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Non-athletes and athletes alike can reach PEAK levels through Carle training program

Non-athletes and athletes alike can reach PEAK levels through Carle training program
When you walk into the gym at Carle Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, you may see athletes working with athletic trainers to jump higher or accelerate faster, but the athletic trainers are also there for people like Bill Small. At 80, Bill just wants to age well and maintain strength and flexibility while staying active.

“If I didn’t do this, I couldn’t golf,” Small said after showing where he broke his wrist playing Illini basketball in 1961. The broken wrist did not stop him at his game, however. In fact, the former Illini team guard, recalls playing the first basketball game in what was then the Assembly Hall on March 1, 1963.

Small is among clients who signed up for the fee for service Performance Enhancement through Advanced Kinesiology (PEAK) training that evaluates any individual and works with them to gain or maintain strength, mobility and motion. Though referrals are not required to sign up for the program, Small said Jerrad Zimmerman, MD, of Carle Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, referred him to the program and he has been working with an athletic trainer in the program since September 2020.

The PEAK training as well as the separate yoga sessions allow Small to experience the differences he is feeling in areas such as tight back muscles that release easier. “I’m getting stronger,” he said.

Small works with Kevin Harbour, MS, ATC, at Carle Orthopedics and Sports Medicine who said, “I work with a lot of people who are active, but not athletic. They want to feel better, live better and be better.”

Appointments are available on the half hour and a session with an athletic trainer lasts an hour, once a week or more, depending on the need agreed to by the client and the athletic trainer.

“Our program caters to one’s individual goals. If a competitive strength athlete or college-bound high school athlete comes in, we have a great program for them. If a soccer mom or dad is looking for a safe, friendly and most importantly, skilled program curated for their best outcomes by a healthcare professional, we have a program for them,” Aaron Alford, ATC, lead for Sports Performance programs at Carle Orthopedics and Sports Medicine said.

“Each day we squat, hinge, step and reach. We work to improve those tasks not just to improve technique in sport, but to promote better moving human beings,” Alford said.

Alford added that the program focuses on sports and everyday life with trained healthcare professionals who follow COVID-19 safety recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).

Athletic trainer Bryce Compton, MS, LAT, ATC, said safety is utmost in mind when working with clients as injury prevention and caring for injuries when they occur are incorporated into the individualized approach to help each client reach a goal. “We don’t take cookie-cutter approaches,” Compton said.

Trainings sessions are available from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Fridays. The athletic trainers have a variety of certifications including yoga, CrossFit, youth fitness and running.

To learn more about programs available for non-athletes and athletes, go to

Categories: Staying Healthy, Community

Tags: aging, athletic, orthopedics, training