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2845 Thornhills Avenue Southeast
Grand Rapids, MI, 49546

616-301-5366

Do you want to burn fat & lose weight? Build muscle & get stronger? Crosstrain for running, biking or swimming? Or hike to Machu Picchu? Everything starts with a detailed assessment of your current physical condition. Our system measures your lean muscle mass, body fat, strength levels and other biomarkers. 

Based on the latest exercise science, Koko's proprietary algorithms create a unique strength, cardio & nutrition program precisely tailored to your body and goals.

Our Smartraining equipment leads you through every single workout, pushing you harder with real-time instruction, interactive coaching and performance data.

Koko synchronizes to your body, dynamically modifying the volume and intensity of your workouts as you progress, for maximum results without plateaus.

Every workout is different, never boring. Koko's friendly staff & encouraging community celebrate your milestones, both in-club and online.

Every session is tracked automatically on your own personal, data-rich website. Check in anytime from any of your devices.

 

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Koko FitClub of Grand Rapids, Michigan

Koko FitClub of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Official Blog.

Joining Koko FitClub is the best health and wellness decision I have ever made, period. 

Randall Wysong

"It was the Fall of 2015 when I first walked up the steps to Koko FitClub in Cascade, MI. I had an appointment with Ben. I was apprehensive. I had never 'officially' joined a fitness center. Do I belong here? I wondered.  After an accident in Spring 2011, I had become serious about improving my physical and emotional health. Having retired as a school social worker and registered nurse, I had plans to open a small part-time counseling practice. But first, I needed to visit my son & 2 1/2-year-old grandson in Anchorage, Alaska.  

It was a beautiful crisp Alaska morning-mid April-with snow on the Chugach mountain tops, blue skies, and calm ocean waters.  The three of us were out sight seeing and hiking Beluga Point: a rocky outpost six miles south of Anchorage, along the Seward Highway. Whales are known to like this spot of the Cook Inlet.  Camera ready,  I stood on a large rock ready to capture the best picture ever. Suddenly, that rock gave way underneath me and I fell thirty feet head over heels down a lava rock embankment. I came to rest against a large boulder.  Thankfully, it prevented me from going further. However, my left side was badly injured. I was bleeding profusely from facial lacerations. A totally crushed left shoulder and fractured ribs along with a severely strained left knee completed the picture. My son warned my grandson, "stay here and do not move" at the top of the drop off. I pictured my grandson following his dad to help Grandma and falling himself.

Somehow-with God's grace-I pulled myself up that incline, my son offered his freshly clean t-shirt to help stop the bleeding. He drove me to Providence Hospital, as the area has spotty cell coverage and an ambulance might involve a lengthy wait. I spent 12 hours in the ER and several days at Providence Hospital under expert care. My husband flew from MI and received permission as a physician to take me home, as I required extensive reconstructive surgery on my left shoulder.  I spent nine months in physical therapy and regained my strength. Next up was a left total knee replacement, which required more physical therapy. By the grace of God, I was healing and getting better.  I started walking the neighborhood park and swimming gentle laps in the backyard pool. I lost weight and gained a positive outlook. I felt healed, but not whole.  It was with this backdrop that I said 'hello' to Ben, one of my soon-to-be trainers at Koko FitClub.

I received lots on information, asked a few questions, took the strength test and joined. This decision to join Koko FitClub is the best health and wellness decision I have ever made-period. The Japanese principle of focusing on the individual is what I needed then and what I value today.  Koko is available to me 24/7. I prioritize my time, about an hour each day, to include Koko because I see and feel the results in everything I do.  My competition is my self and my own personal goals and gains. I can track my Smartraining progress on the website anytime I choose. I have learned more about nutrition, breathing with and through exercise, sustaining balance and pacing myself.  With the guidance and encouragement of knowledgeable coaches like Ben, Lexie & Sean, I have come to believe in my own potential. I continue to meet gracious people, other members, who are friendly and supportive. To think that I can do this and can on occasion TOP the leaderboard, is nothing short of a miracle.

 

I am strong, I am confident. I am whole. Thank you Koko."

-Patricia 

 

Fighting Back Against Cancer with Fitness: Koko FitClub Member Spotlight JUNE 3, 2017 / MICHAEL WOOD, CHIEF FITNESS OFFICER

Randall Wysong

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We are getting closer to May 4th and the kickoff to the Koko 5 Million Point Challenge to benefit Relay For Life®.  If you have ever “Relayed” you know that the whole inspiring experience is about honoring and celebrating those who have fought, and continue to fight  cancer.

