The Yowza Fitness Sebring is the top-of-the-line treadmill in their Folding-Transformer collection, featuring a fully folding design and larger running area than the Osprey and Lido models.
The longer tread belt makes this model a great fit for taller users and running workouts. But how does it compare to the treadmills in their Non-Folding Swing-Arm collection?
In this review, we’ll be comparing the Sebring to other folding treadmills from Yowza Fitness, as well as similarly priced models from Sole Fitness and NordicTrack.
Comparisons will be between everything from warranty coverage to workout programs, and are designed to help you decide which model would be best suited to your own fitness goals, budget, and home workouts.
The Sebring manages to combine all of the best features from Yowza’s earlier folding treadmills into a single machine, while still remaining competitively priced.
The 3.0 HP continuous duty motor is on par with their entry level non-folding designs, but represents a significant upgrade over the 2.5 CHP motor of the Lido treadmill.
It’s this increase in performance that helps power the tread belt to 11 mph instead of 8.8 mph. This is considerably closer to the full 12 mph, which has become somewhat of an industry standard amongst non-commercial home treadmills.
But by increasing the power of the motor you’re not just getting an increase in speed, you’re also seeing a progression in incline design. In upgrading from the two level manual incline adjustment of the Lido model, you can now enjoy a 12 level power incline, which can be controlled directly via the OneTouch buttons on the console.
The running area itself measures 20″ x 55″, which is the largest of the treadmills in their folding collection, and an upgrade over the earlier non-folding Delray models.
Yowza do produce several treadmills with a larger running area, but these are all non-folding. The most affordable design offering a tread belt 60″ long is the Delray Plus, which is usually available for $200 less than the Sebring, with the same incline levels and belt speed.
The belt itself is multi-layer PVC, with a nylon-polyester Whisper Weave base to reduce the noise created by passing over the rollers when you’re walking, jogging, or running.
To help reduce the impact of your stride Yowza have also designed the running deck around an 8-point spring encased dampening system. This provides enough shock absorption to cushion your joints without being so soft that you lose power on the push off when your toes leave the back of the belt.
So what about the console functions, and how can Yowza’s Intelligent Weight Management (IWM) system benefit your health?
Yowza Fitness Sebring – Features Summary
- Commercial Grade 3.0 HP Continuous Duty motor with heavy precision balanced flywheel
- Patented Intelligent Weight Management software and wireless scale
- Full 20″X 55″ multi-ply Running Belt and a 3 speed fan
- Triple phenolic laminated deck is reversible and requires no regular maintenance
- Ergonomically designed console featuring quick start, single touch resistance, speed/incline control; cup holders, hi-fidelity speakers and MP3 jack
Console and entertainment features
The express incline and speed buttons of the Yowza Sebring console are a welcome change to the basic arrow design used on their earlier CardioSure ellipticals, and require less time spent at the console.
This in-turn results in more time spent focussing on the quality of your workout, monitoring important stats on the LED screen, or managing your current fitness program.
Some of the feedback displayed on the screen includes:
- Current workout program
- Number of calories burned
- Incline setting
- Heart rate
- Recommended weight (BMI)
- Current user profile
There’s also a dot matrix display which is used to show how your progress through the current workout, when to switch to a cooldown, and a profile of the resistance and incline settings if you’ve chosen a preset or custom program.
There’s even a useful decal on the console that acts as a quick reference guide to which program each reference relates to. For example, C1 would be your first custom program, while P6 would be the weight loss workout.
You also have some basic controls for accessing IWM, the fitness test, and for saving your user profiles and custom programs.
Although there’s an MP3 connection wire included in the box, you don’t have quite the same level of volume controls on the console as with the Boca or Daytona Plus models.
Heart rate monitoring
Being able to accurately measure your pulse can be important for a number of health reasons, but it’s something you’ll also need to do if you want to use the Heart Rate Control program.
That’s because the incline and speed will be adjusted throughout the workout to keep you close to your target level, which is why the Sebring includes touch sensors as well as wireless chest strap compatibility.
Unfortunately there’s no workout fan to keep you cool while you run, but there are a couple of water bottle holders moulded into the console to help with keeping you hydrated.
Preset and custom workout programs
In order to achieve your fitness goals in the shortest possible timeframe, it’s best to include a wide variety of workout programs in your routine. If you’re simply going through the motions and exerting the same level of effort for the same duration each session, the result will inevitably be muscle adaptation.
If you think about strength training or bodybuilding, athletes are constantly changing their routines with new exercises, new rep ranges, or a change in the amount of weight being used. Sometimes all three factors vary, with advanced training techniques like resistance bands and drop sets being used to keep shocking the muscles to new strength and size gains.
By adopting a similar mindset for your cardio, you’ll reduce the chance that your body will adapt to the stress that you’re placing it under and you’re less likely to experience plateaus in your results. The constant change in workout style can also result in a higher level of motivation for your next session.
