Benevilla Benefitness Adaptive Gym Celebrates 1 Year Anniversary

August 17, 2023

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 4 hours a day. Now, classes have been extended to 6 hours per day. The gym is open to the public Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 pm. Since opening, the Director, Lorrie Karn and her coaches have run over 1900 classes and 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.

“With the weekly stories of our members’ physical and self-confidence transformations it is no surprise our enrollment has now risen to over 150” says Director Lorrie Karn. “We recently removed our café space to expand our fitness area to accommodate larger group training and expanded classes.”

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. Lorrie Karn, the Director of Benefitness, and her 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.

We are consistently advancing our offering of specialized services (in addition to classes) to help improve the quality of life for our members and improve their strength, balance and agility, which in turn improves their abilities to perform routine tasks of daily life” says Benevilla President and CEO Joanne Thomson.

New program additions include 1 on 1 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 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 $11K in assistance.

“We are so excited to provide adaptive fitness in the Northwest Valley for those in the community facing various health challenges” states Lorrie. “The overall goal of the Benefitness Adaptive Gym goes beyond just improving an individuals’ physical abilities to providing a safe and supportive environment where people with different physical abilities can work towards their nutrition and wellbeing goals as well and rebuild a healthy and active lifestyle.”

Back in March, Benefitness was highlighted in Channel 12 TV segment on Arizona Midday. For more information about our adaptive gym membership programs or would like to take a free tour of Benefitness, please call 623-584-0065.

Established in 1981, Benevilla is a not-for-profit family services agency dedicated to enriching the lives of West Valley residents by providing care services for older adults, adults with disabilities, children, and families. For more information on services, volunteer opportunities, to take a tour or donate to Benevilla, call 623-584-4999 or visit