The Yowza Fitness Jupiter Plus is the top-of-the-line elliptical in their Jupiter CardioSure collection.
Despite being available at the same price as their entry level CardioCore elliptical (Pompano), the Jupiter Plus has a number of important upgrades, including a steeper incline (35% instead of 15%) and a variable stride length (18″ fixed stride on the Pompano).
But what upgrades can you expect over the earlier Jupiter and Jupiter Pilot ellipticals, and does the Plus model really represent better value for money?
In this elliptical review we’ll be answering this question by comparing the workout programs, warranty, console functions, entertainment options, and design features.
The Yowza Jupiter Plus is known as a Swing Up Reactive Elliptical (SURE), due to the unique front incline system and roller-less stride motion.
This means that because the electronic power incline has been increased to 35% (25% on the Jupiter and Jupiter Pilot ellipticals), the stride length increases as well.
By using a shallower gradient the stride length will be closer to 18″, whereas the full 35% incline will create the maximum stride path of 24″, making it suitable for a range of user heights to 6ft+.
To put the 35% incline in perspective, we haven’t found any other elliptical under $1500 that offers more than 15%. This includes the full Sole Fitness collection (maximum 30% incline), Reebok ellipticals (maximum 20 degrees), and the Xterra Fitness series.
To help support this steeper incline Yowza have focussed on creating an ergonomically effective pedal design, which uses their ErgoFit™ and SureFit™ technology.
This helps to improve comfort and stability on two fronts. Firstly, ErgoFit™ means the pedals are self pivoting, so they automatically adjust based on your ankles natural flexion when running.
Secondly, SureFit™ uses a combination of buffer cushions under the pedals, and gel inserts on top of the pedals to reduce the impact of your stride and provide a more comfortable workout. Together these features also help reduce the stress place on your joints and lower body muscle tendons.
Although the incline isn’t quite to the same 60% level as their Navarre and Miami ellipticals, it’s still enough for switching the focus between different lower body muscle groups.
Switching to a shallower gradient shifts the focus onto your quads and calves more, while steeper inclines will prove more challenging for your hamstrings and glutes.
When you combine this incline range with the 16 resistance levels, extended 24″ stride, and reversible elliptical motion, it’s easy to see how well the Jupiter Plus supports challenging workouts, even with its mid-range price point.
Yowza Fitness Jupiter Plus – Features Summary
- Variable Motion Elliptical Technology
- 18″ to 24″ stride length
- CardioSure handlebar movement and ErgoFit self pivoting pedal system
- Built in “ramp-less” incline with 0-35% power adjustable incline
- Apple/Android docking stations and built in Hi-Fidelity speakers
- Backlit LCD display * PolarTM heart rate control
Console and entertainment features
In upgrading from the Jupiter model to the Jupiter Plus, the console design doesn’t actually change a great deal.
In terms of entertainment options, you still have the Hi-Fidelity speakers and MP3 input for listening to your favorite music, and a display shelf for supporting your smartphone or tablet.
The button functions are also identical, with options for adjusting the incline and resistance level, as well as starting and stopping your workout. There’s also a function for setting the power for the 3-speed cooling fan that’s built into the base of the console.
This is something that does get upgraded if you were to choose the next model up in the CardioSure collection, which is the Yowza Navarre.
On both of the Navarre models (Plus and Elite) you get additional screens for displaying the current incline and resistance levels, as well as a clearer indication of which variable motion setting you’re using.
Both of the Navarre models are myLiveLight compatible, and because you’re using Yowza’s FitSound speaker system, you have controls for adjusting the volume directly via the console.
Unfortunately the Jupiter Plus isn’t myLiveLight compatible, and you don’t have quite the same range of button functions for quick access to workout programs.
But one feature you do have on the Jupiter Plus that isn’t available on any other Jupiter elliptical is the multi-grip (egg-shaped) handles, which allow you to target a wider range of upper body muscle groups.
CardioSure touch sensors have also been integrated into the stationary handles to allow heart rate monitoring even if you’re not wearing a chest strap.
This means that your pulse can be included as workout feedback on the LCD screen, along with:
- Motion level
- User ID
- Workout program
- Calories burned
- 8 x 16 dot matrix intensity display
Preset and custom workout programs
If it’s your first time using the Jupiter Plus elliptical, you’ll need to enter some basic information to create a user profile. This includes your height, weight, age, and gender, which will then be used to improve the accuracy of the maximum heart rate calculation and number of calories burned.
These details can be associated with any one of the nine user profiles that are stored in the console memory, and can be updated at any time. If your details are the same at your next workout you can simply select the user ID and hold down the start button for a few seconds to progress through to the workout selection.