This is why Yowza Fitness have designed their 8 preset workout programs around a variety of intensity levels. There’s also 3 custom programs that you can use to create a unique profile of speed and incline settings.
As with their elliptical trainers, the Yowza Sebring treadmill also includes a number of user profiles that can be used to store basic information about the person using the equipment. There are 7 user profiles to choose from, each allowing you to store your gender, age, height, and weight. This information is then used to produce more accurate feedback of your maximum heart rate and number of calories burned.
Quick guide to the Yowza Sebring workout programs:
- P1: Target Time
The first of the goal oriented programs, Target Time allows you to set a target duration for your workout, which will then count down on the display screen. As with the other two target programs, this follows no preset profile of speed and incline settings.
- P2: Target Distance
Similar to the program above, Target Distance lets you set a distance that you want to achieve in either miles or kilometres, based on your choice of feedback setting. The distance chosen will then countdown on the LCD.
- P3: Target Calories
The third target based workout requires you to set a goal for the number of calories burned during your current session. These are the same type of target programs that we saw when reviewing Yowza’s CardioSure ellipticals, and have also proven popular across NordicTrack’s entire fitness equipment collection.
- P4: Incline Interval
This is the first of the preset programs to follow a preset profile of speed and incline settings, where the running deck incline will automatically adjust between a minimum and maximum incline level.
The performance level can also be chosen, which is essentially an scale of increasing intensity that relates to how high these minimum and maximum incline settings are. Unfortunately you can’t adjust the rest and work periods of each interval, with each being given a default duration of 4 minutes.
- P5: Speed Interval
This is similar to the program above, but where the belt speed instead of the incline will automatically adjust between a minimum and maximum setting.
You also a number of performance levels to choose from, ranging from level 1 (1.8mph to 3.0mph) through to level 12 (4.0mph to 7.2mph) to cater for a variety of personal fitness levels. This also makes the Sebring well suited to family environments, where younger children might want to get started with fitness using the lower belt speeds.
- P6: Weight Loss
Another of the preset programs to offer 12 intensity levels, Weight Loss is designed with a less varied profile than most interval programs, designed to keep your heart rate at a more consistent level.
The duration of each interval has also been increased to 5 minutes, with the speed and incline settings both adjusting automatically. If you need to adjust the intensity of an interval during the workout, you can use the console buttons to change the incline or belt speed at any time.
- P7: 5K Self Learning
This is similar to the Target Distance program we mentioned earlier, but allows you to take the number of calories burned and time taken across a fixed distance and compare them with future attempts. This way it acts as a kind of second fitness test, with the 11 mph maximum belt speed supporting running and sprints far better than the entry level Lido model.
- P8: Heart Rate Control
If you want to stay within a specific heart rate range, either as part of a recommendation from a health professional or as part of your fitness routine, this is the program for you.
After setting your target heart rate level and going through an initial warm up phase, the program then automatically adjusts the speed and incline to keep you within your desired range.
- P9-11: Custom Course
Despite having a maximum duration of 60 minutes, the Custom Course workouts are a valuable addition to the Sebring. They allow you to create a unique composition of speed and incline settings that can help you achieve more specific fitness goals than the preset programs alone.
For example, if you want to create a ‘rolling hills’ style workout that switches from periods of high incline and medium belt speed to a level gradient and high belt speed to improve lower body muscle strength and endurance, this can be setup in just a few minutes.
Ease of assembly / maintenance required
The Yowza Sebring treadmill actually requires very little in the way of assembly, which is partly due to the folding design.
Straight out of the box you’ll see that the running deck is already pre-assembled, with the side supports and console folded down to rest on top of the belt.
This means all that’s required is to lift the side supports into place, secure the console support, and attach the safety rails. There are a few other minor steps, such as attaching the handlebar covers and setting the rear adjustment cushions, but that’s pretty much all you need to do.
Despite the simplicity, Yowza have still created a concise list of steps in the user manual, which include exploded diagrams, parts references, and written instructions.
The written instructions were something that was missing from the manuals of their earlier CardioSure ellipticals, and having them certainly makes the process more straightforward.
Transport and storage options
If you’re thinking of buying the Sebring treadmill due to its folding design, you’ll be pleased to know there’s very little effort required.
The manual doesn’t quote any strength pre-requisites like with the NordicTrack SpaceSaver ellipticals (where you have to be able to lift 100 lbs too fold them).
All you need to do is lift the running deck using the handle provided, then lock it in place using a special key. When you’re ready for your next workout, you can simply remove the key and control the deck as it gently lowers to the ground.
If you need to switch locations, the Sebring can also be moved using the transport wheels below when it’s in the folded position.
What’s covered by the warranty?
- Frame: Lifetime
- Motor: Lifetime
- Parts and electronics: 5 years
- In-home labor: 2 years