KOKO FITCLUBS: Digital Gyms Make Fitness Easy in the Digital Age
Jan 30, 2014 01:31AM
By Kim Childs
Lana Lemeshov, owner of Koko Fit- Clubs, in Brookline and West Roxbury, was looking for her own fitness solution when she stumbled upon a gym and franchise that would change her life in 2010. As a busy computer programming professional, Lemeshov was seeking a personal trainer to help her achieve fitness goals when she walked into a Koko FitClub on Cape Cod and fell in love.
“It felt as if somebody peeked inside my head and removed every single obstacle to working out,” she recalls. “It was such a pleasant place, small and full of friendly staff, with a spa-like atmosphere. The machines didn’t look like medieval torture instruments and I really admired how Koko used technology to help make fitness part of someone’s everyday routine.”
Excited to share what she was experiencing, Lemeshov went on to open her two Boston-area Koko FitClubs in 2012. Since then, she’s introduced more than 800 members to this revolutionary style of fitness. She’s also worked to help people understand and appreciate the concept of a digital gym.
“It’s been a challenge to define Koko because it’s a fundamentally different experience than anything in the history of fitness,” says Lemeshov. “The combination of the words ‘digital’ and ‘gym,’ like ‘online’ and ‘shopping,’ or ‘personal’ and ‘computer,’ took a while to catch on. Automated personal training is close to describing what Koko FitClub is, but it’s really much more.”
Technology has been making its way into the fitness industry via such gadgets as running shoes equipped with microchips and smart phone apps that measure steps and calorie intake. While these items can monitor movement and gather physiological data, says Lemeshov, Koko FitClub takes it a step further by offering a system of technological analysis and guidance to help people to grow stronger, leaner and more physically fit.
“When a member walks in, we identify their goals and analyze their body composition for lean muscle mass and body fat and assess their strength and fitness levels,” Lemeshov explains. “The Koko algorithm then creates a program based on the member’s current fitness level and goals. It’s a personalized plan that includes both fitness and nutrition.”
Koko FitClubs feature Smartraining equipment to lead clients through each workout, providing instruction and coaching while tracking progress and adjusting the volume and intensity of workouts accordingly. “We keep people motivated because each workout is different,” says Lemeshov. “It’s never boring and we celebrate people’s achievements in and out of the club. The biggest challenge for most people is to simply make it through the door, and Koko practically does the rest.”
Clients do best when they allow 30 minutes for strength training two or three times a week and cardio training at least four times a week, Lemeshov reports, and Koko’s high-intensity interval training style requires just 15 minutes a session. Lemeshov maintains that, on average, Koko FitClub members achieve a 19 percent increase in strength in their first eight weeks of training.
“Getting healthy is much easier than people think, and fitness can really be fun at a place like Koko,” she says. “Our on-site Fit Coaches are another important part of the process, creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere and putting a smiling, human face on the technology.”
Koko FitClub is located at 39 Harvard St., Brookline, and 77 Spring St. (Shaw’s Plaza), West Roxbury. For more information, call 617-566-5656 (Brookline), 617-325-4800 (West Roxbury) or visit KokoFitClub.com.