Modern air bikes are removed from the creaky machines your dad and mom had on the native Y a long time in the past. Today’s machines are overbuilt and imposing. With larger followers, heavier parts, and digital efficiency displays, these machines are designed to take, and ship, a beating.

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The Assault Bike® is certainly one of a handful of contemporary fan-resistance, full-body stationary bikes, or “air bikes.” Similar machines embody the Echo Bike, Airdyne Pro, and varied different fashions. However, very like Rollerblade®, Q-tip®, or Band-Aid®, “Assault bike” has turn into identified universally to embody all manufacturers of air bikes, or just as a phrase used interchangeably with “air bike.”

Because air bikes work muscle teams within the legs and arms concurrently and with out reprieve, they could be the most effective machine for conditioning, shedding undesirable body weight, and coaching all main metabolic power pathways.

If you’re fortunate sufficient to have entry to an air bike, take a look at the brutal exercises beneath. 

Best Air Bike Workouts

Best Air Bike Workout for Conditioning

Due to their formidable and non-adjustable resistance, air bikes are considered extra strength-based than spin bikes. (1) On a spin bike, people sometimes pedal at 70 to 110 revolutions per minute, whereas most riders on an air bike will attain 40 to 80 revolutions per minute. (1)

Unlike a spin bike, an air bike’s resistance progressively will increase the tougher and quicker you experience. Altogether, air bikes might characterize a preferable conditioning methodology for athletes with energy backgrounds and biases.

Air bikes additionally provide a extra environment friendly methodology for coaching anaerobic capability, or short-term, high-intensity endurance. Push arduous sufficient on an air bike and you’ll lean arduous into anaerobic glycolysis — a system that gives power when demand outpaces our skill to ship oxygen to the working muscle tissue.

person straining on exercise bikeCredit: Dr. Merrick Lincoln

You’ll additionally expertise the bodily anguish related to anaerobic coaching. Lactate is a metabolic by-product of anaerobic glycolysis. Workouts that produce uncomfortably excessive ranges of lactate are typically perceived as “hard workouts.” (2)

Compared to Wingate biking — the gold normal “all-out” check of anaerobic health — a max effort experience of equal period on an air bike produces greater lactate ranges. Moreover, these elevated lactate ranges diminish extra slowly. (3)

Now, lactate will not be the direct reason for muscle “burning”. Rather, lactate is produced alongside hydrogen ions, which alters the pH of your tissues, probably creating the searing burn of high-intensity train. (4) Have belief within the ache. This struggling pays dividends within the type of improved conditioning and health

Modified Sprint Time-Trial Interval Training

Unless you’re a particular kind of masochist, you’re using the air bike for the physiological advantages — the multi-system diversifications that enhance our well being and our skill to do extra work inside and out of doors the gymnasium.

Your go-to conditioning exercise must be like a Swiss Army Knife — versatile but manageable sufficient for sensible use. Specifically, a sturdy conditioning exercise ought to practice all main power techniques (phosphocreatine, anaerobic glycolysis, and cardio metabolism). A correct routine will even promote fatigue-resistance, faucet into muscle fibers with large potential for adaptation, and improve your general work capability.

This air bike exercise was impressed by a protocol developed by researchers out of Denmark. The authentic protocol consisted of six five-minute intervals at 85% of 1’s most coronary heart fee adopted by two five-minute intervals with 5 15-second all-out sprints adopted by 45 seconds of energetic restoration. (5)

Only elite cyclists and triathletes had been included within the Danish research, and the protocol made these extraordinarily match people fitter. For common people, following an equivalent protocol could be insurmountable. Therefore, the quantity and frequency of this system are modified.

Build in the direction of the complete, eight-interval protocol by including one five-minute interval each month of constant coaching. Repeat this exercise a few times per week, ideally after your resistance coaching or separated by at the least six hours to keep away from potential interference. 

  • How to Do it: Use your legs and arms to pedal throughout the excessive depth intervals. You can use legs-only throughout the restoration durations. Warm-up completely, after which carry out three five-minute intervals on the quickest tempo you’ll be able to maintain for the period, with two minutes relaxation or restoration between every interval. After the third restoration interval, proceed into 5 shorter intervals with 15 seconds of an all-out dash adopted by 45 seconds of straightforward restoration pedaling. 
  • Sets and Reps: Three units of 5 minutes reasonable with two minutes restoration, adopted by 5 units of 15 seconds most effort with 45 seconds restoration.
  • Rest time: Rest two minutes between every five-minute interval. Rest 45 seconds between every 15-second interval.

