Category Archives: FitLabPGH Features

FitLabPGH Features 8:21 Ryan Popple




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: Ryan Popple

Are you a Pittsburgh native? If not, what brought you to the Pittsburgh area? If so, why are you still here? I moved to Pittsburgh 10 years ago. Back then I was really into BMX. The riding scene here was/still is really good for bmx. A lot of my friends that I would travel, ride and compete with lived in Pittsburgh. I would come to visit, ride and party with them every summer, before eventually moving here and becoming a full time resident. Due to injuries I had to hang up the bmx. Now I am a cyclist of a couple different disciplines. The cycling community in Pittsburgh is awesome. Very welcoming, all inclusive and positive.

What are your three favorite movement activities in the Pittsburgh area? -Cycling (cyclocross, MTB, road/gravel) -Hiking -Yoga

Describe the best vacation you’ve ever taken? Where did you go? What movement activities did you include? It’s hard to choose the best, but a couple years ago my wife and I went to Sedona, which was amazing. We met up with some friends to do some of the best, technical and scary mountain biking and hiking that I’ve ever experienced. It’s beautiful out there.

What is your favorite pre- or post-workout snack? Depends on the time of day and workout but… Pre- normally a good breakfast. Steel cut oats with fruit. Post- a smoothie with a scoop of Coco Elite protein powder.

What is your favorite thing to eat in Pittsburgh? Note: it does not need to be healthy. Lately it’s been the poke bowl from Reed&CO. Everything on the menu is amazing.

Do you have a movement activity on your “bucket list”? If not, what’s a movement activity/event you’re looking forward to in the next year? This winter I had planned on taking up more running, but an injury has kept me from doing too much of anything lately. Luckily it wasn’t worse, and I should be clear for all activities very soon. I’ve also been very interested in jujitsu for a while. I just need to make the time and drop down to True Believer for some beginner classes.

What do you think is the biggest obstacle to getting people to move more? Motivation and accessibility.

What do you feel is the most adventurous movement activity you’ve ever done? I went to Australia 6 years ago on a BMX trip. I met up with some friends that lived in Sydney. The very first thing we did was jump off some sea cliffs into the ocean. The locals call it “the blow hole.” It wasn’t too high of a jump, maybe like 40/50ft, but then the scary/sketchy part… to swim through a cave and come out on the other side of the headland. The cave was about 50 yards long and narrowed as it went on. This particular day the water was choppy and had a washing machine feel. Once in the cave, we had to dive underwater each time a wave came to avoid being smashed up on the cave ceiling and walls. It was hectic, exciting and could have been deadly. I never felt more alive.

What is your favorite recovery or self-care practice? I’m really into yoga. Yin yoga to unwind before bed it my favorite. I also use a foam roller everyday.

What is your favorite spot in Pittsburgh? (Bonus points if it is a “hidden gem”) Emerald View trail system has some great views of downtown and the point.

Contact info for Ryan Popple:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/r_popple/


FitLabPGH Features 7:21 Kathryn King




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: Kathryn King

Are you a Pittsburgh native? If not, what brought you to the Pittsburgh area? If so, why are you still here? Yes, native and boomerang! I relocated to DC in my 20s for work, and moved back to Pittsburgh to be closer to family and pursue my dream of opening a fitness studio.

What are your three favorite movement activities in the Pittsburgh area? Hiking with my dog Abbey, we love the Fox Chapel area for the woodsy walks. Biking through rails to trails downtown, Abbey stays at home! And group fitness classes at F45 Training in the heart of the Strip

Describe the best vacation you’ve ever taken? Where did you go? What movement activities did you include? Bali! I went with a friend and we explored 8 different towns across the span of 16 days. We spent the days hiking, both urban and rural, as well as yoga practice every morning.

What is your favorite pre- or post-workout snack? Post workout is a perfect bar – they taste like cookie dough, are kept chilled and are loaded with protein.

What is your favorite thing to eat in Pittsburgh? Note: it does not need to be healthy. I could think about this for hours, but off the top of my head. Healthy is an açaí bowl from Salud. Unhealthy, a specialty pizza from Caliente!