You can then choose from a selection of 9 preset workout programs, or create your own and store it under one of 5 custom profiles. The preset programs consist of 3 target oriented programs, as well as fat burning, interval, endurance, and heart rate control.
Quick guide to the Jupiter Plus workout programs:
- P1: Target Time
The first of the goal setting programs, Target Time allows you to define the workout duration, then counts down until the target is reached. The default is set to 32 minutes, but with a double digit display you can set the duration to anything from 1 minute through to 99 minutes if needed.
- P2: Target Distance
Similar to the Target Time program, this lets you set the distance you want to reach in either mph or km/h depending on your chosen measurement setting. As the workout progresses this target distance will count down until it reaches zero.
- P3: Target Calories
As with any fitness machine, the number of calories burned is the result of a fairly basic calculation, and as such will never be 100% accurate for everyone. There are too many physiological factors to accurately measure the energy exerted by different body types at different intensity levels. But this is still a useful indication of how much you’re improving between workouts.
- P4: Fat Burning
The first of the preset programs to be divided into 16 segments, Fat Burning is designed around a preset intensity profile that automatically adjusts the resistance setting. The intensity and motion buttons on the console can still be used to override default values if needed.
- P5: Interval Intensity
Designed around a maximum of 16 segments and with 12 different intensities to choose from, Interval Intensity caters for a variety of personal fitness levels. As you might expect, the lowest intensity (L1) switches between lower resistance levels (L1 to L9) than the highest intensity level (L8 to L16).
- P6: Interval Motion
This is similar to the Interval Intensity program above, but instead of varying the resistance, this program varies the incline. The dot matrix display on the console keeps you updated with what to expect during each segment, switching between incline levels 1 and 5 for the lowest intensity, and levels 5 and 12 for the highest intensity.
- P7: Endurance
Another of the 16 segment programs, this is based around a resistance profile that continues to increase over time until you reach the end of your workout. You have 8 different intensity levels to choose from, with the lowest intensity reaching a maximum resistance of level 9, and the highest intensity reaching the full resistance of level 16.
- P8: Watts Control
This program is all about setting a desired workout load, which isn’t directly related to any specific resistance or incline profile. If you choose to increase your RPM then the resistance level will decrease to maintain the constant work output. Likewise, if you decrease your RPM then the resistance will increase to compensate and maintain the intensity.
- P9: Target Heart Rate Control
If you want to workout at a specific heart rate level, this is the program for you. Touch sensors are built into the handles but if you adjust the resistance and don’t return your hand to the sensor within 30 seconds the program will end. That’s why Yowza recommend wearing a wireless chest strap transmitter where possible.
- P10 – P14: Custom Course
This is another of the features that’s difficult to find on elliptical trainers at this price point. Programs C1-C5 are custom programs where you can define the resistance and incline profile, then store the result in memory for use in a future workout. The maximum workout duration for these programs is set at 60 minutes.
Ease of assembly / maintenance required
Because they feature a similar frame design and front incline frame, the assembly process for the Jupiter Plus is almost identical to that of the Jupiter and Jupiter Pilot ellipticals.
Most of the base unit arrives pre-assembled, including the resistance system, pedals, and rear base stabilizer. Much of the larger components, like the front transport wheels and console upright have also been assembled, and just require a few bolts and washers to secure them together.
As with most Yowza fitness equipment, the user manual does include a series of exploded diagrams showing how all the parts fit together, but there are no written instructions.
Although this shouldn’t prove a problem due to the simplicity of the steps involved, we would have also appreciated a basic instructional video on their YouTube channel or website.
If you do run into any issues during the assembly, Yowza operate a support service from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, where you can call and ask any questions. Alternatively they also have a support form where you can email them with any issues outside of these hours. Responses will typically be between 9am and 5pm also.
After you complete the assembly steps in the manual there should be no further setup required, such as connecting to wireless networks (iFit ellipticals), or updating firmware in the console.
Taking into account the lifting involved at the start, as well as attaching the moveable handles and connecting the console, it’s best to allow at least 60-75 minutes for assembly.
At 202 lbs the Jupiter Plus is far from the heaviest elliptical we’ve reviewed, but having the large transport wheels attached to the front certainly helps if you need to switch locations.
There’s also a large carry handle at the back that you can use to tilt the machine up onto the transport wheels and pull to its new location.
What’s covered by the warranty?
- Frame: Lifetime
- Braking system: Lifetime
- Parts and electronics: 5 years
- In-home labor: 2 years