Train Clients to Burn More Calories on the AirBike

The quickest way to improve your clients’ power output on the AirBike.

An Air Bike is one of the most common pieces of equipment in a gym and likely to be used when designing programs for your clients. In this video, James FitzGerald and CrossFit Games Athlete Amanda Goodman demonstrate how your clients can instantly improve the number of calories they burn on an AirBike. The trick? Set-up.

(Note: Outside of the set-up there is a wrong way and a right way to program for the AirBike. This, of course, depends on which energy system you are looking to train and what your client’s end goal is. We’ve developed a downloadable guide that gives you sample programming for programming on the AirBike for both the Aerobic and Anaerobic energy systems. Download your guide now to take your programming skills to the next level.)

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Correct Posture for the AirBike

When discussing posture on the AirBike, we are referring to the starting position of the pelvis. This position will affect the power created in the arms and thighs. In most cases, ensure that your client’s pelvis is neutral and parallel to the floor when one leg is extended to the lowest pedal position (as shown in the video above).

Creating the Most Power on the AirBike

The position of the seat on the AirBike will greatly impact the amount of arm power possible. Once your client has reached a neutral pelvic position, have your client bring the handles of the bike side-by-side and focus on the position of the seat from a forward vs backward standpoint.  With their arms almost fully extended, their torso should still lean slightly forward in that scenario. If it isn’t, you need to move the seat back a bit until your client finds that lean.

Finding the Perfect Pace on the AirBike

As a coach, you must know what level of awareness your client possesses. If someone was to take the attitude that any pace should be intense, you would need to work with them to become aware of their bodies and how hard to push them based on the training. Knowing a pace that you can sustain for hours, 40 min, 5 min or 1 min is key for correct training.

In this video, Amanda demonstrates different paces based on the desired level of sustainability.

At the most sustainable pace, Amanda hit about 38 RPMs, the bike fan was very calm and Amanda was relaxed during the entire training. This would be a pace she could sustain for hours.

The 40-minute “race-pace” lead to Amanda hitting about 52 RPMs, the bike fan was pushing faster and Amanda began to push her body a bit. In order for your client to “push” they will need to use their brains (their Central Nervous System – CNS) harder to create more revolutions per minute.

At a 5-minute “race-pace” Amanda pushed 62 RPMs, the bike fan pushed even faster and Amanda began to work harder.

The final test for Amanda was a 1-minute “race-pace” to see where her peak RPMs were on the bike. For Amanda, this was about 72 RPMs, the bike fan was extremely fast and Amanda was working at a very intense pace.

Now that you’ve got the set-up of the AirBike under control, it’s time to help your client improve via programming. Amanda is a high-level athlete with an older training age that allows her to understand each of these paces very quickly. To help your client develop this awareness, you’ll need to take them through various weeks of training progressions to train their minds and bodies. We’ve created more than 30 pages of sample programming to teach you how to program for each of these energy systems. Download your guide today and move your client closer to their goals.

Download the Energy System Training Guide

About the author – James Fitzgerald

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.

CrossFit® is a registered trademark of CrossFit, Inc. OPEX Fitness’s uses of the CrossFit® mark are not endorsed by nor approved by CrossFit, Inc., and OPEX Fitness is in no way affiliated with nor endorsed by CrossFit, Inc.

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6 Comments

  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…

  2. Since hurting my foot I haven’t been able to run for cardio. Their is an assault bike at my gym and I never thought about giving it a try but now I definitely will. Thanks for the great tips!

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