Do you have a movement activity on your “bucket list”? If not, what’s a movement activity/event you’re looking forward to in the next year? My bucket list movement item was to explore a new country every year, but well COVID. Instead, I’m going to work towards running the virtual Pittsburgh half marathon in May!

What do you think is the biggest obstacle to getting people to move more? I think there’s a misconception that movement has to be exercise and exercise is a chore. I walk a lot, not because I’m trying to burn calories, but because I actually enjoy it. Movement doesn’t always have to be intentional or with a purpose, it should be about feeling good!

What do you feel is the most adventurous movement activity you’ve ever done? I once jumped off a pretty high cliff in Hawaii and had to swim back to the beach. I do not remember the height, but it was high!

What is your favorite recovery or self-care practice? Yoga and massage!!! I do not do either enough, but I do get massages more than most people I know. And I love a good hot yoga session to sweat and stretch.

What is your favorite spot in Pittsburgh? (Bonus points if it is a “hidden gem”) Indoor movement – F45 Training , outdoor I love Fox Chapel hikes near Squaw Run Road

Contact info for Kathryn King:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kathryn_king/

https://www.instagram.com/f45_training_pittsburghstrip/


FitLabPGH Features 5:21 Crystal Brenneman




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: Crystal Brenneman

Are you a Pittsburgh native? If not, what brought you to the Pittsburgh area? If so, why are you still here? I am from Central PA (near Harrisburg) but went to Temple in Philly for my first year of college then transferred here to go to Pitt for the remainder of my undergrad. I stayed here because I absolutely loved this city. There was a small town feel yet with all the perks of the city.

What are your three favorite movement activities in the Pittsburgh area? Running, cycling, yoga!

Describe the best vacation you’ve ever taken? Where did you go? What movement activities did you include? My boyfriend (now fiancé), his parents, and myself went to Saint Martin. We chilled in the clear water together, stayed at a great house with an infinity pool looking into the Atlantic Ocean. We were carefree and just enjoying each other’s company for 10 days. I was in the middle of marathon training so I got to enjoy many miles of the coastline, the history of the island, and more. We also went snorkeling (my first time!) as a family.

What is your favorite pre- or post-workout snack? I absolutely adore my honey stinger GF waffles before, honey stinger gels or chews during as well as salt tabs, and Nuun.

What is your favorite thing to eat in Pittsburgh? Note: it does not need to be healthy. I am weak to some Condado tacos!

Do you have a movement activity on your “bucket list”? If not, what’s a movement activity/event you’re looking forward to in the next year? I really want to do a 100 miler in my lifetime. I love the idea of a grueling long adventure and spending all those hours and miles experiencing the beauty of the outdoors.

What do you think is the biggest obstacle to getting people to move more? The ability to get out the door or start the workout video. That’s why groups like weight watchers, running groups, etc… are so successful for people – it’s because they have a buddy system that keeps them accountable and gives them the motivation to do the work.

What do you feel is the most adventurous movement activity you’ve ever done? I unfortunately have not been as adventurous. I became a nurse in 2019, and in the beginning of 2020 when my fiancé and I wanted to start adventuring since we finally had the money to do so… the pandemic hit. But I would say that my most adventurous was hiking in New River Gorge.

What is your favorite recovery or self-care practice? I love yoga. I miss a good hot yoga session (I regularly attended South Hills Power Yoga). I have been taking up meditation lately through the Peloton App

What is your favorite spot in Pittsburgh? (Bonus points if it is a “hidden gem”) I wish I had a favorite!! If it’s a hike with my pupper and fiancé, a run with a great friend, or a backyard by the fire with good people, then it’s a favorite to me!

Contact info for Crystal Brenneman:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/crystal_almost_yecko_/


FitLabPGH Features 4:21 Jess Mann




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: Jess Mann

Are you a Pittsburgh native? If not, what brought you to the Pittsburgh area? If so, why are you still here? Yes. I love Pgh and its people. I’ve dedicated my career to positive and ethical community development so why not start where I live?

What are your three favorite movement activities in the Pittsburgh area? Running, Biking, Kayaking

Describe the best vacation you’ve ever taken? Where did you go? What movement activities did you include? Europe- walked everywhere. Swam in the ocean, hiked, just soaked everything in on my own 2 feet

What is your favorite pre- or post-workout snack? Banana with PB and nuun!

