Air bikes, sometimes also known as Assault bikes, can provide a very tough cardio workout in a small package. Is an air bike a good way to lose belly fat?
Working out on a fan bike is an effective tool for lowering the body fat percentage and therefore reducing the size of your belly. Using the air bike for 30-45 minutes 5-6 days a week at medium intensity will start visibly reducing your belly size after 4-6 weeks if combined with a good diet.
What makes a fan bike effective for losing weight and slimming down your waist? Let’s find out.
- 1 Does Working Out On An Air Bike Make You Lose Belly Fat?
- 2 What Makes An Air Bike A Good Machine To Lose Belly Fat?
- 3 How Long To Use An Assault/Air Bike To Lose Belly Fat?
- 4 How to Reduce Belly Size Faster
- 5 Can An Air Bike Alone Get You Visible Abs?
- 6 Favorite Cardio Machine Accessories
Does Working Out On An Air Bike Make You Lose Belly Fat?
Belly fat is fat. It’s not any different than fat in other places on your body except that it’s even less welcome. However, the way to get rid of belly fat is the same as the way to lose body fat in other places. You can’t choose to reduce the amount of fat only in certain places; it just doesn’t work that way. It’s all about burning calories and as a result burning fat. When you eat fewer calories than you burn throughout the day, your body burns fat to make up the difference. Where that fat is taken from depends on age, gender, hormone balance and genetics.
A fan bike used the right way is an effective way to burn calories and therefore lower your body fat if combined with a proper diet. As said above, you can’t just burn fat in your belly. There is no type of exercise that does that and it’s all about overall body fat.
Burning more calories what you eat will lower your body fat percentage over time. Lowering your body fat percentage will ultimately translate into reduced belly fat. To actually lose a significant amount of belly fat, you’ll have to stick to your workout routine for a while but this is the same as any other type of exercise.
A Fan bike is capable of providing a lot of resistance and seamlessly changing resistance which makes it an excellent machine for high intensity workouts but can also be used for steady state workouts where you keep your heart rate at a certain level. Either way is great to burn calories.
Cycling on an exercise bike for 30-45 minutes a day at moderate to high intensity for 5 days a week is a good way to significantly reduce your body fat levels. However, to lose any amount of weight, combining fan bike workouts with a balanced and nutritious diet is very essential to get the results you want.
So what makes an air bike a good choice to burn calories and lose weight?
What Makes An Air Bike A Good Machine To Lose Belly Fat?
There are plenty of other cardio machines that can all burn calories. So what makes an air/Assault bike a good choice? There are a few things that make it unique.
- Compact: Air/fan bikes are quite compact. They’re a little larger than a spin bike but about the same size as an upright bike. That makes them easy to find a place for it in your home and air bikes are also relatively light and easy to move around so they don’t take up a lot of space in your house. Some even come with wheels so they’re meant to be moved around.
- Full body: While a normal exercise bike just uses the lower body, a fan bike has arm levers just like an elliptical machine so the upper body is also heavily involved in the movement. That means you use more muscle mass which gives the opportunity to burn more calories per minute. It doesn’t necessarily make it easier to burn calories since you’ll still have to exert more effort but the possibility is there. It also helps strengthen more of the upper body muscles.
- Low impact: Because there is no moment you let go of the pedals or levers, there is very little impact on the joints and spine. Especially compared to a treadmill. Of course your muscles are heavily used on an Assault bike but muscles recover much faster than joints.
- Seamless resistance transitions: because of how a fan bike works, the effort you put in is always matched to the resistance the fan blade provides. There is no adjustment for resistance like on most other cardio machines. By moving faster, the fan blade spins up and the air resistance goes up exponentially. So moving faster immediately results in more resistance. This makes air bikes very good for High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). No dials to turn or buttons to push, just go faster.
Using an air bike at moderate intensity will burn about 250 calories every 30 minutes (although this also depends on your weight). This isn’t the highest but not far off the treadmill and rower. It’s a bit less than an elliptical trainer though. However, at high intensity there is the possibility to burn up to 380 calories per 30 minutes
If you’re not looking to buy an air bike yourself and are working out in a gym with many different cardio machines, also take a look at the Elliptical and Rower as well as the classic treadmill. The elliptical is also a low impact machine and a similar full body workout except standing up. The rower is also a full body workout albeit the muscles used are a bit different. Many rowers also use air resistance like the fan bike so it works similar in that regard.
If you’re planning on working out 5-6 days a week, I’m not a fan of the treadmill. Because you have the impact of the footfall on the belt with every stride, you get more stress on the joints and spine. That can lead to overuse injuries. Once that happens you’ll have to take time off which means missed workouts. On an air bike this is less likely to happen because of the lower impact which means no missed workouts and faster progression.
