Category Archives: State of the Union

What are we doing to be good neighbors?

Recently we posted about how we at Union Fitness want to be a part of the solution in this world. There are numerous issues facing our world today. A global pandemic has affected our country more than most. There have been racial strife throughout our country and the world. In addition we still have obesity, homeless veterans, unequal educational system and many other issues. We are “just a gym” so how we make our neighborhood and the world a better place?


Below I have listed groups that we have worked with and what we are doing and added links so if you want to get involved you can help out as well. This is our opportunity to improve our little piece of the city and our world.

  1. We have hosted events for and raised money to support Wounded Warrior Project. We have donated our time and space to their cause as well as held classes to raise money for them.
  2. We have hosted events and raised money to give to the Hillman Cancer Center. This was a special event as one of our members was diagnosed with cancer and overcame it with the help of these fine people.
  3. Hosting a few classes to donate food to Northside Commons Ministry was a great opportunity to help in our own back yard. This is a group that is always in need of food and money to help with their cause.
  4.  A group we are just beginning to work with is Pgh Parks Conservancy.We will be cleaning the park. This is a great opportunity help in our own  back yard.
  5. We are working to combine forces with Urban Impact to aid them and assist in training their youth sports teams.
  6.  We have donated goods to the Women’s Shelter of Greater PGH.    
  7. For our friend CeJ’s Big Bad B-Day we raised money for the Northside Humane Animal Rescue.

This is just a short list of groups we have worked with. We are now working to come up with more groups that we can work with. Yet, if you are looking for a place to start making the world a better place these groups all do great work. 

Stronger Together

We want to let you know that we are here to support you through all that is happening in our country.  The tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery have ignited demonstrations around the country.We stand in support of and in solidarity with the people and communities who are championing equality.


In our community we want these unfortunate events to highlight the importance of diversity and inclusion and our stand against racism.


The issues people are voicing today are deep-rooted and require meaningful change.  We understand that to make change takes action.  Solving these issues will take an unrelenting commitment to fight against racism and on behalf of equality.  That action needs to begin with all of us and we look forward to working to build a more equitable future for our company, communities, and country. To help drive these vital changes, going forward we are committing that a portion of all future charitable donations by Union Fitness will be committed to Black owned businesses, community based organizations and underrepresented people in our local neighborhoods.


We wish you all well.



Welcome to the Green Phase

As per the governor’s announcement today, we are now moving into the green phase of re-opening. What does this mean to us? It means Union Fitness will be re-opening! Before we can re-open, we have some house cleaning to do. 


Equipment loan program.


If you borrowed equipment from the gym, we ask that you return it next week. We will have staff in the gym from 12-3 every day for you to drop off any equipment that you borrowed. When you drop it off, make sure the staff checks off what you are returning. If you have issues with drop off times, email and we can work with you. 


Expanded UF.


Our expansion is nearing completion. We were planning on having a party to open this space, yet we feel it is inappropriate to host a large event right now. Instead we are doing a day of outside classes on June 13th. We will have a schedule posted next week for our kickoff. We will have free classes all day and they will all be held outside on our new turf.


Iron City Open.


The meet we host every year has been postponed, and we are planning on hosting this meet in August. Let’s keep our city healthy so we can get back to doing what we love!


Finally, we will have new policies for everyone entering the facility. Here is a list of the new policies we will be enforcing.


Re-Opening Procedures Union Fitness

  1. Everyone entering UF will have their temperature taken. Anyone with a temperature above 100 degrees will not be allowed to enter.
  2. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 we ask you to stay home and observe the CDC guidelines regarding quarantining periods before returning to UF.
  3. If you test positive for COVID-19 or become aware that you have been exposed to someone who has the disease we ask that you promptly inform Todd Hamer so that we can have the sanitation procedures recommended by the CDC completed for the impacted areas.  We will keep this information confidential and will not identify you.  Our staff will be following the same procedures.
  4. Everyone who enters must first go to the locker room and wash your hands.
  5. Please respect everyone and wipe down equipment before and after each use using the disinfectant wipes provided by UF.
  6. All staff will be required to wear masks while inside the UF space.  All clients must wear masks when entering and exiting Nova Place, until they are within the UF space.
  7. Personal equipment cannot be left within the facility until further notice. 
  8. Gym capacity will be 20 people maximum in fitness center, 15 people maximum in strength lab, 10 people maximum in cardio lab and 12 people maximum in performance lab.
  9. A maximum of 5 people will be allowed in the locker room at any one time. We ask that you do not spend unnecessary time in the locker room. If there are 5 people or more in the locker room, please wait your turn.
  10. Use the hand sanitizer provided.