What is your favorite thing to eat in Pittsburgh? Note: it does not need to be healthy. Aiello’s pizza and a beer is my favorite long run treat

Do you have a movement activity on your “bucket list”? If not, what’s a movement activity/event you’re looking forward to in the next year? I’d love to complete an ultramarathon. I’m coming back from a hip fracture, so I think I’ll only manage a half marathon this year but I’m looking forward to building back up my strength and endurance and hitting the races stronger than before

What do you think is the biggest obstacle to getting people to move more? Confidence and accessibility

What do you feel is the most adventurous movement activity you’ve ever done? Tough Mudder

What is your favorite recovery or self-care practice? Float tanks (shout out to Levity in Squirrel Hill!) and my percussion gun for sore muscles

What is your favorite spot in Pittsburgh? (Bonus points if it is a “hidden gem”) August Wilson park in the Hill District. A hidden gem not many folks know about, but a beautifully restored park with a breathtaking view

Contact info for Jess Mann:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jsjourney2healthhappiness/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/J_MannPhD


FitLabPGH Features 1:21 Brendon Slotterback




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: Brendon Slotterback

Are you a Pittsburgh native? If not, what brought you to the Pittsburgh area? If so, why are you still here? No. We moved here in August because of a career opportunity.

What are your three favorite movement activities in the Pittsburgh area? Walking around Frick Park, scrambling around waterfalls in central PA, and riding the trails and gravel in the Laurel Highlands

Describe the best vacation you’ve ever taken? Where did you go? What movement activities did you include? I spent three days hiking to remote hot springs in Northern New Mexico

What is your favorite pre- or post-workout snack? Peanut butter banana and spinach smoothie

What is your favorite thing to eat in Pittsburgh? Note: it does not need to be healthy. A slice of spinach and feta pizza from Colangelo’s

Do you have a movement activity on your “bucket list”? If not, what’s a movement activity/event you’re looking forward to in the next year? Hiking the Appalachian or Superior Hiking Trail.

What do you think is the biggest obstacle to getting people to move more? People could walk and bike a lot more if we calmed traffic and made more protected space for bikers and walkers

What do you feel is the most adventurous movement activity you’ve ever done? Whitewater rafting on the Arkansas River

What is your favorite recovery or self-care practice? Lying in bed with a hot cup of coffee and a book

What is your favorite spot in Pittsburgh? (Bonus points if it is a “hidden gem”) We’re new here, so don’t know all the good spots yet, but I love anything on the south side!

Contact info for Brendon Slotterback:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bslotterback/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bslotterback


FitLabPGH Features 38:20 Francie Desmone




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: Francie Desmone

Are you a Pittsburgh native? If not, what brought you to the Pittsburgh area? If so, why are you still here? Native. Family.

What are your three favorite movement activities in the Pittsburgh area? Walking in parks, riding bike paths, dancing b.c. (before COVID)

Describe the best vacation you’ve ever taken? Where did you go? What movement activities did you include? Antarctica. Crossed the Drake Passage in heavy seas great isometric and balance practice. Hiking on the islands and continent sometimes in pebbles others deep snow. So much activity and with many layers of clothes 2 trips ashore per day was very taxing. Glad I went on the last stop even very tired. It was the best day.

What is your favorite pre- or post-workout snack? Lara bar; almonds, apples.

What is your favorite thing to eat in Pittsburgh? Note: it does not need to be healthy. Medium Rare steak, loaded baked potato, pecan ball with chocolate sauce

Do you have a movement activity on your “bucket list”? If not, what’s a movement activity/event you’re looking forward to in the next year? I look forward to sailing again soon

What do you think is the biggest obstacle to getting people to move more? Fear, gear, pain

What do you feel is the most adventurous movement activity you’ve ever done? Sailed hundreds of miles from land. Rough weather is dangerous and taxing.

What is your favorite recovery or self-care practice? Epsom salt bath

Contact info for Francie Desmone:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/franciedesmone/

 


FitLabPGH Features 37:20 Ashley Fortune



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: Ashley Fortune (SweatNET Pittsburgh) (RePost from 1/2/20)

Are you a Pittsburgh native? If not, what brought you to the Pittsburgh area? No, I am from Seattle. Moving to Pittsburgh January 2020. My significant other is from Pittsburgh and has been wanting to move back. I am excited for the change and the opportunities of moving to Pittsburgh!

