Nothing strikes fear into a CrossFitter’s heart faster than seeing the assault bike in the WOD. The assault bike is a polarizing machine. On one hand, it’s a calorie-torching machine that blasts every muscle in your body and builds amazing cardiovascular power. On the other hand, it’s hard! It’s really hard!
An assault bike workout engages your whole body and will help you build strength and improve cardio endurance. Top assault bike workouts include Assault Bike-Burpee Couplet, Cindy Assault AMRAP, Blackjack21, The Gauntlet, Calorie Ladder EMOM, and Assault Bike Shuffle. An assault bike workout should last 30 minutes, with the possibility to burn between 350 to 450 calories.
If you’ve decided to give the assault bike a try, good luck. Read on for more information on assault bikes, and how you can use them in your workouts moving forward!
- What is an Assault Bike Workout?
- How Long Should an Assault Bike Workout Be?
- How Many Times a Week Should I Use the Assault Bike?
- Top 10 Assault Bike Workouts
- Assault Bike Workouts for Beginners
- Assault Bike Workouts for Runners
- Assault Bike Workout CrossFit
- Assault Bike HIIT Workout
- Assault Bike Workouts with Weights
- Is the Assault Bike a Good Workout?
- Is the Assault Bike Good for Weight Loss?
What is an Assault Bike Workout?
An assault bike workout is either a workout that exclusively uses an assault bike or a workout that includes an assault bike.
Most often, you’ll see metabolic conditioning workouts, or metcons, including assault bikes among other movements. For instance, the WOD might kick off with a 10-calorie assault bike sprint, then follow it up with 10 burpees. A quick sprint on the bike is totally taxing, especially at the top of the WOD. The spike in heart rate makes the rest of the WOD challenging, but also helps your heart stay in the optimal range.
Workouts conducted entirely on an assault bike might be especially soul-crushing. Because an assault bike requires you to pump your arms and legs simultaneously, there’s virtually no rest.
Unlike a stationary or recumbent bike, there’s no escape from the intensity that is the assault bike.
How Long Should an Assault Bike Workout Be?
The length of an effective assault bike workout may vary depending on how you plan to use it.
For workouts that use the assault bike only, incorporate interval training that includes sprints, hills, and active recovery periods as you would find in a cycling class. It is probably physically impossible to go all out on the assault bike for a long time. For this reason, try to manage bursts of effort by following up with longer periods of active recovery.
An assault bike workout that lasts approximately 30 to 60 minutes is a good duration.
For WODs that incorporate an assault bike, it really depends on the WOD. If you’re doing an all-out sprint on each movement and lift, you probably have about 10 minutes in the tank. For endurance contests, 20 to 60 minutes is plenty of time to get in a great workout.
How Many Times a Week Should I Use the Assault Bike?
You can ride the assault bike everyday if you’re an elite athlete, but it’s probably not recommended. Even the pros need a rest day here and there.
Here’s a handy table to help determine how often you should or could be using an assault bike.
|Number of Days||Duration||Total Estimated Calories Burned|
The table above assumes you are dedicating 30 minutes each day to a moderate pace on the assault bike. This can be quite difficult to maintain for 30 minutes but will burn a whopping 350 calories making it well worth the effort.
Those with the chops to do 30 minutes of high intensity assault biking can burn up to 450 calories. That’s over 3,000 calories burned by the end of the week without doing any other exercise! Not bad!
Top 10 Assault Bike Workouts
Here are 10 killer workouts that will jumpstart your results.
1) Assault Bike-Burpee Couplet
- 10 calorie assault bike
- 10 burpees
- 5 rounds for time
This workout is over in the blink of an eye, relatively speaking. Beginners should give themselves approximately 10 minutes to get through it, but seasoned vets may need only 5 to finish.
What’s great about this workout is that it requires minimal equipment. You will need the assault bike, of course, but burpees only require a spot to stand right next to the machine. With some good cardio endurance, you can blast through this quickly and target the whole body for a great workout.
2) Cindy Assault AMRAP
- 5 pull-ups
- 10 push-ups
- 15 air squats
- 20 calorie assault bike
- 20-minute AMRAP
CrossFit’s “Cindy” is a popular benchmark WOD because of its simplicity and effectiveness. Adding an assault bike run at the end of the set is devilish, but compounds cardio benefits tenfold.
If you’re moving and grooving through the WOD, you may complete 10 or more rounds in the 20 minutes. If you make it between 5 and 10, however, that’s still a good amount of work for 20 minutes.
