Tips on how to beat the assault bike

Do you want to increase the number calories burned on assault bike?

In this video, we are going to cover two topics; set-up and gears.

In this video, CrossFit Games top 10 finisher Amanda Goodman and I chat loosely about set up on the assault air bike.

There are a lot of points to remember on the setup, the 2 main ones are;

  1. Posture
  2. Power alignment

Posture on the assault air bike

Refers to the starting position around the pelvis and the power created into the arms and thighs at this point.

As you can see in the video, Amanda is an example of an individual that is not suited for some bikes based on their set up of seat and handles.

This can happen. BUT, in most cases, try to ensure your pelvis is neutral and parallel to the floor when one leg is extended to the lowest pedal position (as shown in the video above).


Power Alignment

Refers to the position of the hands to create the most forward and opposing arm action power possible.

In the video, you can also see how the rear to front seat adjustment may not allow this to work with some bikes. Amanda might not be the best person to see this, but it’s a reality that folks can still do it but, power will be thrown around and wasted when work is hard, and not INTO the bike.

For pacing, gears are KEY.

Knowing your gears are even more important. Knowing a pace that you can sustain for hours, 40 min, 5 min or 1 min is key for correct training.

If someone was to take the attitude that any pace should be intense, what you will get is someone that only has one pace and has NO awareness of pacing in general for an overall development of capacity. Whether that be anaerobic OR aerobic capacity.

Amanda is taken through a few pieces so we can see the variation in her speed, to relate back to the pace she must maintain to do those intervals correctly. i.e. If she was to do a 60 min interval, that should be done at a pace that can last hours, not 70 min.

Transcript of the video above

This video features James Fitzgerald working with Amanda Goodman on an Assault Bike (with a great cameo by Shanna Duvall!).

Put your heal on the pedal that’s closest to me, and then put the pedal directly to the bottom so that the crank is perpendicular to the floor. With your heal on the pedal as it the pedal is at the bottom of the revolution, if you cannot have a stable pelvis – ie a flat pelvis – you cannot create enough drive into the pedals of the Assault Bike (or Rogue Echo Bike, Schwinn Airdyne, or Flywheel Bike). As you can see from Amanda Goodman, she cannot put the seat low enough to create that foot position, so she will not be able to create a slight forward lean which costs her power production on the Assault Bike.

The position of the seat from a forward vs backward standpoint is seen when you bring the handles of the bike together. With your arms almost fully extended, your torso should still lean slightly forward in that scenario. If it isn’t, you need to move the seat back a bit until you find that lean.

As you can see when Amanda Goodman pedals on the bike, she will “spit off” power because she’s not able to get into a physically advantageous position on the Assault Bike. With every revolution, Amanda Goodman needs to rotate slightly side to side which costs her energy. Also, because she’s not able to create a physically advantageous with her arms, she isn’t able to push and pull the handles as effectively as somebody who can properly setup on the bike.

Her MAP 10 (maximal aerobic power – ie “easy aerobic work”), you will see Amanda very relaxed on the bike. You’ll also hear the bike with a calm sound. Amanda could do that pace for hours, literally. Amanda’s RPM’s were around 38 RPM’s per minute. You may find yourself higher or lower depending on your power output, your bodyweight, your positioning on the bike, and your experience on the bike

The second pace you see Amanda do is her 40-minute “race pace” interval. You can hear the fan pushing a bit faster, and you can see Amanda thinking a little bit more about how fast to push the bike. Part of what people need to do as they push the Assault Bike harder is to use their brains (their Central Nervous System – CNS) harder to create more revolutions per minute (RPS’s). Amanda pushed around 50-52 RPM’s per minute for this pace

The third pace you see Amanda do is her 5-minute “race pace.” You will hear the Assault Bike’s fan moving faster, you’ll see Amanda working harder, and you will notice that she would only be able to push that pace for 5 minutes. Amanda pushed around 60-62 RPM’s per minute.

The fourth pace you see Amanda do is her 1-minute “race pace.” James wanted her to see what her peak RPM’s and peak wattage on the bike were. You can hear the Assault Bike’s fan push much faster, and you can see Amanda push and stress a lot harder to achieve that pace. It’s clear that she wouldn’t be able to hold that pace after 1 minute. Amanda pushed around 72 RPM’s for her 1-minute pace. James asked Amanda to “go harder” about halfway into the example. The reason is that as you get closer to your peak potential in power output, you will see the RPM’s and wattage exponentially increase.

About the Author – James Fitzgerald

James Fitzgerald 2007 CrossFit Games Champion

The guy that paints the picture. When he’s not coaching, he’s a full-time husband, father, and fitness athlete. His 20+ years of experience and service as a strength coach/technician, tireless practice on refining energy system work, nourishment and lifestyle balancing techniques and training of other coaches have made OPEX a sought-after method of bringing fitness to a Higher Order.

James has found a desire and passion for understanding fitness through assessment, testing, research, programming and more. He has had many years of experience as an athlete from early childhood into adulthood, from playing top-level soccer to short and long distance running, to CrossFit where he was crowned “The Fittest on Earth,” winner of the 2007 CrossFit Games.

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  1. it was not included in that piece but the knee should be at 10-20 deg bend when the heel is on the peddle and pelvis is stable…we were caught on smiling at AG so high up there we forgot to mention…

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