The 1 Test You Can Use With All of Your Clients

The 1 Test You Can Use With All of Your Clients: 10-Minute Max Calories on the AirBike

Commonly found in functional fitness gyms, the AirBike is OPEX Fitness’ go-to method for testing our client’s work capacity. Based on James FitzGerald’s latest monthly Knowledge Series, an exclusive webinar for OPEX Coaching Certificate Program (CCP) Coaches, here is everything you need to know about the 10-minute max calories on the AirBike test.

What is the 10-minute Max Calories on the AirBike Test?

The 10-minute max calories on the AirBike test is a staple for OPEX Coaches. Why? Because it’s simple. We love this test because coaches can program it for any client regardless of their training age and get an insight into their current levels of fitness.

“It’s simple, concentric-based and can be done by almost anyone, but boy is it hard.”

James FitzGerald

How and when to conduct the test

Conducting the test is straightforward, but make sure it is the last thing a client does during a training day. Other specific assessments (learn about our body and movement assessments here) may also be performed prior to the AirBike test. Now on to how to conduct the test. Help the client set up the bike, warm-up, and explain that the goal of the test is to get as many calories as possible in 10 minutes. Set the timer for ten minutes and say ‘go!’. Observe the client’s reaction and disposition during the test. Once finished, record the score and help your client off of the bike. The client’s training age and other factors will lead to varied reactions, but most will be quite worn out and need time to recover.

What to do with the information

After you get the score from the test, it’s time to design a program based on their assessment results and goals. We have found that the best way to use this test is to show individual progress over time. Retesting over time is a valuable insight into the efficacy of your program. This test can also give you insight into the balance of their aerobic and anaerobic systems.

(Tip: Learn how the result of this test influences your program design in thiscourse.)

How Often Should You Retest?

In this knowledge series, James explains how testing clients will differ depending on their training age. Where to client sits in the following 5 stages will determine how often they should be tested and how to improve their score.

  • Beginner: These clients can be tested every 3-4 weeks because testing is less intense relative to someone more advanced so they can recover quickly.
  • Intermediate: These clients can be tested every 8-12 weeks.
    • To improve these client’s scores you will need to do some specific easy and long AirBike training and more specific intense aerobic intervals at race pace to improve their test. (These individuals will need more specific Energy System Training. Get an introduction to the three energy systems in this free guide.)
  • Advanced: Coaches should test these clients 2-3 times per year.
    • These clients will probably need some anaerobic peaks (if they can express it and if it is appropriate based on their lifestyle and function). They will also need specific aerobic power intervals on the bike and may benefit from some really challenging incremental intervals.
  • Master: These clients can be tested every 8 weeks. They have reached their physical peak years ago and have a high training age. Females in this stage are at a chronological age of late 40s-50s and males are in their 50s-60s. These clients will not improve their test score. Instead, the goal should be to resist entropy.
    • This is done through specific AirBike aerobic power intervals and managing the fatigue of their central nervous system (CNS) fatigue.
  • Grandmaster: These clients can be tested every 3 weeks because they can no longer express the test at an intense level. These clients are typically 60-95 years old and still resisting entropy.
    • To maintain these clients’ scores, a coach should focus on keeping them strong through great resistance training and keeping their CNS fresh. No anaerobic testing/training or specific aerobic power training is needed.

Just The Assessment

Now that you have tested your client on the AirBike, it’s time to write their program. Learn to the best way to utilize the AirBike in Energy System Training and get practical applications to use with your clients right away in our course, Programming for The AirBike.

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