When I went out to the Yowza Fitness headquarters, the feature that really stood out was the Cardio Core arm motion. It is found on all of their Cardio Core elliptical trainers. At the lower price spectrum are the Yowza Sanibel i35 and the Yowza Captiva. The difference between the two is the amount of adjustment to their stride and incline motion.
The Yowza Captiva has a variable stride that goes from 18″ to 32″. While the Yowza Sanibel has a variable stride that goes from 18″ to 26″ and a 0-35% incline adjustment which gives you a more strenuous workout when desired.
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.NOTE: You may want to check out other really strong rear drive machines like the NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i
The Cardio Core arm motion is a breakthrough design that targets and tones upper body muscles. Of course, that is what all elliptical trainers are suppose to do. The reality is people tend to go through the motions when using the upper body handlebars. The majority of the resistance is applied to the legs. Most people apply little or no pressure to the handlebars.
The Yowza Sanibel takes a different approach to toning the upper body. Rather than two handlebars that move back and forth, there is one t-bar that moves left to right with the elliptical motion. Your upper body slightly twists with the stride, and in the process you target you abs and obliques. It is like doing stomach crunches or holding a weight and moving the upper body left to right.
The abs are an area most of us would like to improve, and to do so you have to both burn calories and apply resistance to that area. Your typical elliptical trainer does not concentrate meaningful resistance to the abs, in fact it does little to tone the upper body.
When working out on the Yowza Sanibel, I notice the tension in my abs. In addition, my cardio shot up in a short period of time. In fact, I chose to switch back and forth between holding the t-bar and the stationary handlebars. It gave me a chance to catch my breath, which means using the Cardio Core arm motion will give you a serious cardio workout.
Electronic Adjust 18″-26″ Elliptical Stride — Gone are the days when elliptical trainers had short choppy elliptical strides. The longer strides tend to give a more natural motion that is like running in the air. The Sanibel has a very comfortable 18″ baseline stride length and the motion tends to be much more elliptical than circular. Consequently, there is less bouncing. For a more aggresive workout, the Sanibel i35 can be electonically adjusted to a 26″ srtide length and 35% incline on the fly. It has the smallest stride length and incline adjustment than any CardioCore machine so it may better accommodate a shorter person.
Also the Stride is set at what the company calls a “ramp less” incline. It is slightly inclined to give you a more strenuous workout. In comparison their Pompano model tends to have a more level stride.
Rear Drive — There is some controversy on which is better, a front or rear drive design. However, the one advantage of the rear drive over the front is the absence of rollers and rails. They tend to wear, require regular lubrication and can often be noisy.
Flywheel — The weight of the flywheel is very important in contributing to a smooth and natural elliptical stride. The Sanibel has a heavier than normal weighted flywheel.
228 Lb. Unit Weight — I once had an elliptical buyer complain about the model they purchased because it was too heavy. For me the heavier the better, because it contributes to the stability of the machine. At 230 lbs. the Sanibel will give you a very solid feel and has a 400 lb maximum user weight rating.
Bearing System — All the joints feature a sealed bearing which is quieter and more durable than a bushing.
Sound System — Most ellipticals come with a MP3 plug-in. I was told that the company opted for a iPod docking station instead because it results in better audio quality. The sound is above average for a cardio machine. There is also a three speed fan that points towards your core.
Warranty — The Yowza Sanibel has an above average warranty, which includes lifetime on the braking system and frame, 5-year parts and 2-year labor.
The Cardio Core arm motion may be the next evolution in crosstraining and it is that feature that distinguishes the Yowza Sanibel from the pack. Even without it, the Sanibel would be a quality crosstrainer.
Yowza Fitness is a fairly new company and, unfortunately, we’ve noticed some issues with their operation during this last year. We’re a bit hesitant to give them our highest rating while they sort things out.