Category Archives: State of the Union

Meet the Staff – Allyssa

Hello, my name is Allyssa Space! I am a personal trainer and will also be leading powerful classes as well as some of the collegiate teams here at Union Fitness. I’m from Warrenton, Virginia, and just moved to pgh about a month ago! I graduated in May from Shenandoah University in Virginia where I played Softball. I earned my Bachelor’s in Exercise Science, and am now working on my Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Pitt. I am also working towards getting my CSCS, and would like to work in D1 or professional sports when I graduate.


I have been immersed in sports my whole life, and with that I have sustained many injuries. I want to help others recovering from injury not only get back to where they were prior, but better. I am also a big proponent of injury prevention, and think it should be included for everybody, not just athletes. I also believe it’s essential to be active in any way you can! I want to help athletes be stronger and faster on the field/ court and help others reach their fitness goals, be comfortable in the gym, and just feel good about themselves physically and mentally. Outside of the gym, I love to hike and kayak, and am also a big baker!



Member Spotlight – Jeremy Reynolds

Everyone say it together: 


F*** the lantern flies. 


They’re invasive. They’re irritating. They’re inconvenient.  


That said, I have to give them credit for one thing: they’re consistent. They show up every day to band together and put in the work. Their work might be driving us all insane, but that instinctive drive is pretty irrepressible. 


I do not have that drive when it comes to fitness. 


Lifting is a hobby. I enjoy it as a healthy form of stress relief and because it’s a nice contrast from my more cerebral day-to-day activities (my alter-ego is as professional nerd — I attend concerts and write about classical music as critic for the Post-Gazette and a few national publications), but I didn’t grow up working out or particularly athletic. Shocker, I’m sure. 


After a few years of intermittent lifting after college, I tweaked my back on a squat and scared myself into trying a class at Union to work with some coaches to get some advice on technique. I wound up finding an atmosphere with all the right ingredients: a regular group of lifters who are a bit competitive, quite community-minded, and above all, highly consistent. 


It’s been a pleasure getting to know classmates and coaches alike, and on the days I pop in to the main gym I’ve never interacted with a friendlier group of gymgoers. In the two-plus years I’ve been coming, I haven’t relapsed or hurt my back once, and thanks to a less scattershot program I’ve seen some real progress in my technique. But, most importantly, it’s become a more integral part of my daily routine than ever before, and slow, steady progress beats intense unsustainable change any day of the week. 


I may not have perfect technique, and I’m certainly not pushing the most weight, but I come back for the hit of satisfaction I receive from knowing that this gym has helped self-improvement become a larger feature of my life.  


So, my fellow UF attendees, take my word for it: regularity will trump intermittent effort in the long run.  


So be regular. Be consistent. Be (sorry) lantern flies. 


Just watch out for the vacuum cleaner. : ) 


Jeremy Reynolds

Meet the Staff – Montrell

Hello Union Fitness! My name is Montrell Newton Jr, and I will be here as a personal trainer and cardio lab instructor! I am originally from Miami, Florida, born and raised #305. I have my undergraduate degree in Exercise Science and am currently getting my master’s degree in clinical Exercise Physiology. I interned here at Union Fitness in the spring of 2022 and now I am back like I never left!


For my area of interest, I want to help people. I want to help educate the masses on health, and how to live a healthy life without making it difficult. I find it rewarding to help people achieve their goals or assist people in various aspects of their lives. While I am not training or working, I enjoy watching TV, playing video games, and listening to music (My playlists are AMAZING). I have Division 1 strength training coaching experience and a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS). I cannot wait to see all your smiling faces throughout the facility. If you see me, please do not hesitate to say hello!



Meet the Interns – Maxwell

Hi! My name is Maxwell Goode. I’m from Williamsport, Pennsylvania and I am a junior student-athlete at Point Park University with a major of business management as well as minoring in psychology. I am also a member of the Point Park Track and field team with the events of long jump and Triple Jump. Throughout my life, I have been immersed in the world of sports. From a young age, I discovered a deep passion for athletics, participating in various sports and pushing myself to excel. The exhilaration of competition, the discipline of training, and the camaraderie of teammates became an integral part of who I am. After navigating the ups and downs of my own athletic journey, I have come to realize that I developed a passion in helping others achieve their fitness goals. This realization has led me on a path towards becoming a personal trainer.


