Debi Pillarella

Debi Pillarella

About Debi Pillarella

Debi has over 30 years in the fitness industry with experiences ranging from Director of Bariatric Services and Medical Fitness Program Manager for the Community Healthcare System to Author, Keynote Speaker, and Fitness Industry Presenter. She serves as a spokesperson for the American Heart Association in addition to her role as a Master Trainer and spokesperson for The American Council on Exercise (A.C.E.). Debi has a rich history of accolades as she was inducted into the Northwest Indiana Society of Innovators for her work in medical fitness, received the IDEA Director of the Year Award, ACE Fitness Director of the Year Award, and was honored with the Tony and Mary Hulman Health Achievement Award, Indiana’s premier Health Achievement Award. She is an adjunct faculty member at Purdue University Northwest where she teaches undergraduate classes for students interested in pursuing careers in personal training as well as group fitness. In addition to her Masters Degree, Debi is a Certified Medical Exercise Specialist, Health Coach, Personal Trainer, as well as a Group Fitness Instructor from the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Debi has served as the Fitness Specialist for EatBetterAmerica, in addition to contributing to numerous national and local publications. Most impressively, Debi is an active older adult who is a two time stroke, heart surgery, and brain surgery survivor. She personally understands the challenges of aging with medical challenges while striving for optimal mind and body health, fitness, and overall wellness.

FAI Group EX 2.0

In this practical group training workshop, we will examine the 8 hierarchy of functional aging individuals. The focus will be on the middle level of independent so we can use our skills to progress the exercises for fit individuals and regress the exercise for frail individuals. The 6 impairment level factors for physical fitness and their extensions will be used to create our program design. Come to learn and play as we look at various group formats to create a multi-level safe and effective rich sensorimotor environment that includes social interaction and a heaping dose of fun.


1. Learn to use the 6 impairment factors for physical fitness to construct optimal function in any class setting

2. Understand the vast variations in student levels and create proper progressions and regressions for a safe and effective exercise class

3. Implement numerous class formats to create a masterful yet challenging program for all to learn and improve in a socially fun environment


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