Mission statement:

“Bridging the gap between sports medicine and sports performance.”

SPI Fitness (Sports Performance Institute’s) mission is to help both individuals and groups reach their goals regarding performance, rehabilitation from injury, and to attain higher levels of fitness through scientifically proven techniques. We pride ourselves on delivering effective workouts based on thorough knowledge and research. We are the only fitness facility in the Utica area where all coaches are educated in Physical Therapy and Exercise Science.

SPI Fitness is co-owned by Ryan Monaco and Michael Jarmak.


Ryan Monaco, PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Athletic Trainer
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist


Ryan Monaco brings an extensive and diverse resume to SPI Fitness. Ryan has been involved in the rehabilitation of high school, collegiate and professional athletes, a Varsity soccer coach, as well as a division two collegiate soccer player.

Ryan attended Notre Dame High School in Utica NY and played Varsity Soccer, Hockey and Baseball. His talents brought him to Dominican College where he played soccer at the Division 2 level and helped the Chargers win the CACC championship in 2002. At Dominican College he graduated with his Bachelors in Athletic Training. Ryan had then gone on to Utica College for his Doctorate in Physical Therapy and graduated in 2011.

Ryan began his career working at the Sitrin health care center and pioneered the concussion management program by returning patients to play and also making baseline concussion testing available at the high school and youth sport level. After leaving Sitrin, Ryan joined Fitness Forum Physical Therapy, an institution of Outpatient Physical Therapy in the greater Utica area, and gained a significant amount of experience in treating the shoulder as well as the business aspects of Physical Therapy.

Ryan continues to be an advocate for concussion management services as there is a huge educational need in the community for players, parents and health care providers. He continues to perform Athletic Training services and can be seen on the sidelines at Notre Dame or Utica College regularly. RMPT works with the sports medicine department at Utica College for the treatment of their athletes. In recent years Ryan’s main focus has been on injury prevention and treatment of the shoulder for baseball/softball players, as well as ACL injuries. He has consulted many local travel, legion and high school teams on proper warm-up, strength and conditioning in addition to in season management of its players. Ryan can be contacted at ryan@spiutica.com to schedule any speaking arrangements, consultations or distance training. Ryan will be seeing patients at the Burrstone Rd. and Field of Dreams locations.

Michael Jarmak, PT, DPT, CSCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

jarmakMichael Jarmak was born and raised in Utica. He attended high school at Notre Dame in Utica, where he played varsity football, basketball and track and field. Mike was first introduced to physical therapy when he was injured on the football field and was able to rehab and return to finishing his senior year while only missing one game. He received his Bachelor of Health Studies and Physical Therapy Doctorate degrees from Utica College.

Mike has been practicing as an outpatient physical therapist since 2012. He began his career at Sitrin Health Care Center in New Hartford, NY. Prior to joining the team at RMPT he was a physical therapist in the orthopedic, concussion management, vestibular and sports programs at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY. While at Upstate he gained much experience working with a wide variety of orthopedic conditions, sports related injuries, concussion management and vestibular rehabilitation.

He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Certified Vestibular Rehabilitation and Certified Level-1 Selective Functional Movement Assessment clinician. He is also trained in the McKenzie method of mechanical diagnosis and treatment of the lumbar spine and extremities.

Mike enjoys providing exceptional care for those with spine, extremity and sports related conditions. He is also an owner and strength coach at SPI Fitness. This allows him to work with many clients throughout many stages of recovery including injury prevention, rehab, fitness and sports performance training. He prides himself on effectively unmasking and addressing limitations in joint stability, mobility and movement dysfunctions to help his clients achieve their maximal potential. Mike is accepting new patients at our Burrstone Rd location.

Strength and Conditioning Coach/Personal Trainer

img_3674Steve Dowd was SPI’s first intern who started in the summer of 2014, and was hired upon completion of his internship in the fall of 2014. Originally from the Albany area, Steve attended Shaker High School. He designs and implements all of the programs for the athletic performance groups that occur Monday-Thursday (3pm-6pm), boot camp on Monday and Wednesday (5:30pm-6:30pm), private clients in the morning and early afternoon by request, the majority of Utica College Athletics, and Team USA Luge World Champion and 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist, Erin Hamlin.

Outside of SPI, Steve enjoys spending time with family and friends, powerlifting, running, skiing, hiking, traveling, and watching his athletes compete. Steve just recently completed his first half marathon in April of 2016, and will soon be running his 3rd Boilermaker 15k Road Race (Utica, NY).

Steve graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree in Health Studies from Utica College (December 2014) where he was a four year varsity lacrosse player. He also was an avid hockey player his whole life and played a semester of club ice hockey while at Utica.

In addition to the USA Weightlifting Level-1 Sports Performance Coach Certification that Steve holds, he has completed a TRX RIP Trainer Course. Steve has also obtained the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) among other certifications.

Phil Fess, CSCS
Strength and Conditioning Coach/Group Fitness Trainer

Phil obtained his bachelor’s degree in Health Studies at Utica College, and is currently anticipating graduation in their Doctoral of Physical Therapy program in May of 2015. Phil took part in our SPI strength and conditioning internship and was hired upon completion.  Phil is the trainer for our newly started Saturday 9:00 A.M. boot camp. Phil is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.



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