Legends Functional Fitness

 Fitness Services at Arthritis and Wellness Institute, formerly The Arthritis Research Institute of America (ARIA).

Beginning in March, 2015, Certified Trainers and CrossFit Coaches, led by Owner/Physical Therapist, Ed Farina, offer training services to members of the longest running study of osteoarthritis in the US, conducted by ARIA.  Ed created the “Legends Functional Fitness” program using functional movement principles and focusing on activities of daily living.  We provide a progressive program to stimulate and increase the independence of our senior population.


This is Legends Functional Fitness Program presented by Arthritis and Wellness Institute, and instructed and supervised by your very own Rebel Coaches!

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 it’s 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!

The Legends Functional Fitness Program’s 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.

What does a normal Legends Functional Fitness (LFF) 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.
  3. We work on a movement(s) that helps to increase joint range of motion, build a little strength and endurance, and help build muscle memory for patterns we like to see occur, specifically in range of motion (for example, reaching over head).
  4. 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.
  5. We rest in between these segments of the class.
  6. Everyone works at their own pace and ability level.
  7. 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.

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 “FEEL BETTER” – this one’s the best, right?

Legends Functional Fitness 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 the 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.

In order to participate in this program, interested parties should email us or call us at (727) 253-4971.   The current program runs Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday with classes offered at 9:00am, 10:00am, 11:00am, 12:00pm.

All classes are pre-registered and require an orientation program prior to joining the LFF classes. The orientation program meets three times a week for a week and is an hour each class.  It is designed to orient you to the trainers, the flow and the environment.  It will instruct you on the foundations and give you a great idea of what to expect once you enter the regular program. Your starting fitness level is not a concern at LFF. The 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 CrossFit Rebels!  The main program is offered on site at AWI.  This site accommodates beginner and intermediate athletes.  I accommodates some advanced athletes, too.  We offer an advanced class for those who are deemed ready and choose to move to the CrossFit Rebels gym.  The benefits of this are that we have more equipment so we can offer a greater variety of training.  The loads that can be used are also greater.  Not everyone who is invited to train at Rebels chooses to.  Sometimes the temperatures (it’s not air conditioned) and the environment provide “too much change”, and that’s perfectly fine. We have a training facility for you whichever you choose!



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