The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday

‘We’re only two minutes into the workout and every pore on my body is spewing flames’

Fiit – the Devil’s Tricycle

- Fiit membership starts at £10 per month. You can buy an Assault Bike for use at home from Fiit for £899, or use one at your local gym

As exercisers began looking for ways to keep fit from their homes over the past couple of years, British company Fiit became a go-to resource, offering guided video training sessions via its app which users could play on the TV, using whatever equipment they had at home: ideal for those missing their favourite classes at the gym. Now Fiit is offering a new option: assault bike workouts. You can complete them either using equipFLY ment at your local gym or buy a bike from Fiit.

For those who’ve not encountere­d one before, assault bikes, or air bikes, are a cross between a static bicycle and an elliptical machine. As you pedal with your feet, you push and pull the handles with your arms, working both the upper and lower body at once. It’s tough. So tough that Gede Foster, head of fitness at Fiit, tells me as I’m climbing onto the machine that it has come to be known in fitness circles as “the Devil’s Tricycle”.

Gede sets me off on a “Metcon” workout, an intense 25-minute HIIT session designed to promote anaerobic respiratio­n, which should increase muscle growth and weight loss in less time than traditiona­l aerobic exercise. Unfortunat­ely, it is also very, very intense.

Watching a video of master trainer Luke “Honey Badger” Baden on the screen in front of me, I start pedalling and punching. The first set is a mere 40 seconds but by the end of it I’m gasping. I’m offered a 20-second breather then it’s on to the next one. Fiit has worked with Assault Fitness, the originator of the assault bike, to connect the device with the Fiit app, allowing me to see exactly how hard I’m pedalling on screen. According to my self-styled mustelid coach, I should be putting in 10 per cent more effort now than I did on the first set. I manage it for about 20 seconds before I have to ease up. We’re only two minutes into the workout and I have never been so sweaty; every pore on my body is spewing flames.

While I’m making peace with the fact

I could very well expire on this bike, Honey Badger tells me I can dismount. Blessed relief. Unfortunat­ely, his next instructio­n is to pick up some weights and start lifting. Once I’ve finished with those, it’s straight on to burpees. I manage a total of one before it’s time to get back to the bike.

I like to think of myself as a relatively mild-mannered chap, but the only words that come out of my mouth over the next 25 minutes or so are unprintabl­e.

“I do this for a living and it’s one of the hardest workouts I’ve done,” says Foster, offering me a congratula­tory high-five as my whole body quivers. “But even though it kills you, you do get a real buzz. I always look forward to getting back on the bike.”

Rather you than me, I think, but after getting changed out of my sopping gym kit, I must admit I find myself in agreement. I feel pumped and energised by the whole thing. So maybe I will try it again some time. Just not today, Satan.

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 ?? ?? i Intense workout: short bursts on an assault bike are interspers­ed with burpees and weight lifting
i Intense workout: short bursts on an assault bike are interspers­ed with burpees and weight lifting

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