Air bikes are also known as assault bikes and, just as the name would suggest, they are not for the fainthearted. They deliver a tough workout that will have you dripping in sweat within your first 5 minutes.
If you are new to exercise or just new to air bikes, you may be wondering if buying one for your home gym is a wise move or whether it will end up being too challenging for your current fitness levels.
In this post, we are going to discuss the assault bike benefits that can be garnered from air bikes and explain why an air bike – while being a damn difficult machine! – is more accessible than you might think.
Why buy an air bike?
If a stationary bike and a cross-trainer had a baby, that baby would be the air bike. It has the seat of a stationary bike and a large fan as its front wheel. This fan creates resistance using air, hence the name.
One of the primary reasons to buy an air bike is because of the calorie burn potential. When riding at a medium intensity, a person can burn around 15 calories per minute. At a vigorous intensity, this can rise to 30-40 calories per minute, depending on the weight of the person.
Numbers like this are absolutely insane, however, they are not achieved easily. The reason why the air bike is such a fat melter is that it essentially forces you to do two different cardio exercises at once.
We’ve got a guide to the best UK air bikes for sale on places like Amazon in this guide.
Looking for a decent air bike that doesn’t cost a fortune? We recommend the JTX Mission Air Bike. Take a look at our review here.
How does an air bike work and how can I get started?
An air bike requires the rider to cycle with the lower half of their body, engaging the same muscles that a stationary bike would. The bike’s pedals connect the fan at the front. This fan is also connected to two handlebars, which the rider must pump as they peddle. The faster and harder you ride, the more resistance the fan will generate, making the exercise even more challenging.
The fact that the air bike automatically increases the resistance level marks it out as different from other cardio machines that require the user to manually determine the resistance levels – and it means that you are less likely to slack off.
Getting started on the air bike is easier than you might think. Essentially, your lower body moves as if you were cycling while your upper body pulls and pushes against the handlebars. From a form perspective, the air bike is as easy to use on Day 1 as it is on Day 100. This is one of the reasons why is such a safe machine, it is very difficult to put yourself into a position in which you would become injured. It is also a low impact exercise, which means that your joint will not be put under pressure.
Are air bikes a good option for beginners?
While air bikes are relatively easy to use in a technical sense, they are not easy in an effort sense. For this reason, if you are a total newbie to exercise, we would not recommend an air bike as your first cardio machine. The issue is not that you would not be able to use the machine, it is that the intensity of the workout could see you only last for only 5 or 10 minutes.
On the other hand, calorie-wise, 5 minutes on an air bike is like 15 minutes on a treadmill, so maybe you would prefer to go all out for a short session, instead of taking things at a more moderate pace.
If you are someone that like to use stationary bikes, rowing machine, cross trainers, or any other type of cardio machine, then an air bike is the perfect next step if you want to challenge yourself and sweat. With a baseline of cardio fitness, you should be able to ensure a decent session on the air bike.
Easy workout structure
Once you get acquainted with all the workings of an air bike, you can start designing your own workout challenges that revolve around speed and timings. However, if you are a beginner, try the 40:20 rule – 40 seconds of intense activity followed by 20 seconds of activity recovery (i.e. slow things down), then repeat for as many full minutes as you can manage. Alternatively, some people like to use the air bike for 5-10 minutes at moderate intensity as a warm-up before another type of exercise or to incorporate it into a HIIT set.
Even a short session on the air bike takes a toll on the body, so it is unwise to use it every day because your body needs time to recuperate. The maximum we would recommend is using the bike every other day, but it would be better to do 2-3 air bike sessions per week and 2 strength training sessions. Remember, weight loss goals will always be easier to achieve through a mixture of cardio and strength training!