This HIIT-style fan bike workout will seriously challenge your muscles *and* your cardiovascular endurance in just 26 minutes.

By Carly Graf
Updated November 12, 2020
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Woman performing a fan bike workout
Credit: Westend61/Getty

The air bike (often known by its brand name as the "Assault AirBike" or just "Assault 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 indoor cycling counterparts, which can change resistance with a simple twist of a knob, 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-style Assault AirBike workouts. "There's no effort level you can hit that the bike can't match, so the calorie-burn potential is nearly unlimited."

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Sure, you could use this bike for endurance workouts, but it truly shines in short bursts of all-out pushes (think: HIIT), says Armond, which is why he created this fan bike 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 during the fan bike workout. "You'll engage your entire body and push up to your cardio max for faster results," says Armond. (Related: The Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Indoor Cycling)

FYI, you'll likely feel on the brink of exhaustion throughout the fan bike workout since you won't get much of a breather — but that's the point. "The Assault 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 Assault AirBike workout: We think you'll be a fan (pun intended) of what it does for your body.

26-Minute Assault Bike Workout

You'll need: A fan bike, such as an Assault AirBike. Most gyms have them; ask a trainer to point one out if you need help. Or, if you're obsessed with fan bike workouts, consider buying an Assault AirBike for your home gym. (Buy It, $699, amazon.com)

How it works: Before starting the fan bike workout, start with a 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 bodyweight strength exercises, taking 20 seconds to transition between each round of the fan bike workout.

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 face up 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 face up 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.