The Assault bike is a staple in the Crossfit community for years now, and for a good reason. As Mat Fraser said in his new book (2021), the machine is built to promote muscle fatigue, spike lactic acid, and deplete your cardio.
In this article you’ll discover:
- WHat’s an Assault Bike?
- What are it’s main benefits?
- Which muscles are being worked?
- How it will improve your overall fitness
What is an assault bike?
An Assault Bike is a stationary exercise bike that closely emulates the up and down motion of an outdoor bicycle that you would ride on a street or riding path. These bikes don’t offer any resistance, so it’s more about getting your body moving than challenging yourself physically. Assault Bikes are excellent additions to cardio workouts because they allow for both anaerobic and aerobic workouts.
(Note: in this article we’ll generally talk about the Assault bike, but this all apply to the Rogue Echo bike, the official Crossfit air bike)
It allows you to burn calories very quickly to lose weight, firm up the body while improving the cardiovascular system and power. This all-in-one bike allows you to do a complete sports activity to achieve your training goals.
While it may look like an exercise bike, its features make it more than just an ordinary bike. The assault bike offers a different experience for working on your cardio, burning calories or simply exercising. Indeed, this fitness equipment is equipped with a fan or air generator, connected to the handlebars. This is why it is also called airbike.
How does the assault bike work?
The assault bike does not work like an ordinary exercise bike or elliptical. Although this fitness equipment requires the use of legs, thighs and arms, its performance relies mainly on the presence of the fan. The fan generates air resistance to push you to pedal harder (much like a rower).
It combines the “push” action of the arms and legs to provide greater resistance and even harder pedaling. That is, the harder you pedal, the harder you will have to pedal, because the level of resistance you are pedaling against will increase further and force you (without you even realizing it) to pedal harder. On the other hand, if you slow down the pace, the resistance will also be lower.
The difference between the assault bike and other sports bikes is its ease of use. You don’t have to preset the resistance, the assault air bike does that for you.
You will have to pedal very hard and you will feel some motivation to keep going. Since you also have to use your arms, which is not necessarily the case on other “regular” bikes, chances are you will sweat more and therefore lose a lot of calories.
Most CrossFit or Cross Training gyms have one or more of these. However, if you are an Air Bike addict, you might want to consider an Assault Bike for your home gym!
In addition, with this type of cardio fitness bike, there is no set level of effort to achieve. The physical activity programs are customizable while the potential to burn calories is huge and unlimited. Check out our sample air bike Workouts to get started.
Assault Bike Benefits
The main Air Bike Benefits are:
- low impact training
- perfect for warming up or finishing a workout strong
- ideal for gaining VMA
- a calorie burner like few others
- provides a complete body workout
- works your mind (because it’s really painful when done with intensity)
- adapts extremely well to HIIT with its variable resistance
One of the best benefits of this bike is it’s very low impact. It allows you to increase your heart rate without causing trauma to the joints as could be the case with a mountain bike, a road bike or jogging.
The spine will also be relieved because on a assault bike, your sitting position tends to be more vertical, which puts less pressure on your lower back and shoulders.
A positive impact on the mind
If exercising is good for you, doing cardio on an assault bike will make you better. Its secret is its ease of use and the fact that it will challenge your mind! It is one of the most feared exercises in the world of functional fitness, CrossFit ® and Cross Training. And for good reason, it pushes you to your limits. What is certain is that you will burn calories and that you will ask for more!
Seeing yourself evolve and progress can only give a boost to your mind, which will motivate you more to continue. Finally, the air bike offers a whole field of possibilities that classic bikes do not necessarily offer.
What are the muscles worked on an air bike?
Basically, the muscles are working in your legs, arms, abdominals and even your back. All of these muscles will support you while riding an air bike for extended periods.
Some of the common muscles that get stimulated and worked out while you ride an air bike include:
- Quads and hamstrings in your legs.
- Abdominals to help stabilize, twist and turn. Also helps with stability while on the bike.
- Arm muscles to help with sprinting and pushing the pedals down for extended periods of time.
How to use an assault bike?
This type of bike has several HIIT, TABATA, cardio training and other programs built-in.
It’s up to you to choose the right training program for you. One of the best ways to start progressing on the assault bike is to program TABATA with intense training phases (20 seconds) and rest phases (10 seconds). It is important to respect this interval in order to test your heart. Recovery is essential.
While you could technically do longer cardio workouts, I find it’s best to use in short, intense runs. So something like 50 cal, coupled with other movements, is reasonable for me. I’ve done a few 300cal for time workouts, but I’m telling you, these are not fun!
First, got slowly for the first few minutes just to get warmed up. Start with a steady or low pace, for example, 5 minutes of air bike at low intensity, before increasing your pace.
There are several different ways to pedal an assault bike, depending on how intense you want your workout to be and what type of fitness level you have. We will show you two basic methods, but first, let’s discuss some important points about pedaling technique:
- Keep your back straight at all times.
- Keep your head up and look forward. Staring down will cause you to hunch over, which restricts the amount of weight you can lift with your legs.
- Make sure your knees are always slightly bent when pushing on the pedals, but not locked completely out so that they are pushing into the handle bars.
- Keep your abdominal muscles tight and your core engaged at all times to help support your back.
Now for the two methods of pedaling:
Method 1 is known as “spinning.” This is a simple, yet very effective way to pedal if you want a more cardiovascular workout or are just starting out on an assault bike. Your feet should stay close to the pedals at all times, engaging your quads. The other muscles in your body will help support this motion by stabilizing you on the seat and helping keep your core engaged.
Method 2 is known as “pedaling squares.” This requires more strong leg power than spinning because your foot pushes down harder with each stroke. The muscles in your quads, hips and glutes will be activated much more when you pedal this way because the force required to push down is greater. This method also requires that you lean slightly forward when pushing down on the pedals, which engages your core muscles to help support your back.
The most important thing to remember about pedaling an assault bike is to make sure your movements are synchronized with one another. Make certain that when you push down on the left pedal with your right leg, you simultaneously pull up on the right pedal with your left leg. This will help keep your energy focused and help you maintain proper form.
How to adjust your assault bike?
It’s actually very simple.
Adjust the saddle vertically so that your leg is almost straight down (usually when you are standing next to the bike, the saddle is just below your hip)
adjust the saddle horizontally so that your arms can be stretched without your back rounding out
play with the front and back feet of the air bike to vary the weight distribution.
A good posture is one in which you can put intensity while being comfortable, with your back straight and your abs well sheathed.
Features of the Assault Air Bike
The main feature of this bike is its huge front wheel that looks like a round industrial structure. This is where the great strength of the machine comes from.
We can say that its huge wheel is the heart of the bike, because it is from there that all the intensity of the exercise develops.
The manufacturer is not a newcomer in this field, it has been making fitness tools for gyms and high competition for years.
The goal was to create the best elliptical and static bike on the market because for years they have listened to the requests of athletes and trainers to get more and better capabilities from this tool.
That’s why the Assault Air Bike sums up and brings together all the expectations of these professionals. This is what makes it so popular and essential for CrossFit or any other training session.