The Yowza Fitness Jupiter Pilot elliptical is their most economical design, where workout quality has been favored over entertainment options to develop one of the most versatile entry level ellipticals available.
But how does this compare to the later Jupiter or Jupiter Plus models of the same collection, or even the top-of-the-line Navarre ellipticals that feature a similar CardioSure™ design?
That’s one of the questions we’ll be answering in this elliptical review by taking an in-depth look at the workout programs, console functions, warranty coverage, design features, and much more, to help you decide if this is the best elliptical for your own home gym.
One of the features that really stands out on Yowza Fitness ellipticals is their incline system, which offers some of the steepest gradients in the industry.
Despite being their entry level model, this is also true of the Jupiter Pilot, which is designed with a 0-25% grade power incline.
For ellipticals priced under $1000 we’re used to seeing a limited range of incline settings, but these will almost always require manual adjustment, such as with the Nautilus E614 or Schwinn 470.
Not only does the Yowza elliptical have a wider incline range and choice of 12 motion levels (only 6 available on the Schwinn model), the fact that it can be adjusted from the console means there’s no interuption to your workout.
In addition to the 25% power incline you also have 16 resistance levels to choose from and a 16″-20″ variable stride length.
This is another of the features that you won’t often see at this price point, with most ellipticals being fitted with a fixed length stride of 20″ (including the Nautilus E616, E614, and 18″ stride for the E514c).
But it’s important to point out one of the fundamental differences between the ellipticals mentioned above, which is that they are all front drive designs. In contrast, the Jupiter Pilot is rear drive, which creates a flatter stride path that will always be approximately 2-inches shorter than the equivelant front drive designs.
Because the Pilot is on of Yowza’s Swing Up Reactive Ellipticals (SURE), this also means that the stride is directly influenced by the incline setting. A flatter incline means a shorter stride, while the full 25% gradient will result in the full 20″ stride length.
An added benefit of this technology is that it results in aless maintenance, with a roller-less reversible stride motion that doesn’t rely on any glide rails to control the path of the pedals (a common feature on Sole Fitness ellipticals).
Moving down to the pedals, and Yowza have combined their SureFit™ pivoting design with the gel inserts of Ergofit™ to produce a platform that pivots to match the natural ankle flexion, while at the same time optimizing comfort.
The back and forth pivot motion reduces the stress placed on joints and tendons in your knees and calves while you workout, with cushioned buffers under the pedals used to reduce the impact at steeper inclines.
You do of course have a number of smaller, yet equally useful features, such as the water bottle holder and powder coating applied to the steel frame for aesthetics and durability.
But something we wanted to mention before taking a closer look at the console is the CardioSure™ handlebar motion, which works a different set of upper body muscle groups to their CardioCore design.
The traditional back and forth motion of the moveable handles encourages you to engage more of your biceps, shoulders, and back muscles, which helps increase the rate of calorie burn throughout all 16 resistance levels.
Yowza Fitness Jupiter Pilot – Features Summary
- 16 Resistance levels
- 9 User profiles
- 9 preset and 5 custom workout programs
- 18″-22″ Electronic Adjustable Stride, 0-25% Electronic Adjustable Incline
- ErgoFit Articulating Pedals
- CardioSure Handlebar Motion
- Built-In Tablet Rack
- Hand Pulse Grips
Console and entertainment features
As you might expect, there’s a considerable difference between the console on the Jupiter Pilot elliptical and that of the Jupiter Plus.
As the entry level model, the Pilot doesn’t have the same range of entertainment features, such as a smartphone docking station or speakers for listening to your favorite workout music.
However, you do have a display shelf that can be used to support your tablet. The only downside is that by using it you’re going to obscure all of the workout feedback displayed on the LCD screen.
Workout stats include:
- Calories burned
- Motion display
- Resistance level
Unfortunately this is a similar situation on their top-of-the-line Jupiter Plus model, but changes by the time we reach the higher priced Navarre collection. With these ellipticals your tablet would obscure the console screen, by the myLiveLight compatibility means you can see all your workout stats on the tablet screen instead.
Back to the Jupiter Pilot, and the compact console design offers just six button options: two for incline control, two for resistance control, and the start/stop options.
Although this creates a more intuitive user interface, you do end up relying on multiple button presses to setup user profiles and select a workout program. This is more time intensive than the quick select icons on their top-of-the-line Miami elliptical in Yowza’s CardioCore collection.
Despite its entry level price tag, the Jupiter Pilot offers nine different user profiles. You’ll need to set aside some time to enter some basic information, such as weight, gender, and age, but this does mean more accurate feedback of your heart rate and number of calories burned.
Entering this information for a user ID is something you’ll only need to do once, but you will need to select a user ID before starting any of the preset workout programs (holding down the START button for 5 seconds skips the user setup).
You can then use the upand down buttons to scroll through the 9 preset and 5 custom programs.
Preset and custom workout programs
It’s no secret that creating a varied workout routine can lead to you achieving your health and fitness goals more quickly. That’s why the Yowza Jupiter Pilot elliptical includes 9 preset and 5 custom workout programs.
Despite being one of their most affordably priced machines, many of these programs are the same ones you can experience on the upgraded Jupiter Plus. You’re also getting 2 more custom programs than you do on their Folding-Transformer treadmills.
But how do you know if these workouts will help you to achieve your own personal fitness goals, and do they cater for different user fitness levels?
