As a college student-athlete you are allowed four seasons of eligibility to play your sport of choice within a total of 10 semesters. Based on your performance throughout your collegiate career and whether your body is physically capable of playing at the next level is dependent on you and your sports program. Many athletes have the dream from a young age of making it to the professional level earning big bucks and being on TV. For others, a different route is pursued that usually enters the field of study that you graduated with. Former two-year captain, three year-starter and First Team All-American linebacker for the Griffins men’s football team, Tyler Zimmer, chose to give back to the community by opening his own gym called Alphalete Performance & Fitness just 10 minutes west on U-S 30 in Jeannette, Pa.
Zimmer knew deep down that he had a calling as he said, “My main goal is to provide my experiences and help these kids make the right decisions in life. I want to impact them outside of the facility as well.”
Zimmer grew up in Harrison City and attended Penn Trafford High School. Originally, Zimmer committed to Duquesne University before transferring to Seton Hill University (SHU) his sophomore year. He graduated from SHU in May of 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Special Education. In addition, Zimmer took several exercise science classes his senior year to gain more expertise and background information on this field of study. During Zimmer’s collegiate days, he earned Academic All-American twice and graduated with a 3.9 GPA.
On the field, Zimmer received much attention and exposure throughout his playing days. During his sophomore season for the Griffins he was First Team WVIAC Linebacker and after his junior season earned First Team PSAC Linebacker. To top this all off, he was one of few D2 players to be invited for Villanova University’s 2015 Pro Day, where 17 NFL scouts watch and critique players’ abilities to perform at a high level through speed, power and football drills.
“I miss being around the guys on the football team the most. I truly believe SHU and some of the amazing people that work there helped me get here today,” said Zimmer. “I learned many management skills, and SHU allowed me to grow up. All the great and bad experiences I took, digested and learned from them.”
Now as the owner and head strength coach/trainer at Alphalete Performance & Fitness, Zimmer strives to implement his motto, “Training your mind, body and spirit for the greater glory of God.” The goals at Alphalete are simple, to deliver authentic training for athletes at all levels, and any individual looking to live a healthier life.
Alphalete is not like your average local gym; it has a 25-yard red turf strip for athletes to do field workouts inside, along with several squat racks and platforms to perform Olympic lifts, and even a rock-climbing wall for the children. While it has a wide variety of equipment, the gym also offers yoga, kickboxing, personal training, small group work, bible study, youth camps and trinity classes that are controlled by Zimmer and his staff.
“The process of opening a facility was a lot of work. It took patience, and God’s timing of course,” said Zimmer. “But in this life you can look at what others look at as difficult and make it a blessing by being thankful for everything easy or hard. It is all in your perspective.”
Alphalete is still only in their first year of opening and have already grasped the attention of several current and former SHU student-athletes.
For former SHU football player Robert Brown, he enjoys the opportunity to train with Zimmer and his staff as they get his body, mind and soul ready for his upcoming season with the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League.
“Honestly, it is great to have a fitness gym as unique as Zimmer’s in this area. I’ve noticed that there are not many indoor facilities on the west side of Pennsylvania, especially one that is as well-advanced as his,” said Brown.
Even students who do not play a sport are hearing about Alphalete and coming on board. Graduate student Sydney Geyer, who is studying middle level education with English as her content area, actually helps out as an instructor for the youth fitness program, and also attends yoga classes at Alphalete.
“It’s just an energy when you walk through the door. It’s amazing what an impact it has to be able to focus on your fitness in an environment with people that have the same values as you. A place that puts God first, always.” said Geyer.
Alphalete Performance & Fitness is open 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. from Monday to Friday and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. The address is located at 320 Lincoln Hwy W Jeannette, PA 15644. So if you are looking to stop in and check the place out, or have any questions, the first workout is free.
“I hope we grow with our training methods. I hope our athletes are successful in all levels,” said Zimmer. “By then some of our athletes will be in college, so I pray they are successful and making the right decisions to better their future.”
For more information about Alphalete Performance & Fitness, click here.