Tag Archives: Wellness

Big Dawg or Little Dawg; We All Just Dawgs

Can you believe we are already almost through the whole month of January?! Time doesn’t feel like a real thing anymore if you ask me. Well anyways, speaking of time, I would like you to take some time to think about where you are currently at in this point of your life. Whether it be where you’re at with your fitness goals, work goals, family goals, anything. Now that you’ve taken a few moments to reflect and think, I want to bring something to your attention. This blog right here is your sign to get out there and do something that takes you out of your comfort zone and maybe even scares you a little bit. We all seem to have a set routine and become comfortable with it, whether it’s with training, work, or just daily life in general. It’s important to spice things up and to not be afraid to be scared. 

 

When I think of getting out of my comfort zone, I personally think of my experience as a new lifter here at UF. Coming in to UF, I had experience with Olympic weightlifting through CrossFit and also with training the general population, but I had never really taken the time on my own to learn how to improve my lifts overall. I was so used to my coaches always telling me what to do when it came to training. Since I’ve joined the team here, I have entered a whole new world. I was a little intimidated by the Strength Lab at first, as it is usually filled with big, strong, and knowledgeable powerlifters and people who warmup with weights that are my maxes or maybe even twice that. I would honestly kind of avoid it and only go during the slower times the first few weeks that I was here. I just didn’t feel like me and my noodle arms would fit in with the crowd there. I started to hop in and train with some of the other staff members (thanks CeJ and Hamer) and started to talk with some of the people that always train back there and with the new members that would be there as well. I faced my fear of intimidation and learned that training in the Strength Lab and talking with the staff and members who’s training experiences vary largely are things that will actually help me grow as a lifter in the long run. I learned to step out of my comfort zone and not be afraid to ask questions or for any help/advice while training and being surrounded by others who enjoy picking things up and putting them down. 

 

So, as I mentioned earlier, don’t be afraid to be scared. It’s a new year, get out there and conquer 2021 by stepping out of your comfort zone. 

 

Stay healthy my friends,

 

Toria

Weekly Wrap Up

Welcome BACK!!!!

 

Now that we are officially open for business again we are happy to have you all back and wish to thank each of you for supporting us. I am just going to touch on a few things going on here at UF.

 

  1. Our fundraiser to feed covid first responders at AGH is wrapping up. We will shut down the go fund me site this weekend. If you want to help out we appreciate it.
  2. We are offering a special that any member can upgrade to UF Unlimited membership this month for a 20 dollar add on to your current membership. If you ever wanted to try classes now is your chance.
  3. We have a few new employees bouncing around. Anthony is our newest intern and you may see him. Also, Gillian will be working the front desk as well as teaching some cardio lab classes. Please introduce yourself if you see some new faces.
  4. Finally, we have some great plans coming up. Our idea man himself CeJ wrote a blog about our plans earlier in the week so check that out. We also have tentative dates for our next meets so stay tuned for when we can release that information.

 

Thank you and 2020 was a wild year and 2021 is starting just as wild. I do ask that we spend some time daily on not just improving ourselves but improving society. Keep us in the loop as to how we can not only help you but how we can help the world.

 

Peace and Love.

 

Todd Hamer

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

 

Weekly Wrap Up

We must begin this wrap up with a HUGE THANK YOU to all of our members. We understand that 2020 hasn’t been an easy year. We have also been doing the best we can to keep everyone training and safe.

 

This week we have moved all training to our outdoor space. We will continue to follow all of the governors orders, while still giving you a safe place to train. In addition we are also offering 2 in person classes per day Monday-Friday as well as 2-3 virtual classes per day. These classes are a little different, we will offer three different types of classes. The first class is a traditional bodyweight class, the second will be with weights and the final will be an educational class.

 

In addition to all of these measures we are still loaning out equipment. Please come by and grab some equipment to keep your body moving during this holiday season.

 

Finally I personally want to wish you the happiest of holiday seasons. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanza and Happy New Year! This is the last week prior to Christmas and if you eat too many cookies, drink too much egg nog or don’t exercise as much as you should over the next few weeks, it’s ok. Enjoy the season and unless you are preparing for a show then you can stop counting your macros this week and just be in the moment.

 

Hours of operation for the next two weeks.

Dec 20th-Dec 23rd normal hours.

Dec 24th 9AM-4PM.

Dec 25th Closed.

Dec 26-Dec 30th normal hours.

Dec 31st & Jan 1st 9AM-4PM.

 

 

 

 

Holiday Tunes to Get Bumpy to

It’s time to crank up the volume to 11 with these 10 songs to get you in the Holiday spirit, while you smack some iron around!

 

“CeJ’s Top 10 Holiday Tunes to Get Bumpy To”

 

1) O Come All Ye Faithful- off of Bad Religon’s Christmas Songs Album. Punk rock and holiday jams really speeds things up.

 

2) Carol Of The Bells- off of August Burns Red Sleddin Hill,  A Holiday Album. Tune the guitars to drop D and get to shredding. They just dropped a new Holiday album, go check it out.

 

3) You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch- By Small Town Titans. The Grinch + Metal = Bumps.

 

4) The Hanukkah Song- Adam Sandler rocks this live version.

 

5) Things I Want- Jack Black, Tenacious D & Sum 41 join forces to melt your merry faces off.

 

6) The Season’s Upon Us- off of Dropkick Murphys Signed & Sealed in Blood. This song will make you sway back and forth with some nog in hand and family in a headlock.

 

7) Sock It To Me Santa- By Bob Seger & The Last Heard. If this song doesn’t get you moving, you might be a mean one Mr. Grinch.