However, in the end it also depends on what you enjoy. The type of exercise you enjoy the most or find the easiest is likely the one you’ll do the most often and can stick to the longest. So while your choice of cardio machine might not burn the most calories per 30 minutes, if you can be consistent on it, you’ll have better results than on something you can’t be consistent on.
The best type of exercise you’ll do the most often and have the easiest time doing consistently. It doesn’t matter that much if one type of exercise burns a few calories more per minute if you get bored and sick of it after 5 minutes. If you have access to a big gym, just go there for a month and use all the different machines for a week and see what you like best.
How Long To Use An Assault/Air Bike To Lose Belly Fat?
How long do you have to work out on a fan bike to start losing belly fat? As you can read above, it all has to do with how many calories you burn and your overall body fat percentage. Dropping your body fat percentage will also shrink your waist.
Using an assault bike for 30 minutes a day, 5-6 days a week at medium intensity is enough to start losing 2 kg/4.4 lbs. a month provided your diet is also in order. You will see your belly start shrinking after 4-6 weeks.
The first thing you should understand is the energy balance. To lose weight, you should take in fewer calories than you burn throughout the day. It’s very simple but not easy. That means to lose weight you have to improve your diet as well as use your fan bike regularly. How many calories you take in depends on what and how much you eat. How many calories you burn exactly depends on: Age, weight, muscle mass, gender and activity
Cycling for 30 minutes at moderate intensity on an assault bike burns about 250 calories. Of course the exact number depends on how heavy you are and the intensity you work out at. The heavier you are the more calories you burn in 30 minutes. Also, the higher the intensity, the more calories you burn per minute. On a fan bike the intensity can be increased by increasing speed.
Heart rate is a good indicator of intensity. Moderate intensity is usually defined as having a heart rate 50-70% of maximum heart rate while high intensity is about 70-85% of maximum heart rate. The maximum heart rate depends on your age. If your bike doesn’t have a built in heart rate monitor, it’s a good idea to get a separate one.
1 kg/2.2 lbs. of fat contains about 7700 kcal. If you eat 500 calories fewer a day than you use, your body will burn 1 kilo/2.2 lbs. of fat every 15 days. A 500 calorie deficit is about the maximum deficit you want to aim for unless otherwise advised by a healthcare professional. For most people a 500 calorie deficit is sustainable for an extended period of time and is therefore more effective long term than a bigger deficit. A 500 calorie deficit means you lose about 2 kg/4.4 lbs. every four weeks.
Working out for 30-45 minutes a day is very doable (although it’s a good idea to take one or two rest days a week). 30 minutes of moderate exercise on an fan bike burns about 250 calories (for the average person) but you want a 500 calorie deficit, how do you make up for the 250 calorie difference? Simple, you have to eat fewer calories.
You’ll have to figure out how many calories you burn without exercise. This is called the Base Metabolic Rate (BMR) Click here for a calculator. So if your BMR is 2000 calories, you want to eat 1750 calories and cycle long/hard enough to burn 250 calories to create a 500 calorie deficit that will result in losing 2 kg/4.4 lbs. a month. Of course if you cycle for 45 minutes, you’ll burn about 375 calories which means you could eat a bit more food.
More exercise has other benefits besides burning calories like: Improved cardiovascular health, mental benefits, improved digestion, improved blood pressure and more.
Using an Air/Assault bike for 30-45 minutes, 5-6 days a week will have a big impact on reducing belly size and is safe and sustainable. However, it’s still necessary to take care of your diet and energy intake. Without a proper diet, it’s hard to lose weight by just working out. Eating 300 calories is much easier than burning it off through working out.
How to Reduce Belly Size Faster
The basics of belly fat loss are the same as other fat loss. It’s just that for most people, belly fat is the last place where the fat actually starts to go away. Especially for men the belly is a place where fat is stored and is hard to get rid of. While cycling is a great way to burn calories and so reduce body fat. However, there are some other ways to make your belly appear smaller.
You can’t reduce fat in a certain location. What you can do is lower your overall body fat percentage. It’s mainly up to your genetics where you lose fat first and last. Some people have an easier time getting rid of extra pounds on the belly than others. Some people will lose almost all the fat anywhere else on their body before starting to reduce belly fat while for other people it’s more even. It isn’t fair but you’ll have to play the hand you’re dealt.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything else about the overall size of your belly. While the fat on top of your abs is a huge factor in how big it looks, it isn’t the only one. The other factors are core strength, muscle mass, diet and bloating.
