Got Goga? New fitness exercise tool catches on in Lakewood Ranch

nwilliams@bradenton.comNovember 3, 2012 

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Three weeks ago, Anne Boyle of Sarasota was experiencing unbearable pain in her neck and back. At 66, Boyle has a slipped disc in her neck and back. The only remedy was pain medication.

That was until Boyle was introduced to Goga Studios of Lakewood Ranch.

"When I came here, I was so surprised -- it didn't hurt anymore," she said.

Goga, which stands for Get On Get Active, is not a gym or a weight loss clinic. Instead, members stand in whole body vibration machines, which generate involuntary muscle contractions. In 10 minutes, a member can have up to 3,000 contractions, the equivalent of an hour impact workout, said Frank DeStasio, co-owner of the Goga Studios of Lakewood Ranch.

"It activates 90 percent of your muscles," DeStasio said. "Within five weeks, people are noticing weight loss and higher energy."

Developed to rehabilitate Russian astronauts in the 1970s, the vibration machines massage muscles, increase blood flow and users can exercise all parts of the body, including abdomen and quadriceps, while standing, sitting or planking on the machines. In just a year, the product has spawned roughly 40 locations in the

United States and machines are available for purchase, starting at $799.

DeStasio, who shares ownership with his wife, Jan, said the studio is not an alternative to traditional workouts, but serves as a supplement for those with physical limitations or who struggle to meet expectations at the gym.

The average session is about 25 minutes and users burn about 500 calories in that span.

The session includes infrared sauna, water ionizer and using Himalayan salt lamps that emit negative ions.

DeStasio said the machines can be used by anyone older than 12. Since opening a location in Lakewood Ranch in early October, the studio has grown to 90 members.

"It's convenient," DeStasio said. "You don't have to put on gym clothes or break a sweat."

Nick Williams, East Manatee reporter, can be reached at 941-748-0411 ext. 7049. Twitter:@_1NickWilliams.

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