Sam Farina

Sam Farina


Sam Farina
Owner/Head Coach/Jack of all Trades/Paleo Guru

Who is Sam

Easily inspired, not easily impressed or self-motivated.  Master of sincerity, humility, and visual learning.   Proficient at cleans and back squats, Kettlebell swings, writing/composition and cooking from scratch. Absolutely can’t stand ego-centricity, anything that becomes too mainstream, my crooked toes and Oprah.  Avoider of women devoted to keeping up the Jones’s, Smith’s, Johnson’s, Brown’s and Miller’s. Can’t believe people actually eat at McDonalds! Don’t look good in yellow gold, orangey-red and anything in the tan/beige family. Have a generally short attention span, get bored easily and can be systematically disorganized at times. Addicted to gum, my iPhone, good red wine and flossing. Good at giving people too many chances, sleeping, remembering birthdays and speeding. Bad at math, sizing people up quickly, shaving my legs and following my own advice. Believe in weighing myself every day  (which I know is generally wrong) and God; that you are what you eat, and that vitamins and minerals from supplements aren’t as good as those from food.

Trust in the principles of muscle overload (progressive, intermittent, whatever!), periodization (planned or randomized), functional exercise, and Crossfit.  Afraid of the ocean, extreme heights, roller coasters and the bathroom scale. Intolerant of arrogance, crying babies and people who go to Costco to eat at the sample stations. Currently contemporary, but always a country girl.  Love my sweats and big T-shirts.  Can’t go barefoot, always in socks.  Like to fish.  Dream of living in Japan and Italy, and have a very long bucket list.  In love with my husband, our cat Sumo-too, and cake batter ice cream.  My husband says I suck at taking criticism, (so not true!), am deathly afraid of roaches and am really great at motivating people.  Which is why I love our Rebel Community so much.

My Philosophy

I may have bloomed late in life with many things, but with age and an ongoing personal fight with “the perfect body image”, finally embracing sound nutrition, efficient and effective exercise programming and good health has taught me the values of flexibility…that people who want to change their lifestyle habits and move their lives in a more healthy direction, can’t be forced to fit into a specific mold; that every person is an individual; their personalities are individual, their metabolisms and tolerance for intensity; their habits and lifestyles are as individual as they are.  Someone wishing to make positive lifestyle changes can’t be forced to fit into any one specific diet plan, exercise regimen or health philosophy.  Women, especially, need options, flexibility and someone to understand their preferences, and help them build a healthy lifestyle around those preferences.  You can’t force someone into an Atkins, Keto, Paleo, IIFYM or Weight Watchers mentality, or into a marathoner’s or bodybuilder’s fitness program– but you can take their preferences and mesh them with sound nutrition and physical activity strategies and build their life around and into a healthy form of what they’re already used to. All with a little Tough Love, when necessary. That is why I’ve dedicated virtually all of my free time to learning more and studying metabolism and diet, age and hormonal changes, training responses at different ages…sponging up as much as I can.

I believe in whole foods and basic physical fitness. One would be hard-pressed to challenge the logic (or science) behind these basic philosophies. No flash, no fancy-schmancy schemes – just the basics, resurrected.

My Training Style

I believe in CrossFit…it’s foundations, it’s science, and it’s scalability.  I believe CrossFit is the answer to those who say they don’t exercise because its boring, monotonous or intimidating.  I believe the scalability and progressions of CrossFit make it applicable to anyone and everyone.    Finally, I believe it’s all about showing up…if I can get you here, you’ll do great!  I’m a natural motivator because much of my reward comes from the sense of accomplishment I see in our athletes’ faces when they finally manage to perform a perfect pushup, their first pull up, a PR on a deadlift or beat their last Helen time.  My ultimate goal is to help athletes achieve their goals and feel successful every step of the way.  I believe in high intensity, and at the same time, slow, heavy lifting days.    I’m as excited about training a 1:1 client as I am about coaching a 6:00 pm group doing Fran…both are rewarding.  I believe age is real, but balancing your life with a good training program makes you younger.  At 49 (the date of this edit), I can attest that a 40 + year old body reacts, moves and recovers differently than a 20 or 30 year old body. However, being smart in our training, listening to our bodies…it’s possible to be a Crossfit athlete, a competitor, and a role model at any age.   Lastly, I believe in consistency…without consistency, there is nothing.

Where I’ve Been

Born and raised in a small, midwestern town, I place great value in the simple way I was raised.  My parents were local business owners and my grandparents on my father’s side were local farmers…the type of farm those of us who follow the primal way of eating only wish existed here in the Tampa Bay area.    I have called Florida a home since attending Eckerd College in St. Petersburg in 1987.  Undergraduate studies in the Human Development curriculum yielded a bachelor’s degree in Holistic Health and Wellness.

