Why a Trainer Says the Assault Air Bike is His Best Cardio Pick

R.Recently, I realized that I had tried just about every cardio machine out there except one: the assault air bike. This high-performance, low-impact, wind-generating exercise bike lets you control the resistance based on your effort. Imagine an elliptical machine where you use your arms as well as your legs. Now imagine that you are sitting down while you do that. That’s an assault bike. Typically found in CrossFit, they’re used as a cardio component of training, but they’re starting to show up more in traditional gyms as well.

Over the past month, I’ve started attending a gym called BeastBike, and assault biking is a focal point of their programming. They use a combination of dumbbells, medicine balls, and the bike for a 20-minute high-intensity workout that leaves you breathless at the end. (I know 20 minutes doesn’t sound like a lot, but trust me, it’s long enough.)

Why I thought doing anything with the word “raid” in its title would be something I’m used to is beyond me. As a trainer, I work out at least four times a week, so I’m no stranger to fitness, but by the end of my first class, my lungs were on fire! The dumbbell portion of the class was typical of what I usually do for exercise, and I felt very confident on the floor. Once I was on the bike though, it was like I had never done cardio a day in my life.

Chad Morse, owner of BeastBike, California, explains that the difference is in the resistance. “The harder you try, the more challenging it gets,” he says. “The bike will respond to that. You can be a beginner and it’s going to challenge you, and we’ve had former athletes here and it kicks their ass so much. It is such an ideal tool because no matter where you are in your fitness and conditioning level, it will push you forward.”

The best way I can describe the difficulty of the assault bike as I experienced it, is that it’s like riding your bike up a steep incline while also moving your arms. (I know it’s impossible, but join me here). I honestly thought since I was familiar with indoor cycling classes that I was going to be the beast the training title was referring to, but the “beast” was in fact the bike. ; I don’t. I felt humbled.

It’s like riding a bike up a steep incline and moving your arms at the same time.

Morse only compares an assault bike to a spin bike in the fact that there is peddling. Otherwise, that’s where the similarities end. “You’re also pushing, pedaling, and pulling, so it’s really a full-body workout,” he says.

I’ve heard it said (and probably even said it as a coach) that “workouts don’t get easier, you just get stronger.” I can attest to this statement after spending a month doing my assault air bike workouts. We spent different amounts of time on the bike: the longest was around two minutes at a time, and the shortest three 10-second sprints with 10-second rest between each round. There was not a single time that I found it easy, but I feel stronger.

Morse says he named it the BeastBike because it’s a challenging workout, but also because you feel like you’ve conquered something when you’re done. It’s true. I’m always tired, but I feel accomplished.

After using the assault bike on a regular basis, I have noticed that I have better stamina when doing other activities, such as running outdoors. Because I like being able to get the most effective workout done in the least amount of time (I’m a busy woman), the assault bike is a great cardio option for me.

“You can get a really good workout done in a short amount of time,” says Morse. “You can do that because it works almost every muscle in your body. You can’t say that about rowing, spinning or running. As you pedal, push and pull, you’re using pretty much every muscle and you feel like it’s getting exhausted when you do it right.”

Overall when it comes to the assault bike my opinion is: 10/10 would recommend it. Although it is extremely challenging (probably the most challenging cardio machine I have come across), it is scalable to your fitness level. I also appreciate that it’s a low-impact option for those looking. However, what I like the most is how accomplished I feel after using it. I poop after every workout, but I also feel like I can conquer the world… maybe not with my physical body, but with my endorphins.

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