The Half Monty fitness assessment: Everything you need to know

  • Half Monty is the revolutionary new ramp-style fitness test designed by the Wahoo Sports Science team. Years of development and refinement have resulted in a test that gives you unprecedented insight into your fitness so you can train more effectively.   

  • More Insight. Other ramp tests only give you an estimate of your Functional Threshold Power (FTP). Half Monty provides you with 3 critical fitness benchmarks: 

    • Functional Threshold Power (FTP) 
    • Maximal Aerobic Power (MAP) and
    • Lactate Threshold Heart Rate (LTHR)

    metrics are then used by the SYSTM 4DP® platform to personalize the power targets in your workouts so you get the most benefit out of the time you have to train.

     

    More Accurate. Other ramp tests just take 75% of your peak 1-minute power from the ramp to get your FTP. Analysis of tens of thousands of Full Frontal 4DP fitness tests by our sports scientists has shown that this simple formula doesn’t take into account athletes who are more anaerobically fit, resulting in FTP estimates that are inaccurate for 17% of athletes. Half Monty goes beyond a traditional ramp test by combining it with a 20-minute sub-maximal / tempo effort determined by an athlete’s heart rate. By analyzing the relationship between heart rate and power, Half Monty allows SYSTM app to calculate FTP to a higher degree of accuracy.

    More Precise: Our sophisticated compliance algorithm and validation process can identify whether you performed the test correctly. This means you don’t need a smart trainer with ERG mode to get accurate results. Our huge data set of Full Frontal 4DP fitness test results also allows us to use gender, height, weight, and age to further validate and improve the accuracy of your results, even if you perform the test without a heart rate monitor.

     Adaptive: The app dynamically monitors your performance and displays personalized text prompts on-screen to update you on their progress and ensure that you perform the test correctly for the most accurate results.

     

  • This fitness test has been added as an alternative, but not a replacement for Full Frontal, the 4DP test.  It can be used mid-plan to update numbers without the added training stress of the Full Frontal test.  When completed correctly, this test will update your FTP, MAP, and LTHR. For those of you without a heart rate monitor, don’t fret, you can still get updated FTP and MAP values, they just won't be as accurate as they would be if you had a heart rate monitor.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

Please pay attention to the instructions on the screen.  If you are not properly set up, you may not get any results.  

Once you click the play button, before you start pedalling:

      • You NEED the app to read power from some device. Pedals, crank, trainer, virtual power, doesn't matter where it comes from, you will ONLY get results if the app can read a power source.
      • In the Devices tab, make sure that you have your power source (and ideally heart rate monitor) paired to the app. See Connect your Trainer (Compatibility Tool).
      • Navigate to the Settings tab, make sure "Auto-pause" is switched to off (no blue showing).  See Using the Auto-Pause function.
      • Navigate to the "Display" tab and make sure that "Show Storyline", "Heart Rate", and "Power" are all switched on (blue is showing).  See Customizing your displayed workout metrics.

Without a Heart Rate Monitor, you will get test results, but they will not be as accurate.  You will not be able to complete the second half of the test.  

 

How to get your Best Results

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There are 4 components to Half Monty

A- The 2 minutes LEADING into the Ramp (after the warmup)

B-The Ramp Test (Big yellow set of stairs)

C-The 2 minutes LEADING into the Constrained effort 

D-The Heart Rate Constrained Effort (The missing block in the workout profile)

Leading into the Ramp: Just ride this 2-minute section at the prescribed power target. Do not stop pedalling during this section. Do not sprint/surge during this section. Just ride it steady from the start to the first stage of the ramp.  These instructions also apply to section C- the 2 minutes leading into the constrained effort. 

Ramp Test: The goal of this ramp is to go until you can't turn the pedals anymore. Unless you are frequently out of the saddle for all hard trainer efforts we recommend remaining seated for the entire ramp.
If you're not riding a smart trainer you’ll need to be honest and stick to the ramp targets as closely as possible. At no point should you maintain a prolonged effort ABOVE or BELOW the ramp power target. Doing so will skew your results, leading to less accurate results, which is only doing yourself a disservice.
Once you hit your stopping point (and you WILL, that means you did it correctly) you can sit and recover, or fast forward the workout to the end of the yellow section (do not skip more than 10 seconds into the blue section) During this time, those of you on smart trainers will want to switch to “Level” mode. All Smart Trainers are different, but level 2 is generally a good option for this effort. Leading into the Constrained: Like the portion leading into the ramp, ride this section steady. Smart trainer users should be in LEVEL mode at this point. Keep your power AT or BELOW the onscreen target for this section. Do not stop pedalling during this section. Do not surge during this section. Do NOT start the constrained effort early (meaning do not start the constrained effort during this lead-in section).

