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Re-printed from the Bergen Record, Sunday, October 8, 2006

A Body of Work

By MARTHA McKAY
STAFF WRITER


Vincent M. Burke repairs bodies and wears multiple hats.

He's a physical therapist, sports medicine expert and personal trainer.

The former bodybuilder and high school basketball player has spent the better part of two decades gathering advanced degrees, certificates and licenses all with an eye toward making people feel better and perform at their peak.

These days he operates two businesses.

His sports medicine and physical therapy practice, based in Hasbrouck Heights, is where Burke and his team, including training expert Matt Attanasio, help patients with everything from tennis elbow to knee replacements. He hangs his other hat in nearby Lodi, where he runs Infinity Fitness & Sports Institute, a 4,500-square foot gym where he helps bring athletes back to health and give them an edge.

"Posture and balance," Burke said on a recent afternoon in his Lodi gym, "that's what gives an athlete power and accuracy."

SPOTLIGHT

Infinity Fitness
& Sports Institute

Locations: Lodi and Hasbrouck Heights

President and founder: Vincent M. Burke

Employees: 4

Web site: infitpt.com

Demonstrating a variety of exercises using balls, bands and a tube filled with water
that doesn't weigh much but is devilishly hard to hold steady over your head, Burke explained that people need to work on their core muscles in order to improve their performance and overall health.

"We don't work the mirror muscles," said Burke, referring to those areas favored by bodybuilders.

In many ways, Burke is, as he describes, "old school."

He doesn't advertise (he can't afford it), he volunteers his time often and he operates
by word-of-mouth.

"If you do the right thing by one person, they'll tell 10 people, but if you do wrong,
they'll tell 100 people," said the 41-year-old who grew up in Elmwood Park and now
lives with his wife and two young children in Paramus.

Burke trains the New Jersey Mariners, a youth baseball program founded by Seattle Mariner talent scouts based in Lodi,
as well as many local athletes.

On a recent afternoon, Vinny Cevetello, a 17-year-old wrestler from Wallington, arrived for his training at Burke's Lodi facility (which he leases from Absolute Fitness, a personal training company). Cevetello had a piece of bone removed from his hip and attached to his shoulder in an effort to stop his shoulder from dislocating. After some physical therapy at one location, Cevetello was frustrated. "I thought I was done," the teenager recalled.

"They just told me to use the pulley for five minutes, then lift some weights, that kind of thing," he said. Three months after the surgery, Cevetello still couldn't lift his arm more than 45 degrees sideways.

Cevetello's parents had heard of Burke from a friend and decided to try him.

"At the first visit I was able to lift my arm above my shoulder," Cevetello said.

Burke's combination of physical therapy, personal training and sports medicine is what separates his business from a stand-alone physical therapy practice.

Physical therapists are "under so many constraints. Often the insurance runs out and if the quality [of care] is not there, the patient is left with continuous movement dysfunction," he said.

Spend time with Burke and you get the feeling he'd like to help get rid of all the myriad problems facing people -- obesity, poorly trained kids getting injured while playing sports, people who get hurt because they haven't conditioned properly.

"I just want to help people have fun and be safe," he likes to say.

Burke expanded his business, opening his Lodi gym, three years ago following a law change that made it easier for consumers to go directly to a physical therapist.

At his Hasbrouck Heights facility, he will "MAPP" (Medical and Athletic Performance Profile) people, spending two hours carefully evaluating their entire physical makeup, and then recommend a course of action, which can even include sending them to a physician (Burke discovered a genetic bone problem in one young athlete who came to him for sports conditioning).

And he is one of those rare individuals who have been able to merge their passion with their business.

"I don't consider what I do work," said Burke. "Sometimes I tell my wife, 'I can't believe I do this for a living.' "

 


Address:
Infinity Institute
19 W Passaic St.
Rochelle Park, NJ 07662

Phone:
Rehab: 201.845.8002
Fitness: 201.845.8022
Fax: 201.845.8088

Office Hours:
Open Daily AM & PM
Weekends by Appointment Only

   
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