Machine Workout Series: Air Bike Edition


Machine Workout Series: Air Bike Edition

Whether you’re an air bike veteran or novice, you’ll know that this ruthless piece of cardio kit can provide a devilishly effective workout. Often dubbed “the death bike”, it’s easy to see how its got its reputation — the harder you push, the harder it pushes back. 


“I think most of us will probably agree that an air bike is the cardio kit we dread the most. But, master it and it can be one of the most rewarding,” explains Third Space Senior Instructor Alex Rennie. “From short sprints to intervals and longer more aerobic pieces of work, the conditioning and fitness base you can build through a varied program using an air bike can be one of the most valuable additions to your training.”


“With a focus on creating as much power through the lower body — think quads, hamstrings, glutes — as possible, don’t be surprised to see this newly-gained strength transfer over to other movements in your training such as barbell squats, walking lunges, box step-ups and box jumps.” With that in mind, Rennie has put together three varied air bike workouts for you to grind through. Let’s get after it. 


Air Bike Workout #1: ‘Double Trouble Tabata’

Part A: On a four-minute rolling clock, 20 seconds work to 10 seconds rest (8 rounds)

“You have eight 20-second intervals to amass as many calories as possible. During the 10-second rest rest, your feet should remain still, so each new interval starts from a static position,” says Rennie. “Consistency is key here, so don’t go out too hot. Pick a number to hit for each interval (aim for a number between 6-12 calories) and stick to that pace. On intervals 7 & 8, let’s up the ante, push the pace and finish strong! Interval 8 is your time to shine and empty the tank.”

Part B: Rest for 90-120 seconds and note your total calorie score from Part A

Part C: Beat your score from Part A. 

“You now have a target and a goal to chase, so break down what you need to hit for each of the eight intervals to do just that,” says Rennie. “This is going to get tough especially in rounds three to six, so stay consistent. Let’s get after that score!” 


Air Bike Workout #2: 12 Minute EMOM (Every Minute, On The Minute)

“Set a 12-minute timer, be prepared to earn your rest and hit start,” says Rennie.

“At the beginning of every minute, you have a set task to complete and, once you’ve completed the task, the remainder of that minute is yours to rest. You want to aim to be working between 40-50 seconds at most during each minute.” You’ll also need one medium dumbbell for the dumbbell snatches and goblet squats. As you’ll see below, every three minutes you’ll have to rep out a combination of air bike calories and up-downs — you have three options according to your strength and fitness level. 


1Alternating DB Snatch20
2DB Goblet Squats20
3Calories, Up-Downs4 cals, 8 UDs /6 cals, 6 UDs /8 cals, 4 UDs
4Alternating DB Snatch20
5DB Goblet Squats20
6Calories, Up-Downs4 cals, 8 UDs /6 cals, 6 UDs /8 cals, 4 UDs
7Alternating DB Snatch20
8DB Goblet Squats20
9Calories, Up-Downs4 cals, 8 UDs /6 cals, 6 UDs /8 cals, 4 UDs
10Alternating DB Snatch20
11DB Goblet Squats20
12Calories, Up-Downs4 cals, 8 UDs /6 cals, 6 UDs /8 cals, 4 UDs


Air Bike Workout #3: 12-Minute Max Calories

Last, but by no means least, is a long effort on the bike interspersed by dumbbell moves that will spike your heart rate.

“Set a 12-minute timer. Your aim is to amass as many calories as possible by the end,” says Rennie. “You will need a pair of medium dumbbells for this section. On minute zero, start on the bike. Every 90 seconds, you will have a different movement to complete on the floor as quickly as possible before returning to the bike and continuing to amass calories until the next 90 second window starts.”

Try to complete each floor movement in around 15-20 seconds, which will leave you 60-75 seconds to start racking up the calories on the air bike. “Treat this as a marathon, not a sprint, on the bike. Don’t go all out and be sure to pace it — think 70-80% of your max effort — before really pushing that pace after getting the task done after the ninth minute. That leaves you two and a half minutes of the time cap to finish strong on the air bike!”

1:30 – 6 Double Dumbbell Thrusters 

3:00 – 6 Renegade Row

4:30 – 6 Chest to Floor Burpees 

6:00 – 6 Double Dumbbell Thrusters 

7:30 – 6 Renegade Row

9:00 – 6 Chest to Floor Burpees

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