Category Archives: State of the Union

Hello from Hamer

New Challenges and New Goals.

For those that do not know me I am Todd Hamer, and I’m the new general manager here at Union Fitness. I have been working in collegiate strength and conditioning for most of my career. Most recently, I was the Director of Strength and Conditioning at The George Washington University. During my time in the college setting I was lucky enough to be able to train very successful athletes. I have been a part of a final four basketball run, trained olympic medal winners, and have seen many other great successes. The reason I am joining Union now is after twenty years working with college students, I have realized that while wins are great, improvement in yourself is better. I am here to help each and every one of us achieve our own goals. 

Success only builds upon itself, so when one of us wins we all will win. One of the first things I did was sit down with our staff to define what makes us Union. I would like to share with you what our staff came up with, and what they will hear from me over the next few weeks. I ask that you hold us accountable for this, as these are the seven tenets that we have come up with that will make us successful.

  1. Have a positive mental attitude.
  2. Create a great community by being a great teammate.
  3. Enjoy what we are doing and make it fun.
  4. Educate those around you while continuing your own education.
  5. Be under the bar and compete in something.
  6. Never forget that perception is reality, and never forget that those around you perceive you differently than you perceive yourself. 
  7. Be THE presence. Do not allow others to go unnoticed. Be a presence for everyone who enters our area.

If we can follow through on these seven tenets, I do not see how we cannot all be successful. As we move forward I would love to hear from more members. How can we serve you better? Our goals are all the same, and we will do what we can to make everyone that enters our doorway better. 

Yours in Strength.

Todd Hamer

Welcome to our New Director of Personal Training, Curtis Miller!

We’re a few weeks too late, but we thought it was about time we formally introduced the UF community to our new Director of Personal Training, Curtis Miller!


Curtis has some big shoes to fill and has already taken off running with the position. You’ll likely see him here at all hours of the day with clients, in consults, at the desk, and teaching some #powerful classes. If you haven’t introduced yourself yet, please do!


Here’s Curtis, in his own words:


While growing up on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, sports became my number one focus and priority very early on. Like most young athletes, I began playing sports at the age of 4. Baseball and soccer quickly became my specialties. While I did continue to play for the next 14 years until I graduated from High school, I decided against playing at the collegiate level. When I enrolled in college at Salisbury University in 2010, I had my mind made up that my focus would be on my education and beginning my career. During that time, I obtained my first certification as a personal trainer and began building my clientele.


While becoming more serious with my health and exercise, I was introduced to the sport of powerlifting and was instantly hooked. I decided to compete in my first meet in the spring of 2013. During my first 2 years of powerlifting, I was also attending school full time, interning with the university’s Strength & Conditioning program, and held two jobs as a personal trainer and a physical therapy tech. Although those were a challenging couple of years, they taught me the values of working hard and dedicating myself to my goals, and let me realize the passion I have for helping others reach their personal goals.   


In the spring of 2014, I graduated with a Bachelors Degree of Exercise Science, while also becoming a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength & Conditioning Association. Over the next 5 years, I began my career as a S&C coach while continuing to pursue my goals in powerlifting. One of these goals included competing at the XPC Finals in Columbus Ohio. It was there that I met The Casey Williams. He quickly became a mentor and close friend, and our relationship continued to grow as I periodically made the trip to Pittsburgh to train. Over the next two years, I continued to further my career in my hometown, but knew that I had much more to offer. With Ryan’s decision to further pursue his goals, I was fortunate enough to be considered for the the the Director of Personal Training position at Union Fitness.


I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to be here and greatly look forward to helping Union Fitness grow and evolve into an even stronger community.

June State of the Union

June State of the Union, Fitness


It’s that time again. Welcome to June’s State of the Union. 


We’re halfway through 2019…HALFWAY. I’m reminded of an old phrase that, fortunately or unfortunately, replays in my head often. I used to go to basketball camp every summer with my friends. I went to the same one every year because my friend’s father, a college coach, hosted it. We had a ‘thought of the day,’ and they were the same every year so I knew what was coming. 


Coach Boone stood in front of us on day three and would say, “there comes a time when Winter asks, ‘what have you done all Summer?’” This didn’t resonate with me at the time because I didn’t take basketball seriously- I was playing baseball all summer. However, what he was getting at was “What have you done to prepare for the task ahead?”


 In the context of Union Fitness, what have you done to get yourself closer to your goals? 


We have members with goals that run the gamut- plans to compete in strength sports, run marathons, run 5K’s, lose 10lbs, BEAT cancer…all serious and important, especially to the individual. 


So when winter gets here and you look back on your summer, what will you have done? 


To follow along with our core values, here is a link to our website:


UF values- EPIC: Education—Passion—Integrity—Community




Four staff members joined me for the EliteFTS Sports and Success Summit a few months back. Speakers presented on topics from hypertrophy training to business building to rehab and supplement usage. It was 72 hours packed full of information and training. 


My biggest takeaway was from Alwyn Cosgrove’s presentation. Alwyn is a two-time cancer survivor and has created one of the most successful gyms and fitness systems in southern California. I took about 30 pages of notes over the course of two presentations and realized a few things. We do some things really well at Union Fitness. But we’re also young and inexperienced as compared to a veteran and innovator like Alwyn- so we have plenty of new ideas to throw at our members and we’re excited to see where that takes us as a community!




The 2019 Iron City Open came and went. The weekend was supposed to be full of rain, but somehow we escaped almost entirely precipitation-free. We tried a new set up this year with a big ole’ circus tent and I think it turned out really well for both the lifters and spectators. The lifters had their own space, the Strength Lab, to throw their gear down and relax. The spectators were covered and had chairs provided for them. Win/win. 


And this year I believe we had more members lift than previous years- 17 in total. And there were another 3 or 4 that asked us afterwards, “Hey can I do the next one?” 


It was fun to sit back and watch everyone that had prepared for 12+ weeks hit personal bests. It was even more inspiring to watch some fall short of their goals and realize that the failure is only an opportunity for growth. If this was easy, it wouldn’t be worth it. 




A happy man wants many things. A sick man wants but one thing.


Typically I like to give an example of a member of our community showing strong principle or us coming together as a community for a good cause, but I’ll defer to what hasn’t come to pass yet. One of our members is going through a trying time, so I’ll preemptively ask you to stay tuned for the opportunity to come together in solidarity for this member. Thank you in advance and this is your daily reminder to find gratitude in the mundane, but most especially your health. 




The goal of the Strength Lab was to introduce more people to a barbell and empower everyone to feel comfortable training in a space that may have otherwise been thought of as ‘intimidating’.  Mission accomplished- we’ve outgrown the Strength Lab. We’ve committed to the expansion of Union Fitness! Stay tuned for a more official announcement and related plans.


Thank you all. I look forward to the rest of 2019 with each of you.