Air Bike Training: A Need for Aerobic Performance

The Assault Bike or Air Bike has gained a lot of popularity among athletes as a fitness tool that drives athletic performance. Although it is primarily used for anaerobic fitness, coaches would do well to recognize this training modality for its aerobic benefits as well.

Unlike other cardio tools, the Air Bike is unique in that it can match the athlete’s intensity. That is, athletes will have to fight against the wind resistance offered by the big bike of. What’s more, the bike handles move with the pedal action, allowing the user to take the extra benefits of full body training. The beauty of the Air Bike lies in its simplicity. Strength coaches allow their athletes to use it for a warm-up, post-session cool-down, and as a safe way to meet the energy system requirements of their given sport.

Top benefits:

  1. Low Impact – In principle, Air bikes were promoted for the elderly population as a safe, injury-mitigating training tool. Therefore, this is one of the most effective options for rehabilitation or just limiting the mileage on your joints.
  2. Total-Body Conditioning – Air bikes provide a training effect for the entire body that does not hinder anyone. The delivered stimulus will improve heart health and muscle tissue capacity.
  3. Recovery – Bicycle training will improve blood circulation to help with the recycling of nutrients by the body. Active recovery methods can enable additional clearance of blood lactate, previously built up during high-intensity exercises.
  4. Versatility – Athletes can reap the benefits of fat loss with a quick, Tabata-like workout or a long procedure. Air bikes can fit any training method to achieve your chosen goal. Not to mention that it has a small footprint – desirable for any strength coach looking to maximize their gym space.

Aerobic System Training Methods

Cardiac output method –

What is the meaning?

This method will improve the oxygen supply by increasing the efficiency of oxygen delivery from the heart. It can further develop the peripheral vascular network.

How does it improve performance?

Cardiac output training works by promoting eccentric cardiac hypertrophy. The volume overload of cardiac fibers leads to increased left ventricular cavity volume.


To use the cardiac output method, you need to train for a reasonable duration with a constant heart rate between 130-150 bpm.


  • Heart Rate (HR) between 130-150 bpm
  • Session length between 30-90 minutes
  • 1-3 sessions per week

Cardiac Interval –

What is the meaning?

This method helps to improve oxygen supply at higher intensities and enhance the strength endurance capacity of the heart muscle.

How does it improve performance?

Power intervals support an increase in contractile force of the heart fibers. There will then be a corresponding increase in mitochondria.


To take advantage of intervals of cardiac output, you should do intervals of maximum intensity of 60-120 seconds with a long lasting recovery of 2-5 minutes. Consider using between a 1: 2 and 1: 5 work-to-rest ratio. Start with less volume to build work capacity in the coming weeks.


  • Maximum HR each rep
  • 2-5 minutes rest of HR between 120-130 bpm
  • 4-12 reps per session
  • 1-2 sessions per week

Threshold training –

What is the meaning?

Threshold training increases the maximum rate of ATP regeneration of the aerobic system. Also, the aerobic power output will be further enhanced.

How does it improve performance?

This training method will increase the anaerobic threshold and peak force at this threshold. In turn, this will slow down the point at which the anaerobic processes begin to take off.


The starting point of the threshold training method is to work your aerobic system up to the maximum limits of its capacities for energy production. The body will adapt by increasing the total number of aerobic enzymes.

Before starting this method, you need to estimate your anaerobic threshold. Start with a simple 3 × 5 minute test, with sparring or something similar to a custom cooper test. Once you have found your average heart rate in the three rounds, you can make full use of this training method.


  • HR +/- 5bpm from anaerobic threshold
  • Keep HR within reach for the entire set
  • 3-10 minutes per rep
  • 2-5 reps per workout, 1-2 x per week

Sample 3-Day Training Week

Day 1 – Cardiac Output Method

Steady State:

30 minute drive (HR between 130-150 bpm)

Note: This is a casual pace. You should be able to maintain a conversation with relatively easily.

Day 2 – Cardiac Power Intervals


20 seconds on / 40 seconds off x 8-10 laps

Note: You must work at maximum capacity for each repetition. Rest for 2-5 minutes (HR <130) before performing another set.

Day 3 – Threshold Training

Short “Aerobic” Strength Intervals:

Bike on Anaerobic Threshold for 3 rounds of 5 minutes. 2-minute rest between rounds.

Closing thoughts

Air cycling training is one of the most efficient options to improve your aerobic performance. They are user-friendly and have a minimal footprint compared to other training modalities. Furthermore, air bikes have a myriad of programming options to support every athletic effort, whether it be endurance, strength, or density workouts. Keep in mind that, despite the sport, aerobic exercise is a worthy undertaking to improve heart rate and capacity, fitness, and further recovery efforts.


Jamison, Joel. Ultimate MMA Conditioning. Performance Sports Inc., 2009.

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