Tag Archives: Health

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

Strongwoman/Strongman Conditioning

Battle of The Gyms

Health, Wellness & Training Education

Hands on Training Seminars

Monthly Challenges

Blood Drives

Toy/School Supply Drives

And More…

 

Union Fitness Adventure Series:

Mobile Pop-Up Bootcamps

Pittsburgh Stair Climb Tour

Bike Pittsburgh to D.C.

Hike Pittsburgh

Run Pittsburgh

Brewery & Bootcamps

And More…

 

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.

 

Cheers,

 

CeJ

End of 2020 Update

Here we are at the end of 2020. Nothing new can be said about this year so I won’t try. Yet I can give everyone an update as to where we are and where we are heading as a gym.

 

2021 Bootcamp with LEG1ON! 

We are starting 2021 off by doing a bootcamp with our friends from LEG1ON. This will happen Jan. 1, 2021 from 11-12 (maybe 12:30). This class will be free to everyone, so bring a friend and let’s have some outdoor fun! Sign up on MindBody.

 

Equipment Loan Program

For those of you who borrowed equipment over the last few weeks, please return the equipment by Saturday, Jan 2, 2021. When you return the equipment, please check in so we can check you off the list.

 

Return to Normal Schedule

UF will return to its normal schedule on Jan 4, 2021. This includes classes as well as all other gym operations. We will be requiring masks at all times. Please be respectful of those around you and continue to follow the mask protocol.For the rest of this week, our schedule is Dec. 31, 9AM-4PM, Jan 1, 9AM-4PM (we will be closed due to bootcamp from 10:30-12:30). Jan. 2 and 3 are regular weekend hours 9-4.

 

Plans for 2021.

One of our most popular programs in the past has been The Strength Project. We decided this year it was not appropriate to run this program. We are hoping to bring it back in late spring as a kick off to summer. We will continue doing smaller challenges until then. Our December challenge is wrapping up and we will post winners in our Newsletter.

 

This will be the final blog of 2020 and I want to thank everyone who is reading this. We all know it has been a strange year and we are proud of what we have done to try to help everyone get through this time. We will continue to try to do what we can to make the world a stronger, healthier, and smarter place as we move into 2021. Below is a list of organizations that we worked with this year. We will continue to look for partners in the region that make the world a better place.

 

Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh

Allegheny General Hospital

NorthSide Food Pantry

UPMC Hillman Cancer Center

Wounded Warrior

Urban Impact

 

We have some big plans in 2021 and have some big partners ready to join us, so stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

New Year, New Strength, New Friends

UF and LEG1ON Training are excited to host our first ever combined bootcamp. On January 1st, 2021 UF and LEG1ON will come together on the UF outdoor turf to host a bootcamp that is free to all.

 

We have been trying to reach out and work with other local training facilities to offer Pittsburgh a better fitness and strength community. LEG1ON opened in 2020, and immediately gave us a gym that was open to working with us. Due to this relationship, we will be having more joint offerings in the future. The details of the bootcamp are below.

 

Time and Date: Jan 1st, 2020. 11 AM-Noon.

Location: Union Fitness, 100 South Commons, Pittsburgh PA, 15212

How do I sign up? Sign up on MindBody.

Is there a cost? This class is free to everyone.

What can I expect? You can expect two of the best gyms in Pittsburgh coming together with their best instructors, to give you a great workout to start the new year.

Will it be safe? Our outdoors space at UF is big, and we require masks at all times when on the premises.

 

We hope to see you here on Jan 1st to meet some new friends and have some fun.

 

Todd Hamer

 

Monthly Challenge

For the month of December we are offering all of our members a chance to challenge yourself, as well as us here at UF. There will be 4 different options and scoring sheets are hanging outside of our cardio lab. With these challenges you can complete them in the gym or tag us on instagram and we will put your score up for you. The winner of each challenge will receive a free massage. For those of you who are not ready to come back to the gym we can save your massage for a later date. Here are the challenges.

 

Challenge 1, Erg 2k Challenge.

 

For this challenge the goal is to do as many 2K’s on the Erg (rower) as you can during the month. The rules are simple. Row 2000 meters and that is 1 point. Row 4000 that is 2 points  etc. If you row 3000 today and 3000 tomorrow that is still only 2, 2 k’s. So please be honest as we are on the honor system.

