Another week, another snowfall. I just heard that this year is one of the ten snowiest on record in the Pittsburgh region. So enjoy the skiing, sledding, and snowboarding. Here is a quick run down off all we have going on to get you ready for your summer bodies.
- Mark your calendars, for the Iron City Open is back. We will follow all Covid-19 protocols and let’s hope that we are back to a more “normal’ meet this year. More info can be found here.
- Head over to our this link to read our member spotlight. Jessie is one of the finest humans I know and it is an honor for us to have her train at UF.
- This weeks Podcast we had the AD from Point Park University. Give it a listen on Spotify or Apple under Union Fitness Podcast.
- Finally, please read a tribute I wrote to a dear friend who was taken from this earth too soon. May Murat Rest In Peace. Click here.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and as always please give us your feedback. We are here to serve you, and make your visit here one of the best things that happens in your life each and every week.
Yours in strength.
Another week and some more snow. While not everyone loves snow, I do enjoy sled riding with Tenzing so it has been good for us as we have had 3 sled ride sessions this week. So let’s hope for more on Monday’s storm. As for the gym we are happy to be open, clean, and safe. Here is a quick run down of what we’ve done this week and what’s to come.
- Podcast this week with Curtis and Jared is a good one about many issue lifters have from finding training partners to just training in general.
- Check out this weeks blog on relatively healthy desserts.
- We are preparing for what should be a great spring and this includes preparing for our in house push pull at the end of march. If you want to have some fun and challenge yourself then give us a heads up and we will add you to the list.
- My personal favorite blog of the year was from Curtis and can be read here.
With a lot going on and some exciting things in the works for the near future we hope to be able to keep offering you a clean, healthy, and safe place to train. As always any issues can be sent directly to me Todd Hamer (email@example.com).
As many of you are aware, we recently brought two interns on board to work with us here at Union Fitness for their final semester of College. As much as I enjoy giving them a hard time and testing their knowledge, they are both great and are willing to learn anything and everything they can.
Last week, I decided to quiz them and asked if they knew why the steel plates were flat on one side and grooved on the other. Naturally, they weren’t sure. Although the answer is very simple and something that everyone should know, it’s understandable why someone might not.
This got me thinking about some potential other areas regarding the weight room that may be overlooked, misunderstood, or even under appreciated.
- Putting plates on the correct way: The answer to this is simply so you can grab and load/unload the weights easier. This isn’t just for your own safety, but also those other members who need to use the weights after you. So be sure to put the weights on the bar facing inward, and put them back on the rack the same way.
- Proper warm-up: Your warm ups should always be done with purpose and intent. Do not take them for granted. The way you perform your warm-up will directly dictate how well you are able to perform your training session, along with the overall success of your session. If you are just putting a band around your knees and walking around for 1-2 minutes, I can assure you that you are not doing enough to prepare yourself for your training session. Select exercises that are directly related to the goal of your session and perform them with intent.
- Performing the full range of motion with your exercises: In the words of Thee Dave Jackson, “if the weight is dictating your ROM, then it’s too much weight”. Unless you are performing an exercise designed to be used with a shorter range of motion such as a floor press, or have a specific injury that you are working around, you should always be moving the weight throughout the entire range. Doing so will keep you safe, healthy, and strong.
- Being aware of those around you: Little known fact, you are actually not the only person who is attempting to perform a workout in the gym. Be aware of how long you are on a piece of equipment in case someone else needs to use it as well. When you are walking around or carrying equipment, respect the space of those around you, especially if they are in the middle of performing a movement. The gym is one of the only places where we can all go to escape the challenges of everyday life. So respect everyone and share like your momma taught you.
- Ask for a spot: Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t make you less cool if you ask another member or employee to spot you during your lift. In doing this, you may actually get some helpful tips or pointers that you were not aware of previously. On top of that, it will keep you safe and accident free so you can lift for years to come.
