MUSCATINE — Scott Schultz saw a new way to move and took a chance to help others realize the impact fitness can have on their lives.
“Can I open something up that is meaningful to the community,” he said, “and meaningful to me.”
The owner and coach at Impact Athletic Performance just had the ribbon-cutting ceremony for his new business that opened Dec. 3. And he's ready to introduce his style of fitness to more of Muscatine.
The center features four different types of impact classes: mobility, performance, golf and recovery. Each class, with the exception of recovery, has a cardio element to it, Schultz said.
“I like to get people fatigued,” he said, “because their bodies are going to react.”
He would then be able to see how a person is moving when they are tired and how they may alter their movements for better function and recovery.
All classes are 55 minutes.
Mondays and Tuesdays focus on upper body work, and Wednesdays and Thursdays are lower body. Fridays and Saturdays are total body fitness routines. Schultz said it’s free to try one class and drop-in clients pay $15. Punch cards for any 12 sessions are $144. Monthly memberships are also offered at three months for $120 a month, six months for $108 per month, and 12 months for $96 per month.
“The more you commit, the less it is,” Schultz said.
Right now, he has 20-25 clients, the youngest being 10 years old, participating in group or personal training, with about 4-6 per class. He said one client goes canoeing and wanted to be able to portage, or carry the canoe overhead between waterways, better.
"That's where the fun comes in," he said. "I can progress or regress a particular movement for folks."
Creating individual programs, is a challenge for Schultz, but one that he enjoys.
"It's a puzzle you put together for them," he said.
Schultz began what he calls his fitness journey in 2008. He said he’s always wanted to take care of himself and that year he did it by doing CrossFit—a branded fitness program incorporating powerlifting, high-intensity interval training and calisthenics – at the Warrior CrossFit gym that had just opened in Muscatine.
“And I loved every bit of it,” he said.
He said he was stronger then, from lifting weights and about two years ago, he was doing a workout that was very demanding.
“My work capacity exceeded my muscle capacity,” he said. “And my body was compensating.”
An avid golfer and Muscatine High School boys varsity golf coach, Schultz wondered how he could combine his love of the sport with his love of CrossFit. He was teaching a boot camp class at the Muscatine Community Y.
"I love to be able to teach others," he said. "They cursed me during the workout, but they loved me after."
After getting laid off as an industrial designer at HNI, he decided to unwind a little before getting to work on his idea.
"About a year ago, I decided this is my opportunity," he said.
He said completing an intense CrossFit workout a few years ago led him to look for another way to train. He began to feel aches and pains, and he wasn’t sure why. CrossFit, he said, made him stronger, but the discomfort worried him. One of his inspirations for change came in November 2017 when he attended a golf performance class at Premier Fitness Systems in Scottsdale, Arizona, that emphasized how everybody moves differently.
“My mind was blown about what you could do with fitness that goes beyond normal means,” he said, “and how the group was able to get the most out of your body without lifting a bunch of weights.”
Using techniques and methods from different sources, Schultz said his classes focus on assessment of an individual’s movements. If a person is favoring one knee over the other or can raise one shoulder better than the other, for example, Schultz can work on getting the person to change their movement so they had better use of their body. He said he works "from the ground up."
"You would be amazed at how people don't use their feet properly," he said.
By increasing strength in the feet, he said, people may not need to use arch supports or other orthotics.
After he decided what we wanted to do, he spent the next 8-12 weeks focused on a business plan and securing a location.
The 1,800 square-foot facility is located in the former Washington Elementary School building, which was sold in 2016 to developers Tom and Ann Meeker, along with the Muscatine Sportsplex. The cost to open the facility was between $15,000 and $20,000 including equipment and painting. There are some weights, kettlebells, exercise sticks, rowing machine and stationary bike.
Schultz said moving into the location at 610 Maiden Lane was “an amazing tie in" between his gym and the Sportsplex because they each offered golf-focused activities. At the time, the Sportsplex had golf simulators and Schultz offered a golf mobility class. The simulators have moved to the new Bridgeside Links downtown.
And Schultz said he’s thinking about changing the name of the golf class because it’s not just for golfers. While golfers can benefit from the class, it’s really for “rotational” sports, in general, such as baseball, softball and football.
“Proper mobility can make you better than you ever have been,” he said.
Before starting a class, Schultz offers free one-hour assessments and training for individuals interested. During that time, he’ll watch how people move to see if there are any areas for improved mobility.
If you’re curious about the programs, don’t let the word “athlete” keep you from trying a class.
“They would look at the word ‘athlete,’” he said, “and get scared. They’d say, ‘I’m not an athlete.’”
He quoted Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman who said, “If you have a body, you’re an athlete."