X-Biking is quite different from other forms of indoor group cycling. But different is not necessarily better. So, what are the central features of the X-Bike indoor performance bike and X-Biking program that deliver unrivalled benefits to users?
Core (as mentioned above)
On a traditional rigid indoor spin bike with a fixed gear flywheel, the ‘equipment’ provides a stable platform on which the rider works. The handlebar rigidity forces the arms and lower spine to act as stabilizers while the transfer of flywheel momentum through the cranks means that the pedal acts as a stable platform on the upstroke. In essence, the stability of the equipment negates the recruitment of the core stabilizers.
On the X-Bike, the natural true-to-cycling movement of the handlebars and freewheeling drive train give the user fewer stable contact points and result in the engagement of the core stabilizers to fix the user over the bike in an appropriate position to pedal.
Stable bridge (as referred to in ‘hurt my back’)
When riding out of the saddle with a rigid bar, the active lower-body and rigid upper-body creates rotation of the pelvis and lower back. On the X-Bike, when the rider initiates a pump of the X-Bars, it stabilizes the pelvis, allowing it to become the stable bridge between the now-active upper body and the lower limbs.
The X-Bike expands indoor cycling from its history as a linear lower-limb workout. With X-Biking, so many muscles and planes of movement are used it makes for a neurologically demanding workout. The pedaling action is in the frontal plane, the pump effect of X-Bar climbing is working in the sagitial plane and the core that is stabilizing the upper and lower halves is working in the transverse plane.
The degree and frequency of movement in X-Biking is great; therefore the amount of recruitment from agonist, antagonist and synergistic muscles is going to be high. X-Biking is interval based, requiring dynamic movement with many different stress variables recruiting the rider’s stabilizing musculature. Short and medium interval durations with repetitive periods which trains them for muscular endurance you can understand why we call it a full body workout.
The need to stabilize the body whilst X-Biking requires a good degree of proprioceptive skill. Sensing the tension in both limb and core musculature ensures the correct body position. Selecting power resistances in both pedals and handlebars whilst undertaking a pumping, out-of-the-saddle climb can enhance this proprioceptive training effect.
Obviously moving the X-Bars against resistance adds a significant element of upper-body conditioning. The ability to use varied hand positions to target specific upper-body muscle groups can further enhance the quality of the workout.
The interval training protocol of X-Biking delivers varied benefits. The elite endurance athlete has long been aware of the efficacy of interval workouts as a means of enhancing Vo2max and any of the X-Biking ride profiles are specifically designed with this aim in mind. X-Biking is wholly interval based and as such targets more then just the aerobic system. Strength, short-term power, lactic acid tolerance and intensity threshold training can all be achieved by the careful application of intensity during the rides.
Interval training has also been shown to increase fat loss above levels attained during steady state training due to its high overall energy cost, appetite control, and enhanced post-exercise-thermogenesis, [PET]. X-Biking typically enables users to burn between 400 and 600 calories per 30-minutes class.
In addition, high intensity interval training has been found to enhance bone strength due to the greater magnitude of muscular loading. Higher rates of muscle contraction enhance the stimulus for new bone growth and alteration of the normal pattern of bone loading [direction of the force] associated with movement across all three planes within X-Biking, even with other variables held constant, also stimulates bone growth.
Prior to each transition from freewheeling to pumping climb the core musculature engages to provide a stable base prior to the generation of pedal forces. This cannot be achieved, with the same success, using other programs or bikes.
The freewheeling drive train was initially incorporated into the X-Bike purely to replicate the ‘freewheeling’ of an outdoor bike. However it brings benefits in it’s own right, from the ability to undertake short duration intervals, to the safety aspect of allowing instant stops. In addition, by removing the ‘fixed gear’ (found on current indoor bikes) and the added flywheel momentum a ‘fixed gear’ provides the user, an X-Bike rider must apply adequate effort to pull the pedals through the bottom of the pedal stroke.
Fitness professionals are challenged daily to ensure and inspire ongoing participation in exercise programs. X-Bikes and X-Biking are designed to help. The imagery within the program takes you through a broad range of efforts and feelings. X-Biking involves the visual, aural, tactile, smell senses and the unique movement opportunities delivered by the X-Bike. The powerful imagery helps riders become immersed in the activity.
Central to X-Biking is the ability of the body movements and music to facilitate awesome imagery as riders are led on a group ride. When you are able to sprint hard and then suddenly stop pedaling, you can use real-world imagery and scenarios which mountain bikers and all other riders can easily identify with – it’s like playing the air guitar! There are unlimited combinations of motivational and inspirational imagery.
X-Biking programs are designed to totally immerse you in a fun and exciting workout. With the variety of movements that simulate real outdoor cycling, time roars by and before you know it 30 minutes feel like 20. When you anticipate the changes in terrain and tempo, the program sucks you in with the emotive music as you pedaling in sync with the beat. The workouts are comprehensively designed to deliver high-quality cardiovascular and full-body muscle conditioning. When hard efforts are more interesting, a rider will be able to mentally sustain higher intensities because they are less focused on the effort and more involved in the rhythm and location of the ride. The participants will reach new heights in fitness, as they will be able to consistently push their limits physically because the program will not mentally fatigue them.