Rugby fans and players across the world love this beautiful sport because of its technical complexity. However, there’s no denying the importance of being physically prepared for each and every single game.
And the best way to stay in rugby shape is to find the most effective workout that tests your limits without risking an injury.
Because the sport works all your major muscle groups, rugby players often try to find machines that can help them exercise different parts of their body simultaneously.
This is where assault bikes come in. Although these machines are hardly new inventions, assault bikes are making a huge comeback thanks to the intense workouts that athletes can carry out on them.
What are Assault Bikes?
Chances are, you’ve already seen an assault bike down at your local gym. They look exactly like stationary bikes, but they feature an oversized fan instead of a front wheel.
But don’t be fooled by the appearance. As soon as you try out an assault bike, you’ll realize that you have to pedal while pushing and pulling the handles at the same time. This allows you to work out your entire body with one single machine, burning up to 80 calories per minute.
And here’s what most athletes consider the machine’s best attribute of all;
The harder or faster you go, the harder it gets!
The benefits of Assault Bike workouts
Assault bikes are relatively simple devices, but you can use them for anything from a mild to an ultra-intense workout. It all depends on the person sitting on it.
Just to put it in perspective – the female world record holder for most burpees in one hour used an assault bike as a critical part of her training before her record-breaking run in May of this year.
(And, for those of you wondering how many burpees she managed to rack up in 60 minutes, it was a stunning 1490!)
Here are some of the benefits of using an assault bike for your own rugby training regime.
Improves aerobic conditioning
Aerobic workouts result in improved endurance, which is also one of the cornerstones of high-level rugby. The continuous, rhythmic movement strengthens your heart and lungs, delivering more oxygen to your muscles while exercising.
Provides a full-body workout
The pedalling, pushing, and pulling motions works nearly all of the large muscle groups in your body. And, unlike most other machines in the gym, assault bikes are low-impact, so you can feel confident in using them with reduced risks of hip, knee, and ankle pain.
Burns calories at a fast pace
As we mentioned before, assault bikes can burn up to 80 calories per minute. Keep in mind that this will depend vastly on the intensity with which you work out. Athletes using this machine for the first time should strive to find the right pace or they may find themselves out of breath very quickly!
Tests your mental stamina
Many athletes have the right physicality but lack the mental strength to perform on the pitch. Assault bike workouts are designed to push yourself while minimizing injury risk, which helps build your mental stamina come game time.
Awesome for rehabilitating players
Injuries can have both physical and mental repercussions. Working out on an assault bike will minimize your chances of re-injury and help you build the mental toughness you need to get back out there.
Keeps your workout area cool
While it may sound amusing, the huge fan that provides resistance also creates a nice draft, keeping your workout area cooler than usual.
Is It Safe To Use An Assault Bike For A Workout?
Assault bikes are gaining popularity as a great way to get a challenging workout. But just like any form of exercise, it’s important to remember that there are risks involved. To avoid injuries, it’s best to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. This will help you avoid overdoing it and keep yourself safe while you get in shape.
The Muscles Used By Doing An Assault Bike Workout
There are a number of different muscles being used when doing an assault bike workout, in fact, it is nearly all of them. We have put together a list of muscles that are being used;
- Hip Flexors
8 powerful Assault Bike workouts to boost your performance
Check out these awesome assault bike workouts that help improve your performance on the rugby pitch.
Workout #1 – Max Cal Burner – 21 Mins
This is a tough, all-around aerobic session.
1minute On : 2minutes Off
Aim for max calories each minute.
Workout #2 – Assault Bike Tabata
Tabata workouts are always an awesome choice, especially as most assault bikes already have it pre-programmed.
20 Seconds Work: 10 Seconds Rest
Workout #3 – Pyramid Intervals
In this workout, you’ll build up to a 50-second sprint and gradually work down. Very easy and effective!
- Minute 1: 10 Seconds Sprint; 50 Seconds Rest Assault-bike
- Minute 2: 20 Seconds Sprint; 40 Seconds Rest
- Minute 3: 30 Seconds Sprint; 30 Seconds Rest
- Minutes 4: 40 Seconds Sprint; 20 Seconds Rest
- Minute 5: 50 Seconds Sprint; 10 Seconds Rest
- Minute 6: 40 Seconds Sprint; 20 Seconds Rest
- Minute 7: 30 Seconds Sprint; 30 Seconds Rest
- Minute 8: 20 Seconds Sprint; 40 Seconds Rest
- Minute 9: 10 Seconds Sprint, 50 Seconds Rest
Workout #4 – Death By Assault Bike
Once you’ve tried it, you’ll understand the name.
Every minute on the minute Assault Bike
Minute 1: 2 calories
Minute 2: 4 calories
Minute 3: 6 calories
Continue until you can’t reach your goal for calories in a minute.
Workout #5 – Calories and DTs
Combining assault bikes and weights can also improve your workouts significantly.
15 calories on the bike
1 unbroken round of DT
Workout #6 – Chase the Calories
This workout can range from mild to ultra-high intensity, especially if you start from 5 and work up.
1:1 Work to Rest
Workout #7 – 10 Up Assault
This workout can be used as a nice warm-up, a finisher, or if you really put in the work, a solo routine.
10 calories assault bike
10 push-ups hand release
Workout #8 – HIIT Finisher – 6 Mins
An awesome addition to the end of every workout, designed for people who want to add an exercise and keep the same routine.
