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Urban Athletes

 

 

How and why New Yorkers should approach their wellness goals like a professional athlete 

Whether you’re a weekend warrior or an elite pro athlete, if you’re looking to improve your performance and decrease your risk of injury, setting a routine supported by a team of health allies is key. 

For those of us based in highly dense, high stress areas like New York City, getting into a regular wellness routine is crucial, especially if you want to train, feel good, and be at the top of your game like a professional athlete. Pro athletes have an edge here where we don’t: they have a routine put in place for them by their organization, coaches, and trainers. In fact, it’s quite literally their job to show up where they’re supposed to, when they’re supposed to, and that includes scheduled strength training, mobility work, and recovery. 

While most of us New Yorkers don’t have a coaching staff making sure we stick to our fitness routine, we do share one important thing with pro athletes: If we don’t take measures to keep our bodies in peak condition, the wear and tear of city living is likely to lead to burnout, illness, and injuries for us as it is for them. 

So how can we approach our wellness goals like professional athletes? Let’s take a look at the importance of routine in achieving optimal results – and how working with the right sports medicine professionals can make all the difference. 

Pro Athletes are Proactive 

Professional athletes have access to a team of specialists year round to help them be proactive in order to achieve and maintain optimal health and performance, making preventative care and exercise a part of the plan. Is it possible for New Yorkers to be just as proactive and prevent injuries before they happen? 

Too often, people only seek the help of a physical therapist after an injury. Many people don’t realize the many benefits of working with a physical therapist even when they are healthy! A physical therapist can assess your current level of health and provide an individualized program that can help build a foundation for resilience targeting the strength and flexibility specifically needed to promote optimal health. Physical therapists understand the importance of preventive care and incorporative preventative

exercises into one’s overall lifestyle, ensuring that our bodies remain healthy, active, and youthful for many years to come. 

At PHIT Well, Physical Therapists work closely with the Athletic Trainers and Personal Trainers to incorporate this preventative care into enhancing resiliency and performance. The PHIT Well team not only wants you to hit your goals, but wants to see you maintain that optimal health and performance. 

Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail 

Whether you’re training for the Olympics or want to improve your mobility to complete daily activities, designing and maintaining the right plan can be difficult and intimidating. As ‘urban athletes,’ it’s important that New Yorkers find programming catered to their needs and goals, just like the pros. So where can New Yorkers find that level of individualized planning? 

That’s where the allied health professionals at PHIT Well come in! They provide personalized assistance to help assess your current fitness level and customize a plan that’s right for you, which could include anything from intense training for a marathon, to simple exercises that will improve your posture. They not only design the programming within your sessions at the office, they’ll also give you an exercise plan to perform in between visits, so that you continue to make progress on your goals. Developing and sticking to a routine is much easier when you have a clear plan outlined for you by an expert, or a team of experts. 

Having an ally will ensure that once the plan is set, you stay motivated and remain dedicated to the goals you want to crush! 

 

 

There’s No “I” in Team (But There is a “Me!”) 

If I’m not a professional athlete, constantly surrounded with health professionals advocating for my success, where do I begin? It all starts with advocating for yourself. Whether it’s seeking the guidance of a physical therapist or setting up an appointment with another orthopedic specialist, self-advocacy is the first and one of the most important parts of any medical journey. 

Whether we’re commuting to work, running errands, or taking care of our families, New Yorkers don’t always have a lot of time to devote to our own health and wellness. Despite our often busy lifestyles, having a physical therapist, athletic trainer or trainer

could be your key to a better life. If you struggle to commit to your own fitness and wellness schedule because work and family obligations pop up, setting recurring appointments with your trainer or clinician can help you stick to your routine by ensuring you keep that commitment to taking care of yourself. If this feels self-centered, try to remember that a healthier you is a more productive you at work, and a more energetic you at home. 

Putting yourself first may require some extra effort, but will make the process of achieving your wellness goals smoother. Don’t downplay how significant getting help from a trusted professional can be when trying to reach your full potential in terms of physical health. With the proper support and care, you have the power to take ownership of your own well-being. Gaining the right tools and knowledge through the work you do at PHIT Well can put the ball in your court when it comes to your health. 

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work 

Whether you’re a starter for the Philadelphia 76ers or a subway stair-master, having a team of health professionals is the best way to support a person’s short and long term goals. At PHIT Well, Co-founders Larry Discenza and Kim Caspare have brought together their expertise to offer personal training, athletic training, and physical therapy under one roof. Each team member on their team can provide unique expertise that enhances the overall health care experience. 

