MEET THE TEAM
Armando Cruz, MSPT
Lifestyle Physical Therapist, Legacy Coach, Best Selling Author (Click to Read More About Armando)
Armando Cruz is a connoisseur of experiences, husband, father, adventurer, best selling author, ultra-marathoner, lifestyle physical therapist, and legacy coach.
Armando helps men and women with chronic pain eliminate their pain and finally feel free in their body, in their health, and in their life. Armando and his wife Christian have created a comprehensive and holistic system to create lasting transformation.
He is the creator of the Cleanse & Renewal Program, the Modern Man Virtual Summit, and the R.I.C.H. Man Experience. He is the co-owner of Cruz Country Fitness & Physical Therapy with his wife, Christian.
Armando was born and raised in Miami, FL. He attended Florida International University (FIU) and has a Bachelors of Science degree in Exercise and Sports Science with a focus on Athletic Training. He pursued his education further at FIU and received a Masters of Science degree in Physical Therapy with a focus on orthopedic overuse injuries. He is also a licensed Physical Therapist.
Since 2001 Armando had been helping to train and condition collegiate and high school athletes. During that time he realized that while he loved training athletes he now wanted to focus on sharing the gift of health and fitness with families. In 2005 Armando created Cruz Country Fitness & Physical Therapy to help achieve his mission of helping families live happier and healthier lives through exercise, nutrition, education and mindset.
Armando has established himself as a leader in both the physical therapy industry and the fitness industry. He has established himself as the trainer to the trainers. He continually teaches continuing education credits as a consultant for Equinox gyms in Miami. He has spoken at fitness business seminars to help trainers run their business more effectively and provide their clients with quality service. He has also spoken at physical therapy seminars to help private practice owners grow their business with excellent service that focuses on faster results and bonding with their patients.
Armando is serious about being an example through his actions. He has adopted a holistic lifestyle approach that he shares with his family, friends, clients, and when he speaks at seminars. He believes that your actions do speak louder than words and embraces that daily.
Armando has climbed mountains, run over 50 miles in a day in swamps filled with snakes and alligators, has lived out of his car, and has rollerbladed and surfed in hurricanes but his biggest adventure has been fatherhood.
Armando has been married for 12 years with his wife Christian. They have three beautiful children Mandy, Amelie, and Aiden. Their kids love adventures, spinach, and playing games together as a family.
Christian Cruz MS, EP-C
Chronic Pain Exercise Physiologist & Creator of the Suffering to Unstoppable Pain Elimination System (Click to Read More About Christian)
In her early 20’s, Christian had chronic knee pain for 2 years. Over time, the physical pain turned into mental pain and ultimately into soul pain because she – a competitive cross-country and track runner – had to stop running. She tried various pain-relief methods and nothing worked. As an Exercise Physiologist, she decided to focus her entire career on understanding and eliminating chronic pain. Christian has been pain-free now for over 12 years, she runs regularly and works with clients to help them be not only pain-free, but unstoppable too!
Now, with over 17 years of experience working with clients, Christian Cruz, MS, EP-C is a chronic pain exercise physiologist and is the creator of From Suffering to Unstoppable: The system to understand, eliminate and prevent chronic pain. From Suffering to Unstoppable is a unique and comprehensive system that helps chronic pain sufferers interrupt their pain patterns and achieve a higher level of healing, functionality and living. Her system specializes in helping clients reprogram sensory and neural pathways, release tightness, realign posture, reactivate muscles and re-educate movement mechanics. She takes clients who are currently experiencing pain and works to reduce or eliminate it and creates a customized program to reach their goals of muscle toning, increased strength, flexibility, balance, power, movement efficiency and improved overall health and fitness. Christian’s holistic, comprehensive and natural approach of treating the whole person leads to faster and longer lasting results. She loves to coach and mentor her clients to inspire them to higher living.
Christian and her husband co-created Cruz Country Fitness and Physical Therapy’s Group Experience, a group health and fitness training program that merges principles and practices of physical therapy, exercise physiology and personal training into the only group program of its kind. The Group Experience focuses on safety, support, collaboration and pain-free results. She also co-created with her husband the Cleanse and Renewal Program.
Christian holds a Masters of Science in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology with a concentration in Clinical Exercise Physiology from the University of Florida. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Exercise Physiology and completed double minors in Chemistry and Psychology from the University of Miami. She is a Certified Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine and has specialty certifications in Active Isolated Stretching, Myofascial Release, Soft Tissue Release, and Pre- and Post- Natal Corrective Exercise. She is a Running Coach, a Body Map Coach and a Mind Map Coach. She is also an expert among experts: as a Master Instructor at Equinox Fitness, she trained and taught other personal trainers. She was even voted Teaching Assistant of The Year at The University of Florida for her methodology in weight training, conditioning and jogging. Christian also worked with high-risk cardiac rehab patients to strengthen their hearts at the Baptist Health Cardiac & Vascular Institute.
Christian inspires and teaches audiences about the root causes of chronic pain and the often simple solutions that can alleviate it. She speaks at hospitals, rehab facilities, universities, fitness studios, health conferences, and anywhere people who are interested in health and fitness gather. In addition, Christian hosts educational events at Cruz Country Fitness & Physical Therapy several times a year.
Christian has been married to Armando for over 12 years and together they have 3 children.
Kira Butler LAT, ATC, CSCS
Licensed Athletic Trainer, Exercise Physiologist & Strength Coach (Click to Read More About Kira)
As a young competitive dancer, Kira sustained several injuries such as: groin strains, wrist strains, major bruises, and a fractured foot (dancer’s fracture). With all these injuries, she continued to dance through them because she didn’t want to complain and have to stop dancing. This led her to decide to figure out how to prevent getting injured and how to rehabilitate those with injuries.
Kira doesn't like to have to sit out of activities due to an injury, so she wants to prevent them before they occur, like a hamstring or ankle strains, by strengthening surrounding muscles and teaching proper movement mechanics. Kira thought, "I want to learn all about injuries so I can teach people and help them fix the injuries and answer the why’s, like why did this happen?" She loves researching this for others as it gives her a feeling of accomplishment to be able to help them. When people understand the whys and how’s, they are more likely to follow the given protocol and heal faster. A lot of people have pains, which causes a lack of focus with tasks at work, with family, with friends, etc. They can’t hang out and have fun at social gatherings or perform their activities of daily living. Kira's mission is to change that so that people can participate in the activities that they need to and want to.
Kira has always loved to work out and valued making sure she was doing it right. She believes it is easy to get complacent so she likes to change it up for mental sharpness. Kira loves learning and applying what she learns, especially progressions and regressions of exercises, to personalize her clients' needs. For Kira, prevention of injury is her number one priority so she always focuses on correcting form and improving body mobility. Her long-term goal is to work with student athletes to improve overall fitness and increase sports performance.
Kira is a University of Miami 2019 graduate with a Master of Science in Education degree in Exercise Physiology: Strength and Conditioning. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Athletic Training at Duquesne University in 2018. She is a Licensed Athletic Trainer [LAT] in the state of Florida, a Board Certified Athletic Trainer [ATC], and is a National Strength and Conditioning Association [NSCA] Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist [CSCS]. During her years at Duquesne University, Kira worked at a Chiropractic clinic and assisted patients, young and old, through rehabilitation programs to improve flexibility, balance, and core strength. Improving flexibility and mobility of the body is a core value for Kira and as an Athletic Trainer/Exercise Physiologist, she puts an emphasis on stretching post-workout every session for all the members at Cruz Country Fitness and Physical Therapy.
Michael Griffo LAT, ATC
Licensed Athletic Trainer and Coach (Click to Read More About Mike)
Throughout his life, Mike always knew that sports were going to be a big part of his life. While his goal was to play D3 baseball and possibly football in college, his passion for sports training and competition extended to ice hockey and track as well. It was during his team’s ice hockey championship game his junior year of high school, that his knee starting giving him issues but his commitment to the game, the team and the season kept him playing until the end. A knee dislocation, ligament repair surgery, an inability to bear weight on it for two-months and 10 months of physical therapy pretty much eliminated his chances of playing baseball in college.
Mike realized his dreams had to shift as he accepted his new reality. His time being a physical therapy client inspired him to study athletic training so he could help athletes prevent and rehabilitate from injuries. As a son of two doctors he figured he would then pursue medicine and study orthopedic surgery. During his sophomore year of college, his whole perspective on life shifted, however, as he now mourned the loss of his younger brother.
The thing that truly helped Mike overcome this tragic loss was rediscovering his love and passion for surfing. Since Mike was a young child, the ocean was his happiest place. After Mike had returned from a surf trip after his sophomore year at Miami he made it his goal to combine his knowledge and skills as an athletic trainer and passion for surfing into a career after he graduated rather than become a surgeon.
After graduating from the University of Miami, Mike was able to follow his passion working for a surf company that runs trips in all different parts of the world. Mike spent 3 months in South Africa working as surf instructor and athletic trainer helping anyone on the trip with injuries they suffered and creating training programs to improve their surfing. After returning, Mike then went to Costa Rica where he would spend the next 7 months developing his skills as a surf instructor. He worked with people of all ages and found it extremely rewarding teaching others and sharing his love of surfing and the ocean with others. He loved seeing the joy on a child’s face as they caught their first wave, the accomplishment of an adult working hard to overcome a fear of the ocean, and helping a more experienced surfer improve on their goals.
After working in a non-conventional setting, he realized he wanted to go deeper into exercise programming and so decided to go on to get a masters degree in exercise physiology. He had seen the importance of the strength coaches and athletic trainers working together and realized that the best ones had a background in both fields. His knowledge of surfing helps him work with current older clients because surfing is meditative and you have to be in tune with yourself as well as connect and adapt to the outside world.
Mike’s mission is helping others to return from injury faster and be able to continue doing activity much longer in life. He wants to make sure to provide a thorough and holistic program to help people recover fully, stronger and be able to be back at full capacity without injury or worry of injury.
Mike now works at Cruz Country Fitness and Physical Therapy as an Athletic Trainer. He is also a lifeguard and swim instructor. He is also currently pursuing his Master’s of Education in Exercise Physiology with a focus in Strength and Conditioning at the University of Miami. He has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Athletic Training and a minor in Psychology also from UM. He is also a licensed Athletic Trainer in Florida.
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