Following on the earlier success of the Captiva and Sanibel models, the Yowza Fitness Pompano CardioCore Elliptical enters the collection just above the Navarre, with the same patented counter-rotational core motion that made these other machines so unique.
In this review we take a closer look at the benefits of training with CardioCore, preset workout programs, display console design, quality of customer service, and much more in order to help you decide if this is the best choice of elliptical for your own home fitness routine.
Patented Cardio Core technology
If you’ve already experienced an elliptical workout in your own home or at a commercial gym, the moving handles on the machine you used probably featured the traditional linear motion.
This is where the Pompano design is different, with a patented design feature that Yowza Fitness have named ‘CardioCore’.
In contrast to the standard linear motion of the moving handles, CardioCore instead moves through a lateral plane of motion, which much like the pedals, is fixed around a central pivoting point.
When using a wide grip, this different range of motion is designed to help tone your core muscle groups (abs, obliques, lower back, etc.) while the running stride focuses more on your lower body muscle groups.
At first glance this seems like a great idea, as it manages to combine more direct core muscle training with a conventional cardio workout.
However, if you compare the rotation from this lateral motion to the rotation you need to experience with your usual ab exercises (side twists, barbell twists, etc.) then we just don’t feel it’s challenging enough to produce the same results.
Although it certainly has the benefit of isolating upper and lower body muscle groups to a greater degree than linear handle designs, we’re not sure this is a good thing.
You see, with linear arm and handle movement to match linear foot pedal movement, you’re emulating the feeling of running outdoors and combining all your effort into a single direction of focus.
It’s in this way that the resistance setting also has a much more direct impact on training your back, shoulders, and arms.
But we do really like the innovation, and look forward to future studies that compare this type of elliptical with those that use moving handles in a linear motion.
Yowza Fitness Pompano Elliptical – Features Summary
- Patented Cardio Core motion with a 18″ roller-less elliptical motion that is reversible
- iPod Dock and Hi Fidelity speakers
- Built in fixed “ramp-less” incline
- Sure-Fit self-pivoting pedals
- 16 Levels of resistance
- 9 preset workout programs
- 15% fixed incline
Stability and the Sure-Fit pedal design
With your body position being so much higher when running on an elliptical compared to using a rowing machine or exercise bike, you need to be sure that the frame remains stable, even at higher incline and resistance settings.
This isn’t just so that you can focus more on your workout, but also because any constant imbalances in your workout can lead to different muscles trying to compensate and react in a way they may not be used to.
Over time, this can lead to increased tension on the muscles and ligaments around your knees, ankles, and lower back, making them more prone to injury.
The Pompano Cardio Core elliptical helps to counteract this in two main ways; the combination of base stabilizer and base levellers, and the addition of their patented Sure-Fit pedal design.
Sure-Fit essentially works by pivoting across a central point, adjusting to your natural stride as you run.
This helps to reduce unnecessary strain on your ankles and calf muscles by distributing your bodyweight more evenly, and allowing them to flex with the rotation of the stride path.
Despite being a relatively small part of the overall machine, the pedals can be a great feature to compare between machines, together with the more obvious workout program count and stride length.
Transport and storage
When you’re looking to start or improve upon any home fitness program, it’s usually necessary to consider both budget and space requirements.
If you’re fortunate enough to have plenty of space, then this isn’t really an issue. But if you want to make the most of any space that you do have, then knowing the different footprint dimensions of competing ellipticals in the same price range will often be a determining factor in which one you buy.
Fortunately the Yowza Fitness Pompano features an extremely compact base frame, which is partly due to the lack of glide rail or rollers for the pedal supports to slide along.
The footprint itself measures 190cm (L) x 55cm (W), which is considerably less than the E95 by Sole Fitness. Despite saving you around 20cm on the length alone, if the base frame still sounds too large, then the Schwinn A40 is an even better option (140cm (L) x 60cm (W)).