 

Challenge 2, Bike 3 mile Challenge. 

 

For this challenge you just have to ride 3 miles on an airdyne bike. Similar to the first challenge you will just be asked to do the ride, then record it. Also, similar to the first challenge this must be done in 3 mile increments.

 

Challenge 3, Ski Erg 2k Challenge.

 

Read challenge one and do the same thing on a ski erg.

 

Challenge 4 Pull Up Challenge.

 

This is the simplest challenge. The goal is to hit as many pull ups as you can in the month of Dec. These can be done anytime and anywhere. Just record how many you have done.

 

As I stated earlier the scoring sheets are posted in front of the cardio lab. Some of our staff will participate in these challenges as well. If you do any of these challenges at home just tag Union Fitness and we will add your score in for you. If you do anything here just record it on our score sheets.

 

Now let’s get back to training!

 

 

 

 

 

Union Fitness Labs Presents, The Virtual Bumpy Turkey Bowl & Burn

Gobble Gobble to all of our Thanksgiving Bumpy Battalions!

 

With everything going on we had to call a hot route into a Red 7 audible…if you don’t follow that one, then you should take a quick peek at Wedding Crashers backyard football scene to hype yourself up and “would you just go stand on the other side please?”

 

Sometime during your Thanksgiving feast, Macy’s Day Parade balloon critique, Foosball cheering, Planes Trains & Automobiles marathon & mid-day nap, come jump on our Instagram and sweat the gravy train out with our Virtual Bumpy Turkey Bowl & Burn workout. We will have it posted in the morning so you have all day to get the deal done.

 

If you haven’t checked it out yet, please click on our Thanksgiving donation blog. The proceeds will go to a local business and our first responders.

 

We are thankful for all of you and the amazing things you do!

 

Come catch me on the flippity flop and let’s get bumpy on Thanksgiving.

 

Cheers,

 

CeJ

Setting Goals and Measuring Progress

Regardless of the time of year or what is going on in our daily lives, it is important to have set goals. These goals can be associated with life, fitness, your health, or a combination of the three. If we lack goals, it becomes hard to make progress and continue to grow as humans. Although setting goals can be a simple task, there is a process to doing it, and many things you want to keep in mind along the way in order to achieve them. Below is a system that I use with myself, along with anyone that I work with in order to reach our goals and continue on the road of progression and growth.

 

Establish a big goal: This is where you want to establish your big long term goal. What is it that you want to accomplish in six months, a year, two years, etc. There doesn’t need to be a time limit placed on this. Just write it down and keep it in the back of your mind. It’s important to make sure that this one is realistic. However, it should be challenging and should force you to grow as an individual. 

 

Establish your small goals: These are the small victories that will ultimately lead you to your big goal. If you only focus on your big goal without a plan of attack, then you will have trouble progressing and staying motivated. These small goals should be very obtainable, but again, they should push you and challenge you into staying motivated and on track. Small victories add up into big wins over time.

 

Make sure your priorities match your goals: Your daily lifestyle must match your goals if you want to achieve them. If you bust your butt in the gym, but stay up all night eating chips and watching Netflix shows, then you certainly will not be checking off those small or big goals. Everything you do outside of the physical work should be setting you up for success. This includes who you spend time with, what you eat and drink, your quality of sleep, managing your stress, etc. If you make these areas your priority, then it will be much easier to achieve your goals.

 

Ways to measure progress: Progress isn’t always measured by weight on the bar or on the scale. As a matter of fact, it should rarely be measured that way. Measuring the small factors is a great way to stay motivated, focused, and on track. With exercise, progress can be measured in many areas including but not limited to:

 

How many times per week you’re able to exercise.

The duration of your workout.

Your rest periods between sets and exercises.

Adding sets and/ or reps.

Increase in flexibility and range of motion.

Form and technique improvements.

Body measurements.

 

Daily checklist: I stole this one from Jared. Every day make a checklist of 3 things that you need to do in order to reach your goals. Just like we listed above, this can be getting 8 hours of sleep, drink a gallon of water, stretch or meditate before bed, etc. If you can check your 3 things off every day, then you will certainly put yourself in a great place to achieve those goals.