For example, if you would like to work toward your fitness goals with a personal trainer, but experience limitations or pain, your trainer can refer you to a physical therapist to support your health journey. Physical therapists can help by working with you on mobility issues, pain management, improving postural alignment, balance, and providing support through injury prevention programs. 

Another example of teamwork occurs when a physical therapist suggests that a patient is ready to enhance their performance by working with an athletic trainer or a personal trainer. At PHIT Well, PT’s work very closely with the other clinicians and trainers to transition patients beyond recovery and into their next phase of fitness goals! 

Acupuncture is another effective form of medical treatment that is often used in conjunction with physical therapy to promote increased healing and reduce pain levels. 

At PHIT Well, we provide this team of allies for your own personal well-being as your life, circumstances, and body change. Not only do we have a roster of highly skilled allied

health professionals on our team, we are also happy to help refer you to NYC’s top orthopedic specialists based on your needs. 

 

 

Little Things Make Big Things Happen 

It was true for John Wooden’s athletes, and it’s true for you too! It’s OK if you don’t make drastic changes at once; even small adjustments to your daily habits can have a big impact on your wellbeing. The first step of deciding to take an active role in your own health and wellness is one of the most important things you can do. 

Allocating time to build a routine is one of the most important steps you can take when working with an allied health professional, whether it be a physical therapist, athletic trainer, personal trainer or a combination of the 3. This allocated time will allow your health ally to evaluate your condition, discuss and review treatment goals, involve preventative care and teach you ways of maintaining optimal health and performance. 

Regularly scheduled visits allow your therapeutic program to be customized according to your individual needs and daily life requirements. Having routine appointments maintains consistency, ensuring that you stay on track and reach your goals efficiently and successfully. 

One great way to start feeling healthier is by making time to visit PHIT Well. Our team of hospitality and health professionals have years of expertise in helping people relieve and manage pain, develop better movement patterns, and build more strength and flexibility. It takes one visit to get the ball rolling. 

With our help, you can achieve your goals without doing it alone! 

Seeking help from a PHIT Well professional can provide the expertise and guidance needed to identify the necessary steps to improve your physical health. New Yorkers can find convenient access to high quality treatments designed specifically for their needs and their time constraints while living in a busy city, right here on the Upper East Side of Manhattan at PHIT Well.

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Evan Henry PT, DPT

Evan is a dedicated and driven therapist with an aptitude for formulating patient-centric treatment plans, motivating his patients, and collaborating with other practitioners and trainers. A New York native, Evan completed his Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science at State University of New York at Cortland and his Doctoral training at Long Island University. He continued his training by completing rotations in both clinical and sports physical therapy settings in New York, Maryland, and Texas. Being a multisport athlete throughout his life as well as playing collegiate football and becoming a Football Athlete Scholar, Evan has experienced and understands the demands required for rehabilitating athletes specific to their sport and their performance goals.

Evan’s commitment to remaining current with the latest evidence based research in the field, his experience collaborating with other health professionals and his passion for building trust with his patients allows him to provide the most optimal and comprehensive care for each patient.

Osephita Whitten, Wellness Coordinator

Evans Asamoah, NASM

Evans is a NASM certified personal trainer with a long time sports background as a scholarship collegiate soccer player and track athlete. He graduated with his BA in Exercise and Pre-Physical Therapy from Lehman College and then worked as a personal trainer at Equinox before joining the PHIT Well training team. 

Evans specializes in strength training, hypertrophy, weight loss, post physical therapy training, as well as agility and explosive training.

Konrad Morawski, NASM

Konrad is a NASM Certified Trainer and Small Group Training Instructor with specialties in Corrective Exercise and Nutrition. In addition he holds a BFA in Dance Performance from SUNY Brockport. His movement journey began as a young competitive swimmer, cross country, tennis athlete by day and dancer by night. He stayed in the spotlight to study contemporary dance and ballet in Western New York. Currently he’s based in Brooklyn and continues as a freelancer. Konrad is thrilled to be a part of the PHIT Well team and focused on helping you alleviate stress through the corrective exercise lens. He especially succeeds in helping his clients find laughter and ease in the gym. This is the result of creative, fun, and mindful fitness and nutrition coaching. Outside of the gym Konrad enjoys dancing, biking, yoga, and dogs.

