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2845 Thornhills Avenue Southeast
Grand Rapids, MI, 49546

616-432-3171

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.

YOU CAN DO IT TOO!

Randall Wysong

JULY 26, 2017 / KYLE DEMARCO, FITNESS LIFE CORRESPONDENT

Having hit the ripe YOUNG age of 75 last March, I started to feel my energy and strength levels slipping a little, despite the fact that I spent 5 hours a week with Pilates and outdoor biking. However, I had no intention of getting myself embroiled in another exercise program

Or so I thought until my wonderful wife, who constantly looks out for me, began pushing me into considering Koko. She had joined after finding out that they could develop a program tailored to her specific needs… and she was loving it.

“C’mon… give it a try,” she said as I rolled my eyes, “Maybe it’ll make you feel more energized.”
“OK, I’ll check it out,” I answered reluctantly, figuring I’ll come up with an excuse later on.

Well, I ended up keeping the appointment, mainly to appease her. Even though I’d been an active singles tennis player up until I injured my back 10 years ago, I was never a lover of pure exercise workouts! Nor was I ever one of those gym rats who worked out at a manly-man, sweat-factory where the smell alone could kill ya.

My Koko appointment day finally arrived and I went to the club with my ho-hum attitude perfectly intact, figuring Koko was going to be another “same old, same old” fitness club. Well it was anything BUT “same old, same old.” In fact even seemed a bit too complex for my simple mind. Digital keys, routines and this unique Koko machine/monitor that can put you through a zillion different weight-training exercises. It was mind-boggling; so mind-boggling that I almost tuned out while listening to one of the trainers, JD, a 6’1” 30-something guy with a perfect-body and more abs than I could count on two hands. Here I am… 75, slightly overweight, no abs…watching this perfect male machine show me around. When he finally asked me what my goal was I said… “to start getting in shape so I could come back in the next life with a body like yours.”

Even though the program seemed beyond the needs of someone who hates pure exercise, I kept hearing my wife’s voice in my ear and continued smiling as JD showed me the ropes.

There was no pressure to join; none of the usual heavy-handed tactics. Plus I liked JD’s easy, non-threatening manner. I figured it was either now or never for me so I plunged in. The program is actually easy to do on your own once you get the hang of it. But for me, I knew that I needed the discipline of a dedicated appointment and one-on-one supervised training in order to achieve success.

THAT was the best decision I ever made.

Not only did I have a an appointment , I had the benefit of working with very caring trainers who understood ME, my muscle groups, my needs, etc. JD and Sue became my lifelines; standing at my side each day and making sure my form , pace and weights were correct….and that my seat and back were in the proper position. They also taught me the benefits of each exercise and each gave me different tips about staying healthy.

One of the unique things about Koko’s exercises programs is that they constantly change so you don’t get into a rut. I also liked the fact that I was able to choose a program that met MY specific needs as a pre-diabetic. Koko is not a one-size-fits-all program. Now here comes part two. In addition to the 30-40 minute weight training session there’s a 15 minute intense cardio session on either a treadmill or elliptical.

My first reaction was: “Are you kidding me? You may have to CARRY me outta here when I’m done.”

It was exhausting at first; even using the most moderate treadmill and elliptical programs. But slowly and surely I found that the weight training gave me MORE energy for accomplishing my cardio goals . It didn’t take me long before I was “off to the races.”

I gave myself small goals at first….listening to my body rather than trying to keep up with audio program. But as time went on I began to keep up with the levels and pace. Last week I actually completed a Tabata program for the full workout. WOW! I felt like “king of the world” when I left the club..

As I look back…
Was Koko a challenge for me in the beginning? Absolutely!
Did I have to drag my a—in there on days when I preferred doing something else? YES!
Did I ever feel like a total idiot trying to remember where to position my hands and feet, how to adjust the seat height and the back pad, and staying focused on my pace? Yup!

But JD and Sue’s encouraging comments made all my self-doubts disappear. I felt accomplished. Am now in my 4th month and I can’t believe that I actually look forward to my KoKo sessions. My energy is back. Am feeling like Superman. The endorphins are exhilarating.

And I’m here to tell the world that 75 IS the new 55. WOO-HOO!

Written By
Ron Kaufman
Certified KokoNut

This Certified KokoNut’s Heartwarming Story Will Motivate You For Life JULY 5, 2017 / MICHAEL WOOD, CSCS, CHIEF FITNESS OFFICER

Randall Wysong

Changing lives is what we do. Hearing about our KokoNut’s successes and life improvements are true testaments of our approach to fitness.

Every once in a while, a member will come to us directly with a story that is so heartfelt, we can’t help but share.

 

My name is Johnathan Hornig and I am a member of Koko Fitclub Long Beach, NY. I wanted to take moment to share a bit of my story along with heart felt gratitude. Over the course of the past few years my life shifted in ways I could never had imagined. I was left with deep and painful emotional scars. As a result to how I was feeling my body took the direct hit. I became extremely uninterested in physical fitness. I was working 60-70 hour weeks as a chef and I simply gave up trying to take care of myself on any level. In December of 2016 my depression grew along with anxiety. The next few months I became a shell of my former self. I was barely working and things became very dark for me. Fortunately, in February 2017 I began working with a great therapeutic team and began addressing my issues which included PTSD. My therapist suggested I begin exercising as a means to reclaim my power and ownership of my body. This is when I found Koko Long Beach.