What are your three favorite movement activities in the Pittsburgh area? TBD!

Describe your fantasy movement-focused vacation…cost is not an object…where do you go and what do you do? I’m a tropical beach person so any beautiful island that offers beautiful hikes, stand-up paddle boarding, snorkeling and swimming in the waves

What is your go-to weekday breakfast? Your weekend breakfast? Weekday: Vegan protein smoothie mixed with kale, blueberries and a green juice. Weekends I love a delicious veggie scramble or hash with a mimosa!

What is your favorite thing to eat in Pittsburgh? Note: it does not need to be healthy. I’ve been to PGH a handful of times to visit and as cliché as it sounds I LOVE the Italian Sandwich from Primanti Bros – although, I have recently gone more pescatarian so I will need to find a new favorite! I will be on the hunt for the best Thai restaurant in the city!

What is the most unusual and/or challenging movement activity you’ve done? Would you do it again? I took an incredible but SUPER challenging boxing class. The “warm up” was about 20 min of full on HIIT following by 40 min of partner boxing combos and static movement. It took me way out of my comfort zone but I loved it and would go back in a heartbeat. I LOVE getting out of my comfort zone when I workout.

What movement activity/event are you looking forward to in the next year? Trying endless new workouts from studios and instructors around the Pittsburgh area as we work on launching SweatNET Pittsburgh in 2020

Would you rather go scuba diving or skydiving? Sky Diving – I love to snorkel but the idea of scuba diving makes me a little claustrophobic.

What is your favorite recovery or self-care practice? 90 min massage with added cupping!

What is the one place visitors to Pittsburgh “must” see? I’m a sucker for a good skyline so the incline is a MUST so they can see the incredible view. I also love roller coasters so Kennywood is where I plan to take all of my visitors.

Contact info for Ashley Fortune:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sweatnetpgh/

https://www.instagram.com/ashleyfortune_/


FitLabPGH Features 36:20 Lauren Wentz




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: Lauren Wentz

Are you a Pittsburgh native? If not, what brought you to the Pittsburgh area? If so, why are you still here? Yes – my job as a physical therapist has grown in this area and of course my large family

What are your three favorite movement activities in the Pittsburgh area? Running, yoga, strength training

Describe the best vacation you’ve ever taken? Where did you go? What movement activities did you include? that’s a tough one! I love going to the beach to run and paddle board, but I also love going out west to run and hike

What is your favorite pre- or post-workout snack? Pre – oatmeal. Post – pizza

What is your favorite thing to eat in Pittsburgh? Note: it does not need to be healthy. Pizza!!!

Do you have a movement activity on your “bucket list”? If not, what’s a movement activity/event you’re looking forward to in the next year? Boston Marathon, 50 mile race in the Florida Keys

What do you think is the biggest obstacle to getting people to move more? Consistency – physical activity needs to be a daily appointment with yourself. It’s just as important as a doctor’s appointment, but it’s the first thing that gets pushed to the side when life gets busy.

What do you feel is the most adventurous movement activity you’ve ever done? I ran 167 miles in 6 days from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio to Brookville, PA for MS RUN the US relay

What is your favorite recovery or self-care practice? Yoga

What is your favorite spot in Pittsburgh? (Bonus points if it is a “hidden gem”) Pittsburgh Marathon finish line

Contact info for Lauren Wentz.:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/laurun_allthemiles/


FitLabPGH Features 35:20 Laura E.




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: Laura E.

Are you a Pittsburgh native? If not, what brought you to the Pittsburgh area? If so, why are you still here? I’m originally from Ohio but relocated to the Pittsburgh area 10 years ago for work. I now reside in Wexford with my husband and son where I also own an online boutique Lane 51.

What are your three favorite movement activities in the Pittsburgh area? My family and I love visiting all of the local parks, especially Knob Hill in Marshall Township & Graham Park in Cranberry. Both have unique playgrounds and trails that are great for biking or walking. Over the summer we explored the waterfalls in Ohiopyle State Park and the hiking trails of McConnell’s Mill. The Bar Method in Wexford also has the best pop-up classes!

