Have you ever used an assault air bike for a conditioning workout in CrossFit? We use them all the time. Here’s a quick review of why we love them and how to get the most benefits…

The Assault Air Bike being used for cardio by Team Invictus Members Coach Bryan and Rasmus Andersen
Team Invictus Members Coach Bryan and Rasmus Andersen are both big fans of the Assault Air Bike.

Why We Use The Assault Air Bike
Written by Invictus Intern Ben Middleton

In CrossFit, cardio-based exercises can include running, swimming, rowing, and now…. the Assault Air Bike! What’s so special about the Assault Air Bike?

The Assault Air Bike is a great ‘default to’ exercise. If running or rowing is currently something you are unable to do due to injury, the Assault Air Bike is a great way to modify that movement in your workout.  If you have a rolled ankle or a quad or hip flexor strain, the Assault Air Bike provides a good option for exercising safely. It could potentially be a great tool for rehabilitation as it provides safe movement with no impact. It also allows the area of the injury to move and provide blood flow to the area to aid in recovery.

The Assault Air Bike is also great for metabolic conditioning, as it can help break through plateaus in your training. If your aerobic capacity is not feeling as if it has improved, the Assault Air Bike is a great way to incorporate interval training to build your aerobic capacity without losing strength and muscle mass [1][2].

The Assault Air Bike can also enhance your mindset. If you have ever used the Assault Air Bike at high intensity, I am sure you would agree that it is not easy. The Assault Air Bike is a great test of mental toughness and how to sustain a positive mindset through pain.

Try the following workout to building aerobic capacity and mental toughness:

For 10 sets:
:30 seconds on, full speed
:30 seconds off

The thirty seconds of work will seem like 60 seconds and the thirty seconds of rest will seem like ten!

This epic stationary bike provides active recovery benefits as well. If your rest days consist of sitting around with no mobilizing, odds are that your recovery is probably not fantastic. Of course, mobilization can benefit your recovery if it includes smashing or rolling out sore spots, but increasing blood flow to different areas of  the body can also benefit your recovery. You can get the blood flowing by going for a walk or even a ‘light’ row, but the Assault Air Bike can be another great tool for recovery. I’m not encouraging you to hop on and bike at a particularly high intensity; just pick a moderate pace that will get your heart rate going for at least ten minutes.

Of course, feel free to use the it when you are in the gym, either as a warm up if you are early to class, or just to find out how the bike feels. If you do have an injury that you are currently rehabbing and you are still attending classes, the Assault Air Bike can be a great solution for you to replace any movements that you are currently unable to do. Of course, as always, confirm this with your coach first!

[1] Quantum Strength and Power Training (Gaining The Winning Edge) (1996).
[2] O’Shea, John P., Bicycle Interval Training for Cardiovascular Fitness. The Physician & SportsMedicine 10:156-162, October, 1982.

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Mark patterson
Mark patterson
July 9, 2020 10:41 pm

I am a 60 year old male who has in the last month started using the air assault bike in conjunction with riding a 70 lb 7 speed bike walking nearly 100 miles a month and working out with lots of repitive light weights and band workouts ! I can assure you that until I got on my sons Air Assault bike I thought I was working my cardio and strength , I was 296 lbs in jan 2020 I am now about 275 but with a tremendous amount more muscle my fat content is down considerably , obviously I… Read more »

February 13, 2020 6:17 am

Y’all r too funny! For comparison, I rowed 15k meters at a very decent pace, can road and mountain bike for a couple hours, and recently tried the assault bike. The a-bike is a totally different beast! After about 5 min my arms and legs were spent! Try it and enjoy!

October 19, 2019 8:20 pm

Don’t forget to put bike pedal straps on to get the ?full leg experience? ?

August 2, 2018 7:16 pm

No, I get what you’re trying to sell. You’re missing my point: All the benefits you describe pertain to riding a bike, which is also a very different experience than riding a bike indoors. You should try it instead. Honestly.

January 24, 2016 2:01 pm

Shouldn’t this be titled “Why We Use a Bike”?

July 14, 2018 4:51 am
Reply to  Matt

AirBike is a very different experience – because you use your upper body and lower, and the resistance goes up the harder you go. Honestly, it’s a very different experience.

July 14, 2018 8:01 pm
Reply to  Tim

Well, of course riding a stationary bike is a different experience than riding a bike. My point is that the case made here is true for bikes as well: You use both upper and lower body on a bicycle, and the resistance increases as you go faster.

Harry Tyson
Harry Tyson
August 2, 2018 1:32 pm
Reply to  Matt

I think you are missing the point. The assault or air bike is not just a stationary bike. It’s a totally different beast as the harder you push, the harder it pushes back. Please do yourself a favor and get on one for a minute or two and you’ll see the difference immediately.