

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What do I need to bring?

As a minimum, you’ll need some suitable gym clothes, your trainers and a drink, we provide bottled water at MP for £1a bottle if you forget. 

The WattBike Trainer is compatible with both MTB and SPD cleats, so bike shoes are a definite if you have them and feel free to wear your cycling shorts for extra comfort if you’d prefer.

In addition, the WattBike can be linked to many fitness apps so if you have a fitness watch e.g. Garmin, great, bring that with you too and if you have a HR monitor strap this can also be linked.

Finally we recommend that you ensure your smartphone is fully charged so you don’t have any frustrating battery charge let downs during the test.

Don’t worry if some of the above does not apply to you, the minimum requirements listed are fine in any instance.

How do I book?

Click on to our “Performance Assessments” tab on our booking system, there you will see some available dates and times for you to choose from.

MP Elite members get in touch before booking, we are offering this to you FREE as part of your membership package.