As the upgraded model to their earlier Bonita model, the Yowza Fitness Navarre Elliptical Trainerfeatures a number of major improvements, including a higher weight limit and wider range of preset workout programs.
To help you decide if this represents the best elliptical machine for your own home gym, we wanted to review these features in more detail.
This review also provides you with everything you need to know about its static and telemetry heart rate tracking, stride motion, frame design, and even the coverage offered by the warranty.
Featuring a rear drive, reversible stride motion
If you’ve already been taking a look at other ellipticals in the Yowza Fitness collection, such as the Bonita or Pompano, you might have noticed a major difference in the way the moving handles have been designed.
This is because, together with their Largo model, the Navarre is actually one of their only machines to feature the standard linear moving handle motion.
In contrast, the Bonita, Pompano, and even Sanibel all still provide two sets of handles (moving and stationary), but with their range of motion being focussed around a fixed pivot point behind the console.
While the pivoting Cardio Core motion certainly helps to activate more of your core muscles, it can also require a bit of a steeper learning curve, as it takes time for your body to get used to moving through two such different planes of motion at the same time.
The linear movement of the handles for the Yowza Fitness Navarre instead recruits more of your upper back, shoulder, and arm muscles, together with your legs and calves for an effective full body workout.
If you really want to add variety to the way you train your hamstrings and calves, you can even switch from a forward to a reverse running motion.
This is made possible due to the rear drive Servo Motor setup, which also helps to control the resistance through each of the 16 available levels.
Low impact exercise with Sure-Step ergonomics
You can also take advantage of the Navarre’s Sure-Step pedal design, which is designed to pivot between cushioned support points as it adapts to your ankle movement while running.
Even these seemingly insignificant movements can have a huge impact on your workout performance, as it allows you to distribute your weight more naturally and avoid placing unnecessary strain on your ankles and knee joints.
But there is a slight downside to their design that’s also worth bearing in mind.
The step-on height to a pedal when it’s closest to the ground is 9 inches. There’s no getting around this, as you can’t take advantage of any walk-through frame, or step on from the back like you might with a front driven design.
The inside edge of each pedal is also raised by quite a noticeable amount, which is ideal for ensuring your foot stays on the pedal, but not so great when you’re getting on and off the machine.
If you’re looking for an elliptical trainer for rehab or injury recovery, it might also be worth taking a look at a design like the ProForm 18.0 RE, or our review of the Sole Fitness E95. The ProForm model features a less obstructed step-on design, while the E95 from Sole is a front driven elliptical that has much more space at the back.
Yowza Fitness Navarre Elliptical – Features Summary
- 20″ roller-less elliptical motion that is reversible
- Sure-Fit self-pivoting pedals
- IPod docking station and Hi-Fidelity speakers
- Built in “ramp-less” incline, Smooth and Silent operation
- Blue Backlit display with 10 preset programs
- Wireless heart rate receiver
Stability and transport
In order to achieve your best performance in any workout, it’s important to feel confident in the exercise.
When it comes to elliptical trainers, a large part of this confidence comes from the machine remaining stable at higher inclines and resistance levels.
This is why the Yowza Navarre has inherited another useful design feature from the earlier Bonita model, in the form of base levellers at the rear of the machine.
Although it’s actually quite difficult to lift the heaviest part of the machine up in order to get to them, levelling the machine should only really be something you need to do once, when you’re first getting setup.
The only reason you might need to adjust the height of the levellers on a more regular basis is if you needed to move the elliptical to a different workout space, or if it needs to be moved to a storage area between training sessions.
Fortunately this isn’t a particularly heavy machine to move around, weighing in at 170 lbs. It may sound like a lot, but we’ve actually seen some commercial quality ellipticals weighing in excess of 400 lbs.
That being said, its size and shape would still make this a difficult task, were it not for the transport wheels at the front, and large lifting handle at the back.
The wheels themselves are also much thicker than on some lower priced ellipticals, making it easier to move on a whole range of floor surfaces, including carpet and wooden flooring.
