Exercises I love is rotating series where I highlight various exercises that are a part of my training program and those of my clients. These exercises return a solid "bang for the buck" in terms of strength training, conditioning or mobility.
Today's exercise that I love is the Air Bike Sprint.
The Air Bike is a medieval torture device manufactured by sadists and used by masochists. It differs from a normal bike because a large fan wheel replaces a flywheel (like you'd find on spin bike). The arms also move so that it truly provides a full-body workout.
I really like the Air Bike because, barring a very special circumstance, it’s appropriate for virtually any population. Where running sprints or other forms of high impact interval training may not be appropriate, the bike is a non-invasive piece of equipment. It has a very low learning curve and can be used regardless of skill level or injury history.
Create some of the most brutal conditioning workouts ever known to man. The Air Bike is a staple conditioning tool for me, especially when I want to create short, super high intensity workouts that take absurdly long times to recover from. Sounds fun, right?
Here are three of my favorite Air Bike workouts:
If I'm using this workout as a conditioning finisher after a strength training workout, I'll keep it around 5 rounds. If it's a stand-alone conditioning day with no other work, then I'll work for closer to 10 rounds. At around 6-7 rounds you begin questioning life choices. At 10 rounds, you see a bright light.
The key here is to make sure you're sprinting for 15 calories. It should take you roughly 20 seconds to complete (certainly no more than 30), which leaves at least 1:30 to recover before you start again at the 2 minute mark.
The Tabata format is another excellent conditioning option. This protocol alternates 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds or rest for 8 rounds (4 total minutes). The key with Tabata is making sure that you're working as hard as you can for those 20 second work periods. Over time you will probably see power degradation as it becomes increasingly difficult to recover.
If this work/rest ratio is too difficult, you might start with an inverted Tabata – 10 seconds work/20 seconds rest for 8 rounds. As conditioning improves, try to lengthen the work periods and reduce the rest period toward a true Tabata interval.
Distance Intervals can be done as a shorter sprint (e.g. 0.1 mile) with a slow recovery period of the same distance. You might try this for 1-2 miles total.
You can also choose a longer distance, like 0.5 mile and use a timed or distance based recovery. Your total ride would be longer, perhaps as long as 3-5 miles, if you're using a distance based recovery.
Strength coach Mike Boyle has a variety of distance based Air Bike workouts that he's used and shared on his blog as well.
Interval training is one of the best training strategies for promoting fat loss and a staple to be included in your program when improving body composition is a goal. If your gym has an Air Bike give one of these interval workouts a try. If you don't have access to an Air Bike, but are interested in purchasing one, this handy buying guide from Fitness Goat is quite good.
Lastly, 2019 is in full swing but it's never too late to get back on track. Let us help! Our 12-week ReBUILD program offers programs for both men and women. It's perfect for someone with some knowledge, skill and experience who'd like to reengage with strength training! And yes, we include some HIIT workouts in there!
If you have questions or would like to learn more about Vitalifit's programs please contact us today.