 

8) All I Want For Christmas Is You-  By My Chemical Romance off of The 20 Songs that Keep Giving Album.

 

9) Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)-  By The Darkness. We’ve all hit the high note in ” I Believe In A Thing Called Love”, now let’s belt out some cheer here.

 

10) Making Christmas- By Rise Against is a cover from Danny Elfman’s (From Oingo Boingo) Nightmare Before Christmas score.

 

 

Honorable Mentions:

 

x) Run Rudolph Run-Lemmy

x) What Christmas Means To Me- Stevie Wonder

x) Happy Holidays, You B- Blink 182

x) I Saw 3 Ships- B.E. Taylor

x) Christmas Christmas- Cheap Trick

 

 

Let me know some of your favorite Holiday songs to Get Bumpy to and drop them in the comments. Hope you enjoyed this list and found some new bangers.

 

 

Happy Holidays,

 

 

CeJ

Nutrition Tips For Thanksgiving

The holidays give a lot of people anxiety when it comes to eating, being fearful of overindulging, not being able to control their intake, or for some, not sure how to approach any holiday while still enjoying the foods they love. My simplest piece of advice that I can offer always reigns true for anything in love, eat mindfully but allow your space to indulge without guilt, how do we do this? Well if you keep following along you’ll find out.

 

Thanksgiving is probably one of my favorite holidays, mainly because I get two in one year. As a Canadian we celebrate Thanksgiving in October however also being American, we celebrate this holiday but in November. From the pie to the stuffing to the gravy, this holiday is all about the food and I’m here for it (sometimes I end up in a food coma, actually let’s be honest, I always end up in a food coma around Thanksgiving).

 

As always, my tips are just suggestions and in no way do you need to follow them head-on. I’m simply sharing what I share with clients who struggle with this holiday and want to also stay on track with their goals while enjoying all the amazing food that sits in front of them.

 

Fasting for Thanksgiving is a big no-no, you do not need to fast for this festivity unless you are someone who already follows an intermittent fasting schedule. Instead, let us look at the day this way:

 

  1. Enjoy a high protein, low carb, and fat breakfast
  2. If your Thanksgiving dinner sits in the early afternoon, instead of having lunch, make yourself a high protein, low carb/low fat snack.

 

          • If anything, people struggle with getting enough protein in on this day so having 1-2 meals or one meal and one snack that is high in protein will set you up for success.

 

      3. For your Thanksgiving meal, the following is a suggestion:

 

          • 1/4 protein, 1/2 carb, 1/2 vegetable, 1/4 fat (can be included in protein/carb). Within this structure, you’re still hitting all your core groups and you can visually see on your plate where each macronutrient sits.
          • For dessert, if there are many different kinds sometimes I’ll opt for smaller portions to allow more space for a variation or if I’m more prone to want just apple pie, 1-2 slices is the perfect amount for me (I’ll never skip dessert, it’s the best part).

 

Remember, these are just suggestions to get the most out of your holiday without feeling like you overindulged. However, if you’re someone who doesn’t struggle with these feelings then please disregard my suggestions or follow them if you want to also stay mindful of your goals. Everyone is different and we all have different relationships with food, that is why what works for me doesn’t necessarily work for the next person.

 

If anyone needs any extra advice or wants to reach out to speak on the holiday, feel free to DM me on my personal Instagram. I’m always available for a little chat, especially since I’ll be spending the Holiday virtually with my family.

 

Have a great Thanksgiving Union Fam, much love,

 

Jocelyn

KISS in the Age of HIT

KISS is it. No not the band. I know CeJ looks like he could be a member of the band circa 1977, yet let’s be honest here, they only have one good song. Now that I have alienated most of the Yinzers who love KISS, let’s talk about training. KISS is an acronym for Keep It Simple Stupid. This is one of the best things I did as a strength coach to improve my coaching and my athletes.

 

How many periodization models can you name? Conjugate, concurrent, western, tri-phasic, block or even 531. The confusion in training can be too much for many people. I know I often made this mistake. I was speaking to our own Cody Miller the other day about how often I have over-complicated my programming (for myself and my athletes). While I have never been a huge fan of HIT training as a year-round training style, I do believe we can learn a lot from these people. Look at Marty Gallagher, Dr. Ken Leistner, Mike Mentzer or even Arthur Jones.

 

HIT

 

For those of you unfamiliar with this style of training, it is simple, short, and hard. Even the great Dorian Yates used many of HIT’s methods to build his impressive physique. Dorian was known for having one of the best backs in the history of bodybuilding. Yet his secret to training was simplicity. HIT stands for High Intensity Training (in their case intensity is used as a mindset not % of 1 rep max). HIT training sessions are generally short with low total sets and most sets being taken to concentric failure or beyond. Training can be done as often as 5 times a week but generally, it is done 2-4 times per week.

 

I am not advocating to change your regimen to entirely HIT training, but I am claiming that too many overthink their training and do more thinking than working. I even look at Dr. Micheal Yessis’s 1×20 program as a continuation of HIT training. The difference is Yessis doesn’t train the athlete to fail. Yet it’s still one hard set of work and then moves on to the next exercise. This style of training does have its place in the gym and should not be ignored.

 

Moral of the story

 

When in doubt, train harder. Over my two decades in the iron game, I have seen too many people searching for the answer when the answer is more hard work. Build some sweat equity and push yourself to somewhere you have never been. I know I don’t have the answer yet I know hard work is never wrong.

 

– Todd Hamer

Movemember & Men’s Health

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. 

 

CeJ