The Arnold Sports Festival UK was a great place for likeminded fitness fanatics to get together, compete, or simply learn about the latest technical trends and supplement breakthroughs. But most importantly, the weekend was all about having fun and testing ones’ self in a constant quest for self-improvement. Over at the Primal stand, I took part in a challenge to see how many calories I could burn on a HIIT bike in 20 seconds. To top if off, I was competing against the former Love Island UK star and renowned endurance athlete Adam Collard. Here’s what went down, and how you can try this epic test for yourself.

M&F writer Scott Falstead on a HIIT Bike With Love Island UK contestant Adam Collard
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The Rules of the Game

Taking it in turns, or side-by-side, the object of the challenge is to put your best foot forward on a HIIT bike for 20 seconds in order to see how many calories you can burn in the allotted time. In this case, Adam Collard and myself were using the Primal Pro Series HIIT Air Bike. Of course, you can take up this challenge with pretty much any piece of cardio equipment, but the fact that HIIT bikes give you a full-boy workout make them ideal for getting a sweat on.

How the HIIT Bike Challenge All Went Down

“How many calories do you think you will burn?” asked Collard before my time began. “Five or six calories” I answered, recalling how slow the calorie counter always seems to move, even while sprinting on an incline treadmill. “If you get fifteen, I’ll be buzzing for you,” said the endurance athlete. No pressure then!

As my time began, the first thing I noticed was how difficult the HIIT bikes are to get moving. A proper technique requires giving the handles a huge pull and push, but instead I focussed on the pedals. Eventually, after what seemed like an eternity but was only a second, I finally got things moving. Within five seconds lactic acid had poured into my quads but I was now using the handles to share the load with my feet and remained determined to finish strong. I was surprised at how long twenty seconds seems when your legs feel like solid concrete, but my training partner and the growing audience provided me with a final vocal push.

With my time over, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had scorched 17 calories. Next up was the Love Island UK contestant, gym owner, and popular online trainer. “Do you have one of these machines at your gym?” I asked Collard. “I’ve got five,” he retorted. His experience shone through here, as he made a grab for the handles and put his foot down, moving the bike instantly. The HYROX competition regular hit his pace quickly and maintained his speed throughout the full twenty seconds. Collard put his head down and his shoulders up as his arms and feet became a blur. At the end of the twenty seconds, he’d blitzed an astounding 46 calories.

The Science Part

So, if you want to raise a laugh, and your lactic acid levels to boot, grab a buddy and take up this challenge for yourself. While this particular test was a bit of fun with added DOMS, research backs high-intensity interval training as a swift way to lose weight and build muscle, and it can even slow down the effects of aging by increasing the production of protein in the mitochondria, where your cells create and release energy. For best results, aim to get a HIIT workout in each week, building up slowly to 30 – 40 minutes with your heart rate working at 85-90%. But don’t over do it, or you could find yourself over training. To learn more about HIIT and HYROX style training from Adam Collard click here!