Get to know Zak Palek
Zak is a Physical Therapy resident, Strength Coach and Kinstretch Instructor. Zak graduated from the University of Alberta with a Masters of Science in Physical Therapy in 2021 and a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology in 2018.
Zak spent much of his life playing football, starting when he was 8 years old. Following high school he was offered numerous CIS and NCAA scholarships before signing with the University of Alberta. Zak was a member of the University of Alberta Golden Bears football team for 3 seasons as a defensive end. During this time he served as a team captain for 2 years and earned 2 Academic All-Canadian titles.
After leaving the team due to injuries and growing frustrated with the disconnect between training standards and sports medicine principles, Zak started Optimal Human Performance (OHP) with the goal of bridging the gap between rehab and performance. Zak maintains a Physical Therapy practice at Pivotal Physiotherapy's Athlete Recovery Centre (ARC) and High Performance Centre locations while continuing to coach clients at a private training studio in his residence.
Zak works with a wide demographic including professional and amateur athletes, post rehab populations and everyday people. While distinct services, Zak uses his joint knowledge of Physical Therapy and strength and conditioning principles to develop a unique and comprehensive solution to rehabilitation and performance programs.
Outside of clinic and coaching, Zak has competed in the sport of powerlifting within the 220 and 242lb weight classes with best lifts of a 502lb squat, 330lb bench, 601lb deadlift and 1416lb total.
- Master of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Alberta
- Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Alberta with Distinction
- Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)
- Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist (FRCms)
- Functional Range Assessment Specialist (FRAs)
- Functional Range Release (FR) Spine Provider
- Kinstretch Instructor
- Certified Functional Strength Coach (CFSC Level 1)
- Westside Barbell Special Strengths Coach
- Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS) Exercise I