Watt max testing is a fast and accurate way to evaluate your training. I usually recommend serious riders to do a couple of these tests through the season.
Why you should do a watt max test
First of all, it is very motivating to follow the progress in performance.
When you work hard to achieve a better performance, it is very satisfying to see that you are not vesting your time. However, even for small increments, the test is sensitive.
Secondly, it is possible to use the test results to modify your training plan. The optimal situation is to evaluate the test results with your cycling coach.
Most of the training plans here on Training4cyclists.com are based on your performance in physical tests.
Watt max test
1. 15 min warm-up
2. 100W workload – increase the intensity with 10W every 30sec.
3. Keep cadence at min. 80rpm.
4. Ride until exhaustion
5. Notice the last completed power output. = P
6. Notice seconds spent at exhaustion power output = T
How to calculate the result from a watt max test
Watt max power = P + (T/30x10W)
Example: A rider gets exhausted after 15 seconds at 280W. Thus, his final completed power output is 270W. Calculation of Watt max power = 270W + (15/30 x 10W) = 275W