Best Air Bike Workout for Fat Loss

Air bikes could also be essentially the most “recoverable” type of cardio. The coaching stress is distributed throughout each the higher and decrease physique quite than overworking one space at some point of the session.

person on exercise bikeCredit: Dr. Merrick Lincoln

Air bikes are additionally a ‘concentric-only’ train — that means the concerned muscle teams should overcome resistance with negligible eccentric, or “braking,” motion. This makes them much less more likely to trigger post-workout soreness.

High-load and/or high-volume eccentric train is related to delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and ranging levels of injury to the muscle cell on the microscopic degree. (6) Ultimately, you’re much less more likely to be sore within the hours and days following a tough Assault bike exercise in comparison with an eccentric-heavy mode of cardio (like jogging or leaping rope). As a bonus, concentric contractions are extra power demanding, which can lead to larger power expenditure throughout your exercise.

Zone 2 Fat-Burning Workout

For a low-impact, total-body exercise that’s unlikely to go away you sore, you’ll be able to’t beat Zone 2 cardio on an air bike. Zone 2 refers to low-to-moderate depth cardio train — 60 to 70% of your most heart-rate.

To discover this vary, first estimate your most coronary heart fee as 220 minus your age (in years). Then, multiply that most coronary heart fee by 0.6 and 0.7 to determine the higher and decrease bounds of the coaching vary.

If you’re not utilizing a coronary heart fee monitor, these numbers aren’t related and you may merely experience on the highest effort you’ll be able to maintain whereas respiration solely by your nostril. If you break into open-mouth panting, you’re coaching too arduous.

Aerobic coaching is pushed by the breakdown of fat within the presence of oxygen. Non-endurance athletes profit from cardio coaching to enhance physique composition (e.g. fats loss), enhance coronary heart well being, and improve restoration between units of resistance coaching.

person on exercise bikeCredit: Dr. Merrick Lincoln

Aerobically educated muscle tissue develop higher vascularization and larger density of mitochondria over time. These diversifications assist our muscle tissue to do extra work and doubtlessly get better extra shortly.

The air bike is right for cardio coaching, as a result of it trains massive muscle teams within the higher and decrease physique. Unless you benefit from the monotony of a steady-state exercise, break your Zone 2 work into segments to remain motivated. This fats loss exercise consists of 5 segments with descending calorie targets — use the readout on the bike’s show to watch progress.

As a part of a fats loss plan, repeat this exercise three to 5 occasions per week, ideally after your resistance coaching or separated by at the least six hours to keep away from potential interference with restoration and efficiency. 

  • How to Do it: Warm up, after which start the exercise pedaling together with your legs and arms collectively. Instead of monitoring time, pedal to burn 120 energy, 110 energy, 100 energy, 90 energy, after which 80 energy. The aim is to realize “negative splits” by finishing every calorie-segment barely quicker than the earlier. Be positive to keep up Zone 2 depth all through the exercise, both through the use of a coronary heart fee monitor or by sustaining nose-only respiration.
  • Sets and Reps: Five calorie-segments: 120 energy, 110 energy, 100 energy, 90 energy, and 80 energy.
  • Rest time: Rest passively (“following” the momentum of the pedals and handles) or actively (very low-intensity pedaling) for 30 seconds after reaching every calorie goal. It must be simply sufficient time to seize a sip of water or towel off earlier than going once more.

Best Air Bike Workout Finisher

A “finisher” refers to a brief metabolic conditioning exercise added to the tip of your major exercise. After hitting the weights, for instance, hop on the air bike to empty the tank and make sure you’ve gotten essentially the most out of your exercise.

Since you’ve already educated, your ranges of muscle glycogen (a type of saved and readily accessible power) will probably be low. “Training low,” or coaching with low ranges of glycogen, stimulates power system diversifications. (2) With common excessive depth interval coaching, your muscle tissue will construct bigger shops of accessible power and higher handle the metabolic byproducts of excessive depth coaching.