Lacie Webb Pennington PT, DPT, CF-L1

Lacie Webb Pennington, PT, DPT, CF-L1 earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2019 from Samford University and is Sport-Residency Trained through Evidence in Motion. Prior to earning her DPT, she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences from The University of Alabama. Her clinical interests have mostly focused on sport rehabilitation, orthopedics, and return to sport as well as she has published a number of articles in the area of physical activity and wellness. Preventative health is one of Pennington’s main passions; she incorporates all aspects of preventative health in her clinical practice and daily life. Lacie is also a Crossfit Level 1 Trainer and is active in her CrossFit community. Outside of work, Lacie enjoys exercising, cooking, and spending time with her husband and two dogs.

Erica Marcano MS ATC, CSCS

Erica Marcano is a BOC certified and NYS licensed Athletic Trainer, and an NSCA certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist. She is also trained in Blood Flow Restriction, John F. Barnes Myofascial Release, breathwork, meditation, and energy work.

Erica earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Sports Sciences, followed by her Master’s of Science in Athletic Training in 2005 from LIU Brooklyn. After graduation, she joined the Sports Medicine department at Penn State, where she handled acute care and rehabilitation of rugby, ice hockey and tennis athletes. She then returned to LIU Brooklyn Sports Medicine as an Assistant Athletic Trainer, where she was responsible for the men’s soccer, women’s volleyball, track & field, women’s lacrosse, and baseball programs throughout her tenure there. During this time, she became an Associate Professor, and has taught undergraduate and graduate classes for the Athletic Training, Health and Exercise Sciences Division, as well as the Physical Education department and Honors Program, at LIU Brooklyn.

 

After her time in collegiate athletics, Erica worked for Professional Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy provider, where she worked with populations ranging from NCAA Division I athletes to weekend warriors. In addition to treating orthopedic and sports injuries, as a Regional Head Athletic Trainer, she also trained, mentored, and supervised recent graduate ATCs, as well as Athletic Training students. She served as a clinical liaison and marketing coordinator during Professional’s rebrand, and as an integration team member during the company’s acquisition and growth phase. Having gained this 360* view of the business, she then moved on to serve as the Clinical Strategic Manager at PHLEX NYC, a bespoke Health & Wellness Studio, where she seamlessly delivered one-on-one patient care while assisting with the company’s administrative and marketing needs.

Erica has also been involved with several exciting projects including collaborating on strength and conditioning programming for the Ailey II dancers, programming and coaching athletic performance and injury prevention for underserved teenage athletes, and consulting for Glowing Heart Center and The BFR Pros.

She remains involved in the academic world through her position as the Northeast Regional Coordinator with The Rugby Research and Injury Prevention Group and as an Athletic Trainer for the Northeast Rugby Academy, a USOC sanctioned Community Olympic Development Program. She has lectured at several continuing education conferences for Sports Medicine professionals, and continues to serve as an advocate and a mentor for the next generation of Athletic Trainers.

Brendan Knott, PTA

Brendan is a certified Personal Trainer with over 8 years of experience and a strong passion for fitness. He is a certified Strength and Conditioning specialist, as well as a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant. Brendan has continuously invested in his education, evident by his range of study and skills. His additional certifications include: Active Release Technique for lower extremities, Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization, Graston Technique, Selective Functional Movement Assessment, and Functional Range Conditioning. Brendan has also studied at the Institute of Physical Arts as well as at the Postural Restoration Institute.

Brendan’s fitness journey began through his soccer background, playing for the Center Moriches NYS champion team in 2011. Then in college, Brendan competed and became a top ranking amateur bodybuilder, winning first place in many of his competitions. As hobbies, Brendan enjoys jiu jitsu, yoga, public speaking, comedy, chess and acting.

Triffine Lawrence NASM

Triffine’s specialties in personal training focus on bodybuilding, weight loss, healthy weight gain, post physical therapy training, balance & corrective exercise, and overall lifestyle and wellness improvements. She has a BA from Lehman College. Her certifications include: NASM Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Certified Nutrition & Weight loss, Corrective Exercise Specialist, and is also a certified boxing instructor.

Christy La Scala, Patient Relations Manager

 

Christy comes to Phit Well with a diverse professional background.  She began her career as a buyer for Nine West Footwear and then transitioned into managing dental offices for the past 20 years.  Being a part of the PHIT Family is an exciting new venture that allows her to connect with patients and make sure that they have the best experience possible while in our care.

Outside of work, Christy enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, baking and reading.  

