may be a fairly new fitness location in Hillsborough, but owner and head trainer Hillarie Z. Scannelli is no newcomer to the industry.
Scannelli, a former professional USFL cheerleader and national fitness competitor who has been featured on ESPN, has over 25 certifications and a wealth of experience working with professional and elite athletes and opened !MPACT Training on Feb. 1.
Scannelli started her own, home-based fitness business, Fitness by Hillarie, and ran it out of her basement in Union from 2000 until recently.
“She said we need to open up a place and that our basement was really tiny,” Scannelli’s husband, Michael, said. “Lo and behold, she opened up here. We came right over here and found this space.”
Hillarie decided it was necessary to expand after the demand for her personal training services began to exceed not only her available space, but the time she had to train clients.
“You hate to ever say to someone, ‘I’m so sorry. I’m booked solid and just don’t have any time,’ " Hillarie said, “especially somebody who has a health condition and really needs to lose some weight.”
The Scannellis hope !MPACT Training can help their clients do just that. The center offers nutritional planning and counseling under the philosophy that food should be treated and consumed as fuel. The assistance doesn’t stop at weight loss, though; the goal of !MPACT is to help clients accomplish any other fitness goals they may have. !MPACT clients can reach those goals by training in a variety of ways, including one-on-one, semi-private, partner and group training.
Another area of training where !MPACT specializes is “Boot Camp” training, which typically sees group sizes between eight and 20 people. Both Hillarie and Michael are now certified in boot camp training in an effort to train more clients.
Whatever methods they use, Scannelli hopes that each !MPACT client can begin to prioritize fitness and take the best care of their bodies possible.
“I just want to bring awareness (to fitness). We’re all busy; we’ve all got things going in our lives,” Scannelli said. “Fitness, nutrition and making time for yourself—if we prioritized, we could squeeze it in. It’s just a matter of getting people to think outside of the box.”
“In reality, you’ve got one body. You better treat it world-class, or you’re going to wind up at the doctor,” she continued. “I’m really trying hard to reach a big audience to teach them how to take better care of themselves.”
This “out-of-the-box” mentality is why !MPACT prides itself on not being an everyday, bodybuilder’s gym. While weights and machines can be found at !MPACT training, a majority of the training the center provides is of the functional variety.
Michael stated that this is especially key for athletes, who seem to be gravitating toward a more functional style of training, as opposed to traditional weight training, over time.
“No matter what sport you play, you have to be able to move east and west as much as you’re going north or south,” he said. “We don’t consider ourselves a gym; we consider ourselves a fitness facility. It’s all about the training; you can’t just come in off the street and start pumping iron.”
Hillarie seemed to agree wholeheartedly, expressing that athletic, functional training can also fulfill a key role in motivating people to succeed.
“Everybody should train like an athlete; not because somebody that’s 55 is going to be going into some football game or a wrestling match, but because, If you’re training like an athlete, there’s a reason why you’re doing it,” she said. “They’re driven; they just push themselves harder.”
No matter how they can motivate people, the Scannellis are happy to bring their energy and enthusiasm for fitness knowing that they have a chance to make a difference every day.
“One of our clients said to us, ‘It’s not about making a living. It’s about making a difference in people’s lives and in the community, as well,’” Michael said.
“I go home every day and feel like I helped a couple people,” Hillarie added, “like I made a difference.”