Fan bikes, including the popular Schwinn Airdyne exercise bike, provide a full-body workout in the comfort of your home. Unlike traditional stationary bicycles, they allow for unlimited, progressive resistance. The faster you pedal, the tougher your workout becomes.
Why Use a Fan Bike?
Cycling has emerged as a fun yet challenging way to keep fit and burn calories. Compared with running and jogging, it provides a low-impact workout that doesn't put strain on your muscles or joints. Plus, it's a good way to build lower body strength and work your core muscles. Over time, cycling may also increase bone density and boost functional fitness.
Nowadays, stationary bikes come in all shapes and sizes. Fan bikes, such as the Assault Bike and Schwinn Airdyne exercise bike, are particularly popular because of their unique mechanism of action. These cardio machines are powered by a huge fan that creates wind resistance as you pedal. The faster you move, the higher the resistance.
Airdyne workouts are extremely intense and can get your heart rate through the roof within seconds. This makes them ideal for HIIT enthusiasts. As you might know, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a great way to torch fat and increase your aerobic endurance. But that's not all.
The Schwinn Airdyne exercise bike is also equipped with two handlebars, which allows you to work your arms and legs simultaneously. Simply put, this gym machine offers the same perks as an exercise bike, a spinning bike and an elliptical trainer in one machine; a huge space saver. On top of that, it's lightweight and has a compact design, which makes it ideal for home use.
Another advantage of using a fan bike is that you don't have to manually change the speed or resistance. You simply get on and pedal fast for a heart-pumping workout or slow down for a leisurely ride.
The number of calories burned depends on your weight, speed, resistance and workout duration. According to Harvard Health Publishing, a 155-pound person can torch around 391 calories during a vigorous 30-minute workout on a stationary bike. However, this number might actually be higher for those who use a fan bike since they are also working their arms.
Airdyne Workouts for Beginners
Whether you prefer to use the Assault bike or the Airdyne, it's important to start slowly and focus on building up your endurance. As you progress, you may add sprints and HIIT to the mix. Start with a quick warm-up to prepare your body for exercise. Decide on a specific time, calories burned or miles for your first workouts. Try to reach those goals, increasing the pace gradually.
The Schwinn Airdyne features an LCD where you can see the number of calories burned. If, say, you want to burn 500 calories, see how long it takes to hit that number during a typical workout. Try to meet your calorie target in less time as your endurance increases. This will allow you to measure your progress over time and keep yourself accountable.
Another option is to cycle at moderate intensity for one minute, take one minute off and repeat until you hit the 500-calorie mark. A 155-pound person cycling at a moderate pace for half an hour can burn about 260 calories, reports Harvard Medical School. The higher your speed, the more calories you'll burn.
As discussed earlier, the Schwinn Airdyne is extremely versatile and can be used as a stationary bike, spinning bike or elliptical machine. Therefore, you can ride it at a steady pace while watching TV, stand up while cycling or pedal backward to keep your routine varied.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recommends 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous cardiovascular exercise or 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular training per week. Schwinn Airdyne and Assault bike endurance workouts can help you meet either of these goals without leaving home.
Torch Fat With Sprint Intervals
Increase the speed as you progress and then start alternating between all-out sprints and brief periods of rest. With this approach, you'll burn more calories and fat.
A small study featured in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism in August 2016 compared the effects of sprint interval and moderate-intensity cycling training on body weight and cardiovascular fitness. The sprint interval training group experienced a greater reduction in body fat mass compared with the moderate-intensity cycling group. Their aerobic capacity was significantly higher too.
Interval training is a time-efficient way to burn calories and improve your cardiovascular fitness. Again, it's important to start with small steps, especially if you're a beginner. One or two high-intensity intervals during each Airdyne workout are a good starting point, states the Mayo Clinic.
To reap the benefits, pedal as fast as you can for 30 seconds or so, slow down for three or four minutes (even two minutes or less is OK) and repeat. Work your way up to 15 or more intervals. If it feels too intense, you can use your arms or legs only or alternate between arms and legs. Here's an example:
- 30 seconds with arms only
- Rest or slow down for three minutes
- 30 seconds with legs only
- Rest/slow down for three minutes
- 30 seconds with arms and legs
- Rest/slow down for three minutes and start all over.
This approach can be used for both Airdyne and Assault Bike endurance workouts. It's a simple way to mix up your routine and ward off boredom. Plus, if your legs are sore from squats or lunges, you can only use your arms and still get an intense workout.
Tabata intervals are a great choice too. This training method alternates between 20-second high-intensity intervals and 10-second rest periods, explains the American Council on Exercise. One round takes just four minutes — once you're done, you may repeat it.
Consult your doctor before starting an exercise program, especially if you're not physically active or have an existing condition. Interval training and high-intensity exercise, in general, are not ideal for everyone.
The Schwinn Airdyne exercise bike doesn't require users to manually adjust the speed, making it ideal for interval training. All you need to do is to jump on your bike and ride as fast as you can for 20 seconds, rest or slow down for 10 seconds and repeat. Use this method two or three times a week on nonconsecutive days, as recommended by the American Council on Exercise.
- Harvard Health Publishing: "The Top 5 Benefits of Cycling"
- Schwinn Fitness: "Compare Schwinn Airdyne Bikes"
- American Council on Exercise: "8 Reasons HIIT Workouts Are So Effective"
- Harvard Healh Publishing: "Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights"
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: "Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans"
- Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism: "Sprint Interval and Moderate-Intensity Cycling Training Differentially Affect Adiposity and Aerobic Capacity in Overweight Young-Adult Women"
- Mayo Clinic: "Rev up Your Workout With Interval Training"
- American Council on Exercise: "Is Tabata All It's Cracked Up to Be?"