Display console design
If you want to be able to track important feedback about your workout while you’re training, you need to make sure any elliptical you buy features either a backlit or LCD full colour display screen.
This doesn’t tend to be a problem with most machines once you get above the $300 mark, but it’s still definitely something that’s worth bearing in mind.
For the Navarre, Yowza Fitness have opted for the blue backlight option, instead of the full colour display. If the full colour display sounds like a feature you might be interested in, our review of the Precor EFX 835 with its 15″ Personal Viewing System attachment is certainly worth a read.
Unfortunately this is in a slightly higher price category than the Navarre, which tends to be the case for any elliptical with a full colour display and so many interactive options.
The blue backlight still does an excellent job of increasing the contrast between the background and display information, which you’ll appreciate most in low light conditions (morning / evening workouts).
In terms of the feedback metrics you can expect to be tracking, these include your time, distance, current workout program, resistance level, and heart rate.
There’s also a collection of static information at the top of the screen which relates to the current user profile, such as your height, weight, age, and even gender.
To help break up what would otherwise be a screen full of just numbers, Yowza have included a number of readily identifiable icons for things like your gender and heart rate, as well as a dial for your RPM (rotations per minute) and a display matrix that shows the profile for any preset workout you might be following.
Being so close to the Bonita elliptical in terms of price and features, it’s no surprise that the button functions for the Yowza Fitness Navarre are actually identical.
Although this means you’re still without any quick-select resistance control buttons, it does mean that you can learn the various options in a matter of seconds, leaving you more time to listen to your favourite music via the Hi-Fidelity speakers and iPod docking bay while you’re running.
12 Preset workout programs and 9 user profiles
With workout variation being one of the best tactics for preventing muscle adaptation and a possible plateau in your fitness gains, it’s reassuring to find that the Navarre elliptical includes 9 custom workout options, to go with the 12 preset workouts already available.
This does require you to enter some basic information about your body type, such as weight and height. However, all of this information will be remembered next time you turn on the machine, so it’s really only a task that needs to be done once.
Being able to enter this information also increases the accuracy of the calories burned and heart rate feedback, and when entered, allows you to start setting up your first custom workout.
YouTube video showing the Yowza Fitness Navarre Elliptical in action:
Your options are mostly based around goal setting, where you can select a specific number of calories, distance, or time to act as your target.
9 Program profiles:
- P1: Target time program
- P2: Target distance program
- P3: Target calories program
- P4: Random program
- P5: Fat burning program
- P6: Interval program
- P7: Endurance program
- P8: Watt control program
- P9: Target pulse program
Ease of assembly
When the box is first delivered, you might be surprised at how compact and well packaged the Navarre is, occupying considerably less space than many similarly priced machines.
This is mostly due to the fact that Yowza Fitness decided against including any form of glide rails or roller system. Relying purely on the range of motion created by your running, and the path of the flywheel, this manages to save on both space and weight.
Weighing in at some 200 lbs less than competing crosstrainers, the Navarre doesn’t include any parts that require a particularly large amount of heavy lifting.
The majority of the base frame actually arrives already assembled, with the Sure-Fit pivoting foot pedals already attached.
Once the base stabilizers are attached at the front and back of the base frame, this drastically reduces any unwanted sideways movement, which can be a big help if you’re putting this elliptical together on your own.
With these attached, all that remains is to slot the upright console display into place, then secure the side covers and the console itself.
If you’re wondering about the quality of the assembly instructions, we have to say that Yowza Fitness is certainly the most comprehensive we’ve come across in terms of diagrams (exploded and wire), and the extensive parts lists.
Text instructions are also available for the few steps that are required for the setup, with clear parts references and corresponding diagram annotations in case you’re unsure.
Based on the quality of instructions in the user manual and relatively few parts, it shouldn’t take much longer than 40 minutes to get everything ready for your first workout.
What’s covered by the warranty?
- Frame and braking system: Lifetime
- Parts and electronics: 5 years
- Labor: 2 years