FitLabPGH is a podcast about movement and movement opportunities in the Pittsburgh, PA area. Once a week we also highlight a FitLabPGH mover…someone who understands that movement is a lifestyle…not just an activity. The questions are lightly edited to allow for easy readability. Click FitLabPGH Features for more info if you want to be featured/know someone who should be featured.
This Week: Sandor Koppanyi
Are you a Pittsburgh native? If not, what brought you to the Pittsburgh area? Kind of. My mom is born and raised in Sewickley and I personally moved 7x before the end of high school but I always came back to Pittsburgh every summer. After college, I knew that I wanted to move away from Kentucky and made my final decision to live in Pittsburgh since I knew I would have support from family nearby and there is a growing fitness scene!
What are your three favorite movement activities in the Pittsburgh area? Training in Olympic weightlifting at Pittsburgh Fitness Project. Taking my kettlebell or steel mace to a park and doing a random workout for an hour. Working on my “pretty boy,” muscles at my apartment with kettlebells, bands, and perfect pushups.
Describe your fantasy movement-focused vacation…cost is not an object…where do you go and what do you do? This would be later in life when I don’t care as much about brute strength compared to how I feel, but I would spend a summer in India or Thailand and do a yoga excursion. Not necessarily a teacher certification, but just escape reality for a while and enjoy nature as well as be in tune with my mind and body for an extended period of time.
What is your go-to weekday breakfast? Your weekend breakfast? 1 cup rolled oats with a handful of chopped almonds, cinnamon and a banana. Then I soak the oatmeal with a protein shake instead of water. On the weekends I love having a breakfast sandwich with scrambled eggs, guacamole on the bread, then some bacon on the side.
What is your favorite thing to eat in Pittsburgh? Note: it does not need to be healthy. I love a lot of restaurants in Pittsburgh, and with my Hungarian heritage I would recommend Huszar 10/10. You probably wouldn’t get better Hungarian food in America unless someone’s grandma makes it, they are really friendly and they even have some Hungarian alcohol on hand if you’re feeling adventurous.
What is the most unusual and/or challenging movement activity you’ve done? Would you do it again? I’ve done quite a variety and when it comes to unusual, I’d say it would be a Pure Barre class. Unless you were a former dancer there’s basically no way to prepare your body for what’s to come and it can be brutal. But my most challenging workout involved using my street back home that was .2 miles long on Thanksgiving 2 years ago. I did frog jump squats down one end, walked back, then walking lunges down one end, walked back and then monster walks with a slingshot down to one end. It was over a half mile of exercises and my legs were sore for almost a full week!
What movement activity/event are you looking forward to in the next year? I’m competing in the Arnold Classic for weightlifting in the 73kg class. It’s my first American Open meet!
Would you rather go scuba diving or skydiving? Sky diving
What is your favorite recovery or self-care practice? Getting a light pump throughout the body, a long walk listening to a podcast on a beautiful day, work on Pilates or do a random free yoga class.
What is the one place visitors to Pittsburgh “must” see? My 3rd cousins from Hungary visited at the end of this summer but were only in town for a short time and I took them to Mt. Washington overlook. It’s a great view of the city but if you have time I think seeing the strip district is great too.
Contact info for Sandor Koppanyi: