STRENGTH

By strength, we do not just mean developing weaker or potentially atrophied muscle groups. Trainers test the mental fortitude of their athletes by putting them in strenuous situations and observing how they respond to them.

 

Emotional resolve needs to be worked on as well, especially when a athlete arrives at the gym tired, upset, or relentlessly perseverating. But we are quick to identity the strength that is intrinsic in every athlete that keeps showing up to work out. From there, we simply train them to become stronger.

OUR CREW

Mission

At Fitness 4 Focus, we affect change in the lives of individuals with developmental special needs. Our fitness program not only challenges our athletes, physically and mentally, to complete tasks and overcome obstacles, but also instills in them the confidence they need to succeed both in and out of the gym. Through constant exercise, determination, and support, our clients learn how to improve their overall well-being. We believe that the work they do here will lead to better management of daily life skills and a stronger sense of autonomy. The goal of Fitness 4 Focus is to help our athletes achieve their ultimate potential.

 

PURSUE INDEPENDENCE

 

Our Team

All of us here at Fitness 4 Focus share a deeply held conviction: that intensive yet enjoyable physical activity is necessary for individuals with special needs to maintain a healthier and happier lifestyle. Our participants benefit from one-on-one instruction during workout sessions. As trainers, we keep in mind that every individual is different and deserves to be respected. We make sure to give our athletes the attention they need to exercise correctly and the space they need to grow on their own. This is why we design our workout sessions to meet the needs of each individual, enabling them to reach their potential.

Chris Russell

Founder & CEO

Chris is the Founder and CEO of Fitness 4 Focus. After college Chris returned to Central Pennsylvania where he began to work for a local agency as a Therapeutic Staff Support (TSS) from 2003-2012. His primary role as a TSS was to provide intervention strategies in order to assist students in developing daily living, social and cultural skills. In 2005, while playing catch during recess with a client named Tommy, Chris took notice that Tommy had deficits in areas that many take for granted.   Due to Chris' background in physical education and athletics, he immediately began to help Tommy improve in the areas of physical endurance, strength and coordination.  In that moment, an idea was born. Chris began to envision a place where special needs individuals like Tommy could participate in meaningful individualized physical activity.  A place where given the right kind of training they could become physically and mentally stronger, gain more independence, and as a result become happier and healthier. Chris’s new found passion combined with his knowledge and experience led to the creation and now continued success of Fitness 4 Focus.

crussell@fitness4focus.com

Shawn Brown

Fitness Coach/O2 Challenge Chairman

Shawn has been in the fitness industry for over 13 years. His interest in exercise and fitness started while playing high school and college football. It continued to grow as he pursued a career in physical training, eventually becoming a Personal Training Manager for an International Fitness facility.

 

Shawn first learned about F4F four years ago through an athlete's parents. After seeing the impact of coaching an athlete to walk up and down steps, a seemingly simple task, Shawn had to join the team.

 

Seeing an athlete's confidence sky rocket once they were able to jump off or on boxes, or hearing a parent's story about how their kiddo could use the strength and independence they gained to cut through an apple, continues to bring happiness to Shawn's life. He knows that challenging athletes to become even better versions of themselves will make a difference in their lives.

sbrown@fitness4focus.com

Allyson Confer

Head Fitness Coach Hershey/School Group Session Director

Ally is a Hershey, PA native. Growing up, she was involved in many sports, although soccer was her true passion and talent. Her lifestyle emphasis on physical activity led her to Messiah College, where she is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Health and Physical Education and will be graduating in May of 2019.

Ally first took notice to Fitness 4 Focus while attending the Walk for Apraxia in 2015. She was drawn to the enthusiastic love displayed by the employees towards their athletes. F4F was not only a chance for her to work with individuals with special needs through physical fitness, but also one of the greatest and most rewarding opportunities to impact these individuals.

Ally enjoys seeing the physical, mental, and personal growth exhibited by each and every F4F athlete that walks through their doors. Being able to witness and be a part of their progress is one of the (many) reasons Ally enjoys being a part of the F4F crew. Being a part of the F4F family has impacted Ally's personal growth, giving her the opportunity to become a more understanding, empathetic, patient, and accepting human being

aconfer@fitness4focus.com

Chaz Vennie

Fitness Coach

After graduating from Elizabethtown College in 2000 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, Chaz immediately began working with kids with various disabilities. He began in the field of social work as a Therapeutic Staff Support (TSS) serving Dauphin, Cumberland, and Perry counties of Central Pennsylvania. Over the years he has also volunteered/worked with various programs as a respite worker and behavioral consultant for Special Olympics Area M, Easter Seals and Aaron’s Acres.

As a multi-sport athlete growing up, Chaz spent a lot of time enjoying outdoor recreational activities which led to his colligate soccer career and an overall love for coaching. In his spare time he spends time with family and loved ones. 

cvennie@fitness4focus.com

Tammy Patrick

Fitness Coach

Tammy first joined Fitness 4 Focus six years ago part time doing summer camps. After having her first child, she took a few years off.  Fast forward five years, and she is back in the gym part time with quite a few clients. 

 

Tammy’s favorite part of F4F is seeing excitement on her athletes’ faces when they come in, workout, and even when they leave the gym. The enthusiasm athletes get while working with their trainers is priceless.  F4F has changed the way she views workouts. They don’t have to be daunting or super strenuous. They can be fun, simple, and rewarding. 

 

One of Tammy’s clients runs miles daily, and is an inspiration to watch in the gym. As he tackles his exercises, his smile never leaves his face.  This is what motivates her to continue to be a part of F4F along with her athletes'!

tpatrick@fitness4focus.com

Sean Jarman

Fitness Coach

Sean has firsthand experience in supporting those with special needs due to being the twin brother of an individual on the autism spectrum. Outside of the gym Sean likes to read, play the guitar, run, and play pickup soccer or basketball. Sean first recognized his passion for fitness through his high school gym teacher, who made his brutal 90 minute training sessions seem enjoyable by engaging with his students and encouraging them to go beyond their self-imposed limits. Sean hopes to adopt this ethic every time he works with a Fitness 4 Focus athlete. In addition to working as a F4F trainer, Sean is involved with updating our website, editing printed and online information, and expanding the company’s social media presence.

sjarman@fitness4focus.com

Katelyn McKiernan

Head Fitness Coach Mecanicsburg

Katelyn has a Bachelors of Science in Applied Health Science from Messiah College. Go Falcons! She grew up in the Mechanicsburg area and has stayed active within it her whole life. Katelyn played softball and field hockey. Outside of the gym, you can find her spending time with family and friends, spending time outdoors, going for a walk with her dog, exercising, and crafting. Katelyn has a special heart for individuals with special needs. She was a volunteer therapy aid at Leg Up Farm and a buddy at Special Olympics throughout high school. Then in college, she continued to be a buddy at Special Olympics and worked as a camp counselor at Aaron’s Acres, which is where she first found out about F4F.

 

Katelyn became an intern at the F4F Hershey location in the summer of 2016. That fall, she joined the newly opened Mechanicsburg location. She came on board at Fitness 4 Focus because she understands the necessity for exercise for individuals with special needs. She enjoys using her passion to make an impact in their lives.

 

Katelyn loves being able to not only help athletes’ with their fitness goals but with other aspects of their life too. F4F has made her realize that the smallest things can make a big impact in the lives of our athletes and their family. This was a great lesson for her life outside of the gym as well. One athlete that has particularly impressed her started at the gym shortly after the Mechanicsburg location opened. He could only do a small jump - now he is able to jump far and do a box jump. Katelyn can’t wait to see how many boxes he can jump onto.

Kmckiernan@fitness4focus.com

Alec Carriedo

Fitness Coach

Alec has first hand experience helping others with special needs stemming from his 5 years at Aaron's Acres. He loves to help and encourage everyone to both reach their goals and live a healthy lifestyle. Outside of the Gym, Alec loves to run, play drums and spend time with family. Alec’s love for fitness grew during high school track and marching band, both activities took a lot of physical effort and mental strength. Alec tries to use the lessons he learned during his athletic training to both strengthen the Athlesets muscles and their mind’s. Alec is looking forward to working with everyone to accomplish their goals and strengthen themselves.

