This past weekend we hosted the 2nd annual USPA Kabuki Open powerlifting meet held at your very own Union Fitness. I have been around the sport for over a decade, and this was hands down one of the best meets that I have ever been a part of. The weather was absolutely perfect, the crowd was full, and the lifters were putting on an amazing show. This was actually the first meet that I’ve been to where there were two platforms going on simultaneously. This made for a very cool event with non stop action.
One of the best parts of the day was seeing our members and staff up on the platform competing. Union Fitness’ very own Dave Jackson and Gillian Kane competed in their first meets and did an amazing job, walking away with some very solid PRs. Our members Eric Price, Brian Steinmiller, and Isabella Musante also competed in their first meets and all had an amazing day and expressed how much fun they had. I’m looking forward to seeing them back on the platform again in the near future. Two of our other members, Diana Jordan and Caroline Harpel competed in their 2nd and 3rd powerlifting meets and also did an amazing job. Congratulations to Caroline for walking away as the best raw female lifter of the meet. We are very blessed to have such amazing members and staff here at Union Fitness. They make everything we do easy and worth every second. Without them, Union Fitness could not be what it is today.
Finally, I want to take a moment to thank those who made this event possible. First and foremost thank you to Doug, Candi, and the rest of the Alpha Fitness/ USPA officiating crew for putting on such an amazing event. Their professionalism and support are second to none. Next, the Pitt Powerlifting team who stayed on top of the spotting and loading, keeping every single lifter safe and injury free. Thank you to all of the vendors who came out to support their businesses, as well as to support Union Fitness and our awesome strength community. Thank you to all of the fans, friends, and family members who came out to show love to all of the lifters. That support means more than you will ever know. Finally, thank you to our GM Todd Hamer and the rest of the staff here at Union Fitness for organizing and hosting such a spectacular event.
The more time I spend around this sport, the more I realize how amazing it is and how much it can bring a community together. For those few hours of competition, there are no problems, worries, or differences amongst any of us. For that period of time, there is only a community of people supporting and bringing out the best in one another. That is the power of powerlifting.
– Curtis Miller
We were able to host the USPA Kabuki Open here at Union Fitness over the weekend. I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who made this event (and many of our events) such a success.
Doug, Candi, and their USPA crew. This event wouldn’t happen without them.
Pitt Powerlifting. These guys and gals are amazing and do all the spotting and loading.
Valkyrie Donuts. Check these guys out for the best vegan donuts out there.
Knock About Coffee. Thanks for brining the coolest coffee shop in town to our event.
Federal Galley. As always our neighbors are there for us and there for you.
Slider Vibes. The offical food sponsor of our event. If you have’t visited this gem yet, then you should check them out in market square.
Curtis Miller. For those of you who don’t know, Curtis does most of the work to set this event up.
Mr John. Yes we even have a bathroom sponsor. If you have ever run any event you know how important this detail is to success. Thank you Mr John for helping us out and being the only bathroom sponsor we will ever need.
Union Fitness Staff. These people are amazing and step up to challenges everyday and for that I thank each and everyone of you.
In addition I would like thank everyone who attended, competed, volunteered, or were involved. Finally, thank you to our wonderful landlord, Faros Properties for allowing us to make a big mess and loud noises.
It’s that time again! Tomorrow morning we will be hosting the 2nd annual Kabuki Open powerlifting meet, right here at your very own Union Fitness. This will be the 8th sanctioned meet that has been held at Union Fitness since opening in November of 2016. If you have never been to a powerlifting meet, I highly recommend that you check one out! Especially our meets here at Union. I may be bias, but we are fortunate to have an amazing facility and support that allows us to hold some of the best meets that I’ve ever been a part of. Regardless of if you’re a competitor, or a spectator, there is something for you. This year we will have meals on hand from FitFresh Kitchen, Protein bars from Fortifx, apparel from Live Large and At War Athletics, and services from the Athlete Recovery Lounge, just to name a few. On top of that, 25% of the admission will be donated to Veteran’s Place here in Pittsburgh.
One of the most gratifying things is seeing some of our members and staff sign up and train to compete in their first official powerlifting meet. After our most recent push/pull meet that we held this past year, I had multiple members tell me that they would like to compete in a full powerlifting meet, without even knowing what to fully expect. By setting their own goals, doing their own research, and with the help of our staff here at UF, they are now prepared to step on the platform and compete in their first official event. This sport is for absolutely anyone. Regardless of age or training experience, powerlifting has something wonderful to offer.