 

At the end of the day, have fun and stay positive. Approach this process as a learning opportunity as well as an opportunity to grow as an individual, and good stuff will happen. Stay strong, friends.

Jocelyn’s Training Log

For the last few weeks, I’ve been posting some of my training pieces and breaking down my mindset, something I’ve been working on heavily. Being positive and focused isn’t enough these days, you need to understand how to challenge yourself without teetering on the line of being overconfident because the bar loves to break an ego real quick.

 

Going into this session I was tired, not entirely sure how it was going to go but I started by focusing on getting my PT/mobility work done before my primer. This allowed me to prep my body for what was to come and focus on how I was feeling. Regardless if you’re an athlete or going to take a Powerful class, as humans we need to be hyper-aware and self-reflection keeps us in an understanding between body and mind (if you don’t journal, try it – I have a past blog post on this BUT stay tuned for another mindset journaling one soon).

 

After I had finished my PT/mobility and did the primer I had a better feeling of how to attack this session, below you’ll find a typical Strength/Conditioning session:

 

STRENGTH

Front Squats 5×2 (every 3 min)

Start at 70% of your 2RM and build each set

*worked up to 197# for a double then hit 200# for a single and failed my second rep

CONDITIONING 

6 Rounds

Every 5 minutes for MAX weight

3 Power Cleans starting weight 70% of your 1RM (building here)

2-6 Unbroken Ring Muscle-ups

400m Sprint 90%+

:90 REST IS A MUST

*125/135/145/150/152/155

*ALL sets of RMU: 3 UB

 

I’ve never front squatted 200# let alone 197# for two and I’m proud of that because clean & jerking 200# is one of my goals. I try not to compare my numbers to anyone else but myself because we’re in the business of building ourselves up, not knocking all the hard work we’ve done. I think a lot of people get caught up in comparison which in all honesty is very hard to do. I remember when I first started training competitively and how I felt, now as I’ve grown into my own as an athlete I find that comparison is few and far between. The only thing that stands between me and the bar is myself and in regards to mindset, if you want to do anything in life you have to believe in yourself.

 

After the front squat the boys and I moved into our main training piece, I was texting with my coach previously and mentioned that I was going to try and hit 3 unbroken reps for all sets of my ring muscle-ups. I remember clear as day in the middle of the workout regretting sending that text because now I had to hold myself accountable to my words (which I did, thankfully but not without struggle). This is what I mean when I talk about mindset because on my fourth set that last rep was very hard and all I was thinking was throwing my hips as hard as I could to get that last rep, giving up was no option and with that mindset, I succeeded.

 

I ended up power cleaning 155# for an unbroken touch and go set of three, my max power clean one rep is 165#, and being able to do three RMU unbroken for six sets left me feeling on top of the world. It’s been a very long time since I’ve PRed any lifts and made huge gains on my muscle up capacity, I attribute it to doing everything else outside of my life right.

How You Move Through Struggle Matters

If you read my training log last week you would know that I’ve been working on mindset,  in regards to how I am talking to myself during training. I’m a big believer in self-love and I practice this every day with my morning routine, listening to my body and prioritizing my mental health above all things.

 

I’ve been having a rough go at it recently, and honestly this last week felt like it would never end, I didn’t even want to go to training on Sunday because I hadn’t been eating. I was beyond exhausted and felt like I had absolutely no energy to give to a training session. But, I ended up going and for that, I am thankful because 2/3 of my training pieces were mentally stimulating and I pushed myself past the point at which I thought I would’ve failed.

 

My main training piece looked like this:

 

2 Rope Climbs

10 Clean + Jerks @ 125#

2 Rope Climbs

8 Clean + Jerks @ 135#

2 Rope Climbs

6 Clean + Jerks @ 145#

2 Rope Climbs

4 Clean + Jerks @ 155#

2 Rope Climbs

2 Clean + Jerks @ 165#

 

Let’s break this down a little bit, the rope climbs were just there and a minor formality to get to the barbell. The clean and jerks themselves were what I was struggling with mentally, after not fueling myself for at least a week I was feeling weak and just not prepared to lift heavy weight under fatigue. I was thinking all these things in my head during my warm-up sets and I only touched the 135# bar once before the workout.

