Photo courtesy of Benevilla

The Benefitness Adaptive Gym, located at the main campus of the nonprofit Benevilla, opened one year ago with the goal to prove physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle is no longer out of reach for anyone.

What makes this adaptive gym different from other local gyms? Benefitness Adaptive Gym offers an innovative and exciting way to help those in our community with different abilities, special considerations, and on-going clinical needs. The equipment and facilities in the Benefitness Adaptive Gym are specifically designed to meet the needs of people with various physical limitations, including wheelchair accessibility. The equipment has adjustable heights and positions so exercises can be done standing, sitting, or in a walker, and the machines are adaptable for upper or lower body workouts.

In the first year, Benefitness has achieved some amazing milestones. Originally the adaptive gym was scheduled to be open four hours a day. Now, classes have been extended to six hours per day. The gym is open to the public Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Since opening, Director Lorrie Karn and her coaches have run over 1,900 classes. Of those, over 900 of them have been Rock Steady Boxing, for those diagnosed with Parkinson’s or Beneboxing classes for individuals wishing to take boxing-based classes who are not diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

The Benefitness Adaptive Gym is staffed with nationally certified coaches who are disciplined to work with people with different abilities and special considerations. The coaches are knowledgeable about the different modifications and adaptations that may be necessary to help clients reach their fitness goals.

The team of coaches provide specialized group and individual fitness programs and classes helping strengthen those with physical challenges and movement disorders (e.g., Parkinson’s, dementia, MS, and more). Classes and programs are designed for those with early onset diagnoses and those with progressive stages. Their programs help improve participant’s physical efficiencies, mental acuity, strength, balance, agility, and overall wellbeing.

New program additions include one on one training sessions with Smart Glove technology. The Neofect Smart Glove is a high-tech rehab device measuring movements of the forearm, wrist, and fingers with accelerometer and bending sensors. The Smart Glove works interactively through entertaining games and activities to increase hand and arm movement and functionality.

Benefitness has also added a Bio-electrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) tool as part of their member assessment process. This method is used to monitor health by looking at body composition. It measures body fat in relation to lean body mass and is said to be more accurate than BMI testing.

This month, the adaptive gym is adding nutrition coaching as an essential element in the battle against aging. Nutrition coaching aims to provide personalized guidance to help members meet their nutritional needs, manage chronic conditions, maintain a healthy weight, support bone health, boost immune function, and promote overall wellbeing. Nutrition programming greatly supports workout efforts for maximum fitness results.

Benevilla is also excited to offer their Member Assistance Program (MAP) for those needing financial help to join their adaptive gym. Thanks to a grant from Gila River Indian Community, qualifying members can receive financial assistance to participate in any range of services from classes to individual training. So far, 10 members have taken advantage of the program totaling over $11,000 in assistance.

For more information on services, volunteer opportunities, to take a tour, or donate to Benevilla, call 623-584-4999 or visit