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Why the AirFit Bikes are so “GOOD?”

Posted 25th November 2015 by Josh Schouten

Over the last few weeks you have possibly had the pleasure of using the AirFit Bikes. The model we have at Momentum are called AirFit and they are very similar to Assault Bikes and Aerodynes, just a different make with slightly less tension than the others. Don’t you just love them?

Some of you have asked me “why are they so hard?”, and “why do they make me want to puke more than the rower?” Both the rower and the AirFit use air resistance and scale automatically according to how hard you want to work.  The harder you push and pull, the greater the resistance becomes, it’s simple physics with big benefits.

When comparing the AirFit to the rower its worth knowing that the rower rewards efficient technique more than the AirFit – there is also a distinct advantage for the taller athletes on the rower.  There is a little bit of technique to mastering the AirFit, but it is essentially just like riding a bike with the addition of the arms.  In the deep dark depths of the hardest intervals your legs need to keep pushing the pedals down and pulling the pedals up as your arms do their very best to assist with the push and pull motion.

One point to note is the fact that the AirFit does not allow for any recovery during the cyclic motion, whereas the rower has a recovery phase and hence a work-to-rest ratio.  There is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide on the AirFit, you just need to keep going with every last breath of air you have until your legs fill with lactic acid and you simply can not muster any more.  Mentally, I would argue that the AirFit is a lot tougher than the rower, especially if you are strong and fit.  In terms of functional movement patterns the rower (with correct rowing form) wins because it has skill transfer to movements like cleans and deadlifts.

The irony with the both the rower and the Airfit is that the stronger you are, the harder it is.  As you get better (stronger/fitter) expect to become even more afraid of going “all out,” as the lactic acid hole somehow gets deeper and deeper.  Digging yourself into a deep dark hole of lactic death is not something most of us want to do on a regular basis, but every so often its nice to test mental toughness. Judgment day is coming…..  If you always play it safe and never take it to the edge how do you know what you are really capable of?  After a close encounter with “lactic death” you will have a better understanding of what 80-90% effort really is and just how hard you can work.

I’m sorry to tell you all that it never gets any easier, but always look on the positive side of life and be grateful that the coaching team at Momentum Training are always looking for new and exciting ways to torture…  I mean train our super fit members.

Some people struggle on both the rower and the AirFit because they are simply not strong enough to generate enough power to dig into the uncomfortable lactic hole; you need a certain level of base strength to be able to get the benefits from both these machines.   Don’t stress if your not there just yet, keep working on your squats, deadlifts, bench press, pull-ups and you will get there.

Both the rower and the AirFit bike are awesome machines for building fitness levels if used correctly.   Everyone will benefit from doing a mix of interval sessions and stamina sessions on both machines.  The moral of the story is to get good at both of them and use them regularly to get the reward of increased work capacity and fitness levels.