Quick reference guide to Jupiter Pilot workout programs:
- P1: Target Time
You’re probably already familiar with the idea of target oriented workout programs, either from using the machines at your local gym or from reading another of our Yowza reviews, but we thought we should still give them a mention.
Target Time allows you to set the duration for a workout, then have this number countdown on the LCD screen as your session progresses.
Many people find this more motivational than just having a figure in their head when they step on the pedals, as it gives a real indication of how close you are to achieving your goal.
- P2: Target Distance
This works similar to the program above, except instead of setting the target workout duration you set a target for the distance you want to reach.
- P3: Target Calories
To accurately determining how many calories someone burns during a workout you need to know at least a small amount of information about their health and body type.
Although you don’t have any user profiles to choose from in the same way you do with many of their treadmills, this program does at least prompt you for your weight and gender before starting. With the accuracy of the ‘calories burned’ feedback improved, you can be confident that the same calculation is being performed each time you choose this program.
By selecting a target number of calories you want to burn, you can then use the time taken to achieve this goal and use it as a comparison between future workouts.
- P4: Fat Burning
This is the first of the preset programs to be designed around a fixed profile of resistance settings. Although you can also adjust the incline at any point using the console, this isn’t something that happens automatically.
After building the workout intensity to a predefined level, the program will then maintain the same resistance setting for the majority of the program. There’s no alternating between resistance settings like with the interval program.
To cater for different personal fitness levels, as well as family environments, you can also choose from one of 8 difficulty settings, which affects the maximum resistance level of the program.
- P5: Interval Resistance
If you prefer the intensity of interval training to steady state cardio, this is the program for you.
It’s similar to the Fat Burning program in the sense that only the resistance changes automatically (compared to the incline on the Interval Motion program), but alternates between a maximum and minimum setting.
Again you can choose from one of 8 different intensity levels, with level 1 alternating between L1 and L9 resistance, and the highest level 8 intensity switching between L8 and L16 resistance.
- P6: Interval Motion
The second of the interval programs, this workout is designed around changes in incline instead of resistance.
Having eight difficulty levels means you can choose how challenging you want the workout to be, with level 1 switching between L1 and L6 incline, and intensity level 8 switching between the L5 and L12 inclines. Resistance can also be adjusted at any time if you want to adjust the intensity mid-workout.
- P7: Endurance
This is a completely different type of workout to the Fat Burning and interval programs, which either maintained a set resistance level, or alternated between a maximum and minimum setting.
Endurance gives you 8 intensity levels to choose from, where which one you choose determines how high the starting and finishing resistance levels are. The profile itself gradually increases the workload over the duration of your workout, with 14 segments of work followed by 2 segments of cooldown.
Starting at intensity level 1 you will gradually increase from resistance L1 to L9, while intensity level 8 sees you progress from resistance L8 through to the maximum L16.
- P8: Watts Control
Rather than being based around a target duration or heart rate level, Watts Control lets you set a target for the workout load.
By setting a target watts, the resistance adjusts automatically according to your rpm to help you reach and maintain this level. A slower stride and lower rpm results in a higher resistance setting, whereas the resistance will be lowered if you increase your running pace.
- P9: Target Heart Rate Control
If you don’t want to worry about adjusting the incline and resistance, you might want to think about working out within a specific heart rate range.
After entering your gender and age this is exactly what the Heart Rate Control program allows you to do, using a very conservative formula of ((220bpm – AGE) x 85%) to calculate your maximum pulse rate.
With your target level set, the incline and resistance adjust automatically to ensure this is maintained.
- P10-P14: Custom Programs
When we reviewed Yowza’s Sebring treadmill we noticed that although the console did allow you to create your own custom workouts, the duration was always limited to 60 minutes.
This doesn’t seem to be the case with the Jupiter Pilot, where you can create up to 5 custom incline profiles with a maximum duration of 99 minutes each.
The preset programs do an excellent job of supporting variation in your fitness routine. But these custom programs allow you to try out the latest effective elliptical workouts without having to invest in an entirely new piece of equipment.
Ease of assembly / maintenance required
Nobody likes assembling new fitness equipment, but it can be useful to know what to expect ahead of time so there are no surprisies when you open the box.
Unlike NordicTrack, who use the SNAP assembly system on many of their ellipticals and treadmills to get setup in minutes, Yowza are yet to develop a way of quickly assembling their equipment.
The SNAP assembly means the console upright folds down on top of the base frame, so that all you need to do is lift the upright to its vertical position and secure it in place. This is something we would definitely like to see from Yowza Fitness.
Although much of the base frame and rear drive system arrives pre-assembled, you’ll still need to attach the front incline system, build the console upright, and attach the console before it’s ready to go.
Surprisingly there’s no written instructions at all in the user manual, where Yowza instead use a series of exploded drawings and parts references to explain how the pieces fit together.
Most of the time all that’s needed is to screw in a couple of bolts and attach some side covers, so we didn’t really find this an issue, and knowing which cable matches which socket on the console is straightforward enough.
However, due to the size and weight of the machine we would still recommend setting aside at least 60-75 minutes to be sure of getting everything setup in a single session. Having someone to help with the first couple of steps where you attach the front incline system would also be useful.
All of Yowza’s ellipticals include some form of carry handle attached to the back of the drive system, and the Jupiter Pilot is no exception.
You can use this handle to tilt the machine up onto its large transport wheels at the front and pull the elliptical to its new location.
What’s covered by the warranty?
- Frame: Lifetime
- Braking system: Lifetime
- Parts and electronics: 2 years
- In-home labor: 1 year