HomeFitnessTry These 3 Air Bike Workouts for Conditioning, Fat Loss, and More

Try These 3 Air Bike Workouts for Conditioning, Fat Loss, and More

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Fashionable air bikes are removed from the creaky machines your mother and father had on the native Y a long time in the past. As we speak’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.

person in gym exercising on air bike
Credit score: Jacob Lund / Shutterstock

The Assault Bike® is one in every of a handful of contemporary fan-resistance, full-body stationary bikes, or “air bikes.” Comparable machines embrace the Echo Bike, Airdyne Professional, and numerous different fashions. Nonetheless, very like Rollerblade®, Q-tip®, or Band-Help®, “Assault bike” has develop into recognized universally to embody all manufacturers of air bikes, or just as a phrase used interchangeably with “air bike.”

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

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

Greatest Air Bike Exercises

Greatest Air Bike Exercise for Conditioning

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

In contrast to a spin bike, an air bike’s resistance progressively will increase the tougher and sooner you journey. Altogether, air bikes could signify a preferable conditioning methodology for athletes with power backgrounds and biases.

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

person straining on exercise bike
Credit score: Dr. Merrick Lincoln

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

In comparison with Wingate biking — the gold commonplace “all-out” check of anaerobic health — a max effort journey of equal period on an air bike produces larger lactate ranges. Furthermore, these elevated lactate ranges diminish extra slowly. (3)

Now, lactate will not be the direct explanation for muscle “burning”. Somewhat, 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 Dash Time-Trial Interval Coaching

Until 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 capacity to do extra work inside and out of doors the health club.

Your go-to conditioning exercise ought to be like a Swiss Military Knife — versatile but manageable sufficient for sensible use. Particularly, a strong conditioning exercise ought to practice all main power programs (phosphocreatine, anaerobic glycolysis, and cardio metabolism). A correct routine may even promote fatigue-resistance, faucet into muscle fibers with huge potential for adaptation, and improve your total work capability.

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

Solely elite cyclists and triathletes had been included within the Danish research, and the protocol made these extraordinarily match people fitter. For common of us, following an an identical protocol can be insurmountable. Due to this fact, the quantity and frequency of this system are modified.

Construct in the direction of the complete, eight-interval protocol by including one five-minute interval each month of constant coaching. Repeat this exercise a couple of times per week, ideally after your resistance coaching or separated by no less than six hours to keep away from potential interference. 

  • Easy methods to Do it: Use your legs and arms to pedal in the course of the excessive depth intervals. You should use legs-only in the course of the restoration durations. Heat-up completely, after which carry out three five-minute intervals on the quickest tempo you may 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. 
  • Units 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.
  • Relaxation time: Relaxation two minutes between every five-minute interval. Relaxation 45 seconds between every 15-second interval.

Greatest Air Bike Exercise for Fats 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 moderately than overworking one space at some stage in the session.

person on exercise bike
Credit score: Dr. Merrick Lincoln

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

Excessive-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) In the end, you’re much less prone 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 end in larger power expenditure throughout your exercise.

Zone 2 Fats-Burning Exercise

For a low-impact, total-body exercise that’s unlikely to depart you sore, you may’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 seek out this vary, first estimate your most coronary heart charge as 220 minus your age (in years). Then, multiply that most coronary heart charge by 0.6 and 0.7 to determine the higher and decrease bounds of the coaching vary.

For those who’re not utilizing a coronary heart charge monitor, these numbers aren’t related and you may merely journey on the highest effort you may maintain whereas respiration solely by your nostril. For those who break into open-mouth panting, you’re coaching too laborious.

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Cardio 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 bike
Credit score: Dr. Merrick Lincoln

Aerobically skilled muscle groups develop higher vascularization and larger density of mitochondria over time. These diversifications assist our muscle groups to do extra work and probably recuperate 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. Until 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 no less than six hours to keep away from potential interference with restoration and efficiency. 

