Category Archives: State of the Union

What I have Learned at Union Fitness

Hi Union Fitness Team! As many of you know, I have spent the past couple months interning here at Union Fitness to broaden my knowledge of and grow my skills in the fitness field. With my internship sadly nearing its final weeks, I would like to highlight some of the important lessons I have learned throughout this experience, as well as sincerely thank everyone for the pivotal role you all have played in my growth as a fitness professional.  


One of the most prominent things I have learned during my time at Union Fitness is how many different ways we can move our bodies to achieve our fitness goals. Through joining different classes, I have learned so many new and creative exercises that target all the same muscles without having to stick to the same repetitive routine or conventional movements. This keeps exercising interesting, as performing the same movements each week can become a very monotonous and mundane experience which can make it difficult to find excitement and motivation when entering the gym. Switching up your routine every now and then by trying new exercises or focusing on different modes such as cardio, plyometrics, weightlifting, yoga, etc. can keep exercising an exciting experience! 


A key aspect of reaching your fitness goals is the type of environment you are surrounded by. As I have seen here at UF, a supportive environment can help you PR, reach your fitness goals, and boost your mood more than you think. Many times I have witnessed members and staff supporting each other throughout their workouts, ultimately pushing each other to achieve what they set out to pursue. I have both seen and experienced the difference that a supportive environment can make when it comes to lifting heavy weight or completing another set when it feels super difficult. The supportive environment fostered by UF has helped me learn just how important it is to cheer each other on and how far that support can go. 


This experience has taught me how important it is to take care of your body when it comes to exercising. While this sounds like a given, oftentimes we forget to properly warm up our bodies and stretch out after completing a challenging workout. Warming up your body correctly through performing mobility exercises and dynamic stretches prior to beginning a workout can make or break your performance. Taking the time to stretch out your muscles post-exercise is also imperative to keeping your body moving at its best. Coupling these practices together, while also listening to your body and giving it what it needs in terms of fuel and rest, is essential in preventing injury and keeping your body healthy. Rest is just as important as exercise! 


Lastly, one of the biggest lessons I have learned during my time at UF is not to be afraid of asking questions, asking for help, and trying new things. This is how you learn and build your confidence! Through asking questions and jumping into new experiences, I have learned so much about not only the fitness field, but myself as well. The welcoming community at UF has helped me feel comfortable and confident in my journey through learning and growing as a fitness professional, and I am grateful for everyone who has played a part in my experience! 


Over the course of my time at Union Fitness, I have learned and grown so much in so many aspects. I am excited to continue throughout my last few weeks here and look forward to what else there is to learn! 


Amanda Giunta 


Celebrating Women in Sports

Hi Union Fitness Community, Coach AD here!


I wanted to take time today to write this blog and talk about a few cool things going on within Women’s Sports and here at Union Fitness!


So everyone knows that it was March and in the college Basketball world it means it is time for madness… Both Men and Women’s Basketball teams qualified for the March Madness Tournament. This year is special though, especially for the Women’s Basketball World and World of Sports.


As many have came to realize many Women’s Sports are getting much more recognition and FaceTime across the board but most definitely for the Women who play division 1 basketball. Icons such as Kaitlin Clark, Angel Reese, Paige Buckers, Juju Watkins and many more have started to pave an iconic path for this sport. As these women are known from their High School tapes/social media and for the elite skill level on the court, they have helped do something this year that has never been done before for their sport. The Women’s officially had been given the logo of “March Madness” on the center court! Before this year only the men’s tournament was officially called March Madness, but that has changed with the hype that has surrounded these women and the sport of Women’s College Basketball!


To see great things happening in the World of Women’s Sports proves and shows that Women’s Sports has been nothing but on the uprise of respect and recognition around the world.


With that being said, I would like to also celebrate and welcome our Point Park Women’s Basketball Team back to Union Fitness for Off-Season Strength and Conditioning! We are excited to have these Women back and to help them achieve all their goals with the help of their hard working mindsets!


Oh and how can I forget…… Let’s Also Congratulate Zain and Jamie on their new Puppy Comet, seen here with the Point Park Women’s BasketBall Team



The Best Thing About Working at Union Fitness

What’s going on everyone!


As of late, I have been thinking about how Union Fitness has impacted my life and why I was attracted to this gym that is now my work place. At first, I thought that the hard working environment was what brought me in since I love to push my own boundaries much like all of our members, the powerlifters that train here, or our athletes. But after some consideration, I realized that the hardworking environment was just a part of the reason of why I wanted to work here. 