Constrained Effort: This effort is unique as the goal is a specific heart rate range, not a specific power target. You will be prompted with the heart rate range you should maintain after completing the ramp. The heart rate range displayed on-screen during this effort will represent this specific heart rate range. You will also be prompted with a suggested starting power after the ramp. Your heart rate takes several minutes to react to your effort and reach the target range. DO not feel the need to go hard in the first minute just to get your heart rate up quickly. We know there is a delay, we know it will take time, just stick to roughly the suggested power target we gave you during the recovery section. Once you reach the lower end of the heart rate range, you will want to change your effort up or down to make sure your heart rate remains in this small range.
During this section, you should maintain the type of cadence you normally would for a 20-minute effort. Do not ride at a lower than normal cadence just to try and keep your heart rate lower. DO NOT sprint or surge at the end of this effort. Your entire goal for this effort is to get into a stable effort that maintains the heart rate range; doing anything else will negatively impact your results. After you complete this session you will get updated FTP, MAP and LTHR results (assuming you completed the test correctly)

If you do NOT have a Heart Rate monitor After completing the ramp, we suggest spinning easy for 5-10 minutes to properly cool down. If you complete this session without a heart rate monitor you will only see updated FTP and MAP values.

Smart Trainer Users

The first half of the test should be done in ERG mode.  Unlike Full Frontal, ERG mode is the best way to do the RAMP portion of this test.  Once the ramp is finished, you will need to stop pedalling, and switch over to Level Mode for the constrained effort.  Watch the screen for instructions on when to do this.  

Classic Trainer Users

It is important that you keep power as smooth as possible, and as close to the target power as possible during the ramp.   

 

FAQs

  • Yes, but you need to be very careful to stick as closely to your power target as possible during the ramp test. Be very honest about when you can no longer maintain the power target, don’t drop below the target and then try to surge. Ride ON TARGET until you can’t and then you’re done with that portion of the test.

  • No. The only way to update your rider profile is to take the Full Frontal Fitness Test. After completing Half Monty, you should see your new MAP, FTP, and LTHR results in your Workout Settings. 

  • Toward the end of an easier week is good, usually about 4-8 weeks after a Full Frontal is a good idea as well.

  • The empty part of the workout graph is the “constrained effort” and is empty because there is no power target. After you complete the ramp test, you will be given instructions on-screen for the HR range that you need to maintain for this part of the test. The focus here is not on your power, you need to focus on adjusting your effort to keep your HR in the right range. Put your trainer in level mode for this portion of the test!

    Remember, the constrained effort is NOT a 20-minute FTP test. You are not meant to go all-out for this portion of the test and should finish feeling like you could have done a lot more.

  • No, you need to do the constrained portion of the test in Level mode so that you can control the resistance to stay within the required HR zone.

  • If you are new to the app and have your estimated 4DP values, Half Monty will update all 4 of your metrics. However, this will only happen if you have not manually adjusted the numbers that were set for you when you went through the onboarding process.  

  • Yes.  (downloading workouts is not available on Android).  See How to Download a Workout.

  • Stop when you can't hold the power target anymore. As soon as you drop below target -- wherever you are on the ramp -- stop. 

  • Yes, we know you can! Remember, this isn’t an FTP test. The point isn’t to go all-out.  If you do that you will get invalid test results. Trust the test and the science behind it. Stick to your target HR and enjoy the fact that, unlike Full Frontal, you’ll be able to walk properly tomorrow.

  • The results will automatically be set in your Workout Settings. However, you can go in and adjust them back to your previous numbers.

 

Want to learn more?  Check out this article in the Wahoo Blogs:

 

Ask The Experts: What is the Half Monty Ramp Test?
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