3) Blackjack 21
- 1 minute assault bike for max calories
- 2 minutes rest
- Repeat 7 times
Workouts with many movements are great, but sometimes a good old fashioned sprint interval is all you need. This set structures sprints for a minute and allows two minutes to rest in between.
We do not recommend active recovery for those two minutes. Get off the bike, put your hands over your head, and get as much air in your lungs as you can. In order to really get a max effort in the sprint, you want to recover as much as possible between each round.
4) The Gauntlet
- 60 calorie assault bike
- 50 air squats
- 40 sit-ups
- 30 push-ups
- 20 pull-ups
- 10 burpees
One round for time. 60 assault bike calories and 150 reps of exercise. This workout can be challenging, especially if you’re trying to set a record time. For regular fitness purposes, simply aim to move through the movements at a moderate pace with minimal rest. The goal is to keep moving for the full duration of the workout.
5) Calorie Ladder EMOM
The beauty of a workout like this is that it will only go on as long as you can continue. EMOM stands for “every minute on the minute.” In order to complete a calorie ladder, start your first minute aiming to burn 2 calories, then rest for the remainder of the minute. At the top of the next minute, aim for 4. Your workout starts looking like this:
- Minute 1: 2 calories
- Minute 2: 4 calories
- Minute 3: 6 calories
- Minute 4: 8 calories
- Minute 5: 10 calories
Most beginners or average athletes will start falling off around minute 5. A good effort for 10 calories might take about 36 seconds for a rested person. After 4 minutes of other activity, 36 seconds becomes ambitious.
Peak athletes may make it a few more minutes, but we have major respect for anyone continuing past 10 minutes on this one! Good luck!
6) Assault Bike Shuffle
- 10 calorie assault bike – arms only
- 10 calorie assault bike – legs only
- 10 calorie assault bike – full body
- 1 minute rest
- Repeat 10 times
With the rest, the whole set will likely exceed 20 or 25 minutes. Remove the rest and you’re looking at closer to 15 minutes.
This workout is sneaky. With a full body effort, you can close the door on 10 calories in 40 seconds or so. With just arms or just legs, you’ll need close to a minute, so the seconds will add up fast.
For beginners, take the rest in between. For moderate and advanced, no rest.
7) 5K of Pain
- 5K (or 3.1 mile) assault bike
That’s your ultimate goal for this workout, but every 3 minutes of biking that you finish without completing the distance goal, do:
- 20 air squats
- 20 push-ups
- 20 sit-ups
Without hopping off to run through these calisthenics, you were probably looking at 18 to 20 minutes of assault bike. Jumping off every 3 minutes? Good luck.
Beginners may need 40 minutes or more to get it done, while peak athletes might wrap in 25 to 30. To scale things down in the beginning, try hopping off every 5 minutes instead of 3, or going 1 mile instead of 5K.
8) 10-Minute Calorie Baseline
This one is fun in the most masochistic kind of way. The good news is that no matter what, you’re done in 10 minutes. No catches. 10 minutes of movement and you’re done.
In minute 1, establish a baseline for max calories. Maybe you’re capable of 10, 12, or even 6. Whatever you score, write it down and rest in minute 2.
Here’s how the workout will proceed:
- 1 minute max calories
- 1 minute rest
- Repeat 5 times
So, in minute 3, or your next work round, you’re giving it another max effort. What did you score in round 1? Was it 10? Was it 12? Whatever you score, try to get at least that number in your next working round.
This can be tricky. If you went too hard in round 1, you’ll probably fall off hard. No worries. Fitness is a learning experience. If you could score within 1 or 2 calories each round, however, then you’re getting the hang of staying consistent. And that is precisely the point of this WOD.
9) Pull-Up Assault Countdown
- Calorie assault bike
The idea here is to start at a high volume and do 20 pull-ups followed by 20 calories on the assault bike. As you progress, you lose 2 reps and calories on each. The rounds become shorter, but that means you’re cycling faster. All around, that helps keep your heart rate and breath challenged.
A workout like this will build a great upper body and excellent lung capacity too.
10) Clean and Jerk Assault EMOM
Are you ready for something especially spicy? Here’s something a little crazy.
- 2 clean and jerks
- Assault bike for remainder of minute
- Repeat, increasing reps by 2 until failure
Let’s break this one down. Start out with 2 clean and jerks with a barbell. Choose a weight that you can move but that’s moderately challenging. Let’s say 55 or 65 lbs. for beginners, 135 or 155 for the elite.
For the first minute, perform 2 and then hop on the assault bike for the rest of the minute. Next minute, do 4 reps and then hop on. Keep increasing by 2 until you reach failure. Eventually, there will be too many clean and jerks to get back to the bike in time. Once that happens, you’re done.