Transport wheels and a large carry handle make it much easier to move the Pompano, despite its 181 lb weight
In terms of transport options, many mid-range ellipticals tend to be fairly heavy machines, which will often require more than one person to move them safely. That is, unless they have a conveniently placed set of transport wheels, and a strong enough carry handle.
The carry handle for the Pompano has actually been welded to the frame and threaded through the rear flywheel casing to keep the machine looking visually attractive while not losing the useful handle option.
A large set of transport wheels have also been added to the front, which are wide enough to roll smoothly over a variety of floor surfaces.
As we start to progress towards the higher end of the elliptical collection from Yowza Fitness, the frame is definitely starting to feel heavier (181 lbs compared to the 170 lbs of the Navarre), making these transport features a truly useful addition to its design.
Display console design
Whether you’re training to improve your endurance, lower body strength, or overall cardiovascular fitness, it can be important to keep track of your workout feedback.
This is particularly true of ellipticals like the Pompano, which features an inbuilt heart rate receiver and full compatibility with Polar’s range of heart rate chest straps.
However, once you start to move away from the classic design of the Navarre onto models that include Yowza’s patented CardioCore handles, the constant sideways movement that starts edging its way onto the screen does have an impact on how clearly this information can be seen.
As we also reviewed the earlier Bonita and Navarre models, we’re in a good position for making comparisons between the 3 machines. This isn’t always easy to do though, as the consoles differ between each elliptical.
At first glance this may seem like a complete redesign each time, but it’s mostly just a case of moving the button functions around and making some changes to the cosmetic design.
At their core, each of the three consoles allows you to benefit from an easy to adjust resistance system, basic start / stop controls, and a set of buttons for adjusting the volume of the music playing on your iPod when connected via the integrated docking station.
This isn’t the first time that we’ve seen ellipticals cater to Apple devices, as the Precor EFX 447 also lets you connect your iPad and iPhone in a way that they charge while you’re working out.
Workout feedback metrics
With such variation in the amount of feedback each elliptical provides, we also wanted to quickly review the metrics Yowza Fitness have chosen to show on the screen for their Pompano console.
Although the significance of each metric will vary based on your goal, it’s still useful to know that you can track your speed, time, distance, calories burned, heart rate, and even current workout profile via the dot matrix display.
Along the top corner of the screen you’re also reminded of any information you entered during the creation of the current user profile. This includes your age, weight, height, and gender.
This information is completely static and won’t change unless you edit the profile settings. However, it doesn’t take up too much space and has the added benefit of increasing the accuracy of feedback for calories burned and heart rate.
Workout programs and user profiles
YouTube video of the Yowza Pompano Cardio Core Elliptical in action:
Ease of assembly
Something we’ve noticed as a result of reviewing a variety of modern ellipticals recently is the focus fitness companies are now putting on improving how quick and simple it is to get your new machine setup.
Yowza Fitness have achieved this with their Pompano Crosstrainer by assembling the bulk of the base frame before it’s actually packaged up to go in the box.
This includes the casing for the Servo Motor Direct Drive Resistance System, Sure-Fit pedals, and rear base stabilizer.
Having this much of the assembly already done for you not only saves on time when you start to put everything together, but also reduces the number of instructions you need to follow and number of parts that can potentially be misplaced.
Each of the steps in the user manual is clearly explained with a series of exploded drawings and parts references, together with itemised lists of the various bolts and washers you’ll need.
Unfortunately, due to the limited number of reviews on sites such as Amazon, it’s difficult to build up an accurate picture of the quality of customer service.
When testing the customer contact form, we personally found the support team to be very knowledgeable of Yowza’s range of products, and highly responsive in replying to our messages.
Their hours of operation are fairly restricted though, with a 9am to 5pm schedule Monday to Friday and no contact option at weekends.
What’s covered by the warranty?
- Frame: Lifetime
- Flywheel magnetic braking system: Lifetime
- Parts and electronics: 5 years
- Labor: 2 years