Please be patient and understand that we are all getting through this together. We will  do all we can to assist our members and work to resolve any issues you may have.


These procedures will be updated as the situation evolves and we receive guidance from applicable governmental authorities.

State of the Union

We have now been closed for just over two months. Like many of you we can’t wait to return to the gym and Nova Place for some lifting, coffee as well as food and libations from Federal Galley. We still do not know when we will be re-opening, yet we are doing all we can to prepare for when that does happen. I wanted to write this post to tell all of you what we have been doing to prepare. We have some exciting things on the horizon and when we do re-open we will be ready to do more to help each and every one of you.




The expansion that we have been working on is moving forward. The work is almost done and the floor and outdoor turf will be down in two weeks. The equipment from elitefts is going to start arriving soon. When this space opens we will have more outdoor space than indoor space. We will also have garage doors that open to the turf. In the age of Covid-19 it will give us the opportunity to train without being stuck indoors. 




We have increased our cleaning in the facility. This began before the shut down and will continue when we are able to re-open. We will continue with hourly wipe downs as well as our night crew disinfecting the entire facility. We have also had the ceilings and overhead ducts cleaned during this shut down.


Redefining who we are.


We have spent time doing discussing what we want to be and how we want to best service our members. It is important that we remember during this process that we want to be a part of the community and a gathering place for a diverse group of peoples to arrive and become better versions of theirselves. With this in mind we have set up a meeting with outside organizations to help us serve our clients better.


Following safety guidelines.


We have yet to receive safety guidelines from the state on how we can safely re-open. To be proactive we have reviewed Ohio’s safety guidelines and we are prepared to open with these guidelines. While we understand that Ohio’s guidelines are not going to be the same as PA’s we  are being prepared based upon the best information that we have available. The moment PA announces their guidelines we will review those and update ours to match. We want to make sure that you have a great and safe experience at UF and will do all we can to make this happen. 


In addition to these guidelines we are working closely with Faros properties to make sure that we are doing everything in accordance with the state, county and city to keep our facility safe. 


We appreciate each and everyone of you and hope to see you very soon.


Todd Hamer

Union Fitness Equipment Loaning Program

To all UF Members,


We here at Union Fitness hope you are all doing well and doing all you can to stay strong and healthy during our time away from the gym.


Allegheny County is moving into the yellow phase of re-opening. Gyms are not a part of this phase, yet it is a step in the right direction. We want to be available to help as many people as we can until we are able to re-open. The county enters the yellow phase on Friday, May 15th.


We at UF will begin loaning our equipment to you, our members, so you can continue to stay active while at home. Starting Monday, May 18th, we will be open from 8 am-Noon to loan the following items: a bar and up to 4 bumper plates, or 2 kettlebells, or 2 dumbbells. Any other requests will be handled as they come in with management approval. We just want to do our part to try to help out. *This is for active UF members only.*


We do ask that anyone who comes to borrow equipment follow a few guidelines to respect everyone:

  1. Wear a mask the entire time you are in UF.
  2. We will limit the total number of people in the facility at one time (please be patient).
  3. Enter through our front doors and leave through the strength lab.
  4. Check-in with a UF team member so we can record what you are borrowing.
  5. Be respectful of all those in and around the facility and socially distance.
  6. Wait for your turn.
  7. Depending on demand we may put time limits on certain items (if barbells are popular we may ask you to return them after a week or two)


In addition to the equipment, we are working with FitFresh to resume food delivery. If you have your food delivered through FitFresh you can pick it up at UF during these hours. Please work directly with Jodie on this. We will also have some FitFresh meals for sale. If you want multiple meals we recommend contacting Jodie directly.


Thank you and we are excited to be moving in the right direction. Please continue to do your part to help us and we will be re-opened as soon as it is safe.


Stay Healthy,


Todd Hamer

General Manager, Union Fitness

How to Support Local and Small Businesses

Hello my friends,


During these strange times a lot of our favorite small and local businesses are taking a hit from the effects of CV-19 and social distancing. It’s time like these that if we are able to lend a hand to those small business and choose their products/ services over the big mega-mart business, now is the time. I know for dang sure when all this is over I want to sprint to my favorite small businesses in person and give them my love and support. I’ve ordered take out (food, craft beers & coffee) from my beloved local business and plan to order a handful of gift cards to distribute to family & friends to support while we still practice social distancing. Until then here are some ideas of things we can do to keep our friends  & cherished businesses alive.