If you’ve got a weak core, and especially Transversus Abdominus muscle, you can make your tummy appear smaller by training this separately. The Transversus Abdominus is a muscle that lies under the muscles that create the 6-pack look. It’s the muscle you use when trying to pull your belly button towards your spine. Strengthening this muscle can pull your belly in without consciously doing this. This will make your belly appear flatter.
Cycling, especially with more bent over types of stationary bike you’ll engage your core a little bit. However, that’s not enough by itself to get a really strong core. It’s helpful to train your core separately though. Here’s a good place to start. With an air bike you’re not specifically targeting the Transversus Abdominus specifically so you’ll have to do some extra exercises. Do some core exercises after finishing your running and you’ll compound your effects.
Another issue that makes your stomach look bigger is bloating. Many people are intolerant to certain foods without even knowing it. This can cause bloating which makes you feel worse than you could and gives your stomach a distended look. It can be worth it to experiment with eliminating different foods from your diet to see if you can improve this problem.
Exercise by itself can also help reduce bloating because it helps improve digestion but if it’s still a problem while exercising regularly, it’s worth investigating further.
There are lots of resources on bloating and diet. You can start here on WebMD
Combining cardio exercise with strength training is a winning combination. Not only for weight loss but also your physique and overall health. The two complement each other in the best way. Building strength and muscle obviously makes your muscles bigger. That alone will make you look more athletic. It also does a few other things:
- Bigger muscles mean the potential to burn more calories. It means you can push the pedals on your bike harder and work out at a higher resistance. That will burn more calories.
- An increase in muscle mass raises your BMR. So having more muscle means you burn more calories without even using them.
- Bigger muscles in other parts of your body will make your belly look smaller by comparison.
Also, doing something else than cycling can break up the monotony of doing the same thing day after day. There is an almost countless amount of strength training exercises with a very wide range of equipment that can make your workouts different and more interesting. And on top of that you get better and faster results than if you’d only run.
I’ve mentioned the amount of calories you eat as an important factor in weight loss above. However, just looking at the calories alone doesn’t tell the whole story. To have good workouts every day, you want to give your body the right fuel.
There is an endless amount of words to write about diet but let’s keep it simple. You want to eat the right ratio of macronutrients (carbs, protein and fats) from mostly whole foods. Aiming to eat 80% whole foods is a good goal and has a big impact for most people.
Also, most people underestimate how many calories they drink. Cutting out soda and fancy coffee drinks and replacing them with water/black coffee/tea can save a few hundred calories a day.
Can An Air Bike Alone Get You Visible Abs?
Ok, you can reduce the size of your belly by cycling and changing your diet, but can you get visible abs? Visible 6-pack abs are something that many want but few achieve. Can a stationary bike alone get you there?
To get visible abs you need two things;
- A low enough body fat percentage
- Abdominal muscles that are big enough to pop out
Cardiovascular exercise is great at burning calories which helps you to lower body fat. Combined with a good diet and consistent workout schedule, you’ll get your body fat percentage low enough to actually get to the point where you can easily see a 6-pack. To have visible abs, men need a body fat percentage +-15% or lower while women need to be under +-20%. Combining an improved diet with regular medium to high intensity treadmill is going to get you there.
The second part is that the ab muscles that create the 6-pack have to be big enough to actually see. While running does engage the core to some degree, it’s not very effective for building up the muscle you want to see grow (the Rectus Abdominis).
So to get to your 6-pack, you’ll have to do some other exercises besides rowing that specifically target the Rectus Abdominis. The following movements are good to start off with;
- Hanging leg raises
- Leg raises
Basically any movement that brings your chest to your legs or legs to your chest will use this muscle.
Using a fan bike is a good tool to help you get visible 6-pack abs. It’s a very effective machine for burning calories and therefore lowering body fat percentage and shrinking your waist as a result. However, you’ll still have to have a good diet and do separate ab exercises to grow the 6-pack muscles enough to really make them easily visible.
Favorite Cardio Machine Accessories
Check out these accessories that improve a home cardio workout:
- Equipment mat: All cardio equipment should be put on an equipment mat. The Rubber-Cal mat (Amazon) is an affordable yet very high quality choice.
- Interval timer: To time your intervals and workouts, there is no better choice than the GymNext Flex. It’s super easy to use and set up with a phone app.
- Tablet holder: Cardio can be boring. With this tablet holder (Amazon) you can follow along with on-demand workouts or just watch a movie on any cardio machine.
- Heart rate monitor: Monitoring your heart rate is very important while doing cardio. The Polar H10 (Amazon) connects to almost anything you can imagine and is very accurate.
To find which cardio machines I recommend for home gyms, click here.