If you would like to stop by, lifting will begin at 9am right outside of the main entrance. Admission is $10 for adults and free for children. If you are planning to use the gym while you’re here, the fitness center will be open, although the Strength Lab will be closed for competitors to use for warming up. We look forward to seeing all of you here, and maybe we will even see you on the platform at our next event next June.
– Curtis Miller
The first sport I excelled at was cross country. I joined the team freshman year of high school, having had no real running background and fell in love with sport, the people, the feeling, and the progress. The desire to continue excelling got the best of my and I managed to turn a stress fracture in my femoral shaft into a full blown broken hip at the age of 17.
But as they say, everything happens for a reason and after surgery I started looking for new goals to work at and my friend escorted me to the local YMCA weight room. I’ll forever be in debt to him for introducing me to lifting considering that day influenced my major in school and my career path today. The problem arose when I was cleared to run again and I had to decide which discipline to devote my time too. The first step was deciding which was more important to me- considering I was planning to race my senior year of college, I had to make sure my cardiac fitness was where it needed to be. If we are being honest though, it has taken me years to learn how to appropriately balance cardio with weight training.
Progressing at two things at once is do-able for some time, but then starts to make you think “where would I be if I just focused on the one though?”. Multiple hiccups later (aka two more stress fractures) I began to cycle to feed that need for speed, without the impact. Low and behold I had begun a new obsession and was studying Kinesiology in college at the time I was ready to balance the two efficiently and appropriately. The key was figuring out how to use lifting as an adjunct to benefit my cycling, not take away from it. Figuring out the muscles I use on the bike core, glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves, and picking the exercises that strengthen those areas. I personally would never fully neglect the upper half of my body through, so I just did more days with a lower body emphasis than an upper. More recently I’ve been learning olympic lifts to work on my power since my cycling has a noticeable deficit in sprint efforts. I think the other important piece of information is to not be afraid of heavy weights affecting your cardio. For cycling especially, heavy sets of squat for minimal reps build the strength needed to push down on the pedals. Talking to an experienced coach or doing research yourself (the podcast Empirical Cycling Podcast shares a lot of quality information based of research) is your best bet to program efficiently.
In my opinion, if you’re using lifting as an adjunct then 2-4 full body workouts a week will show benefits. Doing both your passions can be done and weight training is actually starting to be encouraged as a preventative measure and a performance enhancer! Just a few generals that I go by though- performing the more important discipline first in the day while you have the most energy for it, not squatting heavy the day before a race or a hard workout, and don’t take it too seriously. The last thing I want to plug is that if you like cycling, so do I! Come talk to me about or maybe we can get a ride in!
Leah (the kid).
Union, the party don’t start until YOU walk in!
Thank you to our friends at Threadbare Cider in Spring Garden for hosting us last weekend. We had a blast working out at your House of Cider and raising a glass or two after a fantastic bootcamp. To all of those who attended, thank you for bringing the thunder and you certainly partied hard, because the sweat showed. We slammed some battle ropes, tossed some medicine balls, crushed some body weight exercises and even took a tour of some local staircases. Your efforts also helped donate some money to Pittsburgh Local Parks Conservancy. Cheers to you and we hope to see all of you again.
Are you sad that you missed out, well well now, have no fear, there are 3 more boot camps coming your way.
Our next boot camp is at Wigle Whiskey in the Strip on Sunday, July 25th at 10am. This boot camp will include a badass workout sweat session with CeJ & Skylyn, a free Highball Cocktail and a percent of each ticket will go to (Children’s Organ Transplant Association) COTA Daniel Strong. This charity has already raised $19,000 and is looking to reach $50,000. Daniel is in need of a Kidney transplant.
To sweeten this deal, CJ will include a free week of unlimited classes to any new or non-member of Union and to our current members, you can pick a time and date to train/workout alongside CJ. How freaking fun!
Let’s get together and party some more! To sign up for our next boot camp, go to Wigle Whiskey’s website and grab your tickets on their event page. We can’t wait to raise a glass or two with YOU!
Here at UF we love our members so much it’s time we show you off and have CJ climb the incline like King Kong, he will shout your presence from atop of the highest point of Mt. Washington!
This week we’d like to shout out Tyler Kendrick.
Ladies & Gents, here is Tyler in his own words!
I’m from the mean streets of Jamestown NY and I was born in the meaner streets of Indiana PA.
I’m the office manager of Pittsburgh’s largest coworking space as well as an actor, comedian, writer and Pittsburgh’s first and only Black improvised comedy instructor.
I love Union Fitness because of its superb fitness expertise from their staff and their drive to build and cultivate a positive environment.