So, this blog post is one great big celebration of a Florida KokoNut named Terry Best who, in the face of a tough cancer diagnosis, is empowered to fight back with Koko FitClub Coral Springs as his battleground.

Research has shown that for people fighting cancer, exercise can mean a longer life free from cancer.

Besides enhancing overall health, mood and outlook, evidence suggests that exercise actually improves your immune system’s “cancer surveillance,” protecting you against future cancer recurrence. Terry’s story is bound to get you moving, and inspire you to sign up for The Koko 5 Milllion Point Challenge on May 4th benefiting Relay For Life®. (Which just happens to be the day after Terry’s birthday…) Read on!

A Fighter’s Story by Special Guest Blogger, Terry Best

May 3rd, the day before the Koko 5 Million Point Challenge, will be my 65thbirthday.  My wife and I have signed up for 12 and 10 cardio sessions, respectively, for this Relay For Life® event.  Before I retired, I always encouraged my employees to participate in the various Relay For Life® activities that were being held in the area.  I never thought it would mean as much to me as it does now.  I never thought I’d be the one fighting cancer.

Sixteen weeks ago I went to my primary doctor to see why I was so tired all of the time.  I joked with my wife that I probably needed my oil changed maybe had to have some of my fluids topped off.  After all, I am someone who takes good care of himself. (I’m 64 years old; 5’9”; 165 lbs; athletic; never smoked or experimented with drugs; having a drink means a glass of wine; and did I mention handsome? OK, OK, maybe I’m getting a little carried away.)  How could there be anything really wrong with me?  My blood tests were always fine, including my cholesterol that, for years, has been “in range” due to the pill that I take each night.  No cancer (EVER) on either side of my family, so that wasn’t even a consideration.  However, I was tired most of the time – unusually tired.  Well, that was sixteen weeks ago.

One look at my doctor’s face after he performed the always popular DRE exam to check my prostate said it all. I was in a state of shock.  There was no cancer in my family and absolutely no (none, nada, zilch) symptoms. During the next few weeks, it seems that all I did was schedule tests, spend endless hours in waiting rooms, take tests, wait for test results, schedule appointments to discuss test results with the appropriate doctors and then, start all over again. Life certainly had changed.

So, after ultrasounds,MRIs, PET Scans, bone scans and, my favorite, a prostate gland biopsy, the verdict was in:  I have a very aggressive case of prostate cancer.  It has spread from my prostate and is also now in my bones. That is labeled as “Stage 4” cancer. Lucky me – my cancer had no patience for Stage 2 or Stage 3 – it decided that Stage 4 is a much better place to be.  After all, with Stage 4 prostate cancer, it’s too late to operate. So, those smart, insidious cancer cells knew that they would be safe from the surgeon’s knife.

The protocol for my situation is hormone therapy, which deprives the cancer cells of testosterone. Without that fuel source, they die.  Unfortunately, at some time in the future, they will figure another way to thrive and we’ll have to go to Plan B.  Fortunately, with prostate cancer, (words that I never thought I’d use together) there are many other arrows in the quiver to use against it. The key for me, and all other prostate cancer patients, is to stay ahead of the curve and be in the right place at the right time when these new medications are available.

So, what does all of this have to do with Koko FitClub?  As it turns out, more than you’d expect.  When my oncologist told me that the depletion of testosterone will deprive the cancer cells of fuel, he also told me that it will cause me to lose muscle tone, gain weight and make me lethargic.  None of these side effects appealed to me, so I decided to do something about it.  While I’ve always been in decent shape, I’ve never liked the gym scene.  My wife and I used to belong to a health club, but I would head directly to the treadmills and spend all my time sweating and staring at a TV that was tuned to some channel that I would have never, ever chosen myself. (The treadmill must have worked at least a little, as I can proudly say that I was able to complete the Disney Marathon a few years ago.) I had no idea how to use any of the strength equipment and, even if I did, I had no idea what the correct weights, repetitions, sequences, etc. made sense for me.  But, as unappealing as going back into this situation was, when you find out that you have cancer, you tend to put things in perspective. I was going to work out.

As many of us do, I went to the internet to find a solution.  The amount of gyms and health clubs in my area is overwhelming, but they are all basically the same.  Pay your dues and figure out the rest.  They had pools and saunas and juice bars and basketball courts and racquet ball courts and spinning and twirling and preening and flirting and . . . well, you get the idea.  What they didn’t have was something for me.  They didn’t have something for a guy who didn’t need to lose weight, didn’t want to have bulging muscles and didn’t have a clue how to use the machines.  I needed a place that would provide both the roadmap to achieve my goals as well as the equipment/atmosphere that would make me feel comfortable doing so.  Then, I found Koko FitClub.

