If you are a massive fan of CrossFit or have watched any game by chance, then you would have most likely come across air bikes. These are notorious for requiring maximum effort while giving you a full-body workout. Just imagine rigorous pace training with only 20 seconds of rest.
Let us just say they rightfully earned the title, “Satan’s Tricycle.” It is definitely intimidating to use this exercise bike just by its infamous nickname, but one should not overlook its effectiveness.
The Assault Bike Series is produced by Assault Fitness Products, which have been around in the market for over 30 years. Assault Bikes are typically sold to the U.S. Military for heavy training, but anyone can undoubtedly benefit from its good old-fashioned aerobic design.
This comes in the following series: Assault Bike Classic, Assault Bike Pro, and Assault Bike Elite. For this article, we will be focusing on the Assault Bike Classic, its benefits, and exercise variations. We also provide equipment alternatives for assault bikes and what kinds of programs you can do to hit your daily cardio goals or progress to a better pace. You may check out our list of the Best Upright Exercise Bikes and Best Full Body Workout Machines in the market.
We’ll Guide You On:
- How To Do Assault Bike Workouts
- 4 Assault Bike Benefits
- Common Assault Bike Exercise Mistakes To Avoid
- Assault Bike Muscles Worked
- Assault Bikes vs Airdyne
- Our Trainer’s Suggested Assault Bike Reps, Sets, & Programs
- Assault Bike Variations
- Assault Bike Alternatives
How To Do Assault Bike Workouts
What You’ll Need:
- Assault Bike Classic: This series boasts unlimited resistance, set programs depending on what metric you want to focus on (Tabata, intervals, watts, heart rate), six-way adjustable seat, and a maximum user weight of 350 lbs, to name a few of its features.
Step 1: Find The Best Seat Position For You
The best way to do this is by adjusting the saddle to level with your hips. With your knees slightly bent and your feet firm on the pedal, this ensures that you are getting power from your quads and not straining to move. You may also slide the saddle forward or backward to achieve a nice gap between your torso and the neck of the bike.
Step 2: Determine Your Program To Gauge The Best RPM
Assault bikes feature different metrics that you can track. In this case, the RPM plays a huge role as it determines the intensity of your workout and how many calories you could burn (if this is an important aspect for you). You could choose among HIIT, calorie-burning, low calorie, sprint, or recovery, among others.
Step 3: Keep Your Body In Line
Once you have determined your program, it is time to prepare your body for the workout. Keep your head neutral, your torso stable, and your arms pushing and pulling in a controlled manner. Avoid shaking your head, flailing your arms, moving your torso, or swaying your hips as you pedal. Also, keep your body upright and avoid leaning forward too much.
Step 4: Perform With Your Best Effort
Regardless of your program, assault bikes are one to challenge the strength of athletes and novice lifters using air resistance. Note the proper posture when working out on the Assault Bike so you can always hit your target RPM, watts, distance, or what have you.
4 Assault Bike Benefits
1. Full Body Workout
If you can invest in just one machine that will work on your entire body, Assault Bikes should be on the top of your list. As they work on your upper body and lower extremities, you can trust this machine to let you burn more calories than you could ever imagine and leave you feeling reborn, energized, and accomplished.
2. Improves Cardiovascular Health
By design, assault bikes promote both aerobic and anaerobic programs. These are mainly good for the heart, which we may not see physically, but you better believe that when you are climbing the stairs without heaving or your feet aching, then it means that the assault bike’s workouts are working.
3. Efficient Calorie Burning
Did you know that you could burn as much as 80 calories per minute on assault bikes? Thanks to its rigorous nature, assault bikes trigger EPOC (a measure of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption), which means that your metabolic rate remains elevated even 72 hours after you exercise, allowing you to burn calories even while sitting.
4. Less Stress on Joints
Assault bike workouts are suitable for different age brackets because of their safe design. Compared with exercising on rowing machines or sprinting on the treadmill, assault bike workouts are easier on the knees and reduce the likelihood of knee or hip pain.
Common Air Bike Exercise Mistakes to Avoid
Incorrect Seat Positioning
Some people make the mistake of putting their seats too high, making the knees lockout. While some adjust their seat too low that the knees bend extra hard to pedal. These positions require excess power for more movement that does not necessarily translate to performance. These also make the user more prone to knee or joint pain with the knees accidentally locking.
Saddle Fixed Too Far Back
This wrong position instantly welcomes a rounded back, which you want to avoid with assault bike workouts at all costs. This leads to shoulder strain and an unneutered spine. This also uses the shoulders for power instead of the arms. All in all, it would be difficult to hit your max calories with a bad posture.
