If you’re a fan of Zwift workouts, then having your FTP set up correctly is important. This will ensure that your workouts have the proper level of difficulty applied so you need to know how to change FTP on Zwift.
The most accurate way to change your FTP on Zwift is to take one of the FTP tests available. This will give you accurate data.
There are other ways to change your FTP and we’ll look at those!
What Is Your FTP?
So FTP stands for Functional Threshold Power.
Basically, this is the highest average power that you’re able to sustain for one hour, measured in watts. FTP is a common metric used in cycling and a measure that coaches will use to work out training zones.
A lot of training apps, such as Zwift, will use FTP as part of their training plans and workouts.
The most common way to calculate your FTP is to take a 20-minute test and multiply your average power by 0.95.
This saves you going full gas for an hour and produces accurate measures. You can thank me later! 😜
Relate article – What Is A FTP Test? How To Test And Improve It
How Does Zwift Calculate FTP?
There are two types of FTP tests you can take on Zwift and each calculates FTP differently so here’s a breakdown of them both.
Standard FTP Test
In very basic terms, Zwift will measure your average power over a 20-minute effort. From this, they subtract 5% and this produces your FTP value.
Now the reason Zwift subtracts 5% is to account for holding the effort for an hour, which is what you’d have to do if it was a true FTP test.
When you’re taking a ramp test, Zwift will take the value of the last stage you completed in its entirety and adds the percentage of the uncompleted stage, accounting for its duration.
Your FTP will then be 75% of this value.
So an example of this would be:
- You completed all stages up to 250W.
- Then you didn’t complete the next one.
- This works out as 250W + 20W x 12/60 = 254W.
- The 20W is because the test goes up in 20W increments.
- So then your FTP will be 75% of 254W which is 191W.
How Do I Find My FTP on Zwift?
To find your FTP on Zwift, head into the “Menu” from your riding screen.
In order to access this menu, you do need to hit the ride button (hopefully this will change one day but for now, this is what we’ve got!).
When you’re in the menu, click the “edit” button. You’ll find this just below your screen name.
As well as being able to edit your profile information, you’ll be able to see your FTP here.
You may also like to read How To Connect Zwift To Garmin.
How Do I Change My FTP On Zwift?
1 – Manually Set Your FTP
Let’s say you already know your FTP, then you can go into Zwift and manually change it to whatever you’d like.
There are two ways to do this.
The first way is to head into your profile. When you’re in the game, click “Menu”. Next to the information about your profile, you can click edit at the top right of the screen. From there you are able to change your FTP. Don’t forget to hit save!
The second place this can be changed is on the workout picker. Go onto any workout and on the bottom left you are able to change your FTP number. When you have changed this, it will save it as your new FTP.
2 – Take the FTP Test
If you want the most accurate method of getting your FTP, taking an FTP test is the way.
Heads up if you haven’t taken one before – it’s a maximum effort challenge! You can find a Zwfit FTP test under the Workout section and then FTP tests.
To get to the Workout section of Zwift, you need to click “Training” from the startup screen. Pressing “E” on your keyboard will also do this. When you get onto the screen, you’ll see that there are three FTP tests available.
“FTP Test” and “FTP Test Shorter” are what you consider to be traditional FTP tests. You will need to put out a 20-minute effort once you’re warmed up.
The third test is a “Ramp Test”. This is a shorter effort. It sets out fairly easy and as the name suggests, ramps up! The test goes up in 20-watt increments every minute.
So you can choose any of those FTP tests and Zwift will get you to save your newly tested FTP results when you’ve finished.
Not sure which Zwift FTP to take? Watch this to decide:
3 – Zwift’s Auto-Detect
When you’re in a Zwfit ride, Zwift will be automatically testing your FTP. If you happen to increase it while you’re on that ride, Zwift will let you know.
It’s calculated by taking your average 20-minute effort.
If you want to save the change as your new FTP then just hit “Oh yeah” and it’ll save it
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Good FTP For A Beginner Cyclist?
A male beginner cyclist has an average FTP of 214W. Female beginner sits at around 146W.
Alright so let’s just get this straight, FTP is just a number!
It’s highly individual and gives you a good indication of where you’re at in terms of aerobic fitness and body type.
The key thing to remember is that it’s not a statement of you as a cyclist.
Whatever your starting FTP is at, remember it’s a starting point. Sure, pro cyclists have an FTP of 400w or above but that’s their job, we aren’t pro cyclists, no matter how much we like to think we are!
If you’re keen to improve it, I’d recommend doing a structured internal training session. It will help to improve your FTP and your endurance, ultimately your performance.
Related article – Improve Your Performance With These Cycling Training Plans
How Accurate Is Zwift Power?
Zwift heavily relies on power and translates that to Watts but not everyone has a power meter. Fortunately, Zwift has a solution for that – zPower.
zPower is calculated by working out the speed of your bike and the resistance the trainer is on.
If you want to know how accurate this power is against an actual power meter, well it’s good news, on a full test, zPower can be out by around 4%, which is impressive.
However, where the difference falls is in maximum power. A power meter can track maximum power more accurately, around 10%. This is likely to be because as you change your power output quickly, Zwift can not keep up with that in the same way a power meter can.
If your power delivery is constant, zPower will catch up and get to the same number as your power meter, but if you are more of a peak and drop cyclist, expect some discrepancy.
Want to know more on this subject? Check out this video:
Related article – Zwift Setup Ideas For Any Budget
Remember having an accurate FTP on Zwift is important. It will ensure that workouts aren’t too difficult or too easy for you.
FTP is a good measurement of how fit you are but don’t get too hung up on it – it’s just a number and it’s important to enjoy the time on your bike!
Saying that what’s your current FTP – is it where you want it to be? 😀