I met with the owner, Rob, and explained my situation to him.  Having cancer was still new to me and he was one of very few people who I had told about it.  I guess I wasn’t expecting his heartfelt compassion and, more importantly, his sincere desire to help me.  Rob showed me how Koko had various customized programs for a wide range of people with different goals, including (amazingly) mine.  Being able to do my entire strength workouton one machine with a computer screen actually showing me how to do the exercises and adjust to my range of motion and strength variations was a revelation.  Could it be that there actually was a place that met every one of my needs?  And, to top it off, the owner, his staff and the other members of the club had the same mind set as me?  Sign me up!

So, what’s happened in the last sixteen weeks since that “you have a cancer” conversation in the doctor’s office?  Well, my testosterone level is now 0.00.  My PSA level went from more than 22 (2.5 to 4.0 is the target range) to 0.2.  And, my doctors are now using the word “remission.” As I’ve been told my cancer is “treatable but not curable,” “remission” is a wonderful word to hear.

What about the loss of muscle tone and “turning into a dumpling?” When my doctor asked me if I was experiencing any of the side effects that he warned me about – loss of muscle, lethargy, weight gain, etc. – rather than tell him about it, I handed him results I printed from my Koko webpage.  While I had to explain “Q Score” to him, the numbers and graphs of the other results spoke for themselves.

My first Koko workout was on February 4th.  My lean muscle was measured at 137 lbs. (I weighed approximately 167 lbs.) and my eBMI was approximately 17.  My “Q Score” was 58, which was very good for my age group. My lean muscle has INCREASED (remember, I had hoped to just maintain what I had) to 144 lbs. My eBMI remains in the ideal target range at 18.  My strength has INCREASED by 48 percent.  My Q Score is now 88, which is better than the average of any male age group, including those cool young guys in their 20’s and 30’s.  I’ve walked almost 100 miles and have lifted 500,000 lbs. I’ve accomplished all of this without any testosterone and, remarkably, actually enjoyed myself.

My doctor’s reaction was priceless.  Sixteen weeks ago, in this same room, he told me that I had aggressive prostate cancer and, obviously, it was a very serious conversation.  Now, he used the word “remission” and he was smiling from ear to ear (me too!) Having the ability to print out my progress and hand it to my doctor(s) is something that I never thought about when I joined Koko FitClub.  It has turned out to be a terrific way to show them how I’m fighting back.

Fighting back. My treatment – receiving monthly shots in my hip and stomach and taking some pills each day – is relatively passive on my part. It’s up to my body chemistry to react to them.  However, by working out, I feel that I am actually attacking the cancer cells.  Each step, each completed rep, each scoreboard result on the Koko Smartrainer screen is evidence that I’m fighting back.  Koko uses the phrase “Stay Strong.”  That was the perfect reason for me to join.  I would have settled for “Stay Strong.” However, to my surprise, “Get Stronger” is much more applicable to what I’ve been able to achieve.

Terry Best
Certified KokoNut

Michael Wood, CSCS
Chief Fitness Office

About Michael Wood, Chief Fitness Officer
Michael Wood, CSCS, is Chief Fitness Officer at Koko FitClub, driving the development of integrated strength and cardio training and nutrition programs for Koko members nationwide. A nationally acclaimed fitness expert, Michael has conducted research as a Senior Exercise Physiologist at the Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory at the Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, and has lectured at Boston University and the University of Connecticut. He has been named Boston Magazine’s “Best of Boston” Personal Trainer, and made the Men’s Journal “Dream Team” list of the nine best trainers in the U.S. Michael and his family live in North Attleboro, MA.

Getting healthy is the best way to make time for YOU

Randall Wysong

Wood, Michael., 10 May 2017, Retrieved from: "The Stronger Blog"

Sometimes all we need in life, is to stop and take care of ourselves before we can focus on everything else. Whether you are unhappy with who you are, how you look, or how you feel, you should always take the time for yourself.

 

After being home with my kids for nearly 14 years and dedicating myself to their growth, I had put on 34 pounds of weight and dreaded buying new clothes or looking in the mirror.