Sprint Interval Training

Consider this dash interval coaching (SIT) “finisher” to rev your metabolism and depart you feeling achieved whenever you depart the gymnasium. The exercise permits incomplete restoration between quick, high-intensity bouts of using.

Because “fast energy” from the phosphagen system doesn’t totally replenish between bouts, anaerobic glycolysis and cardio pathways will contribute progressively to the power calls for of the exercise. (7)

Translation: You’ll practice all three main power pathways on this exercise. Perform this exercise on the finish of 1 resistance coaching exercise every week.

  • How to Do it: Because your weight coaching can have simply ended, you need to nonetheless be comparatively heat. Perform simply two minutes of straightforward pedaling after which start the exercise. Pedal with all-out effort, utilizing legs and arms, for 20 seconds, each minute on the minute (EMOM). End with two minutes of straightforward pedaling. 
  • Sets and Reps: Perform intervals each minute on the minute for 5 minutes whole.
  • Rest time: Using the EMOM method, work for 20 seconds and relaxation for the remaining 40 seconds of every minute. The relaxation interval may be energetic (low-intensity pedaling) or passive (following the transferring handles and pedals).

How to Warm-Up for Air Bike Workouts

A correct warm-up primes the physique for motion and peak efficiency. Body temperature and blood move enhance, boosting metabolism and oxygen supply to the working muscle tissue.

Joints start transferring extra freely. You would possibly begin to sweat, which helps with temperature regulation when the true work begins. Give this warm-up a strive earlier than your subsequent air bike exercise. 

Air Bike Workout Warm-Up

  • Easy experience: Spend three minutes pedaling at a low degree of effort.
  • Trunk rotations: Stay seated and brace your toes on the pegs. Maintain an upright posture as you rotate your trunk and attain ahead with one arm. Alternate arms with every rotation. Perform 20 whole repetitions, 10 per aspect. 
  • Legs-only experience: Rest your arms at your sides and experience for one minute at an “easy” effort utilizing simply your legs. 
  • Arms-only experience: Place your toes on the pegs and experience for one minute at an “easy” effort utilizing simply your arms.
  • Triple ramp-up: Pedal together with your legs and arms collectively for 10 seconds at an “easy” effort. Increase to a “moderate” effort for 10 seconds. Transition to a “hard” effort for 10 seconds. Perform your complete sequence a complete of thrice (90 seconds).

The Most Effective Cardio Machine?

The air bike is unrelenting and versatile. You can push as arduous as you’re in a position throughout interval coaching or you’ll be able to ease off for steady-state cardio work. Air bike exercises are nice for metabolic conditioning and fats loss. They may be stand-alone conditioning or fats loss periods, or you’ll be able to tack them onto the tip of a standard exercise for a dash interval “finisher.” Once your restoration and adaptation take their course, air bike exercises set you up for higher health and future positive aspects.

But you’ve been warned — they are often brutal. 


  1. Schlegel, P., Křehký, A., Hiblbauer, J., & Faltys, V. (2022). Air biking as a brand new method for stress testing. Movement & Sport Sciences-Science & Motricité. Published on-line forward of print.
  2. Buchheit, M., & Laursen, P. B. (2013). High-intensity interval coaching, options to the programming puzzle. Sports Medicine, 43(5), 313-338.
  3. Schlegel, P., & Křehký, A. (2020). Anaerobic Fitness Testing in Crossfit. Acta Facultatis Educationis Physicae Universitatis Comenianae, 60(2), 217–228. 
  4. Robergs, R. A., et al. (2018). Lactate, not lactic acid, is produced by mobile cytosolic power catabolism. Physiology, 33(1), 10-12.
  5. Gejl, Ok. D., Andersson, E. P., Nielsen, J., Holmberg, H. C., & Ørtenblad, N. (2020). Effects of acute train and coaching on the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ launch and uptake charges in extremely educated endurance athletes. Frontiers in Physiology, 11, 810.
  6. Hotfiel, T., et al. (2018). Advances in delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS): Part I: Pathogenesis and diagnostics. Sportverletzung· Sportschaden, 32(04), 243-250.
  7. Bogdanis, G. C., Nevill, M. E., Boobis, L. H., & Lakomy, H. Ok. (1996). Contribution of phosphocreatine and cardio metabolism to power provide throughout repeated dash train. Journal of Applied Physiology, 80(3), 876–884. 

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