Support Small & Local Businesses 


1) Share your go to businesses on your social media page and give them a shout out for their goods.
2) Leave a review on Google, Yelp our that business’ web-page to help boost online ratings.
3) Refer your friends to what these businesses have to offer and the current services they provide.
4) Buy gift cards now for future expenses.
5) Don’t cancel events that you planned with that business, reschedule.
6) Check to see if the business is offering online services (therapy, music lessons, financial advisement etc). Shameless shout out check out UF’s Instagram live classes they are offering.
7) Pick Small/Local over the mega-marts and big companies when shopping online or in person.
8) Take care of the service workers that you are picking up your take out or craft beer growler with a nice tip.
9) Offer your unique services that may be able to promote or assist your favorite places.
10) Give a donation.
11) Be a good person, say thank you and reach out when you can.


If you know a friend or just want to share your favorite small/local business please comment on and share this article. At Union we are in the works on some ways that we can support our members businesses and the places around us. I can’t wait to see you when things get under control. Stay strong, healthy and go support your local business.


“Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends.” -The Beatles





Welcome to 2020

If you look back at our last blog post of 2019 you will see that we some exciting things coming up at Union Fitness this year. With these new things comes change and growth. We are adding new staff this month and will be introducing each of these staff members as they come on board.


We have spent much time looking into how to best serve our members and who would be the best fit for this goal. If you are an avid reader then you have probably at least heard of the book “Start with Why.” Simon Sinek does a fine job in this book reminding the reader that your why is what matters. With this in mind we have searched for our why. It would be easy to say we are a gym and we are here to help people get in shape, get stronger or more athletic. These are all fine reasons for us to be here every day yet what is more important is that we are a company that empowers people to improve their lives.


This leads me to the point of this post. The State of the Union! We are doing great and we hope that we are helping do great things in your life. If we can improve we ask for feedback. Stop by and see us and we will listen. The biggest thing that we have coming up in the near future is the Strength Project. Here are the details for those of you believe this will help you on your path.


Dates, January 13th-March 14th.


What can you expect?

An opportunity to sit down with one of our coaches and plan your goals.

A massage upon completion of the program.

5 Free meals from Fit-Fresh.

A cool t-shirt (everyone loves a free t-shirt).

The opportunity to compete in our first ever Push Pull fundraiser.


What do you need to do?

Complete 28 classes over the two months.

Complete at least 4 yoga classes during this time period (these count toward your 28).

Support others in the Strength Project.

Become stronger, leaner and healthier.


The Strength Project is just one of the programs we will be rolling out, if you are interested stop by the front desk so that we can sign you up. If this program does not interest you then stay tuned as we have some additional programs that will be coming up in the near future and we can help all of our members reach their goals.





Tis the Season

As 2019 wraps up we at Union Fitness want to wish all of you the best for the new year and we hope you enjoy the holiday season. During this time of the year we often see people making promises to about how they will improve. I ask that everyday you take an oath to improve. As we move into 2020 you will notice some changes and I hope each of these changes that we are making helps you along the path of self empowerment.


Here is a list of some of the things that we will be doing in the new year.

  1. Strength Project will return. This is open to all UF unlimited members. If you are interested in participating and are not a current unlimited member we will be offering a discounted rate.
  2. Olympic Seminar with Cameron Davidson. This will be Jan 11th from 9 AM until noon. The cost for this is 25 dollars and it will be 1.5 hours of classroom work and 1.5 hours of hands on work from on of the best coaches in the country. Sign up on the webs
  3. Additional class will be added in 2020. For our powerful class members we are adding a 5th day. This day will have two purposes. First, the class will be used to make up any day that you may miss that week. If you are going to get all 4 lifts in that week then it can also used as a conditioning day. We will run some steps in one of our buildings here at Nova Place.
  4. Expansion is coming! We are moving forward with expansion. We do not have a date yet for opening, but work has begun and sometime in the late winter or early spring we will have a grand opening.
  5. March 14th we will host a gym only push pull fundraiser. We will end the Strength Project with a push pull. This will be a members only meet and a fundraiser. If you are interested in competing ask us and more details will come first week in January.
  6. Iron City Open is back. June 27th&28th! Come and compete here at Union Fitness. We are also working to co-host a meet in the fall so keep your eyes and ears open.

This is the happenings here at UF as the year wraps up. We wish you the happiest of holidays and hope to see you soon.


Team U


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.