Please reload

What We Do

Individualized Fitness Coaching

Fit Friends Group Sessions

STRENGTH
COORDINATION
CONFIDENCE
INDEPENDENCE
 

01

STRENGTH

By strength, we do not just mean developing weaker or potentially atrophied muscle groups. Trainers test the mental fortitude of their athletes by putting them in strenuous situations and observing how they respond to them.

 

Emotional resolve needs to be worked on as well, especially when a client arrives at the gym tired, upset, or relentlessly perseverating. But we are quick to identity the strength that is intrinsic in every athlete that keeps showing up to work out. From there, we simply train them to become stronger. 

02

COORDINATION

We cater to a wide variety of people, many of whom suffer from mobility issues and/or need additional guidance to perform exercises correctly. As they become physically stronger, athletes naturally begin to develop their coordination, although it remains a challenging part of their sessions.

The actual act of fitness never gets easy even when one gets good at it; however, our intimate knowledge of physical health gives us insight into how we can make exercise less stressful and more rewarding for those who initially perceive certain tasks as insurmountable.

03

CONFIDENCE

Like everyone else, individuals with special needs innately realize when they have accomplished something. We make sure to reinforce this feeling in them every time they complete a set of exercises by sending them to the list and having them erase a line next to the name of that exercise.

 

Over time, many athletes learn to erase lines on their own before continuing their workout. This is a crucial component of their session. In addition to becoming stronger and more coordinated, they are gaining confidence, an attribute that is key to living a great life.

04

INDEPENDENCE

Through strengthening and becoming more coordinated, our clients become more confident, which then leads to gained independence as an individual. Some of our athletes are able to complete the list on their own without much involvement from the trainer, at which point they may be able to transition to working out at a public gym. We do not want to keep our athletes permanently because we have faith in their ability to become independent athletes, however long that may take.

 

Yet we also realize that independence occurs in small steps, by accomplishing even the least physically demanding of tasks. Like strength, independence is a trait that already exists in our athletes. Fitness 4 Focus works to make them confident enough to know how much they can do on their own.  

Individualized Fitness Coaching

Fit Friends Group Sessions

 STRENGTH 

By strength, we do not just mean developing weaker or potentially atrophied muscle groups. Trainers test the mental fortitude of their athletes by putting them in strenuous situations and observing how they respond to them.

 

Emotional resolve needs to be worked on as well, especially when a client arrives at the gym tired, upset, or relentlessly perseverating. But we are quick to identity the strength that is intrinsic in every athlete that keeps showing up to work out. From there, we simply train them to become stronger.

Chris is the Founder and CEO of Fitness 4 Focus. After college Chris returned to Central Pennsylvania where he began to work for a local agency as a Therapeutic Staff Support (TSS) from 2003-2012. His primary role as a TSS was to provide intervention strategies in order to assist students in developing daily living, social and cultural skills. In 2005, while playing catch during recess with a client named Tommy, Chris took notice that Tommy had deficits in areas that many take for granted.   Due to Chris' background in physical education and athletics, he immediately began to help Tommy improve in the areas of physical endurance, strength and coordination.  

 

In that moment, an idea was born. Chris began to envision a place where special needs individuals like Tommy could participate in meaningful individualized physical activity.  A place where given the right kind of training they could become physically and mentally stronger, gain more independence, and as a result become happier and healthier. Chris’s new found passion combined with his knowledge and experience led to the creation and now continued success of Fitness 4 Focus.

       crussell@fitness4focus.com

Chris is the Founder and CEO of Fitness 4 Focus. After college Chris returned to Central Pennsylvania where he began to work for a local agency as a Therapeutic Staff Support (TSS) from 2003-2012. His primary role as a TSS was to provide intervention strategies in order to assist students in developing daily living, social and cultural skills. In 2005, while playing catch during recess with a client named Tommy, Chris took notice that Tommy had deficits in areas that many take for granted.   Due to Chris' background in physical education and athletics, he immediately began to help Tommy improve in the areas of physical endurance, strength and coordination.  

 

In that moment, an idea was born. Chris began to envision a place where special needs individuals like Tommy could participate in meaningful individualized physical activity.  A place where given the right kind of training they could become physically and mentally stronger, gain more independence, and as a result become happier and healthier. Chris’s new found passion combined with his knowledge and experience led to the creation and now continued success of Fitness 4 Focus.

       crussell@fitness4focus.com

Introduce your team! Click here to add images, text and links, or connect data from your collection.

