The assault bike, air bike, or fan bike are all synonyms for the same type of exercise bike, which works both the upper and lower body at a brutal intensity.
The resistance in this bike type is generated by pedaling. The faster you pedal, the more resistance you face as there’s more air you need to push out the way. And unlike the stationary bike, it involves your arms, shoulder, and core in the workout, too, by allowing you to push and pull on the handles.
No electricity is involved, so all these actions are powered by your body fuel. That’s why the assault bike is one of the most effective and efficient calorie-burning fitness machines out there.
But how many calories does it burn exactly? And how to calculate the calories you burn throughout your air bike exercise? That’s what you’re going to learn in this blog post, so stick around!
Is the Assault Bike Good for Weight Loss?
Because it provides a full-body workout, the assault bike is perfect for those who want to lose weight quickly and maintain their muscle mass at the same time.
In terms of calories, the average person can burn 10-20 calories per minute by exercising on an air bike at a high intensity. That totals 50-100 calories per 5 minutes and up to 600 calories in 30 minutes.
In other words, a 30-minute assault bike workout burns as many calories as a vigorous treadmill exercise for the same amount of time – sometimes even more! It also burns far more calories than the elliptical trainer, stationary bike, and rowing machine, So what’s the reason behind this high calorie-burning ability?
For starters, the assault bike activates all of the muscles in your body all at once, including your calves, hamstrings, quads, and glutes in your lower body, as well as your biceps, shoulders, triceps, abs, and obliques in your upper body. With all these muscles working, your body is forced to burn more calories and fat to fuel their movements.
Besides, it’s a very versatile machine that allows for more than one exercise. You can use it to do some HIIT training or a steady-state workout. You can also choose to train your legs only or focus on your arms solely for the day. The point is that the assault bike allows you to vary your routine and increase the effort you put forth in your workout, which leads to more calorie burn and eventually more weight loss.
Finally, no matter what your fitness level is, the assault bike will still exhaust you. Even as you build your stamina and increase your endurance, it won’t lose its effectiveness on your body, and you won’t reach a plateau in your weight loss. That’s because as you work up the strength to pedal faster, the increasing resistance will be there to challenge you.
How Long Does It Take To Lose Weight on an Assault Bike?
The time it takes to shed one pound of fat while exercising on the assault bike depends on your starting weight, your workout intensity, and the amount of time you dedicate to exercising per week. Yet, in general, you can lose 1-2 pounds per week by riding the assault bike at a moderate pace for 30 minutes a day.
To lose one pound of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories. Now you know that a minute on the assault bike can help you burn 10-20 calories, so you need 3-6 hours of cycling to shed one pound of fat.
You can burn even more calories than that since air bikes increase your muscle mass. As you know, muscles are more metabolically active than fat, so they burn more calories. Therefore, you may find that your weight loss results are even more significant in the first couple of months.
Also, if you lower your calorie intake and watch your diet, focusing more on proteins and healthy fats than carbohydrates, you’ll increase your fat burn even more and end up losing weight faster than you expected.
Factors Affecting Assault Bike Calories
Ever tried exercising on an assault bike with a friend for the same amount of time and with the same intensity and found that your weight loss results are different? They could be burning more calories than you or the other way around. That’s because you have different metabolism – the process responsible for breaking down fats for energy.
Although the average calories burned per minute by air bikes is 10-20, a person can burn more or less than that, depending on several factors:
- Starting Weight: Heavier people burn more calories because they need more energy to fuel the extra body mass. That’s why you might find yourself losing weight at a slower rate after shedding a couple of pounds. Also, if you’re initially starting at a low weight, expect to be on the lower end of the calories-burned range.
- Biological Sex: Men are luckier when it comes to fat loss as they burn 5-10% more calories than women during exercise. That’s because men are generally larger in size and their hormonal composition helps them build muscles faster than women. The only way women can keep up with that rate is by beefing up, which takes us to the next point.
- Muscle Mass: One of the ways to boost the rate by which you lose weight is to increase your muscle-to-fat ratio. If your body composition is more muscle than fat, you’ll burn more calories during each assault bike session.
- Age: Most people tend to lose muscle mass as they age. The loss can be up to 5% each decade after age 30, and these muscles are replaced with fat. For this reason, the weight loss rate of a 30-year-old would be higher than that of a 50-year-old.
