Tips to Survive the Assault Bike

By Elizabeth "Leisa" Redmon

First capturing audiences in the age of leotards and step aerobics, the Schwinn Airdyne was the “it” bike for low-impact, high-output cardio exercise. But just as CrossFit has progressed into the sport it is today, so has the “devil’s bicycle” into what we have now: the Assault Air Bike.

No matter how long you spend on the Assault bike, one thing is true of athletes of all ages, fitness levels, and experience—it sucks. But here are four key tips to get the Assault Air Bike to suck just a little less and make the most of this challenging workout.

Female CrossFit athletes competing on the assault bike

1. Consider Your Height

No two athletes are created exactly alike, so you shouldn’t force yourself to pedal feverishly on a bike that isn’t adjusted to your particular height and specifications. After all, you wouldn’t attempt double-unders with your 6’2” friend’s rope when you’re just shy of 5’3”, would you? The same goes for the assault bike.

2. Adjust Accordingly

To easily adjust the bike to fit YOU so you can maximize the gnarly time spent on the bike as efficiently as possible, sit on the bike and adjust the height of the seat to allow one leg to fully extend, directly underneath your hip. Your midfoot* should be placed on the pedal of the bike. If you cannot achieve this, adjust the seat accordingly.

*Although you will adjust the bike height utilizing the midfoot, you will ultimately place your forefoot on the pedals and drive through the heels.

3. Create a Rhythm

Now that your bike fits your height, you want to ensure you’re not wasting energy by cranking your torso in all directions. One of the reasons why the assault bike is a seriously savage piece of equipment is due to the push-pull-push needs of your body. (Push-pull with your arms, while simultaneously pushing into the pedals with your lower body.) 

4. Work Efficiently

Just as in running, the less you move your torso, the more energy output can occur to propel you forward and ultimately to your finish line. So adjust the seat distance with the rear adjustment into a position where you can “comfortably” push and pull the bike handles with minimal torso rotation.

And there ya have it! I know I know...the Assault Air Bike is always going to be a bike to humble the most Herculean of athletes, but at least now we can ensure the time spent on the bike is the most efficient, and in the end...not wasted.

Post Assault Bike Nutrition

With a killer workout like the assault bike under your belt, don't miss the chance to fuel up afterward to optimize your results. Research suggests consuming whey protein after a workout can help rebuild the muscle fibers you stressed, helping build larger muscles in time.

Learn more about whey protein and its benefits. Or learn about Whey's older sister, casein.

Fueling for Training


Keeping your nutrition in check leads to better performance all around—no matter what challenge you're taking on. If you're ready to push yourself in fitness, it's time to match that drive with what you eat on a regular basis. Trifecta ready-to-eat specialty meals or A La Carte proteins, veggies, and carbs can help.