SEABROOK — Steve Binari and Abby Shafner know fitness.
Binari, of Hampton, has been training his body and mind for the last 20 years. From competing in powerlifting meets, to training with an esteemed bodybuilding and physique coach, to introducing Olympic weightlifting to his fitness repertoire, to becoming a CrossFit certified Level 1 trainer with specialty certifications in gymnastics, mobility, running and endurance, Binari’s experience and knowledge base is as extensive as it is diverse.
Shafner has been a competitive athlete for the better half of her life. This Exeter resident fell in love with the game of sport at a very young age. As an avid skier, accomplished marathon runner, and retired high school soccer star, Shafner is a CrossFit certified Level 1 trainer and USAW Olympic Lifting coach.
In February, Binari, Shafner, and fellow fitness fanatic, Paul Riordan of Wenham, Massachusetts opened Imperial Strength, a no-frills strength and conditioning gym located on Lafayette Road in Seabrook.
Before moving to the New Hampshire Seacoast, Binari and Shafner were both coaches at a small CrossFit gym in Beverly, Massachusetts. While they both believe in the CrossFit methodology, they made a strategic business decision to focus primarily on functional fitness when opening their new 7,000-square-foot facility.
"Our philosophy is simple. We want to make fitness accessible to all. So instead of only offering one style of training, we tap into a variety of styles including traditional strength training, conditioning, intervals, plyometrics, endurance, Olympic weightlifting, and powerlifting," said Shafner.
Imperial Strength does not rely on clunky exercise machines and accessories to get their members in shape. “As far as equipment goes, we generally only use kettlebells, dumbbells, barbells, and wall balls,” Binari explained. “As for cardio equipment, it’s primarily jump ropes, an air bike, and weighted sleds. Every other movement we program, including running, push-ups, and burpees, only require two things - your body and proper technique.”
Binari and Shafner went on to explain that their programming focuses primarily on functional fitness, which means that every movement they teach in class mimics movements found in real life.
“Our fitness programming is meant to prepare our members for the real world. Instead of teaching folks how to operate a leg press machine correctly, we teach them how to move their bodies perfectly and avoid injury,” Binari said.
Imperial Strength offers a variety of training options, including their daily strength and conditioning classes, specialty clinics, personal training, and a new low impact conditioning and endurance class which meets every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday.
The gym is “community run,” explained Shafner. “So, if our members want a specialty clinic on proper running technique, there is a very real possibility that Steve and I will add it to the schedule.”
“We have such a good community here, we are like a little family,” Shafner said. “In some of my classes, if a member is missing it’s not uncommon for me to shoot them a text message asking them where they are. That’s how tight-knit we are; we notice when you aren't training with us.”
Imperial Strength is open to all age groups and fitness abilities. For more information or to schedule your free trial, visit Imperial Strength online at imperial-strength.com or email email@example.com.