A little about me—I love eating and I hate exercise. The further I get into my twenties coupled with the influx of Charleston restaurant openings has done no favors for me. I don’t fall into the ‘overweight’ category, but am casually flirting with those boundaries. I had an on again-off again relationship membership at a traditional gym for a while, but usually opted for group fitness classes over the weight room. I’ve always been intimidated by the muscle-bound men and women that look like they stepped off an NPC Bikini stage knowing exactly which weights to choose and rotating from one machine to the next with ease. I even tried working with a personal trainer once (literally once), but didn’t love being hovered over and having to plan my workouts around someone else’s schedule.
Despite my shaky gym habits, I’ve always liked the idea of getting fit and trust me if there’s been a Groupon, LivingSocial or a one month new member special in town, I’ve tried it. Spin, barre, yoga, I’ve done it all. Some I enjoyed more than others, and while there were aspects of each that enjoyed, I always felt like I wasn’t getting the full body workout I need. I was either getting the sculpting effect without any cardio or cardio with not enough strength. So naturally when I heard Koko Fit Club was offering a 30 days for $30 deal I was all in to try it.
Having recently finished my first 30 days at Koko I was impressed with the variety of exercises and the ease at which I have now settled in to their guided workout regime. For those first 30 days, one of Koko’s FitCoaches guided me through every workout and now I actually feel comfortable walking into the gym and up to a weight machine. But then again, the Koko Smartrainer is hardly an ordinary weight machine— all feature virtual personal training which makes strength training a breeze. Each exercise is prefaced by a video example and explicit instructions on how to adjust the machine, set the weight, and complete the specified number of reps. And the pace bar helps you make sure you’re doing the exercise at the right speed to maximize effectiveness and minimize the chance of injury. The technology also keeps things fresh by regularly introducing new exercises; I can’t say I’ve done the exact same workout twice in my month at KoKo. And if you need assistance, there’s always a Koko FitCoach to assist you. My strength training sessions are more successful than ever thanks to the impressive technology that guides rookies like myself through every workout.
The technology at KoKo translates from the Smartrainer machines to Koko’s cardio equipment and one-of-kind user-interface, where the ellipticals and treadmills feature a wide variety of self-guided fifteen minute workouts that vary based on your skill level—moderate, intermediate or advanced. All of the workouts utilize High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to help you get the most out of your workout in the shortest amount of time. The workouts are set at various locales from around the world. You can climb the steps to the Piazza Michangelo in Venice or hike the South Kaibab Trail at the Grand Canyon. The founder and a few of his trusted fitness friends are there to coach you through each program—directing when to increase speed, incline, and reminding you to breathe and keep your form in check. Honestly, I thought this would be really annoying and I would miss my music, but after trying a few sessions with my phone, I realized I missed the coaching and it actually makes the workout go by quicker. And as a bonus Koko offers free headphones for your use when you inevitably forget your own. Prior to Koko my cardio routine consisted of me plugging into iTunes and hopping an elliptical for 30ish minutes and pedaling at whatever speed my legs were feeling that day. Now I get more effective workout in half the time!
So, for the first time in a long time, I won’t be hopping to some other ‘new member’ trial or Groupon deal in town. Because I’m actually excited to continue on to next program at Koko, customized for my fitness goals. And, Koko technology aggregates all of my workout data and results in the cloud which I can access and review at any time to track my results so I know that I’m making progress.
Check out Koko for yourself at kokocharleston.com, or stop into one of their locations. Be sure to tell them you heard about Koko from Charleston City Paper!
Koko Sweetgrass Corner | 1909-P N Hwy 17, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464 (at the corner of 17 & IOP Connector) | (843) 608-8284
Koko Cigar Factory | 701 E Bay St Suite 103, Charleston, SC 29403 | (843) 608-9874
Stay cool. Support City Paper.
City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.