When it comes to working out, I’ve done it all. Traditional gyms, personal trainers, P90X, you name it, I’ve tried it. And I’ve found that I like the flexibility of a gym but the one-on-one attention that comes with working with a personal trainer. Most importantly, I like having a program designed for me so I don’t have to think about what I need to do in order to achieve my fitness goals. So I decided to try Koko FitClub, a gym concept new to the Charleston area, with locations in Mt. Pleasant and Downtown Charleston, which combines technology with individualized coaching to provide an alternative fitness program for the digital age.
My experience up until now with “30 for 30” has been with the award-winning ESPN documentary series. Koko’s version of 30 for 30 is an equally eye-opening introductory 30 days of training for only $30. The best part of the deal is you get a personalized introduction to all that Koko has to offer from their Smartrainer ™ system and virtual cardio training machines to the X-Room, which features dual cable cross machines and battle ropes. The individualized attention to your plan and goals made it one of the best trial periods I’ve experienced in any industry, fitness or otherwise. This is crucial since their approach is very different from other fitness studios and gyms. As they say in their marketing materials “if you don’t love Koko in thirty days, we don’t deserve you as a client.”
Koko claims that 90 percent of people who join traditional gyms never receive coaching or help with their workouts, which is what led the Koko founders to reinvent the workout experience. They were tired of wandering aimlessly around a gym with no guidance and didn’t particularly love group workouts. My personal experience has been similar — my best results came when I worked with a trainer or had an individualized program put together for me to follow. And working with a personal trainer is great, but it’s expensive, especially if you’re looking to work out at least three times a week. I love having someone put together a workout plan for me (and holding me accountable) but I find that scheduling can be difficult, particularly if my work gets in the way of my workout. The Koko experience offers efficient guided workouts that are easy to work into a busy schedule, since members can access the club between 5 a.m. – 12 a.m. 7-days/week, or schedule appointments with a trainer during ‘staffed’ hours.
Koko promotes itself as a “digital gym” and the technology on display is easily its most impressive feature. The virtual training machines walk you through each exercise in your workout through an interactive touch screen that monitors your intensity, workload and pace. And the guided, interval hiking and climbing cardio workouts on the treadmills and elliptical trainers feature audio coaching to help keep you motivated through your workouts that are set in various locales around the world. And all of progress is stored on your personal “Koko Key” — a thumb drive that stores all of your workout data, body composition information and the progress made with your personalized program. It is overall a very slick and data-driven setup that feels like a workout made for the 21st century.
I always found it easy to go to the gym and wander aimlessly trying to figure out what exercises to do. And while I loved working one-on-one with a trainer, my bank account couldn’t keep pace. What appeals about Koko FitClub is that it’s different and disruptive. The use of technology paired with flexibility to work within a customized, guided program on your own or one-on-one with a trainer is a refreshing model. After your initial 30-day introductory period, you can choose from various packages designed with your specific goals and budget in mind. Thirty days in, I’m convinced that the tech-driven approach at Koko Fit Club is the future of fitness. I’m well on my way to becoming a “Koko Nut” — an avid fan of their smarter way to get fit.
Check out Koko for yourself at kokocharleston.com, or stop into one of their locations. Be sure 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