Motion is Lotion

In ’53 there was a study that showed British postmen tended to die less from heart attacks and heart failure VS. others who had sedentary jobs, such as mail-sorters. It was studies like this that established the link between activity and disease prevention.

Decades later, it became common knowledge that disease responds strongly to exercise. There’s irrefutable evidence that it lowers blood pressure, stroke rates and heart attack risks – all drop. There’s even strong evidence that suggests exercise is a powerful rival in the battle against heart disease – the number-one killer in the United States.

With the average life expectancy in the U.S. at about 79 years and on the list of longevity, among all nations, we’re ranked #42. It’s time to think about movement and nutrition as preventative medicine.

As a coach, I won’t tell you anything you don’t already know. There’s no silver bullet, but I find almost every person who walks thru the door has missed expectations on how much time it takes and how to get there.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 150 minutes of exercise per week (about 30 minutes over 5 days). Walks, jogs, runs, hitting the stairs at lunch. Although there are best exercises for every goal, whether it’s stress reduction, better skin, a stronger stomach or a healthier heart – for lasting weight loss, movement in conjunction with good eating habits and consistency will always be the staple.

That’s why at Koko, we have an entire system that’s completely customized for you:

Smartrainer™ and Koko X
The most effective strength workouts you’ll ever do.

Koko Cardio
Fully-guided 15-minute HIIT cardio.

Koko Fuel
A fully integrated nutrition solution customized for your activity levels along with dietary support to help you close nutritional gaps.

The right way to measure your results.

All with highly-trained and certified coaches to help you learn how to create new habits, defy age, debunk myths and get results.

No matter your age, no matter your shape and no matter your size, maximize your dosage. We are a place for you. We have a plan for you.

Find a club, get moving and don’t stop.

Nick Konarski
COO, Koko FitClub

Why are so many people unhappy with their bodies today?

I was interested in a report just published by Report Linker who surveyed a representative sample of the U.S. adult population in May 2017.  The survey was related to exercise, how people feel about their bodies and how adults manage their fitness today.

See it here:

The following points were of particular interest:

  • 3 out of 4 respondents said, “having a good shape and looking good are particularly important to them”

  • 73% of respondents said they’ve wanted to change something about their bodies

  • 87% of them said they are “too fat”

There is clearly an overwhelming sense of disatisfaction out there. For the vast majority of the population, this isn’t for lack of trying. These are people who truly have the desire to be fit, they just haven’t found the right solution. They’ve paid for memberships at mainstream gyms time and time again, but without success. We’ve long known that if it was possible to take the proverbial “magic pill” to get in shape, many would. People want that magic solution.

This article does not present any new news, but it undoubtedly reinforces why what we do at Koko FitClub is so important, because there are loads of people who have failed in the mainstream gym world, where they lack direction or guidance.

Wanting to get in shape is half the battle. The other half is knowing how to do it. And that is the biggest problem for the more than 80% of adults who don’t have a gym membership or fitness solution today: they simply haven’t found a place or a plan that works, or that motivates them to stick with it.

They want exercise that makes them feel empowered in a place where they feel welcomed and supported.  A place that sets them up for success and builds habits that stick. A place where they are coached individually to success so they can meet THEIR goals in a way that fits into the reality of their demanding lives. So, it has to be convenient and time efficient — just show up and get a great workout, built exactly for you, without any thinking or planning required.

We built Koko to address these needs. A place for you, with a plan for you.

The vast majority of the population needs far more than a place where there’s equipment. They need the warmth, support and individual focus so they can be coached to success — something that Koko has been designed to provide.  And it works.  There is good news.  Thousands and thousands of people have experienced success at last and have changed the way they feel. You see, there is a magic solution after all.

Stay Koko Strong!

Mary Obana
President & Co-Founder, Koko FitClub

The Difference Between Muscle Tissue and Body Fat

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.

photo-60Skeletal 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.


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.



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.

The Stronger Life Project: Family Wellness Month

Happy May!

May is such a great month – for so many reasons!

First, it represents the end of cold weather – particularly here in the Northeast! – and the emergence of spring and warmth at last.

May is also a special month because it’s when we celebrate Mother’s Day – a time for us to reflect on our moms and how much we love and appreciate them!

May is also Family Wellness Month. And given that, I thought is only appropriate to spend just a few moments sharing what we can do as parents to ensure the wellness of our families.

I can’t tell you how many parents, and moms in particular, who are always so crazy busy; balancing work, the responsibilities to their kids and family – always seems time to themselves is so rare. And, when it come to fitness, they say they don’t have time – because they’re always putting others in front of themselves.

As parents, I know the thing we want more for our kids than anything is their health and happiness. Well the truth is, when it comes to helping our kids have healthy lives, there’s nothing more important that for US to be taking care of ourselves. And here’s why:

Not only does focusing on your health enable you to be there for your families for the long haul, more specifically MODELING healthy behavior, is possibly the greatest gift you can give your children.

Our kids learn more from what they SEE us doing, than what they hear us saying. And when – especially when – you are busy, SHOWING your kids that you put your health first is important. Showing your kids that you can fit exercise and healthy eating in the busiest of lives, SHOWS them how they too can build the life long habits of good health.

So when you are thinking, and wondering next time whether you have time to get that workout in, time that day to take care of yourself, think twice. If you don’t show your family how you do it, and how important it is for you, they will never learn how important it is for them.

I am reminded of a letter I received from a member – how her behavior influenced her family in unexpected and delightful ways. Here it is:

Dear Koko,

I originally became a member with the goal of losing 30 pounds by my 40th birthday. And, yes, that 30 pounds is gone, but what I really want to share with you are the other changes.

I read a perfect analogy in a book recently: life can be related to dominos lined up to fall in perfect succession. The first domino must fall for all the dominos to fall in order.  If you start at the 4th domino, the first 3 still remain.  Koko was that first domino for me.

Slowly my pantry and freezer were less stocked, opting for fresh, organic ingredients, my veggie drawers were filled and fruit took the place of chips.

My daughter’s lunch was packed with bottled water in lieu of the sugary drinks she’d become accustomed to.  And before I knew it, water was all she wanted.

Memorial weekend we went hiking, zip lining, and boating.  Several times during the hike my kids would yell at me – because I was ahead of them – “Koko it up Mom!”  That’s the new, cool thing to say to me.  And my daughter’s friends have said they’re jealous of our “adventurous” family.

Of course there are other dominos falling as well.   My resting heart rate is a wonderful 54bpm, down from 83.  My blood pressure is a cool 110/62.  My pants are smaller, and even my watch is in desperate need of sizing.  It’s crazy!

If Koko wasn’t a part of my life absolutely none of this would have happened and I couldn’t be more excited about where my life is right now.

It all starts with that first domino, and I want to thank you so very much from my family and myself, for truly making a workout that does just boil down to my showing up and doing it and enabling me to be an example for my family.
I’ll spend the next year looking ahead, but will occasionally look back and reflect on all the domino’s that have fallen and will always see that Koko was the beginning of it all.

Thank you so much!

So when we think about our lives, and the dominos we set in motion for our family – start with the first one…that is with YOU. With you manging your health wisely. Modeling what great decisions look like – for food and fitness; modeling great healthy habits… this won’t just serve you, but will serve your children, and in turn their children, for generations and generations.

This month I salute all of you – for showing your kids and family how to live a healthy life. And finally – last but not least – a huge shout out to all the mothers out there. A very Happy Mother’s Day to you!

Mary Obana
President & Co-Founder, Koko FitClub