The term functional fitness is defined as one’s ability to optimally combine agility, coordination, flexibility, strength and endurance. Cincinnati Functional Fitness (or CFF for short) focuses on just that. I had the opportunity to train at CFF recently with Tristan Pursley, NSCA- CPT.


Tristan is a true gent. With a military background and a Miami of Ohio education (major bonus points), he’s got a poised, professional way about him. With a strong handshake and superb eye contact, he’s a real class act. When I arrived at CFF, which is off of Ridge Rd., he introduced himself, and walked me around the gym to meet everyone in the room.


Tristan specializes in one-on-one personal training. What really stood out to me about the training session was his extreme attention to form and and his focus on the “building blocks” of functional movement. He didn’t assume that I knew a thing about working out, which I think is really important if it’s the first session with a new trainer. He gave me simple movements, and then once he confirmed my ability to perform the exercises with proper form, he built upon the movement by adding complexity. For example, adding a leg lift with a movement to increase focus on balance, adding weight, or speeding up the pace of the reps.

After he gave me an exercise to execute, he was constantly accessing my form from all angles. He quite literally was doing circles around me and changing his perspective so he could spot any tightness, weakness, or imbalance.


Tristan put me through a full body training session, maxxing out my glutes (a special request I made in the start of the training session– well done, sir), and ending with the versa climber which, holy moly, kicked my a$$. I was sore for days. After an hour of training, Tristan and I sat down to chat more about CFF, and why he does what he does. In short “he likes building bodies”. But, even deeper than that, he believes that “everyone has a responsibility to be the best version of themselves that they can be”, and his passion is to help people achieve that goal.


CFF was opened up in 2005 by Scott and Allison Goodpaster. With Scott’s background in wrestling, they built this gym to superserve competitive wrestlers and athletes. Since then, they have diversified and now train people of all ages and fitness levels – kids all the way up to adults in their 80s and 90s. To quote their website,  “CFF specializes in developing unique programs that ensure you will be functionally fit and add quality to your years”.



I love gyms that you walk into and see all walks of life. It shows that the training is personalized, because as much as I’d like to say that I can train as hard as my 68 year old dad, it just isn’t the case ( 😉 ). I also see a tremendous amount of value in finding a trainer to stick with for life. I have been working out with the same trainer since I was 15 years old. He knows how to (safely) push me to my edge and give me the most effective workout.  The trainers at CFF have impressive credentials and resumes to be considered when shopping for your personal trainer for life.


More into group fitness? CFF offers group bootcamp FIT classes on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Saturdays. I’ve heard a ton of buzz about their Saturday morning workouts and plan on checking it out soon!

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