7 Great Assault Bike Workouts Every Fitness Level

Ready for some serious calorie burn? Check out these intense workouts!

The Assault bike is an air bike, also called a fan bike, because the resistance is created by rotating blades (that look like a fan) attached to the bike’s flywheel. 

When you pedal the bike, the flywheel and attached fan blades spin. The faster you pedal, the higher the relative resistance because the blades create more drag.

You may have seen this cardio machine before at the gym or in Crossfit WODs.

Assault bike workouts are great for low-impact, high-intensity cardio workouts that will work your aerobic system, burn calories, and build lower body muscle group strength and endurance.

If you’ve never done an Assault bike workout, you might not know how to structure an effective one into your training program.

In this guide, we will provide instructions for some of the best assault bike workouts for athletes of all levels and goals, whether it be weight loss, fat loss, or improve your cardiovascular health in general.

A person riding an assault bike.

What Are The Best Air Bike Workouts For Beginners?

Most of the best Assault air bike workouts for beginners are effort-based.

This means that you will either work through different short intervals of hard effort interspersed with time intervals of rest, such as HIIT or high-intensity interval training, or you might do more of an endurance workout at a steady pace for a longer amount of time.

The reason that beginner Assault bike workouts are typically effort-based is that this can help you learn what sort of pacing and effort level you can sustain for different intervals of time.

Plus, it is relatively straightforward for beginners to progress these fan bike workouts because you can increase the time for each interval for the total workout duration as you get fitter and stronger.

If you use a genuine Assault bike rather than an entry-level fan bike, you should focus on your calories, meters, and RPMs during your workout intervals. Those metrics can then help prescribe your targets, such as max calories, during interval workouts.

Here are some of the best Assault bike workouts for beginners:

A person riding an assault bike.

#1: Pacing Baseline

Arguably, the single best Assault bike workout for beginners is a pacing baseline workout.

In these workouts, you work at different effort levels, known as ratings of perceived exertion (RPE). This is based on a scale from 1-10 (one being the most comfortable, to 10 being an all-out effort).

There are four rounds of 2-minute intervals, in which you will incrementally ramp up the intensity and then take another 2 minutes of rest before beginning the next interval.

The entire workout takes 16 minutes, and you don’t necessarily have to do a warm-up on the air bike before hopping into the first intervals since the interval kicks off at an easy-effort level.

As you get fitter and stronger, you can add another round to increase the workout to 20 minutes. 

Continue adding more rounds if you enjoy the format of the workout.

Additionally, because this is an effort-based workout during each timed interval, the actual pace that you are moving during each interval should gradually increase as your fitness improves.

A person riding an assault bike.

Here is what you will do:

Complete four rounds of the following:

  1. 45 seconds biking at an RPE of 3 to 4 out of 10. This should feel equivalent to a walking pace or walking effort.
  2. Move directly into 60 seconds at an RPE of 6-7. This should make you feel like you are working hard as if you are going for a run.
  3. Finally, for the last 15 seconds in the 2-minute interval, go for an RPE of 9, which should feel like a 15 second sprint. Try to get your RPMs as high as possible.
  4. Then, take two minutes of rest. During the rest, you can either sit and take a complete rest or pedal slowly and easily until the next round begins.

If you are using a real Assault bike or an air bike with a console that displays your meters, calories, or cadence (in revolutions per minute), you should pay attention to these metrics with each round, comparing the numbers you hit at different effort levels.

Over time, you will want to try to hit or surpass the meters or calories you are racking up in all of your equivalent effort intervals.

#2: 30/30

One of the classic Assault bike workouts for athletes of all levels is the 30/30 workout.

In this HIIT workout, you will alternate between doing 30-second bouts of an effort level of roughly 8 out of 10 on the RPE scale, followed by 30 seconds of complete rest or extremely easy cycling.

The primary difference between doing this as a beginner air bike workout versus an intermediate or advanced air bike workout is in the total workout duration, as well as the RPMs that you will be pushing during the “on” intervals.

Beginners can start with just 5-10 minutes and slowly add more rounds of the 30/30 interval schema as they get stronger.

