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Legends Functional Fitness

Grandparents warming up with light sled pushes? Heck yea!

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Beginning in March, 2015, Certified PersonalTrainers and CrossFit Coaches, led by Owner/Physical Therapist, Ed Farina, began offering physical training services specifically to seniors 70 and up.   Ed created the “Legends Functional Fitness” program using functional movement principles and focusing on activities of daily living.  Since early 2015, we have been  providing a progressive program that stimulates and increases the independence of our senior population.

We often drop the “Functional Fitness” part of the program’s name and just call it “Legends”, though the functional fitness is always there. Legends just sounds cooler!

The term Legends just seemed appropriate. A Legend….an extremely famous or notorious person, especially in a particular field…anyone who considers taking the best care of themselves and investing in their health and fitness to the level we expect is a legend in our mind. Legends have been around for a while. They’re experienced in life, wise – many times “have seen it all”.

The term “Functional” and “Functional Fitness” is a common and overused term in the fitness industry today, but we honor its true meaning and take it to a whole new level. The Mayo Clinic defines functional fitness exercises as those that train your muscles to work together and prepare them for daily tasks by simulating common movements you might do at home, at work or in sports. While using various muscles in the upper and lower body at the same time, functional fitness exercises also emphasize core stability. This is spot on!

Our Legends Program at CrossFit Rebels’ goal is increased independence, developed as participants build the following:

  • joint, muscle and tendon/ligament mobility,
  • core stability and strength, which results in better posture & balance,
  • strength and mobility in the most commonly atrophied and/or underdeveloped muscles in “older people”: glutes (rear-end) and hamstrings (back of leg) and “back” in general (mid/upper back and low back),
  • stamina and endurance – a little goes a long way – stairs get easier to maneuver and distances needed to travel to seem shorter,
  • community…it just happens; those you exercise with become your partners…your friends.
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                   Yes, this was a Halloween event 🙂

 

What does a normal Legends class look like?

  1. We spend the first few minutes checking in: How is everyone feeling? Any news? Jokes and “antics” typically begin here!
  2. We warm up. Warm ups vary, but they’re designed to get your heart beating a little faster and the blood circulating throughout your body, and loosen you up – make sure we have good range of motion in those joints we’re about to work out. It could include (but not be limited to): rowing, PVC pipe work, and calesthenics.
  3. We work on a movement(s) that helps to increase joint range of motion, build strength and endurance, and help build muscle memory for patterns we like to see occur, specifically in range of motion (for example, reaching overhead).
  4. We work on “lifting”: medicine balls, barbells, dumbbells, and kettle bells.  Light to heavy loads (specific to the individual athlete), low to high reps.
  5. We do a “workout” that is at a little higher speed/intensity than the other parts of the class. You have a task and a goal….it’s almost like game. We may do several short workouts or one longer workout.
  6. We rest in between these segments of the class.
  7. Everyone works at their own pace and ability level.
  8. And…it’s a good time! Everyone participating, including your trainers, look forward to the classes and can’t wait for the next…not what you’d expect from an exercise program.

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The caveat? The results! How many times have you heard of friends and family “working out”…for hours sometimes…and you ask them how they feel or how they’re doing, and they just can’t convey to you any positive results. The fact is: “they’re just going to the gym”. That won’t happen here! Results are reported every day:

  • I don’t “plop” in my chair anymore
  • I can get up out of my chair without assistance
  • I can walk unassisted
  • I don’t worry about not being able to get up off the floor if I fall
  • I can walk longer distances
  • I don’t need a raised toilet seat
  • I don’t have to sell my low furniture because I can get up and down off of it now
  • I can reach higher in my cupboards
  • My posture is better (my daughter told me so)
  • My bloodwork is better! (glucose, cholesterol, CRP)
  • My bone density is improving, even at my age!
  • I can see muscles!
  • I “FEEL BETTER” – this one’s the best, right?

The Legends Program is not just another program for seniors.  In fact, we Googled “Senior Fitness” and were both appalled and frustrated over the laughable exercise programs out there – NOT functional, NOT progressive, and NOT appropriate for people who need their functional independence more than their children and younger friends. Like other programs created by our founder, there’s a special mix of experience, training, personality and passion that goes into the trainers for this program – it’s unparalleled and takes years and years to develop. The “care factor” is off the charts!

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HOW TO PARTICIPATE
Interested parties should email us or call us at (727) 253-4971.   The current program runs Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with classes offered at 9:00 and 10:00 a.m.  We offer an additional day of training on Thursdays at special times for our Legends athletes to focus on slow, sustained cardio…the brain benefits are off the charts!

All classes are pre-registered and require a foundations program prior to joining.   The foundations program meets for three individual hour-long sessions which focus on teaching new athletes the foundational movements we’ll use in the workouts, as well as the program and facility protocols.   It is designed to orient you to the trainers, the flow and the environment.  Your starting fitness level is not a concern for us. Our trainers work with you each individual as an individual.  So please call or email for more information and to schedule your first visit to tour the facility.

The Legends program can also advance seniors to the main CrossFit Rebels workouts!   Athletes who begin with the Legends program and advance in their movements, loads and understanding may have the option to move into the CrossFit WOD – our main line of programming for our facility.  If you’re interested, please ask us about this!

 

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