Why I Continue to Koko

 

Koko FitClub Chief Fitness Officer, Michael Wood, CSCS

Koko FitClub Chief Fitness Officer, Michael Wood, CSCS

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been Smartraining for over a decade. I have always known the importance of consistent exercise and always enjoyed trying new ways to do just that. Personally, I like Smartraining because it offers more upright, full-body training using multiple muscle groups, working through various planes of motion, just like the movements of everyday life. We all know that moving through life requires us to stand, bend, lift, pull, and sometimes even balance on one-leg, and our workouts should mimic these types of movements and more.

One of the reasons why Smartraining works so well is that it keeps you focused on the quality of what you are doing, over quantity. Where most training and conditioning programs are all about calculating loads and counting reps in a particular session, Smartraining allows you stay focused on moving properly with built-in coaching, while the system does all the thinking and calculating for you.

We all live busy lives, but exercise done right does not need to take a great deal of time. My workouts at Koko have proven that 30-45 minutes, three or four times a week, keeps up my strength level and helps maintain my body composition, even after 10 years of doing it. If I’m looking to lower my body fat level – I look to my Koko Fuel nutrition plan for adjustments to my eating habits, and simply pick up the intensity a bit on my 15-minute cardio sessions.

My goal has always been to do the baseline conditioning work when it comes to Smartraining, and use my newfound strength outside the club to try new activities.

I Koko because I know my body, mind and spirit are always better off with it than without it.

Top 10 Ways to Transform Your Body in 2016

because-a-coach-cared-barbara-1-1024x682

Congratulations. There’s a brand new year ahead of you and, with it, a fresh chance to improve your health and get in shape.

Sounds like last year, right?  And the year before that…and the one before that. So, what makes this year the year you actually follow through on your dream to get in great shape, lose weight, eat right and exercise?

Making the decision is just the first step. The rest is a combination of mental preparation, goal setting and hard work, training your mind – as well as your body – to support fitness success.

If you really want to make 2016 the “best year ever” and make a real transformation – or just lose some weight and build some sculpted lean muscle – here are some action steps to get you there.

  1. Be realistic. There is only one Gisele Bundchen, only one Tom Brady, so don’t try to be them. Let them be inexplicably perfect together. Decide upon goals that are actionable, healthy, and attainable for you.
  2. Commit.  When you decide on a fitness related goal, mentally commit to it. Write it down. Remind yourself often. Decide that you will honor this commitment to yourself – even when you don’t feel like it – because you know it is the right thing to do.
  3. Visualize. Picture what life will be like when achieve your goals. How will getting in shape boost your confidence? Improve your love life? Increase your energy? If being out of shape has been holding you back from enjoying life, imagine how liberating it will be when these doors are open to you.
  4. Choose Your Weapon. Declaring, “I’m going to exercise more!” is noble, but knowing how you will exercise is essential. If you’re not sure what to do, find a gym that can personalize a fitness program for you.  You’ll have much greater success if all you have to worry about is showing up. A coach or trainer can be extremely helpful in planning a program for you and making sure you follow it safely and effectively.
  5. Schedule. How much time can you honestly dedicate to exercise? Choose a workout that fits your schedule, place your workouts on a calendar, and work your schedule around them. This time should be non-negotiable – don’t cancel on yourself.
  6. Fuel Your Workouts. If you exercise but still eat junk food, you are setting yourself up to fail. Proper nutrition is essential to health and fitness success. If you can work with a nutritionist, that’s best. If not, read up on the power of protein and whole foods to nourish your body and build lean muscle.
  7. Don’t sabotage success. Create a personal mantra for those times when the mind tries to sabotage your exercise intentions. Recognize excuses and immediately counter with your catchphrase, “I can! I will!”
  8. Find a friend – 8 out of 10 people set a resolution to get in shape, so it should be easy to find somebody to work out with you.  A study from the Department of Kinesiology at Indiana University found that couples who went to the gym together had a 6.3 percent dropout rate, and those who worked out separately had a whopping 43 percent dropout rate.
  9. Positive Reinforcement.  When things are tough, remind yourself of why you are doing this. Be proud of the changes you are making and remember that this is a series of daily changes and new habits that build over time. Congratulate yourself each day on moving forward.
  10. Keep going! Fitness is a journey, not a final destination. Look to build a lifestyle of health and fitness, and then keep it going.  Introduce new ways to challenge yourself, new ways to exercise, new recipes, new experiences.

You deserve to have the best years of your life ahead, starting with this one. If you’ve tried and failed in the past, don’t go it alone. Find a coach or a support network to keep you on track and working to your maximum potential. Make this your year to finally succeed, and enjoy it.

– Michael Wood, CSCS, Chief Fitness Officer, Koko FitClub


 

Interested in Koko?
Try 30 days of complete fitness and coaching for just $30.


GET 30 DAYS OF FITNESS FOR $30

 

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.

Want to avoid gaining weight this holiday? Start now.

koko-do-not-gain-holiday-weight

The upcoming holiday season, from Thanksgiving to New Year, can be a time to fall into “relax mode” with exercise and diet. Don’t let the excuse of busy schedules,  party hopping, errands or travel be the culprit that gets you off track (and overweight) this year. To avoid weight gain this holiday season,  establish  your pre-holiday routine now by watching your caloric intake and incorporating more movement into each day.

