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As our Assault Air Bikes continue to fly out the door, we’re delighted to present the first official Equipment Review from one of our new Wolverson Fitness Ambassadors - Gold Standard Certified StrongFirst Kettlebell Instructor, GUN-eX Master Trainer, and Founder of Train Strong Personal Training, Matt Shore. As a competitive cyclist and mountain biker, Matt is no stranger to a solid workout, but the Assault Air Bike takes things to a whole new level…
‘An All Out Assault’
I have been both fortunate and unfortunate enough to have received an Assault Air Bike fromWolverson Fitness, and have been using it for the last 6 weeks.
It’s safe to say it’s been an interesting month becoming acquainted.
Back in 1996 I finished university with a sports science degree and new Gym Instructor Qualification and took a job working for a local council gym in a swimming pool. It’s fair to say I was green with very little real world experience in training other than the sports I had competed in as an athlete.
In the gym were two bikes that rarely got used and when they did it was usually by the pensioners who pootled along cooling themselves off with the fan which was the wheel.
They were two original Schwinn Airdynes and having been inspired by the Gym Jones Crew for a number of years now it’s a shame I didn’t know back then what I know now.
The Schwinn bikes are now as rare as rocking horse poop so when I heard that LifeCORE Fitness had developed a new bike – the Assault Air Bike - I just knew I had to get one to experience it for myself.
Fan bikes have a reputation for delivering challenging workouts so when I picked mine up from Wolverson HQ I couldn’t wait to get it set up and unleash the inner beast!
Fresh from the Box
The Assault bikes come well packaged and fresh from the box have a number of parts that need to be attached to the bikes main frame.
The instruction manual itself is fine – but me being the impatient guy I am I opted for a handy YouTube video which showed me step by step what to do.
One word of warning – some of the screw heads seemed to be a little soft – I actually rounded one out a little but fortunately the hard tightening had been done.
Once assembled the bike is thing of savage beauty. High tensile steel covered in matt black powder coat means it looks sleek and sexy (if you are into this kind of thing!)
The base is wide and stable and the overall feel is one of strength and resilience.
The thing I love about the Assault Bikes is the no fuss construction. You get on it, pedal, push and pull and that’s about it.
There are no gears to fiddle with – instead the fan wheel provides all the resistance you will ever need and then some. The harder you push, the harder it kicks back!
The mounted computer is very simple to use with a number of settings for creating interval sets including distance, power, Tabata and calorie targets.
Being an ex-competitive cyclist one of my pet hates is super wide saddles on exercise bikes. The Assault Air Bike seat is an acceptable size, not the most comfy when compared to a “proper” road seat but then you are unlikely to be spending hours on end on an Assault bike!
The seat is fully adjustable both in terms of height and anterior/posterior slide making it suitable for almost anyone who may care to swing a leg over and get their grunt on!
An Experience in Being Assaulted
My training philosophy is one of Strong Mind, Strong Body, Strong Body, Strong Mind and so love to experience training modalities that don’t just work on a physical level but on a psychological level too.
The Assault Air Bike was more than capable of delivering both.
Of course steady state cardio can be done and in fact the Assault bikes lend themselves very well to easy recovery rides to flush the body with oxygen, develop a sweat and feel great for it afterward.
This isn’t where their magic lies.
There are a number of “traditional” workouts listed online including the All-Out Minute and Air Bike to Hell.
I have seen guys perform 30 second sprints and produce enormous power outputs generating 50kcal within a 30 second time frame.
My first attempt was a humbling experience. I hit a measly 20kcal.
Using the bike over the last month I have learned a number of things.
- There is a strong learning curve on the technique of pedal/push/pull to truly maximise power output.
- 60 seconds going fully All Out is a truly horrifying experience.
- The bike kicks like a mule – the harder you go the more you pay.
- I developed rapidly a love/hate relationship with the bike.
What I love about the Assault Air Bike is their versatility when included as part of a training session.
I am a big proponent of keeping training “fun” and the air bike lends itself beautifully to creating awesome Hybrid Style workouts that include resistance, power and strength training with conditioning elements. It is also more than capable of holding its own as a savage stand alone in the world of “expansive” training.
I have endured a number of special sessions now using the Assault Air Bike and here are a few ideas.
Heavy Bison Bag (sandbag) Ground to Shoulder x 2 reps each side – 30 second All Out Sprint.
3 Minutes rest x 10 rounds.
20-10 Kcal Sprint Descending Ladder – between each rung 40m Farmers Walk.
Air Bike to Hell and Back
50, 40, 30, 20, 10, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 Kcal Sprints – rest the length of time taken to complete the interval.
Warm Up for 10 Minutes
1 minute all out sprint – rest 5 minutes – repeat for 3 rounds.
Cool Down 10 Minutes.
Session 1 left me affected for a significant number of hours after it had ended. My body felt like it used to at the end of a long hard cycle race on the road or after a hard game playing hooker in Rugby Union.
Legs were fried, lungs felt like they had been inhaling molten lava and my metabolic rate raced on over drive.
It’s fair to say I am a big fan of the Assault Air Bike.
It’s well made, easy to use and delivers some truly challenging training sessions. It’s added a whole new element to my training and taken my level of conditioning and mental toughness up a number of levels.
It’s a nasty dirty relationship of Love / Hate and I can’t leave it alone.