Beginners may max out in the third or fourth minute. Elites will go farther. Anyone who can manage 10 to 12 clean and jerks and still make it back on the bike is very impressive.
Assault Bike Workouts for Beginners
Assault bikes are not great for beginners because they are completely exhausting. That said, you can still scale it down so that it’s manageable.
Using an assault bike even with little or no fitness background can help you get results fast. Unlike a treadmill, it’s low impact. You set the pace by pedaling faster or pushing harder rather than hitting buttons. This makes it easy to go for it when the mood strikes and back off it when you’re feeling spent.
Try going for short periods of time at first, 5- or 10-minutes max. You can do intervals during that time, but in the beginning it’s fine to just ride for a few minutes uninterrupted with no other goals in mind.
Assault Bike Workouts for Runners
Runners can really benefit from including the assault bike in their workouts. For one, it helps build strong, lean muscle on your arms and legs which will add power to your stride. In addition, it’s excellent for your lungs and builds great cardiovascular capacity.
One of the biggest reasons runners might choose to hop on an assault bike on their days off running is because it is low impact. Runners regularly beat up their joints plodding their feet on pavement or tread. To stave off injury, no and low impact exercises like swimming and cycling could be used intermittently.
The assault bike fits in this category. Choosing to run through a WOD that includes the assault bike is a great way to build strength and keep your training strong.
Assault Bike Workout CrossFit
If you’re looking to build a powerful engine for CrossFit, you’ve come to the right place. The assault bike will truly test you but weathering the challenge will pay dividends for your training.
Regularly hopping on an assault bike will provide a full-body workout and lung building that will directly translate to your other WODs. It’s also a great warmup for any CrossFit WOD you can think of. Competitors regularly grind out the Watts while waiting to compete.
If you have a great WOD in mind that uses running or rowing, sub it out for the assault bike sometimes. It’s an excellent way to diversify your training and stay ready for anything.
Assault Bike HIIT Workout
Because assault biking is so strenuous, it seriously lends itself to HIIT. High intensity interval training is one of the most effective ways to get results fast. By alternating between intense bouts of effort and periods of active recovery right after, your heart rate fluctuates up and down and keeps within optimal parameters for fat burning.
Try assault bike sprints in a ratio like this:
- 15 seconds max effort
- 45 seconds active recovery
This 1:3 ratio keeps the active periods on the shorter side so you can really go all out. The active recovery periods are three times as long so you can get as much breath back before busting a move again.
Try intervals like this for 10 minutes. Start with a warmup and end with a cooldown. When progressing, continue for 20 minutes instead of 10, or increase the effort until you’re doing 30 or 60 seconds on followed by 30 or 60 seconds off.
There are many ways to alter this basic workout to accommodate your ability level.
Assault Bike Workouts with Weights
Let’s be clear here. You should never try to bring weights on the assault bike. It’s risky and you could get injured.
However, using weights in conjunction with the assault bike is a good idea. Try riding for a few calories, hopping off for a set of lifts, then get back in the saddle and do it again.
Here’s a sample on how this works:
- 20 calorie assault bike
- 10 deadlifts
- Repeat for 5 sets
For lifts that are used with the assault bike, you never want high reps and heavy weights. Stick to low reps with heavy weights, or high reps with lighter weights. Training is never effective if you bite off more than you can chew.
Is the Assault Bike a Good Workout?
The assault bike is one of the best pieces of workout equipment you could use or own. Just because we’ve spent this article bellyaching about how tough it is, doesn’t mean that the toughness has no merit.
The exact reason we hate the assault bike is the exact reason we love it. An assault bike engages your whole body. It will truly challenge your lungs and improve your VO2 max. It can be seamlessly integrated into most workouts and WODs, including ones with weightlifting and calisthenics.
There’s a lot to love about the assault bike. It’s imperative for elite athletes to use it regularly, and new fitness enthusiasts should consider them too.
Is the Assault Bike Good for Weight Loss?
Like any good piece of functional exercise equipment, it can work wonders for weight loss when used correctly. This might include adding it before or after workouts, featuring it in workouts, or using it exclusively during your workouts.
We recommend HIIT to get the job done. For fat burning and weight loss, high intensity interval training is unrivaled. By alternating sprints with active recovery, you’re keeping your heart rate in the right zone to get the most fat burning accomplished. In addition, it causes muscular confusion because you’re switching gears every time your body gets comfortable.
Try HIIT on an assault bike and watch those pounds melt right off.