Why It’s Natural to Love & Hate the Airdyne Bike

airdyne cover1 The Airdyne bike by Schwinn is something that if used correctly can have a tremendous impact on conditioning and energy system development. The word “airdyne” strikes fear into athletes and clients alike. This is a typical general reaction when people find out the airdyne will play some part in their workout.

‘You either love it or hate it” is how the saying goes. When it comes to the airdyne you need to do both. The airdyne is a major player when it comes to conditioning. Whilst interning at Mike Boyle Strength & Conditioning I grew to love the Evo Comp version pictured below. I got a 6.16 three mile on it so I have fond memories. The bike is also great just as a simple long distance compliment to a good training program. Doing 8-10 miles once a week will do wonders for you. Forget the whole “no one needs to do aerobic conditioning” idea. You do and you should. You may hate the airdyne while you’re on it but you will get to love the results.Airdyne Evo Comp At the Training Room we have the AD6 version. It’s equally as tough but the resistance is dialed up on the AD6 compared to the Evo Comp. Airdyne AD6 Looking forward to using the airdyne isn’t something that springs to mind for most people but its imperative you win the mental battle first before the self defeating talk sets in and you’ve already beat yourself. I’m going to share three ways to mentally approach the Airdyne and also three of my favorite conditioning methods that I incorporate with my clients and myself. I will outline one method from the Aerobic, Anaerobic Lactic and Alactic energy systems.

Mental Toughness

1. Make it a Positive Most likely if you’re conditioning on the airdyne you are relatively pain-free. A vast majority of Americans wake up in pain and deal with it daily. If you’re pain-free and you just dread the bike then give your head a wobble and realize how lucky you are. Things could be a lot worse than sweating profusely all over a bike.

2. Create a Personal Challenge Challenge yourself every time you get on the bike to try and beat your previous time. Whether it’s a better time on a three mile ride or how hard you pedal for sprints. Constantly strive for small challenges.

3. Goals Keep your goals in mind. Most general population clients want to lose weight. Coasting on conditioning will not get you any closer.

My Favorite Airdyne Workouts

a. Three Miles for Time I use this as a form of threshold training when going for time and also as a “flush” on the days after gaelic football games. During an intense 3 mile you will feel the lungs burn. Whether you get to love that feeling is up to you. I’ll always remember Sam Dadd from my time at MBSC, “God I love that burning feeling. I know I’m working now”.

b. 30/30 Ladder

30/30 x 5, 45/45 x 3, 60/60 x 1, 45/45 x 3, 30/30 x 5

Thirty seconds on, thirty seconds off and so on. Your speed should be at least 28mph for the thirty second sprint and 24/25mph on the 45 and 60 second tilt. The target here is the Anaerobic Lactic System with the intention of increasing lactic power and capacity.

c The. 8/15 Method Improve power output of your fast twitch muscle fibers through max effort on each rep. Work time is noticeably shorter than the other two methods but equally as tough in a different manner.

a. Sprint 8 seconds max effort/ Rest for 15 seconds. Complete five to six reps of this for one set.

b. Rest 2-5 minutes between sets.

c. Do 2 sets per workout.

d. Use this method 1/3 times per week. There is a new kid on the block in the form of the Air Assault bike. Word on the street is its tougher than the airdyne, but I have yet to confirm those rumors.

Air Assault Bike
The Air Assault bike

5 thoughts on “Why It’s Natural to Love & Hate the Airdyne Bike

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  1. Following! Im a huge fan of the Airdyne
    Here are my favorite finishers after a weight-lifting session or a bodyweight workout.
    1) perform for 20 calories (aim for under a minute). Rest for 2 minutes. That is one round. Repeat 7 rounds. Aim to finish in the same amount of time per round.
    2) Pedal for one minute, burning as many calories as posible in that time frame. Testing once for power-endurance levels.
    3) perform for 50 calories, rest for the length of time it took to do so. Repeat. This time for 40 calories, then 30, then 20, then 10, resting as long as the previouse period of work.
    These are hard-core cardio finishers even though none should take more than 20 minutes, especially the one minute all-out finisher.
    keep up the good work and dont forget to follow
    Jay Ehrenstein
    The Modern Muscle Movement

  2. I do a 55 minute cardio workout. 14.3 – 14.4 miles. 6 days per week.
    My 30 year old Aerdyne 6 is still in great shape.
    Not looking to lose weight or build muscles.
    I’m 62 yrs old and looking for cardio and muscle tone. Swam laps (1/2 mile) for years. Switched to Schwinn 2 years ago.
    Kicks my ass every morning. Never easy.
    It works for me.

      1. I use a combo of different conditioning modalities.

        1. Long slow aka Cardiac Output for 30-40 minutes keeping heart rate in the 120-135bpm area.

        2. Aerobic Capacity Work – starting at 35 minutes, build up to 45 then 55 minutes of 30 seconds on/90 seconds off. The work portion should be up to a max of 88% of heart rate. The goal is to work in a high enough area that is predominantly aerobic in nature instead of going glycolytic.

        3. I use power intervals also. 5 seconds to get to 1000 watts and then 25 seconds rest. They look easy on paper but they are brutal. Start somewhere between 10-15 reps and build up the amount of intervals you can do. Once you miss 2-3 intervals in a row where you dont hit 1000 watts, the workout is over. Power maintenance is key. A nice addition to a solid strength program.

        Hope this helps!


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