As a child, I was naturally drawn to physical activity, spending hours playing sports with friends and family. Soon enough, I found myself enrolled in organized sports programs, where I discovered my passion. Whether it was sprinting down the football field or down the lanes of a track, I thrived in the competitive environment and dedicated countless hours to enhancing my skills. Athletics became a way of life for me, molding my character and teaching me invaluable lessons about discipline, perseverance, teamwork, and goal-setting.


I chose Union Fitness for my choice of internship because not only do they help me and my team get better on the track, but they help so many other people whether they are athletes or not, become the best version of themselves.



Meet the Staff – Caroline

My name is Caroline Mullineaux and I’m from Frederick, Maryland. I recently completed my Bachelor’s in Health Sciences at Saint Vincent College, and am currently completing my Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Chatham University. I am passionate about physical fitness and sport performance and have always had a sport-oriented lifestyle. I played collegiate lacrosse during all four years of my undergraduate education, and I also enjoy running, strength training, and hiking. While I’m not training or working, I enjoy watching the Pittsburgh Pirates and spending time with family and friends.


While at Saint Vincent, I worked closely with the Football and Men’s and Women’s basketball teams as a student strength coach. I’m excited to be involved in UF’s personal training and class services because they will allow me to continue to grow as a personal trainer and to gain experience with a wide variety of members. I look forward to learning new styles of training and variations of traditional strength exercises. I’m thankful for the privilege to help others achieve their fitness goals and to make personal connections with each member I meet here at Union. Thank you, everyone, for this opportunity!



State of the Union

A few times each year I review what we have been doing and what we will be doing in the near future. Today, I want to take you on this trip to the past and future with me. UF has been busy as always, CeJ has run a few of his beer bootcamps already, we have hosted another successful powerlifting meet and our classes are busy as usual. Below I will touch on some of the other things we have done or are doing.




As always we are doing the best we can to donate to local charities. Here is a short list of charities we have either donated to or worked with so far this year.


  1. Homeless Children’s Education Fund.
  2. Heart of Glass Animal Rescue.
  3. Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
  4. The Open Door Inc.
  5. Veterans Leadership Program.
  6. Heart of Glass Animal Rescue 
  7. Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania

And we have more to come in 2023.




Pride Night. Join us this Saturday July 15th at 4 PM for a fun bootcamp style workout. This will be followed by local comedians, taking the UF stage. Pride night is always one of our best events all year.


United Not Divided. We are proud to again host this event. We work closely to plan this event with Leg1on on bringing together 7 gyms from the region for a fun day of workouts. Come by for this fun day of training, food trucks, and other special activities.


New Vending


In 2022 we added smart vending machines. We were the first gym in the country to use these machines, and they have been a huge hit. Now we have added one more with meals, chilled coffee drinks, and more beverage options.


That’s a brief review of what’s happening at the U. As always if you have any questions, comments, or concerns please bring them up to us.


Yours in strength,


Todd Hamer





One Year at Union

I can’t believe it has already been a full year since I first started working at Union fitness. My journey to Union has always been a full circle moment for me. Let me tell you why.


My strength coach in college was David Kitchens, and he was there for 3 years of my college track and field career at my alma mater Susquehanna University. He might not know it, but the values he instilled in me would make a statement in my life moving forward.


3 years after graduation, I finished up graduate school and moved to Pittsburgh for my first official job after college. I knew I wanted to get into training and coaching, but I didn’t know where to start. I had a friend who was coaching at Union and introduced me to the famous Todd Hamer. Low and behold, right before I met Todd, he got off the phone with my old strength coach Kitch. Turns out he had interned at Union back in the day and in that moment, I knew this would be the place for me.


I was right, because now after a year later from starting at Union, I can say confidently that this gym has given me an opportunity that few receive. I have made incredible friendships, learned and continue my growth as a coach, and allowed me the opportunity to help so many push towards their goals and aspirations.


If you want to make a change, get stronger, and have some of the best minds have your back and support you, then Union Fitness is the place for you. I am so thankful for a full year here, and I cannot wait for what’s to come next.


Thank you,

Dylan Heisey

Meet the Interns – Sydney

Hello! My name is Sydney Libell. I started my internship with Union Fitness this month. I am from Cranberry Township, and I am a sophomore at Penn State. I’m studying for my bachelors in kinesiology and looking into multiple different career paths! I’ve been working out for about six years and lifting for three. My hobbies outside of lifting include being outside, spontaneous adventures, cooking, playing with my dog, and much more.