I had heard of Koko LB over a year and a half ago during a local marketing event however, I simply was no where near being ready to get involved. I can’t begin to reiterate enough how positively impactful Koko Fitclub, the owners, and the staff have been on my life. On day one I truly felt like I walked into a “home” filled with compassion, understanding, nonjudgmental energy, and most of all commitment and respect for what they do. The club itself was stunning and immaculately clean. The programs were so carefully crafted to meet my needs. Each staff member took the time to get to know me and my individual needs. We co~created a plan to accommodate what worked best for me. There was never a feeling of feeling like a number of part of a cookie cutter machine. I dare say the energy was healing a quite magical.

I’d really like to take particular notice of the owners, Pamela & Kim. These are two people have truly “shown up” to make a difference. You can see it in their eyes and you can feel it from their hearts. Their gentleness and compassionate approach to developing a place to allow folks to show up and be who they are is a true gift. Individually they are simply magical beings and as a couple they are nothing short of a powerhouse. Koko Fitclub Long Beach is far more than a business or even a gym. It’s a community where you can show up be well cared for, educated, and even healed.

I know in my heart of hearts Koko has helped save my life. I am an honored Kokonut.
In closing I want to thank you for creating such a dynamic concept and being brave enough to see it through. You have helped change my life beyond belief and for that I thank you.

With gratitude,

Johnathon
Certified KokoNut

We could not be more proud of Johnathan and all that he has accomplished!

Stay Koko Strong!

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 MA.

5 Health Tips for all men who want to live better for longer JUNE 26, 2017 / MICHAEL WOOD, CSCS, CHIEF FITNESS OFFICER

Randall Wysong

It was very difficult to pick just one topic to discuss for Men’s Health Month, so I decided to pick five key things that have been on my mind. These basic health notes are relevant for all the men out there looking to stay fit as they age.

1. If it’s been a while since you have had a full physical then pick up the phone today and call your primary care physicians office and book yourself an appointment. When you’re done have the secretary book you in advance a year from that date. I try to make it each year the same month as my birthday.

It’s good to take care of your body, your mind, and your health. But as you age, your body changes, and not in the way you want it to! Seeing a doctor and assessing your physical health is important to stay in tune with your body and therefore more able to give it exactly what it needs.

2. We like to say at Koko, that muscle is like the fountain of youth, the more you have the better off you’ll be as you age.

You can actually dive a little deeper to see how healthy you are by looking at your blood profile. I have used Inside Tracker, a company founded by scientists from MIT, Harvard and Tufts University to “give you blood-based, science-driven, effective advice on simple changes you can make to optimize your performance and health.”

I really enjoy looking at what is going from a “deeper” perspective and tracking those metrics over time. Inside Tracker also does a great job at suggesting food options if you’re low in specific areas to help you drive those numbers back into a healthy range (think testosterone here guys).

3. Make a foam roller, a pair of tennis balls and a lacrosse ball your best friends. All that pain, stiffness and tightness that you typically experience could be due to restricted fascia. Use the tools mentioned to rollaway some of that residual stiffness pre/post workout.

This helps just temporarily though and to get at the root of the problem speak to a coach and take advantage of applying some pressure to “tight” areas with those tennis balls or lacrosse ball. Have someone show you the right way to accomplish this though or you could do more harm than good. In addition, get more sleep and drink more H2O to help your cause.

4. Work on reducing your body fat levels by 1-2% this month. No, not by doing more cardio. Try 1-2 high intensity interval (HIT) sessions during the month of June.

Separate the HIT sessions with 3 days of active rest. On those active rest days watch your added sugar and do some form of strength training. In regard to added sugar, consume less than 150 calories a day (38 grams) and use the MyFitnessPal app to help you document it.

As for strength training, try using “giant sets” – choose five multi-joint movement exercises, like lunges, squats, deadlifts, chest press and pull-ups, and do each round for a desired number of reps or for a specific time like 30-45 seconds each.

5. Mix it up and take a yoga class. It’s great for your mind/body/spirit. If you don’t want to venture out or pay for it then download the Headspace app and meditate a bit.

Adding these 5 health/fitness tips during the month of June will make you not only more manly but a better friend, brother, dad, and husband. Hopefully, this time next June, a few of these will be part of your regular routine.

 Follow Michael Wood on Instagram by clicking here.

 

Mobility Series 1C: Thoracic Massage. This is a great way to get in and work this area more deeply than #foamrolling would. I’m using two #tennisballs that are duct taped together – you can also put them in a sock and tie-off the end. Place the balls below the last cervical vertebrae (feel for “bump” in the neck). Roll down each thoracic vertebrae slowly taking 30-60 seconds to work the area before moving on. #mobilitywod #mobility #l4l #l4like Performing the movements seen in videos 1A, 1B, and 1C will help to increase your range of motion and improve mobility in an area that is tough to reach.

A post shared by Michael Wood, CSCS (@michaelwoodfitness) on Sep 20, 2016 at 3:44am PDT

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.

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

koko coaching 2017.jpg

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.

Stay Connected with Koko!
2845 Thornhills Avenue Southeast
Grand Rapids
Michigan
49546
United States