Using the arms for momentum compromises the position of the upper back and may even hurt the rotator cuffs by doing so. To fix this, the elbows should be as close to the body as possible. The shoulders should be strong and stacked in place with the torso upright and rigid for power and balance.
Assault Bike Muscles Worked
- Legs (emphasis on quads and calves)
- Abdominal muscles
Exercise bikes, whether assault bikes or fan bikes, require both the upper and lower body to work together and deliver the force needed to meet the desired calories burned.
This means the arms and quads are heavily used for rowing the bars and pedaling, respectively. Meanwhile, the whole back and torso, especially the core, are primarily used for balance, while the shoulders act as stabilizers for the arms.
Not seen physically, but the heart plays the most important role in any strenuous or simple workout. Your heart health will determine the right pacing, intensity level, and workout timeframe for you.
Assault Bike vs. Airdyne
With its fan diameter, the Assault Bike Classic is a wee bit smaller with its 25-inch diameter fan, while the Schwinn Airdyne Pro has 26 inches under its belt. The Assault Bike Classic also proves to be lighter and more portable for most gyms and homes at 110 lbs and with transportation wheels to boot. However, the Airdyne is more compact with its assembled size.
The Assault Bike Classic is more user-friendly with its intuitive controls for workouts and minimal display, while the Airdyne has a more cluttered control panel but with more programs to choose from as well. It also beats the Classic with its 10-year warranty on the frame, while the Assault Classic offers only 5 years on the frame. Both exercise bikes offer a 2-year warranty on parts.
Our Trainer’s Suggested Programs For Max Calories Burned
For HIIT Training
Taking inspiration from its program title, high intensity as much as 110% effort is preferred in this workout. HIIT programs include challenging aerobic exercises that could prevent heart attack and prolong general health and fitness for years ahead.
Try this workout: Perform warm-up for 2 to 5 minutes. Perform a set of 20 seconds on full effort followed by 1 min and 40-sec recovery. Do this for an interval of 2, 4, 6, 8 sets or however long you can perform. This would surely skyrocket your heart rate and challenge your mental toughness. It could also improve your strength for push-ups and other bodyweight movements.
For Calorie Burning
Assault bike exercises are not only an effective workout, but you can perform them at your own pace. Give this program a try for an intense session: Warm up with high knees and inchworms for 1 min each. Then, do a combination of 40-sec biking and 40-sec bodyweight strength training. Repeat this to complete 12 rounds.
Try to target 250 watts or higher per session. Rest for 20 seconds in between each set. Some bodyweight exercises you can perform include jumping jacks, mountain climbers, squat jumps, v-ups, and plank walks.
Assault Bike Variations
Whether you are a fan bike newbie or a decorated CrossFit athlete, you will appreciate these variations for their varied intensity, suitable for anyone who desires to try.
Assault Bike Tabata
This effectively burns fats and tones the body while being time-efficient. Tabata workouts require short burst energy, which is far different from one-hour workouts. Since this program is more fast-paced and explosive, it is best for experienced lifters who can burn double to triple the calories with minimal rest minutes.
The objective is to burn the respective amount of calories per level by pedaling according to your pace and having a rest minute as needed until the total number of calories is achieved. It is best for self-paced CrossFitters whether you can function with maximum or a few seconds rest. Consider it a long cardio session minus the tough rules.
Assault Bike & Burpees
As if assault bike workouts are not challenging enough, you can add a round of burpees in each set for this interval training. This works the major muscles while burning a whole lot of calories, too. Since this workout is time-based with minimal seconds of rest, it ultimately challenges your stamina, pacing, and mental toughness.
Assault Bike Alternatives
The Assault Bike, among other exercise bikes, is definitely one unique machine. In addition, there are other excellent equipment pieces in the market that hit similar muscles the assault bike works.
Air Rowing Machine
Similar to a fan bike, an air rowing machine works through air resistance. Likewise, it works on the upper body and lower body, pushing for a full-body workout and long-term fitness. As with the size, this one takes more space than a fan bike, although at a more affordable price point.
Designed as a standing machine, the SkiErg workout imitates skiing motion that works from ceiling to ground while hitting calories. It emphasizes work on the upper body and can also be considered a HIIT machine for maximum calories burned.
Minus the special features and tough aesthetic, a Spin Bike works similarly with assault bikes. You can perform interval training, any effective workout that aligns with your fitness goals, and push you to your limits while giving you a few seconds rest for recovery. Without the massive fan in front, spin bikes are more compact and take less floor space for daily training.