I reckon it’s time we cut the Assault Bike some slack! There’s rumours around the gym that it’s the hardest piece of conditioning equipment going around and I’ve even heard some people refer to it as the ‘Devil Bike’. Over the years I’ve seen many athletes make a few simple mistakes which has left them lying on the floor and feeling defeated by the ‘Devil Bike’. Many people just jump on the bike, close their eyes and put the pedal to the metal without taking into account technique or pacing. I want to change that mentality with these 4 simple tips so everyone can learn to love and understand the Assault Bike. Don’t get me wrong there may be times where it still leaves you on your back and gasping for air however I believe by implementing these simple tips we can eliminate these common mistakes and make the most of your time on the Assault Bike, and get the most out of your session:
- Set Up Your Bike Correctly
While admittedly there’s not much to adjust on an Assault Bike, seat height is one of those thing you do have control over. Too low and you’ll limit the power you produce and you want be able to drive hard on each revolution. Too high and your hips will rock back and forth to reach the bottom of each pedal stroke, which slows you down and reduces efficiency. To get the correct seat height, simply sit on the bike and place the pedals in the 6 o’clock and 12 o’clock position. Your bottom leg should be almost fully extended when the heel is placed on the lower pedal. If it’s bent, you need to raise the seat. If you have to rock your hips to reach or simply can’t reach, then lower the seat height.
- Use Your Arms
While the Assault Bike is always going to leave you with more of a leg pump than blowing up your arms, it’s still important to think about how to use your arms to increase your efficiency. While the handgrips aren’t there just to hold your weight, they can still be used to produce a little bit of extra power! Keep your grip nice and relaxed to avoid holding too much tension. You can then use your arms to both push and pull as you drive with your legs. The Assault Bike has handles for a reason so don’t ignore your arms, use them!
- Keep The Knees Tracking Straight
This is another simple one which can make a big difference! When pedalling, the knees should stay tracking straight with the foot. This will allow you to push through the whole pedal and produce the most force. We want to avoid the knees caving in or being pushed out too much as then we will only be pushing through a smaller part of the foot.
- Learn Your Pace
I’ve saved the best until last! It is very EASY to go too fast on the Assault Bike. Anyone who has done this before will know exactly how it feels! The legs and lungs will be burning and there is no recovering from that point forward. Every now and again the interval length may be short and you will be required to sprint however most workouts in Crossfit will need you to pace yourself and leave something left in the tank! If I asked clients to go for a 400m Run or Row then they would have a fair idea of what pace they can hold. They wouldn’t just sprint the first 100m and then see what happens! It’s the same for the Airdyne. You need to learn your pace and then change levels when needed during the workout. This will take a bit of practice however you can use the various numbers on the screen. You should check either your Watts, Speed (km/hr) or RPM and use these as a guide to see how fast you’re going. Over time this will help learn your pace and slowly love the bike!
So there you have it, 4 simple tips to help you while you’re on the Assault Bike and hopefully it can help you build a loving relationship with amazing piece of machinery! Try these tips out next time you’re training on the Assault Bike to make your efforts pay off into better results.