Full Frontal Fear

I try not to stress myself up over FF any more. I ignore targets .A couple of sprints ok batter the first one.Did I spin out or struggle with cadence, OK adjust gear for next one. 5 mins, OK surely I can do anything for 5 mins.Ignore head unit, and think legs.HR and lungs will come along for the ride, but just keep those legs turning for 5 measly minutes. Ah the 20 min has come along, effort so much easier than the 5 min, does not really start hurting until 10 mins so really it is a 10 min effort, not so bad. As for the 1 min knowing the test is close to the end, what does 1 min matter.just go for it.this is my basic mindset through the test, no stress, no distractions, just take each step as a stand alone effort not an hour of torture.


Good reading. Thanks everyone. Pre FF I suffer a lot of high anxiety. I watch the video 3 or 4 times to get it in my mind how to approach each segment. The last few times I’ve done it my MAP wasn’t the % it needed to be to match the 20 min. And it suggests I lower my FTP 2-3%. And at the same time I’m excited looking forward to my new numbers. That being said, with MAP being my weakness and I’m IRL right now till this fall/winter, I’m going to start doing some all out 5 min segments. I have a stretch of road I can do it on. Than maybe the 5 minutes won’t be so bad.


I think I’ve done FF 20+ times now. I remember having to test it in the lab. It was rough. The Devs would ask if anyone could test the recent build with FF(we didn’t have the simulators yet) and I would volunteer. Not really sure why really. I only finished about half the time. Once I started getting some really good results I started pushing myself too hard trying to get improvements. The 5 min MAP was were I would typically destroy myself then bomb in the 20 min. Now I’m trying to stick to a plan. Treating FF like another workout really helps. I found it easier to engage the pain with Epic soundtrack music as well. Audiomachine has some good stuff. Something aggressive and with undertones of endurance. I still don’t do too well finishing the workout. It was easier to finish FF when I had a purpose. “The guys need a valid test result” is what I would tell myself during the workout.


One other bit of psychological warfare to remember is that FF provides you a major benefit over the coming months: It helps you (ok, the software) to tailor your workouts specifically to you. It makes all of your workouts better. Progression isn’t always linear and it isn’t even always upward… but it’s most important to be accurate with your training so that you optimally train (neither over- or under-). Keeping your big picture in view (along with “chunking” the intervals into smaller bits) helps me a lot.


I did mine yesterday morning and almost gave up upon the first 3min into the 20min block… but i suck it up and went through till end…


For me, this adds to the anxiety. :grinning:
Eek! I better get this right!


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I was also scared about the 4DP test.

I followed a 12 week all purpose road training plan and i did the full monty test.

I did not get some good results with this full monty test: +5W for my FTP.

My FTP was 255w at this time (end of May).

I was a bit frustrated and I decided to take my courage in both hands: FF.

This test was a revelation for me!

You have to kick your ass to get some results. But what are the results you want to get? Some metrics only to be proud of yourself?

My 5mn test for this FF test: 346. I was not able to exceed 330 for 3mn before. My max heart rate during the FF test was 178bpm. I have never exceeded 175! Never! I am 50 years old.

My FTP: 265. +10w. I have been too conservative after this 5mn test.

One week later after the FF test i ran a Zwift race. I was feeling so great and i was able to do more.

My average power during this race was 276 w (FTP +10w) for 50mn. WTF 50mn! So, i did a ramp test the day after. Result: 297w. 100% sure i could do better.

+40w in 3 weeks! Ok the ramp test cannot be compared to the FF test.

But I have been able to sustain 276 for 50mn. This result was unreal for me.

I am able today to make some sweet spot intervals of 4x10mn at 270w without feeling tired.

Last week i climbed two famous Tour de France KOM (HC): col du galibier and col de l’izoard (20km : first 10km at 4% and last 10km at 8%).

I am 1m96 for 94kg. I have to push so hard on the pedals.

This FF test has opened a door for me! This test has allowed me to make it possible.

Open this door mate! 4 tests in one hour. I focused as advised on the 5mn test.

I think it’s the most important test.

If you can sustain 350w for 5mn why you coud not sustain 290 or 300w for 20mn.

It’s more a question of mental strength.

That’s why i’m so puzzled when i heard a coach on a well-known platform tells:“you can get some good results with only training at sweet spot”
Really? Maybe some athletes with years of experience… And those guys do not need to suscribe to your training plan! So what’s the goal of saying that!

Training is first a mental experience.

What are you goals?

To get some good metrics at your test?

To get faster? LOL…Sorry but i will always find someone faster than me. This never ending story is then useless…

To feel strong? More interesting!

To be able to say:" wow! I was able to do it". Finally! Yep it’s possible.

Open this door!

Ps: sorry for my English. Nobody’s perfect! I am French


You’ve got to desensitize yourself to it as much as possible. I personally put it in as a regular workout.

