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To train top athletes, you need to work like one

Physical therapist Chris Nentarz works Thursday with Rebecca Anthone, a Clarence High School swimmer who will be in Division 1 swimming at Canisius College in the fall. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

By Scott Scanlon – Refresh Editor

You don’t get to train top athletes if you only talk the talk.

Physical therapist Chris Nentarz also makes sure he eats right and gets plenty of exercise himself.

Nentarz, 36, a Rochester native who lives in Cheektowaga, is the subject of today’s “What are you Eating?” feature in WNY Refresh.

He’s worked with top NHL, NFL, soccer, track and field, collegiate and high school athletes since graduating from the University at Buffalo in 2000.

What is his workout and health maintenance like?

“I’m an equal opportunity sweater,” he told me this week. “I do functional resistance training, I do CrossFit. I do spinning, I run, I snowshoe, I do outdoor sports, rock climb. You name it, I do it.

“I believe in doing different things to challenge your body. I think that’s one way to stay healthy, and I think you’re also seeing top level athletes finding alternative ways to train themselves. It’s not just all about their sport, it’s about getting better at mastering other movements.

What is his nutritional life like, and how does he work on his mindset, which he believes also is key to good health?

“I follow a Paleo Diet, a caveman diet,” he said. “It involves eating vegetables, spare fruits, spare grains, keeping my carbohydrate intake low and fat intake moderate. I’m a big believer in hydration.

“Mindset for me, I meditate, I do yoga, and working is very therapeutic for me.”

Nentarz said he has helped train a gold medal winning Summer Olympics champion and a silver medal winning U.S.A. woman hockey player who’s back in the Winter Games this month. He declined to name them for confidentiality reasons.

He’s trained athletes at three Olympic training centers but has yet to attend and Olympic Games.

“It’s a dream of mine,” he said. “Just like our athletes, I still have goals, too."


Twitter: @BNrefresh

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About The Refresh Buffalo Blog

Scott Scanlon

Scott Scanlon

Scott Scanlon is an award-winning reporter and editor who has covered various topics in his quarter-century as a journalist in South Florida, Syracuse and Buffalo. He is aiming to pass along what he is learning these days about health, fitness, nutrition and family life.

@BNRefresh |