- Minute 1: 55 Seconds Moderate; 5 Seconds Sprint
- Minute 2: 54 Seconds Moderate; 6 Seconds Sprint
- Minute 3: 53 Seconds Moderate; 7 Seconds Sprint
- Minute 4: 52 Seconds Moderate; 8 Seconds Sprint
- Minute 5: 51 Seconds Moderate; 9 seconds Sprint
- Minute 6: 50 Seconds Moderate; 10 Seconds Sprint
Assault Bike Workouts for Weight Loss
No workout allows you to spot target body fat, but as you burn calories and lose weight, you’ll lose excess fat everywhere, including the abdominal area.
Research comparing HIIT to other forms of steady-state cardio, such as jogging, found that HIIT reduces more abdominal fat. HIIT workouts can reduce appetite post-workout, while the strain placed on the anaerobic energy system leads to a higher rate of fat burn. This is a great weight loss tool for everyone but can be particularly beneficial for an endomorph body type fitness routine.
Stephen H. Boutcher, “High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss”, Journal of Obesity, vol. 2011, Article ID 868305, 10 pages, 2011.
Assault bike calories burned per minute
An air bike can help you to burn 1.5 times more calories than any other exercise that you perform in a normal routine. So this is the perfect solution for people who want to burn more calories while spending less time in a session. The number of calories being burnt by anybody depends on the intensity of exercise with which you are operating the machine.
As for calories burned, a separate study reviewed high-intensity interval training on a stationary bike and found that in just 2.5 minutes, broken up into intervals of five 30-second sprints followed by light pedaling, participants burned up to 220 calories.
5 minutes of work for 220 calories equals 44 calories per minute, which is exceptional. Imagine using that same HIIT format on an air bike where your arms and legs are both working continuously. How many calories you can burn is limitless. When pedaling at your fastest speed, you may be able to burn close to 80 calories per minute on the air bike, which for 400 calories burned for 5 minutes!
Assault bike good for metabolic conditioning
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
PMCID: PMC1320444, PMID: 29283829
Assault bike workouts with weights
Assault bikes are ideal for HIIT and Tabata workouts, which can torch calories in a short amount of time. Research comparing HIIT to resistance training, cycling, and running, found that one HIIT session that combines resistance training and aerobic exercise (in this case, the air bike) burns more calories and increases the heart rate more significantly than other exercises.
Assault bike help increase muscle mass
A 2020 research shows the air bike leads to additional muscle mass and more cardiovascular work than a leg-only pedalling bike. Study participants increased their heart rate to between 163 to 170 beats per minute, exceeding the requirements for a high-intensity workout. The air bike burned max calories, increased muscle, and improved the cardiovascular system.
Falcone, P. Caloric Expenditure of Aerobic, Resistance, or Combined High-Intensity Interval Training Using a Hydraulic Resistance System in Healthy Men. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: March 2015 – Volume 29 – Issue 3 – p 779-785 doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000661
Assault Bike HiiT Workout Study
Highlights of the study:
- Air bike is a suitable tool for HIIT and the development of physical fitness
- HIIT with an air bike develops upper and lower body strength
- HIIT with air bike is more effective in the short-term program than running MICT
Aim Of The Study:
The study aims to verify the effect of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) using an air bike on the development of selected physical fitness parameters and compare it to moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT).
22 young adults underwent a complex strength and endurance test, a spiroergometric examination (examination of reactions of a person’s heart, lung, vascular and metabolic system while under physical stress), and a body composition analysis.
The experimental group comprised 22 healthy, physically active individuals (average age 22.1, weight 70.6 kg, height 172.5 cm). Participants (14 women, 6 men) wereintroduced to the testing and research process. Participants were divided into experimental (EG) and control (CG) groups randomly.
8-Week training program comprising three types of sessions
The experimental group did two workout sessions (HIIT and SIT- sprint interval training) on air bike.
The rest was passive, the participants stayed seated on the air bike. The control group did two MICT running sessions.
The third workout session was the same for both groups and comprised bodyweight
exercises with low demands for space and equipment (squat, push up, lunge, plank, sit up, handstand hold).
The experimental group (EG) did HIIT twice a week with work intervals (15–45 seconds), while the control group did MICT in a comparable period.
Comparison between the groups has shown a significant difference in the bench press, back squat, anaerobic endurance, aerobic endurance, and peak oxygen uptake (VO2 peak).
The results have shown significant improvement in the following:
- Back squat (8.25 %)
- Pulling strength (7.07 %)
- Aerobic endurance (18.74 %),
- Peak oxygen uptake (VO2 peak) (10.62 %).
The results prove that different HIIT protocols can lead to a VO2peak improvement. This fact can be influenced by various variables: improvement in strength parameters, change in metabolic flexibility, muscle fibres conversion, improvement in respiration function, improvement in mental resilience towards physical discomfort during exercise, better movement efficiency
HIIT has been used for a long time to develop endurance or cardiorespiratory fitness. Given the wide variability of individual programs and modalities, it is necessary to analyse new tools.
Air bike is a new tool whose functionality and efficiency has not yet been sufficiently confirmed. It has been shown that HIIT using air bike can positively influence cardiorespiratory, strength and endurance parameters in an 8-week intervention.
A significant effect related to the characteristics of air bike is that it affects the strength performance of both the upper and lower body at the same time.
Based on the results, the researchers conclude that HIIT using an air bike is an effective way of developing multiple aspects of physical fitness and is thus suitable for training programs that aim to develop health and sports performance.
Schlegel, Petr & Křehký, Adam & Hiblbauer, Jan. (2022). Physical fitness improvement after 8 weeks of high-intensity interval training with air bike. 10.13140/RG.2.2.21669.58081.
And you’re done! Let us know how things go.
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