Dr. Gary G. Parker Jr., DPT, is a physical therapist who has worked in the field for 16-plus years, with four practices in New York – but it took coming into ownership of a local gym to help him fulfill a dream he had yet to make come true.
“I’ve always wanted to help the average person,” Parker said. “I wasn’t focused on sports rehab or some of the stereotypical reasons people go into this field; I wanted to help blue collar, middle-of-the-road people, to help them stay working, stay healthy. I have always been a weightlifter and an exerciser, but now I’m 45 and it’s a whole different focus.’
Parker is now the owner of Elite Gym and Family Fitness in Kingston, a facility that offers a little something for everyone. The 6,800 square foot building has free weights; Cybex machines; treadmills; ellipticals; full locker rooms including lockers, showers, and a sauna; and much more.
Perhaps one of the hardest facets of getting into healthier shape is not knowing exactly what to do, or how to do it. Parker and Elite are making it as easy as possible.
There is a 12-week structured weight loss and strength and conditioning program with nutritional support and a very specific exercise program that depends on whatever the client is seeking.
“I designed it so that the person doing it doesn’t ever have to think; they just do it,” Parker said.
Parker said he plans to get more into strength and conditioning programs at Elite, as it’s a method that, in the PT world, he’s always focused on.
“It’s more functional,” he said. “When you body build, you’re basically building muscles for show. Strength and conditioning programs recruit all muscles to work together in a coordinated fashion; therefore, you get more advantage to physical health. It’s movements that you use basically in your everyday life, when you lift, pull, twist. Doing such a program helps with the proper body mechanics and strengths.”
There are also group exercise classes, like Zumba, and a corporate wellness program where Elite partners with businesses of any size, from one employee to 1,000. Specifics can be obtained by contacting Micki Kinney, Zumba instructor and lifestyle educator regarding diet plans, at 607.222.2022. Kinney visits the business and presents Elite’s wellness program.
One of the main focuses of getting in shape is, of course, seeing results. Elite offers body composition testing, which Parker said people who are looking for improvements often have a better reaction to as opposed to simply stepping on a scale.
“People react more to a quantitative value, versus someone just saying, ‘Oh, you’re getting better!’ or by just looking at their weight.”