Monthly Archives: February 2010

Freaks, Fanatics and Furry Fellas: A Naturalist’s Guide to Gym Wildlife

crazygymguyAt Koko, we strive to be your fitness oasis. To call your Koko FitClub an “anti-gym” sounds a bit unfriendly, but lets face it: It’s the health club for people who can’t stand the gym scene! Just like a cheesy nightclub, the typical gym has it’s share of colorful characters. You remember them! We have compiled a quick list to jog your memory: Freaks, Fanatics and Furry Fellas: A Naturalist’s Guide to Gym Wildlife. Shall we?

“The Freak”- Our first specimen is a bit of a shape-shifter. Sometimes it’s the gym attire that signals “The Freak.” Jeans and work boots? Legwarmers, and a triumvirate of matching rainbow sweatbands? Congratulations, you’ve spotted “The Freak.” Other times it may the behavior that confirms the positive identification. Does the creature’s warm-up seem to be a hyper-kinetic, uber-kooky modern dance? Is it overly abusive to the gym equipment, making loud aggressive noises and slamming weights together? These are both hallmarks of “the Freak.”

“The Fanatic”- Because they can be so hard to relate to in their devotion to fitness, “The Fanatic,” is often misidentified as “The Freak.” However, they are a distinct species. The first clue that you may have “The Fanatic” in your midst, is that you always see them when you are at the gym. They arrive before you and are still there when you leave. In fact, you wonder if they ever do leave. Often they will pledge allegiance to a specific method of exercise with blind religiosity. Yoga, Spinning, Pilates, Kickboxing, Zumba, it doesn’t matter what it is, “The Fanatic” practices it to the exclusion of all else.

“The Furry Fella” – You might think the name says it all, but positively identifying this species is more nuanced than you might suspect. “The Furry Fella” is certainly furry and a fella, but not all hairy men qualify. “The Furry Fella” is a guy who wants everyone to see his fur, so his favorite gym attire is often a tank top with extra low-cut armholes. It has been theorized by some experts that “The Furry Fella” may not be intentionally leaving his DNA all over the fitness equipment. Instead they believe, since it is against health regulations to go shirtless, the tank provides the best natural cooling when worn over that hot fur coat.

This is by no means a comprehensive guide to gym wildlife, we’re just warming up! You must have examples of your own and we’re dying to read them! (The Gym Rat? Anyone seen him?) Please share with your friends in Koko Nation by using the comment section below…

From Fat Tuesday to Fit Friday: The Newest Koko FitClub Opens Its Doors in Houma, Louisiana!

Mardi_Gras_mask_cateyes_iconAn hour southwest of New Orleans, Houma, in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, is known for putting on a serious Mardi Gras party of its own! I asked Koko FitClub Houma’s co-owners, Paul Baker and Debbie Denova-Baker, if they were trying to make a statement by opening Friday, February 12th, just three days after the beads had settled on Houma’s “Fat Tuesday” celebrations. Denova-Baker admitted that the “Fit Friday” opening in Houma was a coincidence, but a “very timely” one! “Southerners know how to have a good time,” said Denova-Baker. “They can eat, drink and be merry better than anyone in the world. Unfortunately, this lifestyle can lead to bad habits and, in extreme cases, obesity, diabetes and heart disease. With Koko, we hope to help our community enhance the enjoyable lifestyle we’ve all come to love by including health and fitness as part of that lifestyle.”

The Bakers have a personal investment in the community of Houma, it’s their hometown. So, they set out to “break the mold” and bring a new type of health club to Houma. One that would cater to the needs of Houma’s residents. Explains Denova-Baker, in Houma “people have a desire to exercise, but they don’t have the time or they are turned off by the typical gym scene.” From the perspective of their personal training backgrounds, the Bakers believe Koko’s focused 30 minute workout and inviting atmosphere is the perfect solution to help Houma’s residents live healthier lives.

And, just like any proud community, Houma is also personally invested in the Bakers. As Denova-Baker ran down the list of her pre-opening marketing strategies, your usual mix of direct mail, billboards, etcetera, she exclaimed that the hottest marketing campaign is being run by their “hometown ambassadors.” Residents of Houma are buzzing with enthusiasm for Koko FitClub. The “word of mouth has been the best!”

Going to be spending time in Cajun country? Folks in this part of Louisiana are known for their hospitality, so bring along your Koko Key and try out the newest Koko FitClub. The Bakers are at 4734 Highway 311 in Houma. And, spread the word! Debbie and Paul aren’t finished yet. This is just the first of several Koko FitClubs they have slated for area.

Koko Cardio Can Burn Fat in 15 Minutes!

The other day, a member came in to Koko and said his wife told him he needed to do more than 15 minutes of cardio to burn fat. Although we typically avoid meddling in marital disputes of any kind, this couple brings up a good question that many in the industry have debated: How long must you exercise to burn fat. 

Fear not, you can burn fat in 15 minutes and get a great cardio workout, IF that cardio workout is done the right way.

Here are the basics on fat burning. Every minute of every day, your body is burning calories. A set percentage of those calories comes from fat. So, the more calories you burn, the more fat you burn. This is a physiological fact. There is actually no magic amount of exercise that you have to complete in order for your body to switch into “fat burning mode.” (You’re burning it right now!) 