Clare Bohrer, Director of Operations

 

Clare’s passion for health and wellness stems from her experience playing competitive sports through college and her background in performance and pedagogy, which ultimately brought her to New York from the midwest. She took a pivot from performance and education into fitness, hospitality and management where she can continue to find ways of serving others in their health, wellness, performance and work life goals. Clare is extremely grateful to join the PHIT Well community and the continued opportunity to support an incredible team as well as our patients and clients. When Clare is not working with the PHIT fam, she enjoys singing in a choir, boxing and spending time with her family and friends. 

Michael Klashman CPT / PN1

 

 

Michael’s specialties and Training Focus include Lifestyle and Wellness, post Physical Therapy training, body recomp, balance and proprioception, strength training, and physique / bodybuilding training. He has a BA from the University of Massachusetts, is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, and is certified in Precision Nutrition, L1, Kettlebells, ViPR, and Triggerpoint.

Jessy Mena NASM

 

 

Jessy is certified under the National Academy of Sports Medicine and holds a certification in Kettlebell athletics. She is a versatile trainer that specializes in weight loss, muscle gain, mobility, strength training and conditioning.  She is a professionally trained dancer who uses those skills to hone in on detailed movement patterns for her clients.

 

Tyler Kenton DPT

Tyler Kenton, DPT, graduated from Ithaca College with a B.S. in Clinical Health Studies in 2012 and a Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2014. Since then, he has worked in NYC in orthopedic private practice, specializing in manual therapy and sports medicine. 

Tyler’s athletic accomplishments include finishing the 2015 TCS NYC Marathon, becoming an avid CrossFitter in 2016, and serving as captain of the Ithaca College Men’s Swimming & Diving Team. Tyler also holds certifications from the North American Institute of Orthopaedic Manual Therapy, is BFR-certified through the Owens Recovery Institute, and his work on mindfulness-based stress reduction was published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Education

Matthew Levin PT, DPT, COMT

 

Matthew L. Levin PT, DPT, COMT earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from Nova Southeastern University and his Bachelors in Health Sciences from the University of Miami with a concentration in Sociology and Exercises Physiology. Matthew has taken a particular interest in manual therapy and is a Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist through Maitland Australian Physiotherapy Seminars. He has clinical experience in a variety of settings in Westchester County and New York City, including: Outpatient, Sub-acute Care, Acute Care, and Neurological Rehabilitation. Matthew is also member of the APTA and NYPTA

Matthew’s interest in Physical Therapy started after an ACL injury that occurred on the ski slopes. As a patient, Matthew had an amazing experience during his rehabilitation process that inspired him to become a physical therapist. Matthew is passionate about and has experience with injury prevention, performance enhancement, post-operative rehabilitation, manual therapy, functional movement, and sports rehabilitation. Matthew’s top priority is his patients overall health and believes that motivation and emotional support are key to success.

Matthew’s enthusiasm in sports medicine comes from his history of playing football, soccer, and participating in track and field. He also has a background in Martial Arts, holding a Second Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and Karate, with extensive experience in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. A Tampa native, Matthew moved to NYC in 2016 and enjoys running, cooking, skiing, and spending quality time with his beautiful wife and two daughters. 

 

Alan Joseph PT, DPT, CSCS

Alan Joseph PT, DPT, CSCS received his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from New York University and his Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science with a Exercise Physiology concentration from Rutgers University. Alan is BFR certified through the Owens Recovery Institute and is working towards becoming a Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist through the Institute for Physical Arts. Alan is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Using his knowledge from multiple disciplines, he is helping bridge the gap between rehab and performance. 

Alan grew up a high-level athlete plagued by injuries, and as a result he developed a great respect and appreciation for Physical Therapy. Alan enjoys treating a diverse patient population and has multiple interests including sports medicine, post-operative conditions, bio-mechanics and movement dysfunctions, manual therapy, injury prevention, health and wellness, and functional training. Alan uses his experience both as a former patient and as a clinician to connect and empathize with each patient he sees.    

Alan is passionate about staying current with cutting edge evidence-based research in order to give personalized and optimal care to enable patients to return to exercise, sport and life. Most recently, he has trained under world-renowned PT Shirley Sahrmann on Movement Impairment Syndrome, and Tim Gabbett on Load Management. In his free time Alan enjoys staying active with resistance training, competitive soccer leagues, snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.

