I had the chance to test the Yowza Captiva elliptical trainer when I was at their corporate headquarters. You’ll find that most of the reviews of the Captiva are from individuals who never actually been on this machine.
What makes this unique crosstrainer appealing are two features – Variable Motion & Cardio Core Training. Both which can provide one of the best cross training workouts in the industry.
Yowza Fitness is OUT OF BUSINESS.
We are still waiting to hear more information about this company but it seems they are no longer producing machines.
Yowza Fitness is the U.S. subsidiary of Greenmaster, which has been manufacturing fitness equipment around the world for the last 28 years. The company has a reputation for building quality products that are low maintenance at a value price. I’ve met the owner on a couple of occasions.
Cardio Core Training Elliptical — The Cardio Core Training is a completely new concept, which you will not find on any other elliptical brand. The builders were looking for a way to both distinguish themselves from the competition, but they also wanted to improve the crosstraining experience.
One of the so-called benefits of an elliptical trainer is the combination upper and lower body workout. As your lower body works the elliptical stride, your upper body is suppose to get resistance training by the back and forth motion of handlebars. At least that is the theory. In reality, most people who work out on an elliptical trainer tend to go through the motions with their upper body. Most of the resistance is absorbed by the leg muscles, while the arms are basically along for the ride. Consequently, there is virtually no toning to your upper body.
Faced with this dilemma, the engineers at Yowza Fitness came up with “Cardio Core Training”. A crosstraining innovation that works your core muscles, also known as your abs. You have two tee-shape handlebar over the console that swings left and right with the motion of the pedals. The design forces your body to constantly twist, and in the process work your abs. It is like doing stomach crunches.
It appears that it does a very good job of not only working and toning your lower body muscles, but also your sartorius and your internal and external obliques. I could also feel how the motion was stretching my back.
On our most recent visit we ask the CEO how successful the Cardio Core Training was? He said they have sold about 13,000 units with this feature. It makes up about 95% of their elliptical business. I also asked how customers have responded to this unique feature? He mentioned that the response has basically been 100% favorable. People really appreciate the benefits of the Cardio Core Training.
Variable Motion Elliptical — Most manufacturers are moving beyond the standard elliptical design with the fix motion, largely because the benefits these machines provide are limited. With the Captiva you get 12 motions that vary from a wide 18″-28″. We’re not talking about just 12 variable elliptical stride lengths, but variable motions designed to work different lower body muscles and improve your cardio exercise.
The first motion is an 18″ relatively flat oval shape stride, where the peak is 2″ higher than the bottom. It is more like a traditional elliptical stride. As you move up the motions your stride increases and you find your lifting your leg up higher towards the front of the stride. That is in comparison to a typical elliptical stride where you have to push down at the top of the stride to keep the motion going, thus putting pressure on your knees. The variable stride goes up to a lengthy 28″, providing a heart pounding workout. At that level it may be one of the most strenuous workouts of any elliptical in the market.
There are two benefits to the variable motion. First, it gives you the ability to work different lower body muscles. In the lower motions you tend to work your quads, while in the higher levels you work your hip flexors, lower back and hamstrings. The second benefit isyou get an intense cardio workout. As you move up the motion levels your heart will start pounding. It is the kind of workout that serious athletes will appreciate.
Electromagnetic (Eddy Current) Braking System — I’m told that the system used in the Captiva is top of the line and is found on many of the high end and commercial elliptical trainers.
Heavy Flywheel — The flywheel is a hefty giving it a very smooth feel. You can tell the difference when you start or stop – the process is gradual.
Sealed Bearings — All the joints have sealed bearing, in comparison to bushings. You would expect it in an elliptical at this price. Sealed bearings wear better and are quiet.
Backlit LCD Display — I see more and more manufacturers using this type of hi-res LCD display in comparison to an LED. It gives a sharp and clear presentation of your feedback data.
3-Speed Fan — Not a costly add-on, but one that is very popular with customers. It gives relief by pointing the breeze directly at your core.
iPod Docking Station and Speakers — They designed the Yowza Captiva with a iPod docking station rather than an MP3 input. This means only Apple devices will work on it. Yowza did this because the docking station provides higher quality audio over the MP3 plug-in. They also used some of the best speaker system you will find on any elliptical trainer. The sound is definitely better than the majority of sound systems that cheap out on their components.
Warranty — Lifetime frame and Braking system, 5-year parts and 2-year in home labor coverage.
SureFit Pedals with Soft Gel Inserts — The pedals pivot with the elliptical motion, which significantly reduces any heal lift. In addition, you can actually push down on the pedal and it will give. That is because It sits on bushings so like a treadmill it absorbs shock from the impact of pressing down on the pedal. According to the company…
“Our patented feature includes two cushioned gel foot pads spaced a perfect 5 1/2” apart to allow for the most biomechanically designed placement and movement. Your knees never extend out over your feet, your heel is always down and the force needed to create movement is evenly distributed and grounded. Each pad is anchored to our articulating pedal system that allows each foot pad to rock forward and backward intuitively throughout the elliptical motion. This creates the most comfortable and stress free design available in the market.“
The Yowza Captiva is one of the most innovative elliptical trainers on the market. With the Variable Motion and the Cardio Core Training, this elliptical takes cross training to a whole new level.
The Yowza Captiva is a crosstrainer that not only provides an intense cardio workout, but also works more muscle groups than potentially any other elliptical on the market. In particular, it targets your abs, and we all want firmer abs.
In testing the Captiva it seems very durable, solid and stable. In fact, it weighs a hefty 228 lbs. It comes with large wheels for moving, but this is the type of equipment you will probably want to leave in place. I was told the service issues have been minimal.
One more thing to mention. We’ve noticed that Yowza (the company) has undergone several changes in this last year. Things do not operate as smoothly as they used to which makes us a little nervous about their level of customer care. You may want to look at some other options like the NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i before making your selection.