Somehow, though, in the last few decades, long cardio sessions carried out at a steady rate (60% of max heart rate, typically) took hold in the fitness industry as the way to burn fat. Thankfully, for those of us who don’t have hours to hamster-wheel on the treadmill, scientific evidence doesn’t support this approach. (Phew!) Though it’s true your body does burn a higher percentage of fat at this heart rate level, (which is now ubiquitously referred to as “the fat burning zone,”) total fat calories burned is still a simple function of total calories burned and there is a more efficient way to get it done in your cardio workout. Interval training. That’s what Koko Cardio is all about.


Some of the early science that first illuminated the power of interval training came out of Laval University in Quebec. They compared a group of exercisers who rode stationary bikes at a steady rate with a second group who rode stationary bikes alternating 60 to 90 second periods of high intensity sprints with periods of recovery. The first group worked out longer each day, more days each week and for more weeks overall than the second group. Although the first group burned more calories during their workouts, it was the second group who lost more body fat!  Interval training is a more intense workout for your body than steady state training, and your body expends more energy (calories!) to rebuild and restore long after you have left the gym. So, the second group spent less time exercising and burned fewer calories during each workout, but burned more calories overall because their bodies required more energy throughout the day as a result of interval training!


So, by upping the intensity of your workout through interval training it is possible to burn more calories and more fat, while spending less time actively exercising. This is how Koko Cardio delivers an effective, calorie-burning workout in 15 minutes. Koko Cardio programs push you through 60 to 90 second intervals of increased speed and incline to get your heart pumping, followed by similar recovery periods where the incline and speed are reduced. In the short term, a 15 minute Koko Cardio workout will burn as many calories as an average exerciser’s 30 minute trip on a treadmill or elliptical trainer because of the intensity level. But, the real magic happens after the Koko Cardio interval training workout, when your body continues to burn calories (and fat!) long after you have left the club. And, in the long, long term? Koko Cardio will look even more effective 10 years down the road, when you realize you have managed to consistently fit this awesome 15 minute workout into your life for the long haul.


Interested in reading more about fat burning? Fitness for Dummies is “Busting the Great Myths of Fat Burning.”  Good stuff. 

Koko FitClub Hoboken: This Hip City Will Soon Have Littler Hips

Hoboken, New Jersey, that hip city on the Hudson with killer views of Manhattan, just got a little hipper. (If we do say so ourselves.) It is the newest home of Koko FitClub! And, now that the doors are open, we think there will soon be sightings of littler hips among Hoboken’s hip residents.

A huge number of Hoboken’s busy residents live the commuter life, heading across the Hudson and beyond, leaving little time to spare. Thankfully, with Koko, you only Hoboken NJ Mapneed to find 30 minutes for a total body workout. Manager Alison Quinones says it perfectly, “time is precious.” Koko FitClub Hoboken is a “better fit for people who don’t have time to go to the gym.”

Koko FitClub Hoboken’s owner, Michael Ander, sees Hoboken’s tech savvy residents already clicking with the Koko concept. “They get it immediately.” They like that Koko’s use of technology in fitness is “inventive,” “convenient” and “gets results.”  All this cool technology comes in a decidedly warm, upscale environment that Alison describes as “comfortable” and “welcoming,” and nothing like a typical “sweaty gym.” That’s something that residents of Hoboken will appreciate.

Going to be in Hoboken for business or pleasure? Bring along your Koko Key and try out the newest Koko FitClub. Michael and Alison are at the Peachtree Hollow Commerce Center, 1320 Adams Street, Suite B. And, spread the word! This is just the first of several Koko FitClubs slated for the tri state area.

More Love. Less Handles. Koko’s Valentine to You

Happy Valentines Day! We love our Koko FitClub members and don’t want to miss out on this opportunity to say so. We don’t have a box of chocolates or a bottle of Dom to give, but the gift of Koko is even better. It is a gift you give to yourself that keeps the embers of romance glowing. A gift that keeps on giving, if you know what I mean! So give yourself a hug, say “thanks” and read on about the ways Koko is a gift to your love life.
More Love. Less Handles. Sometimes the biggest roadblock to a happy, healthy sex life is poor body image. Nothing kills the mood like the urge to turn off the light or hide under the covers as soon as you are in your birthday suit. (Even though in our brain we know we are loved despite our lumps and bulges and handles!) A stronger, leaner, handle-free Koko body is one to show off. LOVE IT!

Better Circulation. (Ahem.) Koko Cardio and Smartraining are strengthening your cardiovascular system. Your body is more efficient at moving blood and oxygen through your body. In the interest of keeping this a PG-13 blog, I’m not going to spell out why increased blood flow makes things better, but it does.

Endurance. Sex is basically a physical workout, and just like any other workout, your body’s performance is limited by its fitness level. (Feel free to insert your own off color quip here. I’ll wait.) Thankfully, you can be sure that every time you get to your Koko FitClub and hop on Cardio or a Smartrainer, you are building your endurance level for extended physical activities. You can’t say that about time spent in a typical gym, where you are left to navigate the equipment with only the hopes that what you are doing will “work.” Koko is designed for you, your own personal trainer who ensures you get the most out of every “session.”

Hope you enjoyed our spicy affirmations of your hard work. Hubba! Hubba! We are psyched that you love yourself enough to make Koko a part of your life. Remember, that even though it’s a nice topic for Valentine’s Day, More Love.Less Handles and the sexier benefits of Koko, are really year-round things. Just like expressing your love should be. (Make a note of that, people.)