Hey Bears! I hope the holidays were good to you, the new year is rolling in and with that we usually kick up the fitness to another level.  This month we are going to talk about the best way to approach one of the worst machines ever created.  The. Assault. Bike. 

 Yes, the bike is terrible nothing will change that but hopefully we can make you a little more efficient.  

-The first thing you will want to do is adjust the settings of the bike, by that I mean making sure your seat is at proper height.  

-For the correct height, stand next to the bike seat, with your feet next to each other.  The seat should be slightly above your hip, when sitting put the ball of your foot on the pedal extend a leg.  The leg should be almost fully locked out, meaning you should have a slight bend in your knee. 

– Next we will want to look at what muscle groups we want to be using most. The assault bike allows us to push/pull, however, those are not our primary movers. The bike is a leg endurance exercise and should ALWAYS be treated as such, many of the athletes in the gym use arms far more than they should. By using too much arm movement (which is a small muscle group) you will fatigue overall much faster.  You are constantly using energy in your arms you run out of energy which is meant to feed the rest of your body, this is why people often feel a big crash after getting off the bike.  

-Next, we will want to focus on what your legs are supposed to be doing.  We walk everyday so our legs have higher energy stores than anywhere else in the body, we want to build these energy stores which will improve us as athletes.  As we continue to use the assault bike(A/B) for prolonged period fatigue will set in which is natural, the one thing we want to do is avoid any insufficient movements.  This is where things really fall apart for most athletes, because their bike isn’t set to the proper height setting we will see athletes flare out their knees at the top of the bike revolution.  Nothing can be more inefficient for cycling, or energy conservation.  When cycling we want to maintain small circles throughout the movement. The smaller the circle the more efficient we are on the A/B.  Keep the knees tucked close to the bike press using the legs while pulling with the arms to lessen the workload on both. Drive using only the ball of the foot and nothing else, this means hills or toes should never be pressing on the pedals.  

-Finally, we will want to make sure our airway is open at all times. This means, keep your head up, eyes forward when you begin to drop your head to look at your screen you limit the amount of air you can inhale each breath, this too will decrease your work capacity.  

Here are some examples of what wattage you could use.

For Men:

Easy: 200 – 350 Watt- longer workouts (at least 30-60minutes on a bike)
Hard: 350 – 600 Watt- moderate length on the bike 30+ calories
Sprint: 600 – 1000 Watt- quick burst workouts; sprints

For Women:

Easy: 100 – 250 Watt
Hard: 250 – 500 Watt
Sprint: 500 – 700 Watt