I train mainly to maintain good mental health and physical health.
I love long walks on the beach and hate burpees.
My training dream team would be Michael B. Jordan, Charlotte Flair, Kumail Nanjiani and Holly Holm.
If I could be any piece of equipment at Union Fitness I’d be the sled because we’re both known for making people miserable.
A food I could eat everyday of my life is definitely mozzarella stix with marinara sauce and mild Buffalo wings with blue cheese.
Unioners, Coffee Drinkers and Friends of Friends, do we have a Sunday Funday for you!
Join Miranda, and CeJ this Sunday, July 11th in the Mexican War streets for a FREE bootcamp at Commonplace Coffee. After our Sunday sweat session, Miranda & CeJ will buy your first drink at Commonplace. The bootcamp is FREE but we will be accepting donations made out to The Central Outreach Wellness Center in the Northside. Here is the website link for more information about the Wellness Center LBGT Health Care – Pittsburgh, PA | Central Outreach Wellness Center .
Commonplace Coffee 1501 Buena Vista St, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.
Friday July 11th 11AM- 12PM.
Sunday Funday, hold onto your butts and get caffeinated Bootcamp.
To kick off your Sunday Funday, promote health & wellness, drink local coffee from our good friends at Commonplace & support The Central Outreach Wellness Center.
Anyone and everyone who would like to join us can attend this Free event. You can sign up at Union’s website under the class tab or just show up and say hello.
Also remember to go to www.pghcitypaper.com and nominate UF for the best gym in town. You can vote every day till July 9th.
Stay tuned my friends and come down to party with us!
Once again we are UF are happy to be able to bring some of Pittsburgh’s best comedy to our gym! This time we are doing it to help with a good, no, a GREAT cause. We are asking for donations to Out Athletics. Details of this event are below.
Union Fitness, 100 S Commons
Friday July 9th 6 PM-9 PM
Bootcamp or Yoga (you pick) followed by a comedy show with 4 of the best local comedians.
This is always the big question and I believe we have the right answer. We are doing this to raise funds and awareness for Out Athletics. Out supports athletes and anyone training from the LGBTQ+ community.
This is for you and we want to make it an events for everyone!
This is our second comedy night and our first as a fundraiser for Out. We ask you to come train or take the yoga class. After that donate to Out (online or feel free to donate on the night of the event). Then sit back and watch some great local comedians take the UF stage.
Union, the party don’t start until YOU walk in!
Thank you to our friends at Threadbare Cider in Spring Garden for hosting us last weekend. We had a blast working out at your House of Cider and raising a glass or two after a fantastic bootcamp. To all of those who attended thank you for bringing the thunder and you certainly partied hard, because the sweat showed. We slammed some battle ropes, tossed some medicine balls, crushed some body weight exercises and even took a tour of some local stair cases. Your efforts also helped donate some money to Pittsburgh Local Parks Conservancy. Cheers to you and we hope to see all of you again.
Are you sad that you missed out, well well now, have no fear, there are 5 more boot camps coming your way.
Our next boot camp is at Wigle Whiskey in the Strip on June 27th. This boot camp will include a badass workout sweat session with CeJ & a special guest coach, a free Highball Cocktail and a percent of each ticket will go to (Children’s Organ Transplant Association) COTA Daniel Strong. This charity has already raised $19,000 and is looking to reach $50,000. Daniel is in need of a Kidney transplant.
To sweeten this deal, CJ will include a free week of unlimited classes to any new or non-member of Union and to our current members, you can pick a time and date to train/workout along side CJ. How freaking fun!
Let’s get together and party some more! To sign up for our next boot camp, go to Wigle Whiskey’s website and grab your tickets on their event page. I can’t wait to raise a glass or two with YOU!
The Iron City Open is back this weekend. We are very excited to have the USPA back at Union Fitness for another year of lifting. Every year we do our best to make this the best meet in the region for both the lifters as well the spectators.
Lifting begins at 9 AM Saturday as well as Sunday.
Our newest sponsor, Anhuiser Busch will have some libations for you this year! We will also have Wigle Whiskey and Threadbare Cider here to quench your thirst.
Cayt will be available for massages.
All spectators will be charged a $10 entry fee. A portion of this fee will go to our friends at Veterans Place.
Street parking is available, the NoVa Place parking garage will be open. On Sunday the Pirates play so the garage will be $15 please consider this when parking.
If you have specific questions as a lifter please contact the USPA.
As with any event we hold at UF we are here to make this a great experience for you. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please reach out directly to any member of team UF. Now the bar is loaded, let’s have some fun and lift some weights.