Research shows that, on average, we consume an extra 619 calories a day during the holiday season, which figures out to be about a five-pound weight gain. The average person has the potential to consume over 4500 calories coupled with 200 grams of fat (that equates to 1800 calories from fat) over the course of a typical Thanksgiving day alone!

Unfortunately, it doesn’t get any better a month later when Americans eat, on average, more than 7,000 calories on Christmas Day, according to research by Associated British Foods. That’s more than three times the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recommended daily caloric intake.

If you feel like you are veering off course a bit,  eating too much and not moving enough, try the following tips  to get you back on track:

  • Increase the volume or intensity of your daily workout (both strength and cardio). Not currently exercising? Start!
  • Wear a pedometer and increase your daily steps over the course of the next 30 days. Add an additional 500-1000 steps to your weekly step count.
  • Watch those extra empty calories from soda, juices, alcohol and sugary flavored coffees.  The average person consumes close to an additional 450 calories a day through drinking soda, alcohol and other high-calorie beverages.
  • Avoid alcohol, if possible, and be sure to have a glass of water in between cocktails when you do imbibe. At a party, opt for sparkling seltzer with fruit or a touch of fruit juice to feel festive.
  • Avoid any late-night eating.
  • Start each morning off with 16 ounces of water (add some lemon).
  • Try daily meditation (10-minutes/day with the Headspace app) to remain calm and intent on your goals.

During this holiday season, think of exercise as a way to prevent weight gain. We call this the “Holiday Hold ‘em” – working to maintain your current lean muscle levels and body weight by increasing your activity so that you can enjoy a little holiday indulgence.

If you are looking to lose weight, the key is to increase your activity level above and beyond what you’re currently doing. In addition, be more mindful of your caloric intake, especially later in the day.

So, if you get off on the wrong foot with your Thanksgiving eating this Thursday, have no fear. There is always the next day to get back on track and re-focus, and we are here to help you do just that.

Michael Wood, CSCS
Chief Fitness Officer, Koko FitClub


 

Interested in Koko?
Try 30 days of complete fitness and coaching for just $30.


GET 30 DAYS OF FITNESS FOR $30

 

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.

Age is No Obstacle

koko-fitclub-member-charles-brueck

We love featuring member success stories here on The Stronger Blog, and today’s story is from Charles Brueck of Texas who, at 49, had a strong finish at the Spartan Race obstacle challenge, impressing some younger racers as he blew past them. Below, Charles shares his own “Why I Koko” story. We hope you are as inspired as we are. Stay Koko Strong, Charles!

– Michael Wood, CSCS

This is why I KOKO, by Charles Brueck

My Spartan Race Results:

  • Distance – 9.57 mi
  • Obstacles – 23
  • Time – 2:56:51
  • Overall – 314 out of 2252
  • Males – 264 out of 1490
  • Males Ages 45-50 – 16 out of 85

Waiting to go over the 8’ wall a guy said, “hey I hope you don’t mind me asking but how old are you?  I was just wondering because you just blew by me on the hill back there and you’re a beast.”

I said I’m 49.  He said, “OMG I want to be you when I’m 49.”  It made me feel really good.  Especially considering only 3 years ago I had an extra 100 lbs on me.  I’ve gone from a 44” waist to a 29” and was a borderline diabetic to my most recent physical where I was described as “in amazing shape.”  Was it easy?  No, it took a lot of hard work and discipline but it can be done.  I enjoy my life so much more now and KOKO was a pivotal part of my recovery.

I’ll run the Spartan Sprint at Texas Stadium in June and complete the Spartan Trifecta in October when I run the 15 mile Spartan Beast in Glen Rose.


 

Interested in Koko?
Try 30 days of complete fitness and coaching for just $30.


GET 30 DAYS OF FITNESS FOR $30

 

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.

Don’t Stop Strength Training This Summer

screen-shot-2015-05-19-at-10-49-55-am

Most gym-goers work hard throughout the year, building strength and increasing lean muscle levels with consistent strength training in order to stay youthful, manage weight, and look great.

Yet, far too many of them throw it all away when those lazy days of summer roll around, avoiding the gym in favor of outdoor activities.

Why? Do athletes stop training in the off-season? Of course not. They continue to exercise and eat right so that their bodies maintain the gains they worked so hard to achieve year-round. And that includes regular strength training.

It’s no different with your gym membership and your personal workout habits. As the summer approaches, you may think of yourself as being more “active” outside (a good thing) and may consider freezing your gym membership (a bad thing!). Before you do, you should know this: when you stop strength training, your body can “detrain” in as little as two to three weeks. That means, all those gains you worked so hard to achieve may start to reverse the longer you stay away from your workouts.

Even if you increase your outdoor cardio activity in the summer, it isn’t a replacement for strength training.  By cutting back on strength workouts, you will lose lean muscle and strength, which means you’ll have to work harder to get them back.

To remain in great  summer shape, don’t abandon the gym and your strength training sessions. Continue to enjoy your favorite summertime activities, but to maintain that lean, strong body you’ve worked so hard to achieve, be sure to incorporate just one or two strength sessions into your weekly workout routine. When September rolls around, you can return to more frequent trips to the gym and increase the volume of your training, but you’ll be in much better shape thanks to continued progress over the summer. Your body will thank you for it.


 

Interested in Koko?
Try 30 days of complete fitness and coaching for just $30.


GET 30 DAYS OF FITNESS FOR $30

 

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.