After going back to work full-time, I began to experience serious prolonged anxiety and depression – overall I didn’t feel very good about myself. I started KoKo merely as an occasional outlet but nothing serious. After being back in the workforce for about 1.5 years, I realized I needed to do a restart. I quit my job and for the next six months, I focused my time on myself for a change.

A big part of that was feeling good about ME and wanting to look in the mirror again. I started a daily routine of working out at Koko to include both cardio and strength followed on bringing back healthy eating for both me and my family.

Six months later, I had dropped 24 pounds and had tons of energy – and best of all built a lifestyle that I wanted to continue. I have kept the weight off – and although I don’t work out everyday any more, Koko has provided me with an easy outlet for reducing stress and anxiety while keeping the weight off.

Going back to work no longer was filled with anxiety; I feel good about myself!

Bonnie
Certified KokoNut

Stay Koko Fit!

Michael Wood, CSCS
Chief Fitness Officer, Koko FitClub

About Michael Wood, Chief Fitness Officer
Michael Wood, CSCS, is Chief Fitness Officer at Koko FitClub, driving the development of integrated strength and cardio training and nutrition programs for Koko members nationwide. A nationally acclaimed fitness expert, Michael has conducted research as a Senior Exercise Physiologist at the Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory at the Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, and has lectured at Boston University and the University of Connecticut. He has been named Boston Magazine’s “Best of Boston” Personal Trainer, and made the Men’s Journal “Dream Team” list of the nine best trainers in the U.S. Michael and his family live in Cape Cod, MA.

The Difference Between Muscle Tissue and Body Fat MAY 8, 2017 / MICHAEL WOOD, CSCS, CHIEF FITNESS OFFICER

Randall Wysong

The body is an amazing organism and is made up of many different elements, including various tissues, bones, organs and fluid. The two that we seem to focus on the most, when it comes to exercise and our health, are muscle and fat. We exercise and monitor our nutritional intake to build one, muscle, while trying to lose the other, fat (also known as adipose tissue).

Click here to view the original article.

Skeletal muscle is the most abundant tissue in the body accounting for approximately 42% and 35% of body weight in men and women respectively. An average male who weighs 185 pounds would have about 78 pounds of lean muscle tissue while a female who weighs 140 pounds has approximately 49 pounds of lean muscle tissue. The remaining body weight, once muscle and fat are accounted for, includes water, mineral, bone and organ weight (the average human heart weighs about 10 oz. while the brain weighs about 3 lbs.). That same average male that where talking about may have, on average, about 25% body fat (or 46 pounds of fat) while that average female may have 30% body fat (or 42 pounds of fat).

One of the amazing things about muscle tissue is that it has the ability through regular, progressive exercise, to increase in size (known as muscle hypertrophy). Donnelly and colleagues have reported that strength training studies (lasting from 8 to 52 weeks) have shown increases of 2.2 to 4.5 pounds of muscle mass. On the other hand, fat tissue typically decreases in size when an exercise prescription is consistently followed. In addition to increasing in size, muscle can also get stronger and with additional training, improvements can be seen in endurance capacity, power output and force production as well.

Fat is stored in the body in the form of triglycerides and also stored in fat cells which are called adipocytes. According to Coyle, about 50,000 to 60,000 calories of energy are stored in fat cells throughout the body. Fat can also be stored within skeletal muscle cells. Protein stores in muscle can account for about 30,000 calories of energy. Muscle tissue can contribute approximately 20% of the body’s total daily energy expenditure compared to 5% for fat tissue.

The photo shows equivalent amounts of both muscle and fat (5 lbs.) but the same amount of muscle, which is more dense, takes up one-third less space compared to fat. Five pounds of muscle and fat may in fact weigh the same but that is where the similarities end. Muscle tissue, pound for pound, requires 3-4 times more calories to maintain compared to fat and is important in the process of energy metabolism. A pound of metabolically active muscle tissue requires 5-7 calories per pound while fat tissue is less metabolically active, needing about 2 calories per pound.

Finally, muscle plays an important role in the aging process. With advancing age we experience a loss of exercise capacity. This is due to first, to a decline in skeletal muscle mass and strength during aging and then a decrease in maximal oxygen uptake mainly due to a drop in maximal heart rate, according to Henning Wackerhage, PhD, a Senior Lecturer in Molecular Exercise Physiology at the University of Aberdeen.