- Workout Intensity: when you pedal faster on assault bikes, you’re not only raising the speed but also the resistance. So the higher your exercise intensity, the more calories you’ll burn in each session.
By now, you should be able to base your weight change expectations on solid knowledge. Basically, you can tweak all the factors to your benefit, even the age and gender-related ones.
If you’re a senior, female, or both, you just need to focus on strength training to increase your muscle mass and combat these biological factors. Also, as you lose weight, make sure to increase the exercise intensity and resistance to overcome the stall in your weight loss momentum.
How to Calculate Calories Burned on Assault Bikes
Weight loss is all about calorie counting and keeping active. You won’t be able to lose weight successfully unless you know how many calories you’re burning in each workout session. So here are a few ways you can estimate the number of calories burned by the assault bike.
Round per Minute
The round per minute (RPM) is the most accurate way to calculate the calories burned on an assault bike, as it’s based on the speed of your pedaling. Here is the number of calories you burn according to the number of rotations you make per minute:
- 90 RPM = 36 calories/min
- 85 RPM = 30 calories/min
- 80 RPM = 26 calories/min
- 75 RPM = 22 calories/min
- 70 RPM = 18 calories/min
- 65 RPM = 15 calories/min
- 60 RPM = 12 calories/min
- 55 RPM = 10 calories/min
- 50 RPM = 8 calories/min
Note that the numbers mentioned above are based on the assumption that you’re using both your legs and arms in the workout.
Metabolic Equivalent (MET)
Another method to calculate the calories burned on the assault bike is using the Metabolic Equivalent (MET) formula. But before we get to the formula itself, let’s do some explaining first.
MET is a unit used to identify the intensity of the activity you’re doing based on the changes in your energy expenditure per unit of time. For example, the energy your body expends when sitting at rest is equal to 1 MET – that’s your resting energy expenditure or metabolic rate.
That means when you do an activity that has a MET value of 5, like strength training, you exert 5 times the energy you spend when sitting still.
So how do you calculate the calories burned using the MET value? By applying the following formula:
METs x 3.5 x your weight in kg / 200
According to the 2011 Compendium of Physical Activity, the MET of cycling on an assault bike at moderate effort equals 8, while exercising at high intensity equals 14.
Now let’s assume there’s a 150-pound man who works out at high intensity on the assault bike. That means they weigh 68 kg. By applying the formula (14 x 3.5 x 68 / 200), you’ll find that they burn 16.7 calories each minute, totaling 500 calories in a 30-minute session.
A less accurate but nonetheless used method is the “time spent” method. It’s an easy way that requires you to know the number of calories you burn in a minute according to your current weight, then multiply it by the number of minutes you spend on the exercise.
The following numbers reflect the calories burned when working out on an assault bike at high resistance:
- A 125-pound person: 9 calories/minute
- A 155-pound person: 11 calories/minute
- A 185-pound person: 13 calories/minute
- A 215-pound person: 15 calories/minute
Assault Bike Workouts
Steady-state or aerobic threshold training refers to long-duration exercises performed at an intensity that’s enough to engage your attention without you going out of breath. The key is to keep your heart rate at around 75% of its maximum rate for a long duration. This can be achieved by going at a moderate speed for as long as you can, preferably from 30 to 60 minutes.
HIIT training is known for being the most effective exercise for fat loss, so when it’s performed on the assault bike, the results become incredible.
One of the exercises you can do is the 24-minute workout. It consists of 12 rounds, each containing a high-intensity 40-second session on the assault bike followed by 40 seconds of bodyweight exercises. The latter could be anything from jumping jacks, mountain climbers, push-ups, lunges, or squats. And between every two rounds, you get to rest for 40 seconds.
The Bottom Line
Now that you know how many calories assault bikes burn and how effective they are in the fat loss process, you won’t be surprised that many celebrities, such as Cameron Diaz, Ellie Goulding, and Jessica Beil, include them in their fitness routines. They’re also a favorite among famous American football players as they use assault bikes to warm up before their training sessions.
With all the information you have now, the only thing left to do is to gather your stamina and start working on the air bike.
Good luck on your weight loss journey!
Emma James, 29 years old professional fitness trainer with Bachelor’s degree in Physical Fitness Technician from Boston University.