Larry Discenza BS, ATC, NASM-CES

 



Larry Discenza BS, ATC, NASM-CES, is a fitness and wellness expert with over 16 years of experience in sports medicine, athletic training and personal training. Larry founded his NYC-based private training business, Inspired Training, LLC, in 2016, to provide tailored personal training programs, as well as holistic science-based solutions centered on injury care and prevention. Larry has rapidly grown his clientele in the highly competitive NYC fitness arena, and currently works a diverse group of discerning clients, spanning all ages, professions and capabilities, and oversees a practice built almost exclusively from client referrals.   

Larry guides his clients through every pillar of wellness. He uses his comprehensive knowledge of anatomy and physiology to create a safe workout environment for clients, regardless of injuries or physical limitations, and has overseen numerous client transitions from post-operative physical therapy into carefully curated strength and conditioning programs. Concurrently, Larry has built a strong network of doctors, physical therapists, massage therapists, fitness class instructors and registered dietitians in NYC to enable clients to achieve their overall wellness goals, and allow them to efficiently and productively navigate a complex and often challenging healthcare system.

Larry has hired and trained over 30 personal trainers who are still practicing in Connecticut and New York City, consistently demonstrating a remarkable ability to recognize, recruit, mentor and retain top talent. He honed his business and organizational management skills at two high-end private training gyms, first in CT and then on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where he most recently managed a staff of 9 personal trainers and 175 clients between 2013 and 2016. 

In addition to his Inspired Training practice, Larry has been an influential fitness and wellness advisor since 2017, with his latest major project completed at the historic Harmonie Club. 

Larry graduated from Central Connecticut State University with a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training, and holds certifications from the National Association of Sports Medicine (NASM) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).  He lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and is an enthusiastic competitive athlete across multiple sports.

 

Kimberly Caspare DPT, ATC, CSCS, CES

 

Dr. Kimberly Caspare DPT, ATC, CSCS, CES is breaking down the barriers of physical rehabilitation as she leads her integrative team of therapists in the conceptualization of trailblazing treatment protocols. 

 

Dr. Caspare’s work with players in the NBA, NFL, and NHL has gained recognition as being instrumental in the professional sports arena and has led her to her current position as the Senior Physical Therapist for the Philadelphia 76ers. 

The evolution of her career catapulted from managing injuries for Division 1 NCAA athletes at the University of Florida and then founding a business as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist that spearheaded preventative and rehabilitative programs for athletic sports teams. 

Before co-founding PHIT WELL, Dr. Caspare founded PHLEX NYC, an integrative care studio that included physical therapy, acupuncture, strength and conditioning, yoga, Pilates, Reiki, and nutritional guidance. 

Dr. Caspare brings with her a multi-faceted approach in the treatment of her patients, which focuses on understanding the interconnectedness of each component of the body that contributes to an individual’s complete and optimal well-being.

She has developed a highly patient-centric approach, applying biomechanical analysis with kinesthetic patterning to determine the underlying blueprints of dysfunction. The treatment method identifies and eliminates the root cause of pain, especially for those patients suffering from stress related injuries, chronic dysfunction, and post-operative trauma. In practice, the recognition of patterns is used to architect customized plans of care. Dr. Caspare has emphasized her unique method of treatment to re-educate the body, restore full strength and range of motion, and maximize functioning to previously unsurpassed levels.

Through the synergy of art and science, Dr. Caspare has cultivated an atmosphere that breeds empowerment and nurtures the spirit. 

Dr. Caspare earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise and Sports Science at the University of Florida (UF), where she specialized in athletic training and exercise physiology. She acutely managed the injuries of NCAA Division 1 National Champions. She worked closely with team physicians spearheading preventative and rehabilitative programs for UF’s Football, Basketball, and Soccer teams. She went on to attain a Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy from Boston University, where she wrote her thesis on Neuromuscular Adaptations with proprioceptive training to prevent joint integrity issues in athletes.

To complement her experience in sports rehabilitation, Dr. Caspare worked in the Acute Care Unit of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Boston), treating patients with post-surgical needs, including spinal fusions and Total Joint Replacements. Dr. Caspare was a Physical Therapy resident at Rusk Institute for Rehabilitation at NYU Medical Center in the Pediatric Physical Therapy Unit treating patients with diagnoses ranging from Spina Bifida to Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Combining the fields of orthopedics and neurology, Dr. Caspare established Body Architects, a home therapy practice for patients with neurological disorders, including ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease.

In addition, Dr. Caspare is regularly invited to speak at health and wellness seminars in the tri-state area and has contributed to health articles in magazines; such as Best Life and NY Family Sports.

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