The Assault Bike: Brutal But Beatable
This ever happen to you? You show up to the gym, you set your stuff down, have a look at the whiteboard and it’s… assault bike day. You grumble, look around and notice that person… the overly excitable Nobull ambassador fist pumping through the announcements because it’s Assault Bike day.
Well, it’s nice to meet you, I’m that person (but I’m more of a Reebok guy).
I love assault bike days. Not because of how they feel, but because God made me big and tall… and because of those gifts I am naturally prone to produce more power on the bike than your average-sized individual. So, yeah, I like the assault bike because I’m pretty dang good at it.
But more than that, I like what the assault bike reveals.
Amidst your spiked heart rate and your blown out quads, the assault bike reveals our tendencies when it comes to doing hard things, and there’s no hiding from them. When those workouts get hard; when your legs and lungs are on fire and every meter and calorie seem to be rolling slower and slower… effort then becomes a choice, and it’s sheer will that brings you to the finish line. And I like those challenges, I think they make us better people.
“So what about us ‘average sized individuals’, Coach Brett? Are we doomed on assault bike days?”
As with anything in CrossFit, if you want to be efficient – it’s all about technique. As you gear up for the grind – check the following:
- Make sure your seat is in the proper position. High enough so your legs come to full extension (but not lock out) at the bottom of your rotation. Close enough to be able to fully extend your arms without overreaching for the handles, and in such a spot that your hips stay behind your shoulders.
- Make sure you’re getting the most out of your levers (your arms and legs). Once your seat is in the right spot, check your feet and hands. Hands should be straight out of your shoulders, if not to the edge of the handles, and the pedals should be under the balls of your feet (or midfoot). This ensures you’re not keeping too tight of a grip on the handles, and that you’re able to adequately call on both your quads and your glutes and hamstrings to generate power.
- Make sure your body stays centered and neutral on the bike. Avoid flaring your knees out and swinging your head and body back and forth as you push. This ensures you’re leveraging your whole self when driving down on those pedals.
And then at the end of the day, when the assault bike drags us all into the darkness… are you mentally tough enough to keep pushing through the discomfort happening in your lungs and legs? That’s all it is, discomfort. Make the choice to give great effort, and then be proud that you did everything your body was able to do on the assault bike.
No matter your experience in the CrossFit space, one thing everyone can agree on is this… the assault bike is just brutal. But beatable 😉