After dabbling in the outpatient physical therapy and orthopedic settings as a technician on the clinical side, I entered the administrative side of the business, specifically focusing on business development, product and services packaging and promotion, metric analysis and management and overall business policy development.  I grew in the administrations of several national rehabilitation organizations for about 10 years, procuring an MBA along the way.  I settled into a large multi-specialty orthopedic practice with the ultimate position of as Chief Operating Officer, overseeing departments for which I had developed an expertise (therapy & ancillaries, policy oversight, and development), as well as assuming new, unfamiliar projects such as the development, construction, equipping and staffing of an Ambulatory Surgery Center.  It was the ultimate career stop for an eager, hardworking mid-30-year-old.

Then, as many women do, I got married.  Marriage, relationship-building and life planning took precedence over career, and I resigned my aggressive career goals to focus on being a good wife and partner, and to find a passion that hopefully, I could ultimately turn into a more flexible profession. Having a BA in Holistic Health and Wellness isn’t necessarily the starting path for a 12-hour-a-day, paperwork-laden, bureaucratic career, but life does certainly come full circle, as the education I received in Human Development has reared its head again at this, later, phase of my life. And I find it ironic, that it took all this time for me to discover that this area of work is truly where my passion, and surprisingly, my skills lie.

I’ve weight trained all my adult life but got into it seriously in my late 20’s.  With luck, part of my career path put me in the trenches in an orthopedic rehab setting with a little time in the operating room and surgery center observing the more common orthopedic-related surgeries.  That, combined with my personal training certification through the American College of Sports Medicine, my CrossFit training, and having a husband as a consulting physical therapist make me very comfortable training all types – injured, on the mend or fully functional!

Hobbies and Interests

I haven’t had much time for hobbies since the decision to open CrossFit Rebels, but in the perfect world,  I’d read more, find more time to spend with friends and family and travel a bit.  I enjoy high fashion, believe it or not, and my favorite vacations are either adventure- or island vacations.  I love to cook (or you could probably just call it experimentation in the kitchen) and I enjoy fine wine.  My secret wish would probably be to own a working farm someday – although that’s not likely to happen along the coast of Florida!

My husband and I enjoy the theater (Broadway, specifically), the Florida Orchestra, Formula 1 Racing and stealing away to a movie here or there.  But all in all, I can honestly say that our favorite pasttime of CrossFit has now become our passion, and our profession.

My Qualifications, academically and practically

Formal Education
1/14/2008 Certified  Personal Trainer ACSM NCAA accredited
3/26/2008 Master Food & Nutrition Program University of Florida
PC   Ext
40 hours
3/26/1999 M.B.A., Marketing & Advertising, Concentration in Healthcare Marketing LaSalle  University  MBA
5/1991 B.A., Human Development / Holistic Health  and Wellness Eckerd College  BA


Continuing Education & Skill
01/23/2016 USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach Course Richard Lansky 14 contact hours
10/2015 Comprehensive Approach to Aging Confidently: Geriatric Posture, Core & Balance Shari Kalkstein, B.A., PTA, CSCS 6 contact hours
2/2015 2015 Sports Nutrition and Human Performance Conference ISSN 8 contact hours
2/2015 Foam Rolling & Stability Ball Course ISFTA 16 contact hours
6/2014 CrossFit Competitors’s Course Matt Chan, Chris Spealler 16 contact hours
05/2013 Understanding the Gut Brain: Stress, Appetite, Digestion, and Mood Merrily Kuhn, Ph.D. 6 contact hours
02/2013 CF Judges Course CFHQ 1 contact hours
11/2012 CF Kids Certified CFHQ 16 contact hours
11/2012 CF Mobility Certified CFHQ  7 contact hours
9/2012 Treating the Runner: Running Mechanics, Common Injuries, Treatment &Training St. Petersburg College  6.5 contact hours
9/2012 Balanced Bites Paleo Seminar Diane SanFilippo  8 contact hours
4/2012 BioSignature Practitioner Poliquin Strength Institute  40 hours
12/2012 Outlaw Camp Outlaw CrossFit, Rudy Nielsen 20 contact hours
1/2012 CrossFit Gymnastics CFHQ 14 contact hours
5/2010 CrossFit Olympic Weightlifting CFHQ 14 contact hours
5/2012 Designing  Strength Programs: New School Strength Training Steve   Bannert, MA, CSCS 2 credit hours
8/2010 Designing  Practical Programs:  Boot Camp Games   for Adults Guy   Andrews, MA, CSCS*D 2 credit hours
8/2010 Designing Cardio Programs: Extreme Interval Training Guy   Andrews, MA, CSCS*D 2 credit hours
12/12-13/2009 Crossfit Level 1 Certification Seminar CFHQ 14   contact hours
5/14/2009 Childhood Obesity St   Pete College 6   credit hours
3/5/2009 Obesity:   A Scientific Update INR 6 credit hours
11/11/2008 Hormones  & Health Med2000 6 credit hours
3/2008 Master Nutrition Program University   of FL/ PC Extension 40 contact hours20 service hours
8/17/2007 Fat Cells & Disease Med2000 6 credit hours
In   progress: Course:   High Cholesterol Action Plan, Chris Kresser 6  credit hours