Another week of training and another 2% of our year is coming to a close. Have you stuck to your goals? If not then let’s get back up today and get back to work. If you have stuck to them then great job and keep it up.
Here is a quick wrap up of our week here at UF.
- We are beginning a mental health series. We are scheduling dates now to have speakers come in on this very important topic. This will be free to all members and we will post it online for all to watch.
- We have added an extra hour for you to train on Saturday mornings. From this point forth we will open at 8 AM on Saturdays so please come over and train earlier.
- What Went Well. We are beginning a What Went Well board for our powerful classes. This is the brain child of our own Cody (worsh) Miller. The WWW board will be a chance to reflect upon your workout and write down one thing that went well for you. Always leave on a positive note.
- Check out our member spotlight, because Ward is a cool dude.
As always thanks for being a member here and keep us up to date on how you feel we can better serve you and our community.
Recently we at UF found out that one of our instructor’s family members took his own life. This has shaken each and everyone one of us at the gym and we are more determined now to be a part of the solution.
Starting now all of our fundraising efforts for the next three months will go towards mental health and suicide prevention. On top of raising money for this cause we are now beginning a mental health speaker series. We are very lucky to be able to partner with one local and one nationally renowned university from another state. With these partnerships we are adding free educational lectures on mental health with some of the top professionals. These lectures will also be offered free online to anyone.
Our goal is to help everyone lead a better life and if we only focus on the physical side of health then we are doing everyone a disservice. So please feel free to join us as we will be announcing lectures within the next two weeks.
Finally, if you are willing to donate we have details to help the family who lost their loved one. Click here for the link.
With that I wish you good health, physical and mental and remember you are not alone.
With the new year here and spring coming right around the corner, we have been hard at work planning our events for the upcoming months. If you have been with us for a period of time, then you are aware of our annual Strength Project event that we host each year. Last year, our Strength Project kicked off in January with the addition of a fund raiser and charity push/pull powerlifting competition. Unfortunately, our plans were sidelined with the onset of the pandemic, and although we did complete our goal for the fund raiser, we were unable to host our push/pull event for our members.
Well, that was last year, and this is a new year. With our sights set on providing you with new ideas and events, we are picking back up right where we left off. On Sunday March 21st we will be coming back to finish our Push/pull event as well as another fund raiser to support the Pittsburgh community (more details to come). The event will be free for any member who would like to sign up, along with anyone who had previously signed up for last years event but was unable to compete.
Following the conclusion of the push/pull event, we will be kicking off our Summer Strength Project beginning in early April with the goal of getting everyone ready for sunshine and adventures. Our Powerful and Cardio Lab coaches will be working together on the class programming to help you reach all of your goals. At the end of the Summer Strength Project in early June, we will be holding a cookout with food, drinks, and a hands on seminar.
Be sure to keep your eyes and ears peeled for more details to come regarding these events.
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers you will always find people who are helping.” Mr Rogers
We here in Pittsburgh are extremely fortunate to have had Fred Rogers as our neighbor for many years. His wife, Joanne still lives in the region. I often joke with our Baltimore friends (Curtis) that we here in Pittsburgh have Fred Rogers statue, and Baltimore has a statue of Ray Lewis (I’ll take Fred Rogers). At UF we do our best to not just look for the helpers, but to support the helpers when we can.
Matt Grayson (all star UF employee) approached me about the idea of raising money for some helpers back in November. As with any great idea I said yes, now let’s make it happen. Matt did an amazing job organizing and preparing this fundraiser. We raised over 800 dollars. That money went to Erin’s Deli so they could prepare meals for the helpers that work at Allegheny General Hospital. One of our goals is (as Mr Rogers taught us) is to be a good neighbor. Matt’s idea was a win win for us. We helped a local business that is struggling through Covid 19 shutdowns, and showed our appreciation for the workers at AGH.
