The First ‘True HIIT Bike’ Promises to Improve Your Cardiovascular Fitness in Just 8 Minutes

Photo: Getty Images/Goodboy Picture Company
Modern fitness innovations have made real the stuff of science fiction. A mirror brings personal training straight into your living room, fitness trackers diagnose sleep disorders overnight, and now an AI-powered spin bike called CAR.O.L. ($3,139) gives you a 40-minute workout in just 8 minutes and 40 seconds.

Independently proven by the American Council of Exercise (ACE), CAR.O.L.—short for "CARdiovascular Optimization Logic"—puts fitness lovers through a type of HIIT called "reduced-exertion high-intensity training," or "REHIT." By guiding you through shorter sprints that require supramaximal (that's science for "all-out") effort, the workout squeezes the benefits of a long HIIT workout into a shorter time frame. For example, the "intense ride" includes a 2-minute warm up, a 20-second supramaximal sprint, a 3-minute recovery, and another 20-second supramaximal sprint followed by a 3-minute cool down.

When the ACE enlisted Lance Dalleck, PhD, and his team of researchers from the High Altitude Exercise Physiology Program at Western State Colorado University, to test CAR.O.L.'s purported benefits, the results were pretty staggering. Of the 16 men and 16 women who participated in an 8-week training program, the group who consistently did the REHIT program had twice the VO2 max improvement as compared to those who didn't. Meaning, the amount of oxygen they could access during exercise almost doubled that of the control group.

Well+Good video producer Ella Dove recently tried the bike for herself in a recent episode of What the Wellness. "Honestly, I got on the bike with pretty low expectations," she says. "It feels impossible to fit a 45 minute workout into a 9 minute ride. I was wrong, the ride was challenging! I definitely got my heart rate up and pushed myself. But what really surprised me was my legs when I got off. I had serious Jell-O legs. It felt like I had just pushed up a very big hill and I could tell my leg muscles were genuinely burned out."

According to the website, Dove can attribute that burned-out feeling to the 20-second sprints. "CAR.O.L’s AI guided protocol will deplete your glycogen stores in just two 20-second max intensity sprints," reads the website. This helps your body develop a molecule called PGC1a, which sends a bat single to your body to improve your overall fitness.

If you don't want to limit your workout to just eight minutes, CAR.O.L. comes programmed with multiple plan options so you can choose how to consume your daily dose of exercise without going all out for eight minutes. Welcome to what just might be the workout of the future.

Take a look at CAR.O.L. in action: 

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