The largest influence on me pursuing my own professional growth at Union Fitness is the relationships I have made with so many people here. In my own opinion, the best thing about Union is the aura or vibe that creates positive relationships among our employees, our members, and our athletes. I have met so many awesome people in the 2.5 years I have been here. Some of which, I will remain friends with for the rest of my life. I can’t quite pinpoint the exact reason on how or why Union Fitness cultivated such awesome relationships but what I do know, is that I am thankful for each and every person that has made an impact here.


Whether you are a member, an employee, or an athlete, I thank you for making Union Fitness such a positive place to work at. Keep on hustling on your own personal goals and keep being you! We appreciate you all!!!




2024 Push/Pull

Hello Union Fitness!


Happy Thursday!


We are super excited to host another in house push/pull competition this year. I’ll give you a quick overview of what a push/pull is in case you’re unfamiliar:


What is a push/pull?


A push/pull is a modified version of a powerlifting meet. It is a bench press and deadlift competition. The meet will be run in flights, a flight is a group of lifters, normally 10-15 lifters. Lifters are arranged by first attempted weight. Bench will always be first, and each lifter will lift their opening attempt. After this attempt the lifter will tell the scorers table what their next attempt will be. Each lifter will get three attempts. Once all bench press flights are done we will move on to the deadlift. The deadlift is run the same way as the bench. At the end, the winners are announced based on a Wilkes or Dots score. This takes into account bodyweight and total weight lifted.


Who can do the UF push pull?


Anyone! This meet is open to all gym members and friends of members here at UF. We have had people use this meet as an opportunity to train for a bigger meet, get themselves an introduction into powerlifting, or just to set some goals and go for them.


When is the push/pull?


This year the meet will be held on April 6th. Lifting will start at 10 AM. Weigh ins will be 8:45-9:30AM.


What is the cost?


We will be charging $25 for this meet. We will donate the money in full to a local charity (working on which charity now and are open to suggestions).


What are we doing to help our members prepare for the push/pull?


In our #powerful classes, you all have been doing heavy singles in the deadlift and bench press this past week. You will continue to work on your heavy singles throughout next week (3/18-3/22) as well. During the week of the 25th – 29th, it will be more of a “transition week” preparing you for the commands used with both the deadlift and bench press during the push/pull. The week of the push/pull (4/1-4/5), will be a deload week, meaning you will be running through all of the movements, but at a very light weight.



If you have done our push/pull in the past we hope to see you back again this year.


Sign ups are now live on MindBody!


Looking forward to seeing you all there,


Team UF

Meet the Interns – Ricky



My name is Ricky and I am a senior Exercise Science student at the University of Pittsburgh. I am from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, so I am a big Philly sports fan. If you have any interesting sports takes, I am always open to entertaining conversations.


My hobbies include lifting, playing sports, and going out with friends. Some of my goals include working with personal training and hopefully eventually getting to work with professional sports teams.


I look forward to meeting new people and learning from the knowledgeable staff here at Union Fitness!



Meet the Interns – Hanson

Hi everyone!


My name is Hanson Zhang, I am currently a senior at the University of Pittsburgh majoring in Exercise science. I was born and raised in China for the first 11 years of my life and moved to Fairfax Virginia when I turned 12. I plan to go to Physical Therapy school or start my own personal training business when I graduate.


I am very excited to be interning at Union Fitness, as it provides me with great experiences and knowledge related to personal training and strength and conditioning. I enjoy martial arts, weightlifting, and a bit of video games during my free time. I’m looking forward to working with and learning from all the fun people in Union fitness!


See you around!


Meet the Interns – Yuheng

Hi Everyone!


My name is Yuheng, and I am a senior Exercise Science student at the University of Pittsburgh. I will be attending Arcadia University this fall to obtain my Doctorate in Physical Therapy. I am from Northeast Philly and have lived in Florida for a few years. I am a competitive powerlifter for the Pitt Powerlifting team.


Outside of the gym, I enjoy traveling, seeing nature, and cooking. I am excited to learn from everyone this semester. If you ever have questions or need help around the gym, don’t be afraid to ask!



Meet the Interns – Amanda

Hello, my name is Amanda Giunta, and I am a senior at the University of Pittsburgh pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and interning at Union Fitness for my final semester.


I was born and raised in Bloomfield, New Jersey, and came to Pittsburgh to continue my education with an end goal of becoming a Physical Therapist. While my ultimate goal is to earn my DPT, I am also currently pursuing certifications in group exercise instruction and personal training. Through my coursework, I have developed an interest in group fitness instruction specifically for cycling, yoga, cardio conditioning, and Pilates classes and would like to strengthen my skills and learn more about these practices during my time at Union Fitness. My goals for this experience include expanding my skills and knowledge in the fitness field, exploring the various modes of physical activity and rehabilitation, and developing the abilities necessary to effectively help people reach their fitness goals.


