The Airdyne Bike

Blizzard number two hit Baltimore today and has us trapped inside again. I thought since the airdyne bike in my bedroom was starring me down and begging for attention, I would post a quick thought about one of my favorite pieces of equipment for cardio/conditioning…

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Dear AIRDYNE BIKE, I love you for many reasons:

  1. It is a change of pace and movement from running and sprints
  2. It engages your upper body in the push/pull of the handle bars
  3. It’s easy to control the resistance… no dials necessary… the bike is designed to increase resistance as you pedal faster
  4. In addition to just cruising along, the bike can be used for insane, heart-throbbing, windsucking, leg pumping  interval training and conditioning :)
  5. And, you can use your creative side and utilize the handle bars for an upper body conditioning workout

I personally choose the airdyne bike at least 3 times a week for a conditioning challenge and often have my clients tackle the bike at the end of their training session for a big finish. The following are a few ways I like to mix up my airdyne work:

  • Moderate Interval Work: 3 minutes on the Airdyne Bike (Moderate intensity, RPM in the 60′s) followed by 2 minutes of jumping rope. 5 minutes per round, complete 4 rounds for a total of 20 minutes.
  • Complete a Timed Mile on the Airdyne bike in as little time as possible. (Goal time: under 3 minutes, 2:20 – 2:30 if you’re really pushing it!) Over time, after you’ve mastered one timed mile, try incorporating a rest period (pedalling mildly for recovery–about the same amount of time it took you to complete the first mile ie: 2:45) then begin timed mile number 2! Its brutal, but doable ;)
  • Moderate to Hard Intervals: 1 minute warm up, 1 interval round = 30 seconds hard pedalling (RPM’s above 80), 30 seconds easy pedaling (RPM’s 40′s or 50′s). Repeat 8 rounds and a 1 minute cool down for a total of 10 minutes.
  • High Intensity Intervals: Another interval scheme I enjoy is 10 seconds hard (and I mean HARD, RPM’s around 90′s or breaking the 100′s) 20 seconds for recovery. 30 seconds is one round, repeat 8 rounds for 4 minutes total. This is a Reverse Tabata. If you are at the intensity level you should be, 4 minutes will be all you need to feel smoked!
  • Upper Body Interval Training: Last, try the Airdyne bike in a non-traditional way–using your upper body. This is a great way to get conditioning while allowing your legs recovery. Check out the video below for an example.

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The above suggestions are by no means an exhaustive list of all the great things you can do with an Airdyne Bike. Try these, create others and let me know what you come up with! I’m always up for a new challenge !! ;)

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…now excuse me, I have a date with my Airdyne Bike.

17 Comments on "The Airdyne Bike"

  1. eugene sedita says:

    Darn, girl, you are really an inspiration….. and an expiration.:) I’ll never catch ya, but doggone, I’ll try. Helas, Don’t have an Airdyne at the gym. :( Thanks a ton. I’ve seen this before but it’s still great to watch. Cool.

    • allimckee says:

      Hey thanks Gene!! Airdyne Bike or no Airdyne Bike, I know you train hard and additional training challenges to come!

      Alli :)

  2. eugene sedita says:

    Oh, thanks for all that great interval work. Much appreciated……..I think. HUH.(big exhalation) :)

  3. Ironlady says:

    Awesome videos, as always! I’m in the Arlington, VA area, so we got the same snowstorms. I am happy to be back at it! Keep it up the good work! Very inspiring!

    • allimckee says:

      Thank you Ironlady ;) (love the name) ..yes, I am glad to be back at it this week too! My legs are SORE from yesterdays lower body training day and I’m grateful for the stiff legged walk today :) haha.

      Keep training hard yourself and thanks for following my blog!

      Alli

      p.s. Nick is presenting at the IDEA Personal Trainer conference in Arlington, VA at the end of this month… if you will be there, look us up!

  4. PJ Striet says:

    Alli:

    If you have the larger fan airdyne, try to ride 5 miles in under 13 minutes. I got this one from Mike Boyle years back and this is still the hardest threshold workout I’ve ever done (just set in a PR in this workout 2 weeks ago…12:51). I’ve run a 5:35 mile at 210 lbs. and I can tell you without the least bit of hesitation this airdyne benchmark workout is much harder to complete (again, this is for the larger fan model…I’m not sure if it extrapolates to the smaller fan evolution comp model). Give it a try.

    PJ Striet
    http://www.cincinnatifitnesstrainer.com

    • allimckee says:

      Hi PJ,

      Whoaaa, I will most certainly give this my best shot but I can already tell that it will be a killer pace to keep up for 5 miles!!! (aka: I can’t wait to try ;) ) …do you know what your avg. RPM’s were for a time of 12:51?

      Thanks so much for following the blog and suggesting a new challenge! I appreciate the contribution.

      Keep training hard!
      Alli

  5. PJ Striet says:

    Alli:

    My strategy with this is to stay about 73 rpm’s or so for the first 12:00 minutes and then do an all out sprint the last minute. The first 6 or 7 minutes of this is hard but doable. At about the 9:00 mark, you want to stop. From 9-11 minutes, you are about as misreble as it gets, and then the last 2 minutes it is just sheer will to finish it and you’ll be seeing the grim reaper at the end as you lay on the floor and tremble.

    I’m also really into the concept 2 indoor rowing “cult” now as well. Some of their benchmark workouts are ridiculous, like a 1:25 500 meter sprint. I got a concept 2 at my facility in January and I’ve been hitting that hard as well. You might like this video of one of my 50+ female clients doing a metabolic circuit…from what I can tell you guys are into this stuff:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUYXxZMbx8M

    • allimckee says:

      PJ,

      Thanks for the details..now I will know what to shoot for and a forcast of when I may want to fall off the bike and pedal to save my life!

      Thanks for posting your video too..your client should be proud! Great physique, great movement quality, great effort!! Looks like you guys have a good time with all of this stuff too… as we do here in Baltimore as well!

      Thanks again and stay in touch!
      Alli

  6. allimckee says:

    Hi PJ,

    Just to follow up with you regarding the Airdyne challenge.. I haven’t attempted too regularly, but each time I do, I think of your suggestions :)

    We have the small fan version of the bike. My best time so far is 5 miles in 13:43 …it’s quite the challenge and I love it! Thanks again for sharing your training thoughts!

    Have a great day,
    Alli

  7. P. J. Striet says:

    Keep up the great work Alli…that’s an awesome time! Yeah, I don’t know how to compare the larger vs. smaller fan models but it’s gotta be pretty close…what are your rpm’s around when you do this?

    • allimckee says:

      PJ, it has been a few weeks since I last completed this, but I’m pretty sure my RPM’s hover right around 65-72 the entire time. Towards the last .25 mile, I sprint, so rpms near 80..but I am pretty consistent the whole way through.

  8. Sean Fitzpatrick says:

    Hi, I’m looking to buy an airdyne bike for my basement. Is there a model that you recommend? There are so many different types so it’s tough to choose.

    Thanks, Sean Fitzpatrick

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