Performance anxiety is perfectly normal. Part of the process is taking that anxiety and translating it into performance.


I also have a similar sense of trepidation heading into FF. I try to stick to the FF prep plan so that I can tell myself I’m prepared for the test. For me, the 1 minute test is the mental barrier and the part that I dread the most.

I usually feel like I can pace myself reasonably well through the 5 minute and 20 minute tests. But the peak and fade approach to the 1 minute test is just so darn painful - it feels like it should be over, but I look at the clock and only 15 seconds has passed!


What has helped me the most for pacing FF is to do HM a few days beforehand. This gives me a way to gauge my pacing beyond how I feel at the moment. And knowing that helps me actually look forward to it.


I did a FF this morning, Sho, I was shattered. I think I pushed the 5 min a bit too hard and then fell flat on my face during the 20min. Overall my numbers saw an improvement and I changed rider type but ya, today’s really hurt

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Totally agree with thinking about FF being just another workout. I just did FF on Friday and that mindset really helped along with other SF techniques like breathing, correct form and visualization. Breaking into chunks also worked for me.

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I’m so afraid of FF that in 3.5years, I’ve done it only 2…or 3 times?.. dont even want to remember.
Im so glad Half monty came into play.
What I fear the most, is the 20min pace.
For that reason, they should come with a Half Frontal, of full monty? :speak_no_evil:
maybe AC test, followed by HM, and finish with 1 minute test?


Not very afraid of FF as for me the pain isn’t as deep or urgent like with Nine Hammers, Vice Grips, Blender Mini or A Very Dark Place. My profile says Attacker with improvements needed on 5 min MAP. The sessions I mentioned hit that improvement spot harder than FF probably does.

When I had to stop on FF it was simply because of the legs giving up during the 20 minute section after I did better than expected on the sprints and the 5 minute effort (without feeling that I was already going too deep).

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What is HM?

HM = Half Monty (the other fitness test)

Half Monty: The Easy one. We recommend this fitness test for newer riders and for those who are mid-plan or who just want to get a sense of where their fitness is.

This is, we’re quite certain, the best ramp fitness test in the world. While it’s not as comprehensive or as accurate as our main fitness test, Full Frontal, it’s far more approachable and easier to pace for new riders. It also doesn’t require any special preparation - you just need to feel relatively fresh. Based on more than a year of research (and after dozens of lab tests and thousands of online tests) and through a completely unique combination of power and HR data, as well as sophisticated data analysis, Half Monty is far more accurate than standard ramp tests.

It also tells you more about yourself. Half Monty provides you with your FTP, Maximal Aerobic Power (MAP) and Lactate Threshold Heart Rate (LTHR) all of which we use in setting your workout targets after the test. If you’re still using the 4DP estimates when you set up your account, Half Monty will also refine your AC and NM estimates (but will not do so if you’ve done Full Frontal or manually adjusted your estimates). Only Full Frontal provides you with fully accurate AC and NM, as well as your Rider Type, Strengths, Weaknesses and training plans adjusted to those Strengths and Weaknesses.

I did my first FF test last weekend and was very pleased with the result. What helped the most to get through it was having done a HM test a couple of weeks earlier, which gave me target FTP and MAP numbers to aim for.

So I went into FF with the mentality of at least matching my recent HM results. 10 mins into the 20 min segment I really felt like giving up, but just kept telling myself I could hold my HM number. In the end I matched it to the exact Watt! I’m pretty sure I would have backed off in those last 10 mins had I not had that target to aim for. It was soooo tempting to drop my power by 20W for the last 10 mins, but I refused to cave in!

I think it goes to show how much of a mental test FF really is. If my life had literally depended on it, or there was a million pounds prize, I’m sure I could have found at least another 10W. Although I was shattered at the end, I don’t think I was really very close to death! So I must have held back a little :grinning:


I find fear and dread comes from concern about results. A 5 min effort, 20 min effort, 1 min effort, we do those all year round training, so the doing it should be OK. I try to keep stress low just by focussing on what I am doing at the time, i.e. pedalling. Having said that I do try to avoid the test, only doing it wholeheartedly if I think the numbers need changing, so that was 4 times in the last 12 months


Try and think of Full Frontal as the piece of the puzzle which brings all of your training together.
Doing your best on Full Frontal is only going to help you train better in future (or bring more suffering :smiling_imp:) as it means that all the other workout targets will be set more accurately for your training and allow you to keep achieving great things.


I think it is all about pacing and staying close to the metric you are given during the test. Don’t run like a cheetah in the beginning and spend all that energy up. Pace yourself and be realistic. I think people watch the watts way too much and try to keep them high and over the defined base given and just wear themselves out.

Performance increase and better numbers come with regular riding pushing yourself a little each time.

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