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The Assault Air Bike Workout That Burns a Crap-ton of Calories

Shuuterstock

The air bike is in a calorie-burning league of its own, combining the arm-pumping action of a cross-country ski machine with the leg-firming power of cycling against serious resistance.

Unlike its road or indoor cycling counterparts, the air bike uses a fan (which is why it's also called a fan bike) to generate wind resistance, so the harder you pedal, the harder pedaling gets. Meanwhile, your chest, back, arms, abs, and obliques get sculpted double time as you aggressively push and pull the handles to generate more power and speed.

"You waste no time ramping up or gearing down," says Ian Armond, a program manager at Basecamp Fitness in Santa Monica, California, which is known for its HIIT workouts featuring the Assault AirBike. "There's no effort level you can hit that the bike can't match, so the calorie-burn potential is nearly unlimited."

Sure, you could use this bike for endurance workouts, but it truly shines in short bursts of all-out pushes, Armond says, which is why he created this workout alternating 40-second intervals of air biking with body-weight strengtheners. Strap your feet into the pedals and ride like hell, gripping the handles firmly as you push them out and pull them in with as much force as you can muster—the harder you go, the more resistance you create and the bigger burn you earn.

"You'll engage your entire body and push up to your cardio max for faster results," Armond says. (Psst...We have more workout equipment that gets you fitter faster.)

You'll likely feel on the brink of exhaustion throughout because you won't get much of a breather. But that's the point. "The bike won't let you plateau because you can never fully acclimate to the resistance," he says. "It's the sweet spot for melting fat and building muscle because you're constantly being pushed just outside your comfort zone." Try his power ride: We think you'll be a fan of what it does for your body.

Your Workout

TOTAL TIME: 26 minutes

YOU'LL NEED: An air bike. Most gyms have them; ask a trainer to point one out if you need help.

HOW IT WORKS: Start with the warm-up. Then complete 12 rounds of alternating 40 seconds on the bike (shoot for an effort level of 250 watts or better) with 40 seconds of body-weight strength exercises, taking 20 seconds to transition between each round.

WARM-UP: Do 1 minute each of high-knees running, then inchworms (from standing, fold forward and walk hands out to plank position, walk feet toward hands, then stand; repeat).

Round 1

Pedal as fast as you can for 40 seconds. Take 20 seconds to get off the bike.
Do jumping jacks for 40 seconds. Take 20 seconds to get onto the bike.

Round 2

Pedal as fast as you can for 40 seconds. Take 20 seconds to get off the bike.
Do straight-leg bicycle kicks for 40 seconds: Lie faceup on floor with hands behind head and arms bent wide, legs long and hovering above floor. Lift left leg and rotate torso to touch right elbow to left knee; switch sides and repeat. Continue alternating sides. Take 20 seconds to get onto the bike.

Round 3

Pedal as fast as you can for 40 seconds. Take 20 seconds to get off the bike.
Do power mountain climbers for 40 seconds: Start on floor in plank on palms. Step left foot up to outside of left hand. Hop to switch sides. Continue alternating sides. Take 20 seconds to get onto the bike.

Round 4

Pedal as fast as you can for 40 seconds. Take 20 seconds to get off the bike.
Do squat 180 jumps for 40 seconds: Stand with feet hip-width apart and arms by sides. Squat, then jump as high as you can, rotating midair so you land facing opposite direction. Continue alternating sides. Take 20 seconds to get onto the bike.

Round 5

Pedal as fast as you can for 40 seconds. Take 20 seconds to get off the bike.
Do squat lateral leg lifts for 40 seconds: Stand with feet hip-width apart and arms by sides. Squat, then stand, raising left leg out to side up to hip height. Continue alternating sides. Take 20 seconds to get onto the bike.

Round 6

Pedal as fast as you can for 40 seconds. Take 20 seconds to get off the bike.
Do V-ups for 40 seconds: Lie faceup on floor with arms extended overhead and legs long. Lift torso and legs, coming onto tailbone so body forms a V. Lower. Repeat. Take 20 seconds to get onto the bike.

Round 7

Pedal as fast as you can for 40 seconds. Take 20 seconds to get off the bike.
Do speed skaters for 40 seconds: From standing, hop to left side, landing on left leg, bringing right leg back and across left, as you reach right hand to touch left foot. Continue alternating sides. Take 20 seconds to get onto the bike.

Round 8

Pedal as fast as you can for 40 seconds. Take 20 seconds to get off the bike.
Do blastoff push-ups for 40 seconds: Start in crouched position on floor with arms extended in front of you. Spring body forward into plank position, then do 1 push-up, pushing back to start. Repeat. Take 20 seconds to get onto the bike.

Round 9

Pedal as fast as you can for 40 seconds. Take 20 seconds to get off the bike.
Do lunge kickers for 40 seconds: Stand with feet hip-width apart and arms by sides. Step right leg back into a reverse lunge, bending right arm forward and left arm back. Stand on left leg, kicking right leg forward and driving arms in opposite directions. Repeat for 20 seconds. Switch sides; repeat. Take 20 seconds to get onto the bike.

Round 10

Pedal as fast as you can for 40 seconds. Take 20 seconds to get off the bike.
Do side-plank knee drives for 40 seconds: Start on floor in side plank on left palm. Bring right elbow and knee together to touch near waistline. Repeat for 20 seconds. Switch sides; repeat. Take 20 seconds to get onto the bike.

Round 11

Pedal as fast as you can for 40 seconds. Take 20 seconds to get off the bike.
Do plank walks for 40 seconds: Start on floor in plank on palms. Lower to forearm plank one arm at a time. Return to plank on palms one arm at a time. Continue alternating sides. Take 20 seconds to get onto the bike.

Round 12

Pedal as fast as you can for 40 seconds. Take 20 seconds to get off the bike.
Do sizzle sprawls for 40 seconds: Run in place with fast feet. Every 5 to 10 seconds, drop, lowering entire body to the floor. Pop up and immediately resume fast feet. Repeat.

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