  • Easy methods to Do it: Heat up, after which start the exercise pedaling along with your legs and arms collectively. As a substitute of monitoring time, pedal to burn 120 energy, 110 energy, 100 energy, 90 energy, after which 80 energy. The purpose is to attain “adverse splits” by finishing every calorie-segment barely sooner than the earlier. Make sure to keep Zone 2 depth all through the exercise, both by utilizing a coronary heart charge monitor or by sustaining nose-only respiration.
  • Units and Reps: 5 calorie-segments: 120 energy, 110 energy, 100 energy, 90 energy, and 80 energy.
  • Relaxation time: Relaxation passively (“following” the momentum of the pedals and handles) or actively (very low-intensity pedaling) for 30 seconds after reaching every calorie goal. It ought to be simply sufficient time to seize a sip of water or towel off earlier than going once more.

Greatest Air Bike Exercise Finisher

A “finisher” refers to a brief metabolic conditioning exercise added to the top 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.

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

Dash Interval Coaching

Contemplate this dash interval coaching (SIT) “finisher” to rev your metabolism and go away you feeling achieved if you go away the health club. The exercise permits incomplete restoration between brief, high-intensity bouts of using.

As a result of “quick power” from the phosphagen system doesn’t absolutely 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. Carry out this exercise on the finish of 1 resistance coaching exercise every week.

  • Easy methods to Do it: As a result of your weight coaching may have simply ended, you need to nonetheless be comparatively heat. Carry out 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). Finish with two minutes of straightforward pedaling. 
  • Units and Reps: Carry out intervals each minute on the minute for 5 minutes whole.
  • Relaxation time: Utilizing the EMOM method, work for 20 seconds and relaxation for the remaining 40 seconds of every minute. The remainder interval might be lively (low-intensity pedaling) or passive (following the shifting handles and pedals).
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Easy methods to Heat-Up for Air Bike Exercises

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

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

Air Bike Exercise Heat-Up

  • Straightforward journey: Spend three minutes pedaling at a low degree of effort.
  • Trunk rotations: Keep seated and brace your ft on the pegs. Preserve an upright posture as you rotate your trunk and attain ahead with one arm. Alternate arms with every rotation. Carry out 20 whole repetitions, 10 per aspect. 
  • Legs-only journey: Relaxation your arms at your sides and journey for one minute at an “straightforward” effort utilizing simply your legs. 
  • Arms-only journey: Place your ft on the pegs and journey for one minute at an “straightforward” effort utilizing simply your arms.
  • Triple ramp-up: Pedal along with your legs and arms collectively for 10 seconds at an “straightforward” effort. Improve to a “reasonable” effort for 10 seconds. Transition to a “laborious” effort for 10 seconds. Carry out all the sequence a complete of thrice (90 seconds).

The Most Efficient Cardio Machine?

The air bike is unrelenting and versatile. You’ll be able to push as laborious as you’re ready throughout interval coaching or you may ease off for steady-state cardio work. Air bike exercises are nice for metabolic conditioning and fats loss. They are often stand-alone conditioning or fats loss classes, or you may tack them onto the top of a standard exercise for a dash interval “finisher.” As soon as your restoration and adaptation take their course, air bike exercises set you up for higher health and future good points.

However 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. Motion & Sport Sciences-Science & Motricité. Revealed on-line forward of print. doi.org/10.1051/sm/2022001.
  2. Buchheit, M., & Laursen, P. B. (2013). Excessive-intensity interval coaching, options to the programming puzzle. Sports activities Medication43(5), 313-338.
  3. Schlegel, P., & Křehký, A. (2020). Anaerobic Health 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. Physiology33(1), 10-12.
  5. Gejl, Ok. D., Andersson, E. P., Nielsen, J., Holmberg, H. C., & Ørtenblad, N. (2020). Results of acute train and coaching on the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ launch and uptake charges in extremely skilled endurance athletes. Frontiers in Physiology11, 810.
  6. Hotfiel, T., et al. (2018). Advances in delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS): Half I: Pathogenesis and diagnostics. Sportverletzung· Sportschaden32(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 Utilized Physiology80(3), 876–884. 

Featured Picture: Boonkung / Shutterstock

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