I found out about Union Fitness after Todd Hamer came to PSU. He came to a Kinesiology Club meeting and talked about UF. I knew I wanted to start interning this summer and I have had a couple gyms on my list. Once Todd came in, I knew I was pretty much set on wanting to come and learn more from the trainers at Union.

I grew up limited to a small community due to my parents sending me to a private school. Since being in college and having opportunities like my internship at Union Fitness allows me to see more into the real world. I appreciate so much about how different everyone can be. My favorite thing since my 2 weeks of being here is that our personal trainers get matched to their clients based off interest and goals and not just so someone can have a client. Working well with people is so important and shadowing different trainers allows for much more appreciation for Union.

My goal this summer is to learn as much as I can about programming, mobility, teaching, and more. I’m happy to be a part of this little community here at Union Fitness.



Happenings at UF

Summer is closing in on us and here at UF we love to do outdoor events in the summer. Most of our great outdoor event ideas are led by Captain Bumps himself, CeJ. CeJ and Toria had a bootcamp with our friends at Allegheny City Brewery last weekend. We have many more fun things to come. Without further ado here is a short list of events that we will be having this summer, and I am sure this list will grow.


June 2nd join us for First FREITAG on East Ohio St. This is the Northside’s first Friday celebration. CeJ will be out there with with his new wheel of exercises.


June 10th powerlifting is back at the U. We will be hosting another meet all day on June 10th, this will be similar to the meets we have had in the past. We are happy to team with WRPF on this and hope you stop by to see some strong lifters.


June 11th we will be teaming up with Gay for Good, for a Yoga event. We will do some Yoga, raise money and awareness for LGBTQ causes, then maybe enjoy a libation at Federal Galley.


June 25th we will be on the streets as a sponsor for Open Streets with our friends from Bike  PGH. Open Streets is a must see summer event in PGH and we hope to see you there.


That is the June list, and I will add one more event as it will be bigger and better than ever. United Not Divided workout will return to the U on July 23rd with our friends from LEG1ON Training and Performance, as well as 6 other gyms. Keep an eye out for this one.



ACB Bootcamp and Beers

What is rolling my good party people!


It’s that time of year again, where the Pittsburgh Sun is bright, the Allegheny City Beers are cold (and crisp as always), the bootcamps are bootin and we can all come together for the community. That’s right, you heard it here first, it’s Summer Bootcamp time! Go ahead take a few seconds to clean off your screen from spitting your drink of choice all over the place and expelling a celebratory victory screech of excitement, I’ll still be here.


Welcome back, folks. Let’s get you some juicy details about this glorious event. We are partnering with our good homies over at Allegheny City Brewery for a 1 hour FREE bootcamp for charity + a beer on Union & ACB. What’s not to like about that?! The free bootcamp will be held on Saturday, May 20th starting at 11am and going until Noon. After that we’ll hang-out at ACB and enjoy their handcrafted nectors of deliciousness while celebrating the good times. For this bootcamp we will be asking for clothing donations to help our Northside neighbors at Light of Life Rescue Mission. Get a head start on your wardrobe clean up and let’s give for good. A reminder that if you are nervous and a little bit hesitant about working out in front of others or that this may be too difficult for you. We are welcoming all levels from beginners to seasoned vets of exercisers and are skilled and educated coaches that can tailor and modify to your specific comfort level. We are all here to promote health, wellness and exercise while supporting our local community businesses and neighbors.


Please spread the word and let’s kick off this first summer bootcamp the only way we know how to, Big & Bumpy! You can sign up online on the Union Fitness website under classes or reach out to CJ for this all levels welcomed bootcamp.


What: ACB & Union Free Charity Bootcamp & Beers
When: Saturday, May 20th from 11a-Noon
Where: Allegheny City Brewing side parking lot
Why: To promote wellness, celebrate local business and support a good cause
Who: You, your friends, members, non-members, beginners, experts & all who want to have a blast with new & old friends.


P.S. If you know any local business or company that would be interested in Union holding a bootcamp at their local, please reach out and let’s get more parties started.


Cheers and I hope to see you all very soon.