Tag Archives: strength gain

Returning to Your Workout Routine After Illness or Injury

You’re finally on a roll with regular exercise, thanks to Koko. You feel great and your workout has become part of your daily routine. Then it happens: you get sick, you sustain an injury or you need a medical procedure. You are told by your doctor (who is always telling you to get active) to stop exercising for awhile. Sometimes a long while. Don’t worry. I know firsthand you can come back from it better than ever. You just need to have the right expectations.

Last month, for the second time in three years, I had emergency eye surgery and could not exercise. After one week I was told I could start back with cardio. Great! But, I was still not able to do any strength training. It was two weeks before I was told I could slowly ease back into my strength training sessions.

What happens if you cannot get in your weekly Koko Smartraining workout, or worse, you become sick or have to go on bed rest for a few weeks or more? When your body receives no exercise stimulus, detraining will occur.

detraining | dē-ˈtrān- iŋ: the partial or complete loss of training-induced adaptations in response to cessation of training or a substantial decrease in training load. 

This loss in both strength and aerobic capacity is followed by a decrease in your lean muscle level (LML) and can occur in as quickly as two weeks!

Don’t worry. Life happens. You body is amazingly adaptable and you can get it back to where it was – and then some!

If you’re faced with returning to your Smartraining workouts after a period of two weeks or more of inactivity, just plan to slowly progress back to the level you left off.

Koko Cardio – To start, try and complete a full 15 minute workout, but at a lower intensity than what you could do before your break. Slowly increase the intensity of your exercise over subsequent weeks. If you find that next higher intensity program is too much, back off on my audio suggestions for the incline, speed or resistance (for the elliptical.) You know how to do it!  Also, it may be that 15 minutes is too much to handle at first. It’s ok. Be patient with yourself and your body. It will come back.

Koko Strength – Rarely do I suggest it, but do not try to lift the weight that the Smartrainer initially suggests. It remembers the “you” from before your time off. Instead, you can help it calibrate to your current strength level even if a strength test isn’t scheduled. What I did was to cut my weight in half (or less) for the all my exercises through the first few sessions. The Smartrainer remembers your adjustments for the next time it gives you those exercises. After a week or so, I started to increase my volume of work by doing three extra reps on the sets that felt easy. The Smartrainer understood this to mean, “Michael needs more weight on this exercise” and it automatically adjusted the next time.

It may be frustrating to feel like you’re starting over and difficult to convince yourself to “take it easy.” (You just want to get back to where you were, already!)  Be patient. By slowly letting your body adjust to the specific demands placed on it by both strength training and cardio sessions, you will avoid injury and be back in peak form before you know it and stronger than ever!

Michael Wood, CSCS
Chief Fitness Officer
Koko FitClub

Koko FitClub Franchising

A Strength Training Workout to Obsess Over

Love getting fit at Koko FitClub.

Dearest Koko Pace Bar,

This is a little bit embarrassing for me to admit…I find myself completely mesmerized by you! I literally can’t take my eyes off you. What’s more, I find your opinion of me has changed the way I do things. (That’s a first!) All I want is for you to be green and cheering my performance. Some might call this relationship unhealthy, but I say it’s the opposite! This might just be one of the healthiest relationships in my life. I know you are pacing my repetitions so my muscles get the optimal Time Under Tension. You prevent me from undermining my own success. You set the bar high for my own good and I want nothing more than to measure up to your high expectations!

Forever Yours,

Koko Nut

Do you have a healthy obsession with your Koko Pace Bar?  If you don’t yet, you might once you understand how incredibly effective it is for improving your strength. The captivating Pace Bar is how the Koko Smartrainer controls the amount of time your muscles are resisting weight during a repetition. In the world of exercise science, this is referred to as Time Under Tension. When multiplied by weight lifted and the amount of sets and reps, the resulting total measures the volume of your workout.

So, pace control is an absolutely critical piece of the effective workout equation, but for the independent (non-Koko) exerciser it is, at best, hard to optimize and at worst, totally ignored. One of the challenges to personal pace control includes our natural tendency to undermine our own workouts by doing each rep too fast, allowing momentum to do some or most of the work our muscles should. Thankfully for Koko Nation, the Smartrainer measures your personal range of motion, then customizes and optimizes pace control every rep. All you have to think about is keeping up with the Pace Bar!

If ever there was a relationship to obsess over, it’s the one with your Koko Pace Bar. You’ll be a stronger, healthier person because of it. ♥

Koko FitClub

Koko FitClub Franchising

Does your workout take advantage of the best learning about exercise?

Best learning about exercise built into Koko FitClub workoutsI’m an exercise physiologist by training with a keen interest in keeping up with the very best research. I use it to design your Smartraining workouts! There’s solid science behind the Koko FitClub workouts planned for you each and every visit – so you don’t have to think about it. That’s why you’re here, right?