I want to end this by thanking each and everyone one of you who given to this cause. I also want to ask you to keep us on task. We can and must do more to be a better gym and neighbor. If you have any ideas or specific groups that we could help with or partner with please tell us. We are here not just to serve you but to serve our community.
Now that we are officially open for business again we are happy to have you all back and wish to thank each of you for supporting us. I am just going to touch on a few things going on here at UF.
- Our fundraiser to feed covid first responders at AGH is wrapping up. We will shut down the go fund me site this weekend. If you want to help out we appreciate it.
- We are offering a special that any member can upgrade to UF Unlimited membership this month for a 20 dollar add on to your current membership. If you ever wanted to try classes now is your chance.
- We have a few new employees bouncing around. Anthony is our newest intern and you may see him. Also, Gillian will be working the front desk as well as teaching some cardio lab classes. Please introduce yourself if you see some new faces.
- Finally, we have some great plans coming up. Our idea man himself CeJ wrote a blog about our plans earlier in the week so check that out. We also have tentative dates for our next meets so stay tuned for when we can release that information.
Thank you and 2020 was a wild year and 2021 is starting just as wild. I do ask that we spend some time daily on not just improving ourselves but improving society. Keep us in the loop as to how we can not only help you but how we can help the world.
Peace and Love.
My name is Anthony LoPresti and I will be interning here at Union Fitness from January to May. I am originally from West Chester, Pennsylvania but have been in Pittsburgh for the past 4 years attending the University of Pittsburgh. I am one semester away from obtaining my bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science as well as commissioning into the United States Army as an Active-Duty Infantry Officer.
I grew up mainly playing baseball but loved playing any sport ,even just as a pick-up game. By the time I got too high-school I was still focusing on baseball and wanted to play at the college level, so I began to take my off-season training more seriously. At this time, I began lifting weights and got more exposure to strength and conditioning. I very quickly fell in love with training, and really felt the difference that it made me for not only physically but mentally as well. Fast forward to college I decided to pursue the military as a career option and opted to join the ROTC program at Pitt instead of continuing to play baseball during college. My focus then switched solely to my training year-round. I started off college doing mostly bodybuilding training and in the last year have switched over to powerlifting.
Upon graduating I have a few goals both involving the military as well as my career after the military. Once I enter the military my main goal is to go to Ranger School after my initial training as an Infantry Officer, as well as attend other specialty schools such as Airborne and Mountain Warfare. As a civilian my biggest goal is to own a gym as well as having an online coaching business.
During my time here at Union Fitness I am hoping to broaden my spectrum of training since I have been mainly focused on powerlifting and bodybuilding. I am eager to learn more about what it takes to be a good coach/trainer as well as learn more information about different styles and philosophies of programming and coaching for all sorts of populations. I’m also looking forward to learning about the business/marketing side of a gym as well since I plan to open my own gym in the future. I think this is going to be a great learning opportunity for myself being surrounded by several different styles and personalities of trainers. I’m in a good position to learn a little bit from everyone and hopefully bring some of my own ideas here to Union Fitness.
2021 is going to be FUN!
Hold on to your butts, we have more cool things coming your way and here are a few of the new things you’ll see at UF in 2021.
On Site at Union:
Charity/Fundraiser Super Group & Marathon Classes
Comedy, Coffee & Competition
Athlete & Agility
Metal/Rock N Roll Yoga
Movement & Mobility
Battle of The Gyms
Health, Wellness & Training Education
Hands on Training Seminars
Toy/School Supply Drives
Union Fitness Adventure Series:
Mobile Pop-Up Bootcamps
Pittsburgh Stair Climb Tour
Bike Pittsburgh to D.C.
Brewery & Bootcamps
Union, let us hear your voices! Tell us your ideas you may have and any interest in the above-mentioned events. For any event we would love to partner with local North Side or Pittsburgh area small business to support local and highlight those businesses. Send in those ideas and let’s rock n roll all over 2021.