Early in my career I would scoff at reading business books. It was a huge weakness of mine. I did not understand that most lessons come from outside of one’s industry. As I’ve aged and matured (albeit slowly), I learned the lessons that can be offered from other industries are many times more important than just listening to those within one’s own industry.
This week I was driving and listening to a podcast with Abigail Disney. Ms Disney is, as her name suggests, a member of the Disney family (you may have heard of them). Her goal is to make Disney a better place to work and visit. She was discussing Disney’s culture as well as who the stakeholders of Disney were Vs. the shareholders. This is a topic some of you may be familiar with. I want to use this blog to write about how this applies to training and a gym environment.
As people training in a gym I consider these people the ones who are focused mainly (not solely but, most of their focus) on external goals. As a lifter it could be numbers, or as one who wants to lose weight it could be the scale. The process is only as important as what outcome it gives someone in this setting. The world needs shareholders at time to be cold and make decisions based solely on outcome and no emotional connection to what’s going on.
For the people in the gym these are the ones who are there to enjoy the process and make the experience better for them all around. The stakeholder worries about the process, the outcome is important yet stakeholders live in the reality and know the outcome is not always a result of a good or bad process. There are many variables that can affect an outcome that the stakeholder can’t control.
We need both and we want to be stakeholders for you. Both of these groups are very important to our community. A good balance of both of these types of people can make everyone around us better. I do ask our staff when making decisions think like stakeholders. As a lifter spend most of your time thinking like a stakeholder. If you become to much of a shareholder then you will miss the beauty of having a great moment in the gym. Be involved in the process of helping improve yourself while you are here and also be in the process of others succeeding while you are here.
This idea reminds me of a quote, I have searched high and low and can’t find the author, “I want to come to the end of the day tired, defeated, victorious.” I remind myself of this quote daily. If I am being a true stakeholder for all of us and UF then I will be tired, beaten (due to winning some and losings some), as well as victorious for all that we have accomplished. If I (and we) do this everyday then the goals we all will reach will be well above what we could have done if all we worried about was the outcome.
One of the best parts about my job is the people I get to deal with everyday. At times it is the UF employees, and at times it is the members, yet everyday someone brings me a thought I must sit on for a few minutes.
Curtis Miller and I had a great talk recently and we began sounding like Grumpy Old Men. Back in my day we didn’t have fancy things like these kids do. OK maybe we didn’t sound that bad yet we were discussing our early years of lifting and how things have changed. From this thought we came up with some things that we felt could help every person who enters our gym.
Here is a short list of ways to get better and make a better community.
- Lose the headphones. We all know that you need the newest Drake single in order to do your set, yet you can save that song for when you really need it. The rest of the time be a part of the gym, communicate with others, listen to other cues, ask questions and just be present.
- Spot someone. Often I see lifters in their own worlds and not noticing others lifting. Ask someone if they need a spot, this is how we used to find training partners.
- Work in or share equipment with someone new. I all too often see everyone at thier own station not taking advantage of someone else’s knowledge and experience also share your knowledge and experience.
- Ask questions. We are all here to help and serve you. So ask away. Did you know we have coaches at UF with decades of experience? Our coaches have worked with pro athletes from all major sports, competed at the highest level of lifting and spoken at multiple national and international conferences.
- Try something new. Everyone these days seems to have an internet coach. Some of this can be good and I’ve learned from some of these coaches. Sometimes this can a huge asset, other times this can prevent you from trying new things. See what someone else is doing, ask about the movement and give it a rip.
- When in doubt do something that is very challenging. Enough said.
This is our short list and I did not arrive at this on my own. Cody Miller, CeJ and Curtis all had a say in this list. Remember we are stronger than the sum of our parts.
With the new year here and spring coming right around the corner, we have been hard at work planning our events for the upcoming months. If you have been with us for a period of time, then you are aware of our annual Strength Project event that we host each year. Last year, our Strength Project kicked off in January with the addition of a fund raiser and charity push/pull powerlifting competition. Unfortunately, our plans were sidelined with the onset of the pandemic, and although we did complete our goal for the fund raiser, we were unable to host our push/pull event for our members.
Well, that was last year, and this is a new year. With our sights set on providing you with new ideas and events, we are picking back up right where we left off. On Sunday March 21st we will be coming back to finish our Push/pull event as well as another fund raiser to support the Pittsburgh community (more details to come). The event will be free for any member who would like to sign up, along with anyone who had previously signed up for last years event but was unable to compete.
Following the conclusion of the push/pull event, we will be kicking off our Summer Strength Project beginning in early April with the goal of getting everyone ready for sunshine and adventures. Our Powerful and Cardio Lab coaches will be working together on the class programming to help you reach all of your goals. At the end of the Summer Strength Project in early June, we will be holding a cookout with food, drinks, and a hands on seminar.
Be sure to keep your eyes and ears peeled for more details to come regarding these events.