So, while I generally keep this stuff “behind the curtain,” I spotted a couple studies recently that not only reinforce the Koko Smartraining methodology BUT they have awesome motivational value. (You know my ultimate goal – successfully convince you to keep up with your workout prescription of 3 strength and 4 cardio a week!)

The first study, from the Journal of Obesity1 looked at the effect of high intensity cardiovascular exercise on male body composition. These men did interval training workouts that looked like this: 8 seconds of hard work followed by 12 seconds of light work. This workout was done for 20 minutes, three times a week for 12 weeks. The men in the study showed excellent improvements in aerobic capacity (15% increase,) a reduction in visceral fat (17% decrease) and significant increases in lean muscle level.

Once again, proof that it’s not the quantity of  exercise you do when you’re at Koko FitClub, but the quality of exercise that matters.  And, there’s no reason you won’t see the same type of results by just sticking to your Koko Smartraining exercise prescription.

The second study appeared Archives of Internal Medicine2 using research from the renowned Cooper Clinic and the University of Texas’ Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. The research involved men and women who were tested for fitness at age 50 and then again surveyed about general health a decade later.

What did they learn? “Physical fitness at midlife made healthy aging — long considered a contradiction in terms –a distinct possibility.” The fittest 1/5th in their 50′s had far fewer chronic conditions in their 60′s, ( by more than half,) than the folks in the lowest fitness category.

What does that mean for you? When your Q-score and lean muscle level goes up, or your eBMI goes down, the immediate payout is that you look and feel better right now. Turns out, you are also banking that fitness so you look and feel great for years to come. It’s an investment in healthy aging so you can enjoy your entire life!

All this by meeting your Smartraining exercise prescription of 3 strength and 4 cardio a week. Could it be any easier to take advantage of the best learning about exercise? No way. Now go hit the club!

Michael Wood, CSCS
Chief Fitness Officer
Koko FitClub

Koko FitClub Franchising

1Journal of Obesity link – http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jobes/2012/480467/

2 Archives of Internal Medicine link – http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1352789

Strength Training Improves Flexibility

Koko FitClub keeps you strong AND Flexible

Results of a study conducted at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks fly in the face of many things we thought we knew about stretching, strength training and flexibility. Most of us grew up believing that stretching is THE way to improve flexibility. Something we need to do prior to exercise or other active pursuits to prevent injury and improve performance. In fact, a lot of the old “truths” about stretching have been disproven in recent years. For example, we now know that static, “old school”, style stretching will actually diminish athletic performance. Dynamic warm-ups, like those you are guided through before you begin your Smartraining sessions, are the way to go.

These new findings on flexibility, though, are truly revelatory. They suggest that resistance training, with attention paid to using a full range of motion- as you know a critical element of a Smartraining workout- is as good, if not better at improving and maintaining flexibility than static stretching! Your Koko Smartraining workouts are not only making you stronger, they are also improving your flexibility. Just another reason to Koko. Here’s  the article:


Michael Wood, CSCS
Chief Fitness Officer
Koko FitClub

Koko FitClub Franchising

How Does Your Fitness Measure Up? Get Schooled on the Koko “Q” Score.

Koko FitClub Q Score ChartThe Koko Smartraining System is designed to motivate you to exercise. Motivate you to stick to the program and make fitness a part of your life forever. So, when you’ve put in your workout time and you log in to MyKoko, you see all your hard work quantified right there on the screen- how much weight you’ve lifted on the Smartrainer, how many calories you’ve burned and your total strength gain. You also see your “Q” score. For the uninitiated, it can be a head-scratcher. What the heck is the Koko “Q” score?

The ability to capture data from your strength workout is totally unique to Koko. But collecting data for the sake of collecting data is pointless. Data needs to be put into perspective to give it real power. Motivational power. While part of the Koko data analysis compares “current you” to “past you,” with the “Q” score, we also allow you to compare yourself to others in Koko Nation. The “Q” score is a number derived from an analysis of your strength level relative to your body weight. Once you have that number, you can easily compare how strong and fit you are relative to your friends, spouse, family or the thousands of other people who use Koko to stay healthy. (You can see the latest “Q” score table by logging on to MyKoko - the link is right under your “Q” score.)

There are some truly amazing “Q” scores on the chart. (Yes, those are the “Q” scores of real people.) We have many members with scores twice the average for their age ranges.

Let me know how your “Q” score has progressed since becoming a certified KokoNut. I love being your cheering section! Not a KokoNut yet?  A baseline Health & Fitness Assessment at Koko includes a strength test to start tracking your own strength gain.

Mary Obana
President and Co-Founder
Koko FitClub