The Woodway Curve: A human-powered treadmill

A totally green treadmill. No electricity. All human power.

A totally green treadmill. No electricity. All human power.

At my gym, like most gyms, there’s lots of treadmills and elliptical machines. I like the familiar treadmill. I know how it works, there’s always one available and my workout is predictable and consistent. However, alongside these familiar looking machines, there are a variety of unique options, many of which I have never tried. The Woodway Curve Treadmill was one such machine, so I decided to give it a try.

These treadmills are entirely human-powered. No motor. And as the name would suggest, they are slightly curved. Mainly I just see people running at top speed on them so I was a bit intimidated. I just assumed it was some sort of sprinting machine. But after careful observation, I realized you can actually run at different (ie: slower) speeds, and on top of that, the Curve treadmill claims you can burn up to 30% more calories than a regular treadmill. Intrigued, I decided to give it a shot.

First I noticed that it was really hard not to sprint, so I can see why most people are going at an insane pace on these things. However, once you find the centre of the curve, it’s a lot easier to run at a mid-range pace. I did find it hard to stay consistent though.

I also noticed it was a lot harder than a regular treadmill. After 2.5K, I was beat. Determined, I committed to staying on it for 5K, just to get a good feel for it. I watched incredulously as the calorie counter increased at a rapid rate. At the end of a very challenging 5K, the Curve claimed I had burned a whopping 700 calories. I question the accuracy of this, but I did certainly feel as if I burned more than my usual 300 on an average 5K.

Just for comparison, I then decided to go back to my old friend, the motorized treadmill, and see how it felt. I immediately noticed how much easier it was. My usual pace felt far too slow and I felt like I was on an incredible downhill. I had to raise the elevation so that I felt like I was on level ground and I easily ran at top speed for more than 2K.

The Curve treadmill clearly has some advantages over a regular treadmill. It’s totally green, using no electricity whatsoever. It also makes interval training a little easier, since you control your speed. There’s no buttons to reach for while running and you can reach max pace in just a few strides.

The Curve website boasts a “one-of-a-kind training experience” and it definitely delivered. I don’t think that I could go all Curve, all the time, but it was a nice change and a surprising challenge to my old faithful treadmill.

Have you ever tried a Curve treadmill?


  1. afastpacedlife November 23, 2015 / 8:41 pm

    Wow! I’m super impressed your gym has a Woodway Curve and a little jealous that you have access to it. I’m a BIG fan of Woodways. I’ve heard of their Curve, but haven’t seen one and would love to try it out.

    • Miranda November 24, 2015 / 3:43 am

      I pay a small fortune for a membership every month but in turn, I get access to lots of great machines and classes. I read online that each Woodway Curve costs $6,000!

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