At Fitness 4 Focus, "They Fit In"

Are physical and emotional wellness connected?
 

Chris Russell of “Fitness 4 Focus” thinks so.
 

“Our name is inspired from our goal of helping all those with developmental disabilities to improve in four specific and related areas: strength, coordination, cognitive abilities and overall wellness,” Russell said. “Our approach is to address these through exercise and related activities.”

The home base of Fitness 4 Focus is currently located at Tim’s Personal Training, 11 East Main St., Hummelstown, although Russell has a dream of someday having his own building.

Fitness 4 Focus is making a difference for those with special needs- CBS Channel 21

DERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- There are plenty of statistics proving the positive affect of exercise on the brain. But for a brain that develops differently, for example, in a person with autism -- exercise is changing their entire life. Well, it's actually the staff at one particular gym that is making a difference.

"To look at Tommy 10 years ago and Ethan three years ago and remember what they were when they came into the door, what they were and where they started and now, it's unbelievable," Chris Russell, President and CEO of Fitness 4 Focus, said.

E. Petersburg gym to offer special workouts for special needs- Lancasteronline.com

During a game of catch at recess one day a decade ago, Chris Russell tossed a ball to 10-year-old Tommy.

"He just let it whiz on by," recalls Russell, a therapeutic trainer.

The lack of reaction by Tommy, a boy with special needs, gave Russell a flash of insight.

Sure, such special-needs kids could use his help in developing cognitive skills.

But their bodies also cry out for the coordination and muscular strength required to do basic activities like bathing and using the toilet — and playing.

Hershey area gym provides personal training and coaching for people with special needs- Pennlive.com

At Chris Russell's gym in Derry Twp. you will find treadmills and medicine balls and individuals doing push-ups and sit-ups just like any other gym. But, you will also find clients learning how to read from a list of exercises and working to improve their anxiety.
 

About a decade ago, Russell who was working as a therapeutic support staff employee at the time, was playing catch with an individual with special needs and noticed that the student had deficits in the areas of physical endurance, strength and coordination. At that time he came up with the idea of a gym for individuals with special needs.

Obstacle race inspires athletes, families, friends- ABC 27

HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) -- For parents of children with special needs, taking part in big events can be daunting.

"I think a lot of us feel isolated, as parents," explains Jennifer Taggart.

Taggart's 12-year-old son, Loren, is nonverbal. He has Autism and Apraxia. But Loren is seeing improvements in his daily living by working out at Fitness 4 Focus.

Fitness 4 Focus opened in 2010. Founder, Chris Russell, has gyms in Hershey, Lancaster, and Mechanicsburg. Every day, he helps athletes with special needs, like Loren, live a more independent lifestyle.

Please reload

NAME HERE

In the lives of individuals with developmental special needs. Our fitness program not only challenges our athletes, physically and mentally, to complete tasks and overcome obstacles, but also instills in them the confidence they need to succeed both in and out of the gym.

NAME HERE

In the lives of individuals with developmental special needs. Our fitness program not only challenges our athletes, physically and mentally, to complete tasks and overcome obstacles, but also instills in them the confidence they need to succeed both in and out of the gym.

NAME HERE

In the lives of individuals with developmental special needs. Our fitness program not only challenges our athletes, physically and mentally, to complete tasks and overcome obstacles, but also instills in them the confidence they need to succeed both in and out of the gym.

Our Partners

 

Contact Us

  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle
  • Twitter - White Circle
  • YouTube - White Circle

Locations

LANCASTER

5941 Main Street

East Petersburg, PA 17502

Phone: 717-508-4015

Hours: 11AM-7PM

HERSHEY

239 West Chocolate Avenue

Hershey, PA 17033

Phone: 717-298-0445

Hours: 11AM-7PM

MECHANICSBURG

5244 Simpson Ferry Road

Mechanicsburg, PA 17050

Phone: 717-516-0536

Hours: 11AM-7PM

 
  • Facebook - Black Circle
  • Instagram - Black Circle
  • Twitter - Black Circle
  • YouTube - Black Circle

Copyright © 2019  Fitness 4 Focus, All rights reserved.