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Michael Wood, CSCS
Chief Fitness Officer, Koko FitClub

About Michael Wood, Chief Fitness Officer
Michael Wood, CSCS, is Chief Fitness Officer at Koko FitClub, driving the development of integrated strength and cardio training and nutrition programs for Koko members nationwide. A nationally acclaimed fitness expert, Michael has conducted research as a Senior Exercise Physiologist at the Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory at the Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, and has lectured at Boston University and the University of Connecticut. He has been named Boston Magazine’s “Best of Boston” Personal Trainer, and made the Men’s Journal “Dream Team” list of the nine best trainers in the U.S. Michael and his family live in Cape Cod, MA.

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References

Marieb, EN and Hoehn, K. (2010). Human Anatomy and Physiology (8th ed.). San Francisco: Benjamin Cummings.

Elia, M. (1999). Organ and Tissue Contribution to Metabolic Weight. Energy Metabolism: Tissue Determinants and Cellular Corollaries. Kinney, J.M., Tucker, H.N., eds. Raven Press. New York.

Donnelly, J.E., Jakicic, J.M., et. al. (2003). Is Resistance Training Effective for Weight Management Evidence-Based Preventive Medicine. 1(1): 21-29.

Wackerhage, H. (2014). Molecules, Aging and Exercise in Molecular Exercise Physiology. Routledge.

Coyle, EF. (1995). Fat metabolism during exercise. Sports Science Exchange, 8(6):59.

Mud Run season is here and more people than ever are using this coaching system to get ready / MICHAEL WOOD, CSCS, CHIEF FITNESS OFFICER

Randall Wysong

Here is a truly remarkable KokoNut! Meet Charles, a 3 time Spartan Race vet who loves to train at Koko!

So last year I decided to cross out a bucket list objective of running a Mud Run before I turned 50 and lost the ability to make it happen.  I trained hard and completed not one but THREE Spartan Races in 2015, earning the coveted Spartan Trifecta!  It was a difficult achievement and a dream come true, but no matter how hard I trained each one seemed to kick my butt a little harder, but I did finished it!

So how do you follow that up when you turn 50?  Well you do it TWICE that’s how!  Here is a pic from the Dallas Beast on Sunday, which completes my first of two 2016 Trifectas.  27 combined miles and 75 combined obstacles later I accomplished half my goal.  What did Koko do to get me there?  It made me FASTER.  I cut considerable time off each of the previous years time’s.  In addition to being faster, Koko made me STRONGER.  Out of 75 obstacles, I only failed 6 in 2016.  Again, that was half the failures of 2015.  Not to mention, I blew through the penalty burpees that almost crippled me in 2015. The CONDITIONING Koko has provided as given me the strength to preserver.  For example after the 2015 Beast, I spent over 24 hours in the bed and did not make it back to the gym for over a week.  This year I got up at 7 a.m. on Sunday and helped a friend move for 11 hours AND I was back in the gym after 2 days!

Will I stop there?  No way!  I have another Spartan race in Alabama on November 19th and two more in Florida on December 10th and 11th for a total of six races in 2016!  That’s KoKo STRONG.  Thank you for ALL you do to keep us all moving forward and achieving our dreams.  When I started KoKo, my doctor told me he wasn’t sure which one, Diabetes or a Heart Attack would take me out first but if I didn’t change my lifestyle I wouldn’t live to see my kids graduate from High School.  Now he pumps me for fitness tips when I have a check up because he “hasn’t seen anything like this before.”  I could not have done it without Koko.  Barbara’s non-stop inspiration and the Monthly Challenges keep me coming back everyday when all I want to do it get a little extra sleep.  I tell everyone 50 is the new 30 

Attached is a picture of me proudly flying my Koko flag at the finish line with my Trifecta Medals.  You are more than welcome to use it or any part of this to help or motivate others.

Thanks for ALL you guys do!

Charles
Certified KokoNut

There you have it.

Stay Koko Fit!

Michael Wood, CSCS
Chief Fitness Officer, Koko FitClub

About Michael Wood, Chief Fitness Officer
Michael Wood, CSCS, is Chief Fitness Officer at Koko FitClub, driving the development of integrated strength and cardio training and nutrition programs for Koko members nationwide. A nationally acclaimed fitness expert, Michael has conducted research as a Senior Exercise Physiologist at the Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory at the Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, and has lectured at Boston University and the University of Connecticut. He has been named Boston Magazine’s “Best of Boston” Personal Trainer, and made the Men’s Journal “Dream Team” list of the nine best trainers in the U.S. Michael and his family live in North Attleboro, MA.

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2845 Thornhills Avenue Southeast
Grand Rapids
Michigan
49546
United States