If you have ever used the assault bike at the gym you know there is no easy way to get through your work. There are some tips that can help you be a bit more successful at using the bike.
First, let’s talk about what is happening to your body when you are using the bike. Anytime you do work your body produces waste. When you exercise, your body uses oxygen to break down glucose for energy. During intense exercise, there may not be enough oxygen available to complete the process, so a substance called lactate is made. Your body can convert this lactate to energy without using oxygen. But this lactate or lactic acid can build up in your bloodstream faster than you can burn it off.
When this happens the excess will actually go to “fresh muscles” to disperse. However, when we use the Assault Bike we are working our whole body and leaving no place for excess fatigue to go. Much like other movements we find very tiring (thrusters, wall balls) the assault bike is designed to build fatigue in the whole body.
Knowing that we can make some smart decisions to help us on the bike. The first is with our pacing. After a few uses of the bike we should have an idea of what is sustainable for 1:00, 2:00 and so on. If we go all out on the bike then we are going to build fatigue so quickly that our body wont know what hit it until it is too late. Find a good pace and try to maintain that pace during a given workout.
The next big thing that will help us is to always use our legs and arms unless told otherwise. It might seem smart to give your arms a break or to rest your legs. But knowing that fatigue is going to hit those muscles regardless of what we do it is wise to take advantage of the ability to use 4 levers rather than 2. Putting your arms above your head on the bike is the same thing as running with your arms above your head. You are losing so much energy with this poor posture that you are actually making your legs work harder in order to achieve less work than would be required with good posture and use of arms.
And that leads to our third point. Posture is very important on the bike. We are all guilty of leaning over and gyrating our body from side to side. In a sprint there will be a lot of movement just due to the intense nature of a sprint on the bike. However, a longer effort (20 cal or more) should be done with a good, upright posture. This will allow us to move in an efficient and safe manner.