 

Going into the workout I wasn’t confident but I lead with confidence, that’s where the difference lies. I would jog from the bar to the rope and walk to the bar from the rope, this was a strategic plan to keep my heart rate consistent and from skyrocketing. I knew I didn’t need to worry about the rope climbs but that I wanted to keep myself from failing any clean and jerks because having to hit that lift again after failing is soul-crushing (especially at a high percentage).

 

As the workout went on I still didn’t feel confident but I kept leading with an attacking mindset and staying calm. One of my training partners even mentioned after the workout that I looked like I was going to have a panic attack before the workout but he was proud that I kept myself collected throughout. As I move through workouts like this I’m starting to learn myself a little bit more and it’s crazy even after six years of CrossFit there is still so much I am realizing about my capabilities.

 

I was never once negative during this workout, I didn’t feel great but I also didn’t allow myself the space to dwell on the way my body felt. I trusted my training and what I had prepared for up until this point and I was not disappointed. I’d say this workout was a struggle for me, even if you visually couldn’t see it, it’s the mentality that takes the wheel regardless if you’re not feeling 100%.

 

I’m proud of how I performed in this workout and it was truly a test of what I have been working on endlessly in my training. Next time you’re having an off day in regards to your training (or simply life in general because I feel anything in the gym can be related to real-life in one-way shape or form) remember, how you move matters. Even if you don’t feel your best, be confident in yourself that you’ve done all the right things to help you push through.

Exercise is Medicine

I’m sure you have all heard of the phrase “Exercise is Medicine” before, but have you ever taken a few minutes to reflect on what it means to you? 

 

It is so easy to get stuck in a repeat cycle of being unmotivated and feeling a little bit down. We all have those mornings when the alarm goes off and all you want to do is close your eyes, roll over, and go back to sleep. Once you have one of those mornings it seems like the rest of the days that follow tend to go the same way. This time of year, (when the weather gets colder, the days feel longer, you eat a lot of great holiday food, and you wear heavier/bigger clothing) it can be difficult to find that motivation to get yourself out of bed and do anything – especially get to the gym and exercise. The days when it is most important to find some time for yourself to go out and exercise are those days where you have no motivation, and maybe not feeling like yourself. The benefits of exercise are more than just physical. 

 

Even just one short 10 minute workout per day has a high amount of benefits. Exercise can get your heart rate up, reduce some daily stresses, and increase concentration throughout the rest of your day. You don’t need to set aside hours of your day to go to the gym to see some gainz. Just be sure to give yourself some time to get that workout in and I can guarantee it will turn out to be the best time of your day! 

CeJ Mustache You A Question

Hello to my hairy, well groomed, bald and hairless Brothers & Sisters of Union!

 

I have a very important task I mustache you to partake in. I want your voice to be heard, and I need you to vote! Yes, of course go vote on November 3rd for a few of those political blokes, but this one has the fate of my face on the ballot.

 

Your options for this vote are Movember (Grow a Mustache) or No-Shave November (Grow it All).

 

Movember: is an annual event involving the growing of mustaches during the month of November. This is done to raise awareness of men’s health issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and men’s suicide. The Movember Foundation runs the Movember charity event, housed at Movember.com. The goal of Movember is to “change the face of men’s health.”

 

By encouraging men (whom the charity refers to as “Mo Bros”) to get involved, Movember aims to increase early cancer detection, diagnosis and effective treatments, and ultimately reduce the number of preventable deaths. Besides annual check-ups, the Movember Foundation encourages men to be aware of family history of cancer and to adopt a healthier lifestyle.Using the mustache as the driving symbol of the movement, Movember focuses on the three key areas of prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health & suicide prevention.

 

No-Shave November: The goal of No-Shave November is to grow awareness by embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose and letting it grow wild & free. Also, donating the money you typically spend on shaving and grooming to educate about cancer prevention, save lives and aid those fighting the battle.  

 

Whatever charity has the most votes, is what I will rock on my face for that month, set up a UF charity page and continue to educate everyone on these health issues. Please vote in the comments, DM and share this blog and let’s spread the word on men’s health.

 

Cheers my friends and let me hear you SCREAM!

 

-CeJ