Describe the best vacation you’ve ever taken? Where did you go? What movement activities did you include? The best vacation I’ve ever taken also happens to be my wedding – We hosted a destination wedding in Punta Cana with close friends & family. Everything from the food & drinks to the spa, the pools & the beach, it was the best vacation. While we were there we went snorkeling in the ocean & played on all of the water sports.

What is your favorite pre- or post-workout snack? My favorite post workout snack is a cold pressed juice & wrap from Clean Juice in Wexford. Right now I’m loving the Sweet Green Juice and the BBQ Chicken Wrap, with apple slices added.

What is your favorite thing to eat in Pittsburgh? Note: it does not need to be healthy. My favorite thing to eat in Pittsburgh is Mexican fare. Some of my favorite spots for tacos & tequila are Tres Rios in Southside, Condado Tacos, Round Corner Cantina in Lawrenceville, and Emiliano’s in Cranberry.

Do you have a movement activity on your “bucket list”? If not, what’s a movement activity/event you’re looking forward to in the next year? I love to be outside in nature so I’m looking forward to more hiking trips especially as the leaves continue to change & the weather cools.

What do you think is the biggest obstacle to getting people to move more? Motivation. Once we get ourselves moving it’s easy to keep up with it, but it’s that initial effort that seems to be the biggest obstacle.

What do you feel is the most adventurous movement activity you’ve ever done? I wish I had something more exciting to share lol. I would have to say my most adventurous movement would be ziplining or parasailing while on vacation

What is your favorite recovery or self-care practice? I love indulging in a good massage. I also recently tried a Salt Therapy Room at Revitalize in Sewickley which is something I’d love to do again; it was so calming & detoxifying.

What is your favorite spot in Pittsburgh? (Bonus points if it is a “hidden gem”) Any rooftop 🙂 I love being surrounded by the views of the city. Some of my favorites are Hotel Monaco’s Biergarten, Il Tetto, or Eighth & Penn Apartments. Even though I’ve done it 20 times I still love riding the Duquesne Incline for that breathtaking view at the top.

Contact info for Laura E.:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the_wexford_housewife_/

https://www.instagram.com/lane51btq/


FitLabPGH Features 34:20 Jessie Hartman




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: Jessie Hartman

Are you a Pittsburgh native? If not, what brought you to the Pittsburgh area? If so, why are you still here? Yes, born and raised!

What are your three favorite movement activities in the Pittsburgh area? Crossfit, running/hiking outdoors and kayaking

Describe the best vacation you’ve ever taken? Where did you go? What movement activities did you include? I would have to say my favorite vacation (so far) was to Hawaii in 2014. At that time of my life, I was training for and running half marathons so I would get up early every morning to run Kailua Beach at sunrise. It was absolutely amazing. I also did several day hikes around the island, standup paddle boarding in the ocean and snorkeling. Truly one of my all-time best trips ever!

What is your favorite pre- or post-workout snack? Pre-workout I enjoy fruit and nut butter and post-workout I always try to get in some protein and carbohydrates, so usually a protein shake with almond milk and a banana.

What is your favorite thing to eat in Pittsburgh? Note: it does not need to be healthy. Pittsburgh has so many great foodie spots this is hard to pick! Mediterra Cafe or Gaucho Parrilla Argentina.

Do you have a movement activity on your “bucket list”? If not, what’s a movement activity/event you’re looking forward to in the next year? I would really like to try jiu-jitsu!

What do you think is the biggest obstacle to getting people to move more? Talking with folks about getting more active, the number one reason they give for not including movement is “not enough time.” I understand life gets busy and schedules can be challenging to work around, but I believe that you have to make time for the things you want to do-like getting up and working out or getting to the gym after work. Create the habit and you’ll find the time!

What do you feel is the most adventurous movement activity you’ve ever done? Probably MMA/boxing. I was so nervous to try it and I ended up absolutely loving it!

What is your favorite recovery or self-care practice? Foam rolling, stretching and massage.

What is your favorite spot in Pittsburgh? (Bonus points if it is a “hidden gem”) Peters Lake Park

Contact info for Jessie Hartman:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jess_notica/

https://www.instagram.com/whole_heart_wellness_massage/