For some background information, I grew up participating in various sports and coached younger children in many sports as well. I played basketball and softball for ten years, was a cheerleader and gymnast for a few years, and was a cross country and track and field athlete at Bloomfield High School where I graduated from in 2020. My involvement with the BHS track and field and cross country teams allowed me to serve as a team captain for two years, providing me with the responsibility of creating and implementing workouts for team practices. My competitive athletic career ended with the onset of the pandemic, but I was honored to leave behind accomplishments such as one school and one course record, as well as having an award named after me at my high school. My time spent in the BHS athletics program sparked my interest in the physical therapy and fitness fields. I was also a clinic counselor and a one-on-one aid for a child with special needs for Bloomfield Recreation in my hometown, where I helped children of all ages develop sport-specific and developmental skills such as teamwork and coordination. Outside of athletics, I thoroughly enjoy spending time with my labradoodle puppy, friends and family, and going to the beach.


Hope to see everyone around at UF!



A Thank You For Being You

Hello to all my friends at Union Fitness.


The end of the year is upon us. Some months were good, some months were bad and some we can’t believe that we had. Obviously, this measurement of time is all arbitrary and specifically relative, what is “good” and “bad”? We all have times of great joy and days of being down in the dumps. Unfortunately, the down days get highlighted much more often than the good days. From that, we can continue to put ourselves in a bad headspace that creates more negative energy which in turn causes more negative situations. Personally, these last few months have been a challenge to say the least. Many days, I wanted to disappear, to a cabin in the woods, to the peak of the highest mountain or a remote deserted island.


Then, I thought to myself, what truly makes me happy? One of those answers is, you. The members and staff at this space we call our gym. The community that we’ve created in these walls is certainly unmatched and I would put that quote to the test. The people here unapologetically care about each other’s well-being, accomplishments, failures, and day to day life. Without you here with us, this place would be a lifeless cave, filled with exercise equipment. Your energy, may it only be an hour at a time charges my battery and reminds me why I do what I do and why I won’t stop doing this. Whether it be your 5- or 500-pound PR, to your 100th class or your 1st class, seeing the members and staff grow physically and mentally couldn’t be more rewarding to me. I couldn’t thank you more for being the special people that you are. Oddly enough, our diversity is our strength. That’s beautiful to see so many people come together through exercise and raise people up as they grow. With all that being said, all I can say is thank you for being you and I couldn’t be here without Yinz.


I wanted to leave you with this little blurb I stumbled upon on one of my down days. It is strange to me how energy works and some things just find you right when you need it most.


“You’re not where you want to be. You feel like you’re supposed to be somewhere else. Say you could snap your fingers and be wherever you wanted to be. I bet you’d still feel this way, not in the right place. Point is you can’t be so hung up on where you want to be that you forget how to make the most of where you are. Take a break from worrying about what you can’t control… live a little.”


Live a little,



2024 Strength Project

We have some very exciting news to share with all of you!


Starting January 8th, we are kicking off the 2024 Strength Project here at Union Fitness!


What is the “Strength Project” you ask? Here are the details below:


  • The Strength Project is a 12-week challenge for members who are looking to explore more of our classes. Entering this challenge will include your chance to win some awesome prizes.


  • This 12-week challenge will begin on January 8th and will run until March 29


  • During these 12 weeks, you will be tasked with taking at least 40 total classes here at UF
    • The stipulation is that you can take any of our Powerful classes, however we ask that you take at least – 5 RYDE classes, 5 Yoga classes, and 5 Cardio Lab/Cardio Blitz classes total – accounting for 15 of those 40 total classes.
    • We ask that you please be sure to both sign up and sign into each of the classes that you take, so that we can keep track of who was present in each class and make sure to give you the credit that you deserve. If you don’t sign in, we can’t tell whether you were taking the class or not so you will not receive the credit!


  • Everyone who completes the Strength Project will be given a Union Fitness T-Shirt.


  • Everyone who completes the Strength Project will also be entered to win one of three prizes:
    • 3 Free months of our Wellness Plus membership.
    • 1 Free month of our Wellness Plus membership.
    • $50 Gift Certificate.


  • Starting from now until January 8th, you can sign up for the Strength Project on MindBody. It will be set up just as if you’re signing up for one of our classes, and it will be a class sign up on the day of January 8th.
  • Bring a friend! If you have a non-member friend interested in joining us, they can buy in to the strength project for 250 dollars. This will give them 3 months of training. For each friend you bring you will get another entry to win our prizes.


We are looking forward to tracking all of your class progress over these 12 weeks and seeing how many you are able to complete! Please be sure to sign up on MindBody and to let us know if you have any additional questions, comments, or concerns. Good luck and happy almost new year!