Koko FitClub is not one of those musclehead gyms - it's actually quite the opposite, which is why owner Lana Lemeshov decided to open two of the gyms in the area.
opened on April 2 and had already found a client base before the doors opened.
"I’ve been a member of every single gym in Boston," said Lemeshov, "(there) was always something that didn’t work for me. I always found a reason why - it wasn’t a convenient location, or hours." Some gyms were too much of socialization spots, and others didn't feel right for assorted reasons. She added she spent a lot of money on gyms through the years, often hardly using the facilities she had paid to utilize. Nonetheless, Lemeshov, a mother of one, who works at MIT, knew she needed to exercise to stay healthy.
When she found a Koko FitClub that was it for her - a life moment she will never forget. Lemeshov, from Brookline, ended up buying an exclusive franchise territory of Koko FitClub, and a Brookline location will be open soon.
What Lemeshov liked was she was able to get a personalized workout that changes everytime she comes in and she doesn't need to be with a personal trainer while doing her workout. The gym is open from 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day, with staff hours between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
"(Koko FitClub is for) people who don’t have time to workout at a gym, or can’t fit hours of gym, or don’t have the financial ability to hire a personal trainer, or don’t know what to do," said Lemeshov, originally from Russia, but has lived in the Parkway area since 1989 with her daughter. "Koko is a fusion of technology and fitness, combined together. It walks you through every step on your fitness level and fitness goals."
The workout is based upon your height, current fitness level, as the computer at the workout stations process data of all of your workouts to create your workouts. You can choose several things as your personal fitness goals, such as toning muscles, losing weight and more, so the workout is custom to you. Your data is saved on a flashdrive that you bring to your 30-minute workout and plug into the Koko Smart Trainer. It then tells you what exercise to do, how many reps and leads your workout, kind of like how a personal trainer instructs.
Lemeshov said the "coolest part" of the Smart Trainer is that it controls your pace. "It’s important for people to not use momentum... to build lean muscle mass... there need to be tension. It controls your pace. It’s like a video game. It basically forces you to use resistance and doesn’t allow you to let go."
Lemeshov said she wanted to bring Koko to West Roxbury because it's where she started her American life. "This is where I first landed and it has a close knit feel to the community. You meet people, shake hands, and participate in events. If you make an effort to be a part of the community then you will be a part of it, I want to be part of this close knit community."
And she has, by donating silent auction items to the recent Holy Name Boys Scouts Pasta Dinner fundraiser night; sponsoring the Taste of West Roxbury, and Dedham's James Joyce Rumble 10K Road Race.
Lemeshov also likes the changing face of the Plaza.
"I love it. I love it. People asked why I selected the plaza. I fell in love with the location beecause of the neighboring businesses. I love having and having , and the . I see it as a Wellness Plaza. It’s all concentrated together. We offer a lot of options for people who are health conscious. There are people who love Get in Shape for Women and probably won’t like Koko FitClub. More options the better.
"Koko is like running errands, everyone can fit 30 minutes into their life," added Lemeshov.