Improving healthspan and longevity can be just like riding a bike

CAROL Bike CEO on the REHIT approach that can dial back the clock on your fitness potential by over a decade.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has become very popular; alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with recovery periods, it is designed to help to decrease body fat, increase strength and endurance, and improve healthspan in protocols that last approximately half an hour.

But these days, even finding half an hour can be tricky – enter CAROL Bike, an exercise bike designed around Reduced Exertion HIIT (REHIT) and AI-personalization, meaning an effective workout can be delivered in just 5 minutes.

Longevity.Technology: Developed in collaboration with leading exercise researchers, CAROL Bike not only improves fitness, but increases VO₂, reduces blood pressure and decreases the risk of diabetes. Given CAROL Bike’s foundation being scientific studies, rather than just ‘feel the burn’ or ‘if it hurts, it must be working’, we were intrigued. We sat down with CAROL Bike’s cofounder and CEO Ulrich Dempfle, who leveraged his background in mechanical engineering to develop the world’s only Reduced Exertion HIIT (REHIT) bike.

Ulrich Dempfle on…

Work smarter, work harder

CAROL Bike is the smartest, most effective exercise bike. It’s been scientifically proven to give you double the health and fitness benefits in 90% less time compared to regular cardio – and the best part is you only have to work hard for two 20-second sprints. The bike is based on REHIT – reduced exertion, high intensity interval training. That’s a new and improved form of HIIT, and REHIT has been developed by scientists looking for the shortest and most effective effective and accessible way to exercise. Research has proven that REHIT is that fastest way to get fit with short workouts that fit into any schedule and have dramatic health and fitness benefits. And of those health and fitness benefits, first and foremost, VO₂ max, and from there follows a lot of longevity benefits.

Wheeling out the longevity benefits

The primary benefits of CAROL Bike and of REHIT are, one, improved cardiorespiratory fitness, and second, improved metabolic health. To put some numbers to that, our users and scientific data shows that, and scientific studies have proven that you can improve your VO₂ max – your maximum ability to burn oxygen – by over 12% in only eight weeks. VO₂ max is a very fundamental physiological metric – it’s probably the most important physiological health marker and the strongest correlate to life expectancy – and studies have shown that a 10% improvement in VO₂ max adds two years of healthy life expectancy. From the age of 30, we all lose about 10% of our VO₂ max per decade, but with CAROL Bike, in only eight weeks, you can make up and dial back the clock on your fitness by over a decade.

CAROL Bike improves metabolic health; studies with CAROL Bike have shown that you can reduce the risk of developing metabolic diseases by 62% also in only eight weeks – that’s the same level of risk reduction you’d expect from a prescription drug like metformin. You can get that with REHIT, with CAROL Bike in only eight weeks without the cost for the medicine and without the side effects; it’s very profound.

Low cardio respiratory fitness causes more avoidable deaths than smoking, diabetes and obesity combined, so exercise is one of the most important interventions that you can undertake quite easily to improve your health and to do something for your longevity.

Following a science-based roadmap

We were fascinated by REHIT, but there was just no product for consumers that made it easy to do it. So we contacted scientists who are the leading researchers in that field, who showed the expensive, specialised equipment they use. It wasn’t practical for the consumer, but data from those trials has flown into our product development, and now our bikes are used by leading researchers in that field, including Professor Lance Dalleck in Colorado, Professor Martin Gibala at McMaster University in Canada, Dr Niels Vollaard and Dr Richard Metcalfe in the UK. They all do research now also on our bikes and have published peer-reviewed randomized controlled trials on our bikes that back up those claims. These were independently commissioned by the American Council on Exercise to test and validate our claims.

Tackling the inactivity epidemic

CAROL Bike is centered around maximum health and fitness benefits in minimum time – that’s what we’re about, structured workouts that give you optimal health and fitness benefits in minimum time. We have a very broad range of users from people who come almost as novices, and from a sedentary lifestyle, to Olympic gold medalists and fitness enthusiasts, who already work out a lot, but want the extra training stimulus that REHIT offers and the effectiveness of those workouts also in their toolkit. We also have some hospitals and uniformed services that use our bikes, but we’re not aspiring to be a medical device; instead, the mass market is our vision, our mission – we want to shift the needle on the inactivity epidemic.