– 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 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.
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.