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The Skinny on the Woodway Curve


– October 17, 2011; Gloria Mak, Howl Staff

There’s a new treadmill in the University of Toronto Athletic Centre (AC) that looks a bit strange; I’m sure if you’ve visited the fieldhouse there recently it would have immediately caught your eye. The running surface of the treadmill is curved and it seems to be made of slabs of plastic. I remember the first time I spotted this piece of equipment the thought “human hamster wheel” ran through my head. I present to you, dear reader, with the Woodway Curve.

The Woodway Curve. Don't fall off.

The Woodway Curve is designed so that it is human-powered, meaning there is no motor. In addition to that there is also no maximum speed. This is supposed to engage a larger amount of muscle groups that are being used in the process, resulting in the individual burning up to 30 percent more calories than if you used a conventional motorized treadmill. It is also advertised as being friendlier to the environment since it is an extremely durable machine, requires no motor and is completely void of any electrical consumption.

Also, one of the benefits over using the treadmill is that the curve of the running surface is supposed to force you to maintain proper posture during the whole work-out, otherwise you will feel off-balance. In addition, the way it is designed is impeccable for people with knee problems because of the reduced-impact design and padded surface.  The Curve is also very flexible in terms of use. You can use it to train for distance running or speed.

Since I live life on the edge I went ahead and gave the Curve a try.

Trying to walk on it at the beginning was a little strange. I think a lot of people are afraid to try it because they think they will slip right off. Once you find the sweet spot where you feel completely balanced, you really feel it working your calves. When I shifted into my run I started feeling more of a burn in my core, calves and quads. Within two minutes of being on the new treadmill it had me sweating like I was running a marathon through the Sahara. During the whole hour that I was on the Curve I did feel like I was working harder than usual, and I noticed that my back was straight the whole time.

Verdict: I am completely in love with this treadmill. I feel like it might be a treadmill that you either love or hate given that it is so unique. I would definitely recommend that you try it at least once to decide for yourself. I found after about 2 weeks worth of use has helped me gain speed in distance running.

Last but not least, if you’re wondering if the claim of burning 30 percent more calories might be true: it is highly possible, but I feel like the calorie counter on the treadmill might be exaggerating the amount of calories I’m burning. On a regular treadmill for an hour I will burn about 600 calories, whereas on the Curve, I burned 850.

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Discussion

7 thoughts on “The Skinny on the Woodway Curve

  1. I would say that the Curve overestimates calories by at least 100% !!

    It says I can do 600 Cal in 20 minutes while at a HR or 135. That would give me an amazing VO2 and an hourly calorie burn of 1800 Cal at what I perceive as a moderate effort.

    I just found this blog because I was investigating the ridiculous calorie values on the Curve.

    Love it for exercise but . . . how about some honesty on the console?

    Posted by dejswa | May 31, 2016, 11:39 PM
  2. Curve treadmill is one good cardio workout,my fitness level has gone up so much by running for half an hour 3-4 times a week ,I am stronger and have very good stamina on the other machines,just love the curve

    Posted by sebastiano | April 5, 2015, 12:58 PM
  3. I usually work out for one half hour on the elliptical then another half hour on the regular treadmill, using what the machines say is a total or 600 calories. Since our gym got the curve machines in, I walk at 3.9-4.1 speed for one hour,with machine saying I have used 1000 cal. To find out the machine measures higher than calories used, Doesn’t really bother me, because one hour on the curve still burns more calories plus I can tell its a work out. The curve has made a real difference in my leg and rear muscle tone, as well as weight loss in just 3 weeks! LOVE IT !!!

    Posted by r. Kerner | November 4, 2014, 5:00 PM
  4. http://minds.wisconsin.edu/handle/1793/66175

    This study was designed to 1) compare the caloric expenditure values displayed on the Curve’s console to directly measured values, and 2) if there was a significant difference between displayed and measured values, to develop a regression equation to more accurately predict energy expenditure on the Curve. Fifty-five volunteers (27 male and 28 female) walked or ran on the Curve treadmill at four different speeds (between 2-8 mph) for five minutes at each speed. The caloric expenditure values displayed on the Curve’s console were recorded and compared to measured calories using a Jaeger Oxycon portable metabolic analyzer. Across the speeds tested, the Curve console systematically overestimated measured caloric expenditure by 67-117%.

    Posted by Anonymous | July 26, 2014, 7:01 PM
  5. I was fast walking on it for 60 minuts today. Woodway showed i burned 1000 kcal while my band showed 435. I guess in this case 500 would be the right number 🙂

    Posted by Magdalena Radtke | July 16, 2012, 8:09 AM
  6. Hello Wwhowl,
    I was wondering on a similar note,, Insightful page. Thats treasured reading we can all know from. Thankyou
    Nice One!

    Posted by Millard | December 24, 2011, 11:55 PM
  7. Reblogged this on inspiredweightloss.

    Posted by sweetopiagirl | November 27, 2011, 2:34 AM

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