With that said, the focus should still be on working at that 8 RPE effort level during the on intervals. You should feel like you are doing a hard run. It shouldn’t be an all-out sprint, but it will be uncomfortable.

If you wear a heart rate monitor during your fan bike workouts, you want your heart rate to get to at least 80% of your maximum heart rate, or even closer to 90%, during the hard intervals.

A group of people riding assualt bikes in a gym.

What Are The Best Intermediate and Advanced Assault Bike Workouts?

Here are some of the best Assault bike workouts1Faria, E. W., Parker, D. L., & Faria, I. E. (2005). The Science of Cycling. Sports Medicine35(4), 285–312. https://doi.org/10.2165/00007256-200535040-00002 for intermediate and advanced athletes:

#1: 60-Second Attack

Although certainly straightforward and not a major investment in time, this one minute Assault bike workout is far from easy.

The premise is simple: go as hard as you can for 60 seconds, striving to hit a PR in terms of calories or meters.

This is a great air bike workout to do every 4 to 6 weeks to see if your power, anaerobic fitness, and speed are improving.

A person riding an assault bike.

#2: Air Bike Power Intervals

This is a tough intermediate Assault bike workout that will have you working at a sprint pace followed by a longer rest.

These types of air bike workouts will help you develop your power and anaerobic strength.

The intervals are set up in a 1:3 format in terms of work-to-rest, so even though it will be hard to go at nearly your maximum effort during the on intervals, you get three times as much rest to recover before you go again.

Even though this is more of an intermediate Assault bike workout, beginners can also try it.

All of the intervals are effort-based, so your own personal RPMs for the hard effort intervals will likely be slower when you first start out. 

As a beginner, complete fewer rounds of the workout and add additional sets as your endurance improves. 

On the other end of the spectrum, to turn this into an advanced Assault bike workout, add as many rounds as you can do before your RPMs, calories, or meters drop during the “on” intervals.

For example, if you are averaging 125 RPMs during the hard intervals for rounds 6 through 10, you can keep going and add additional rounds until you are no longer able to hit and sustain 125 RPMs.

7 Great Assault Bike Workouts Every Fitness Level 1

Here is what you will do in this assault fitness workout:

  1. Take 2 to 3 minutes of easy pedaling to warm up. Then, complete 10 or more rounds of the following:
  2. 15 seconds at a 9 to 10 RPE (it should feel like an all-out sprint).
  3. 45 seconds of very easy pedaling at an RPE of 3-4.

Make sure that you are going easy enough during the recovery intervals so that you can truly hit your max when it counts during the hard intervals.

#3: 60/60 Intervals

The 60/60 air bike workout is essentially a more challenging version of the 30/30 beginner Assault bike interval workout.

You will follow the same intensity prescription, hitting an 8 on the RPE scale, but you will have to push for a full minute.

Instead of taking complete rest, the 60-second recovery period should be easy cycling at a 3 to 4 effort level.

A person riding an assault bike.

#4: 30/60 Power Sprints

This is an advanced Assault bike workout because it has you sprinting all out for 30 seconds and then taking a 60-second recovery at an easy effort.

This is like the power workout, but instead of sprinting for 15 seconds and getting 45 seconds of rest with a 1:3 work-to-rest interval ratio, you will sprint for 30 seconds and recover for 60 seconds, progressing to a 1:2 work-to-rest relationship.

The 30-second “on“ intervals should be at that 9 to 10 RPE or max effort, and the 60 seconds of recovery should be at an RPE of 3 to 4.

#5: Tabatas

Tabatas are another type of sprint interval workout that involves a 2:1 ratio, work to rest. This is a great metabolic finisher to any workout, and this format can also be used with high-intensity exercises such as burpees, pull-ups, mountain climbers, and clapping push-ups.

To perform tabata workouts on this stationary bike do 8 rounds of 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off. It’s short and sweet, but very taxing!

Be sure to warm up beforehand with some easy cardio and reps of dynamic exercises like bodyweight lunges and squats.

Now that you have your cardio squared away, what about a full-body workout with dumbbells to add some strength training to your routine?

Take a look at the following guide for an effective workout for your entire body:


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Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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