My name is Anthony LoPresti and I will be interning here at Union Fitness from January to May. I am originally from West Chester, Pennsylvania but have been in Pittsburgh for the past 4 years attending the University of Pittsburgh. I am one semester away from obtaining my bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science as well as commissioning into the United States Army as an Active-Duty Infantry Officer.
I grew up mainly playing baseball but loved playing any sport ,even just as a pick-up game. By the time I got too high-school I was still focusing on baseball and wanted to play at the college level, so I began to take my off-season training more seriously. At this time, I began lifting weights and got more exposure to strength and conditioning. I very quickly fell in love with training, and really felt the difference that it made me for not only physically but mentally as well. Fast forward to college I decided to pursue the military as a career option and opted to join the ROTC program at Pitt instead of continuing to play baseball during college. My focus then switched solely to my training year-round. I started off college doing mostly bodybuilding training and in the last year have switched over to powerlifting.
Upon graduating I have a few goals both involving the military as well as my career after the military. Once I enter the military my main goal is to go to Ranger School after my initial training as an Infantry Officer, as well as attend other specialty schools such as Airborne and Mountain Warfare. As a civilian my biggest goal is to own a gym as well as having an online coaching business.
During my time here at Union Fitness I am hoping to broaden my spectrum of training since I have been mainly focused on powerlifting and bodybuilding. I am eager to learn more about what it takes to be a good coach/trainer as well as learn more information about different styles and philosophies of programming and coaching for all sorts of populations. I’m also looking forward to learning about the business/marketing side of a gym as well since I plan to open my own gym in the future. I think this is going to be a great learning opportunity for myself being surrounded by several different styles and personalities of trainers. I’m in a good position to learn a little bit from everyone and hopefully bring some of my own ideas here to Union Fitness.
I have very eclectic taste in music so when I think I tend to go to what song fits the moment. I have realized this habit has rubbed off on my son. We will often be driving and jamming some tunes then Tenzing says, ‘”Dad this is the perfect song for this moment.” With that in mind I can’t write this blog without thinking about a song from the Old 97’s. In the song “The Magican” Rhett Miller sings these words, “Oh, but I wanna be with the real you.” This song has always haunted me as it reminds me that we need to be the real version of us. With this I welcome you to 2021.
If you made it this far you may be asking why you are still reading me ramble about a song and band you probably never head of? Because I want to make 2021 the year of the real you. Bring you to the gym, work, and life everyday. Often the date changes and people say it’s time for a new you. It isn’t! Today is a great day to evolve, and with that we must understand that the real you should be you, who is trying to improve daily.
Think of this in terms of lifting or training. When you began you never thought you could do what you currently do, until you put the work in. Then afterwards you were still you, just a stronger and more wise version of you. Let us not throw out the past, let us not throw out our mistakes. Bring them with you and let’s all grow, evolve, and make 2021 just another step in the right direction.
Now I am asking for you to help me. How can I, and UF help you in 2021. We have never seen a year like 2020, so we are open to new ideas. Share with me your thoughts and if we can, we will do what we can to help you improve the real you.
Happy New YEAR!
Hello Good People of Union Fitness,
The UF staff wants to give a huge THANK YOU to all of you that have donated and/or contributed to all of our charities and events we have had in 2020! None of the impact that we have made, would be possible without the generous help from you!
We are asking for your help one last time in 2020. We are starting a GoFundMe page to raise money to provide lunch for the first responders at AGH. (Allegheny General Hospital). During these times we MUST not forget about the people that are putting their lives and their loved ones lives at risk to serve our sick.
We here at UF want to show our support and let the first responders know, that our community is behind them in all their efforts in fighting this pandemic. We will be using Erin’s Deli to do the catering for us. Erin’s Deli located in the bottom of the K&L building in downtown Pittsburgh has been effected by the pandemic and we want to help her out as well.
We are ALL in this together. We must continue to support our friends, our community, and our neighborhood. We must show them that, they’re people that cherish their hardwork and sacrifice. Supplying them a lunch is minimal but, it means a great deal to them.
So let’s end this dreadful year with some positivity by showing our gratitude to the people that are doing their best to make people feel better. We owe them a piece of joy during this holiday season!
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.
The votes have been counted, and we have declared Movember the winner for this month’s education and charity event. What do you think of my stache? Pretty cool, huh?!? Below is a little reminder of what Movmeber is all about.
Movember is an annual event where all partaking grow 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 their family history of cancer and 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.
Now gents, I’m asking you to let the hairy caterpillar blossom and promote awareness for men’s health. Remember that we men are stubborn about mental health and think we are too tough to get sick. It’s time to change the narrative here and educate men on how to indicate early and prevent these issues. We have people who love us and want to see us live long and strong lives. Ladies, you’re in this one, too! You have fathers, brothers, sons, and friends who need your support and a kick in the ass at times to take care of their health. This month I will do a few more blogs on this topic. This one is just for you to help me bring attention to this issue, so tell me about some topics you’d like to hear about.
Click here you can go and donate to promote Men’s health awareness.
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!