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About Phoenix Fitness


Phoenix Fitness provides a safe and inspiring facility for the Trans, Non-Binary, and Gender Non-conforming community. We are located in Lawrenceville and have a diverse selection of fitness equipment for members of all needs. At Phoenix Fitness you will find strength and cardio equipment along with the latest functional wellness accessories. Whether you are just starting your fitness journey or maintaining what you have built, we have the space for you.

Our facility is equipped with 2 treadmills, 2 ellipticals, an upright bike, and a recumbent bike. We also have a cable machine, a squat rack with Olympic barbells and plates, 2 sets of dumbbells 5-50lbs, and pairs of kettlebells 9-70lbs. For members who enjoy machines, we have a Leg Press, Leg Extension, Leg Curl, Shoulder Press, Lat Pulldown, Chest Press, and a Seated Row.  In addition to the equipment, we have yoga mats, yoga blocks, bands, jump ropes, an abdominal wheel, a BOSU ball, a stability ball,  a box for plyometrics, parallettes, and a free standing punching bag. 

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Why a Trans Gym is Important

Phoenix Fitness recognizes the need for a gym that is for the Trans community. Physical fitness can be challenging and intimidating, especially when it comes to finding a safe place to work out that is both body-positive and trans-positive. A gym specifically for this community provides an opportunity for Trans individuals to focus on caring for their bodies in a supportive and judgement free environment where they can be their authentic selves. In addition to creating a welcoming space, each member will receive a foundational training session with guidance and programming for their specific goals. 

In our gym you have autonomy over your body and the right to explore what movements work for you. Our facility provides gender inclusive changing and restrooms which has presented barriers to Trans individuals using traditional gyms. The gym is built by Donal Donovan and Ben Cepparulo, leaders of the Trans community, along with strategic planning of the Phoenix Fitness Advisory Committee. We deserve a gym that allows the community to explore, shape, and build our bodies with exercise and movement.

“I wanted a place where I saw MYSELF being active, a place that put me at ease. It’s impossible to feel comfortable in an environment where you're constantly uncertain about other’s perceptions and your own safety” -Anonymous 

“Wellness to me is feeling good in my body, mind, and emotions. I feel "well" when all three of those things are in sync. Part of feeling in sync is feeling like I can be and be seen as my authentic self.” -Alexander  McCarthy (he/him)

Mission Statement

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Phoenix Fitness is a Trans-operated gym that embraces and celebrates the diverse spectrum of gender identities and expressions. We are committed to creating a safe, welcoming, and empowering space for the TGNC Community, including those who identify as transgender, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, and non-binary. Our mission is to provide a supportive environment where everyone can pursue their fitness goals with confidence and authenticity which hasn’t been the case in most facilities. 

We believe in fostering a community that values and respects the uniqueness of each person, promoting inclusivity in all aspects of our gym experience. Through personalized, LGBTQ+ and gender affirming functional training programming, we aim to empower our members to achieve their fitness goals while embracing and expressing their authentic selves.

At Phoenix Fitness we strive to break down barriers, challenge stereotypes, and create a culture of acceptance. Our dedicated team is committed to ongoing education and awareness to ensure that our gym remains at the forefront of gender inclusivity. Together, we work towards a future where fitness is a truly inclusive and affirming experience for everyone, regardless of gender identity or expression. Join us on this journey, where strength knows no gender, and everybody is celebrated.

Why Persad Center?

When the Allegheny County Department of Human Services announced they were seeking unique ideas for program models which would support the mental health of the LGTBQ+ community, the concept to create a pilot program surrounding a gym within the agency space was the ideal project to fulfill this County objective and support the clients' transition and mental health wellness. The County agreed with the findings and a long needed and well received program was underway.

With over 50% of their clients identifying as Trans and Gender Non-conforming, Persad Center saw the need to create specific programming that would continue to enrich their clients' lives and help support the meaningful efforts their clients were achieving through their ongoing behavioral health journeys. 

Phoenix Fitness opened on March 11th, 2024. Members can develop and maintain a positive physical outcome that reinforces their gender expression and allows them to work out in a safe, supportive environment that both contributes to their long-term health goals and creates a sense of community and fellowship.

As one of the first non-profit Trans gyms in Pennsylvania, we are constantly researching and evolving best practices and operations within the fitness industry. Persad has convened an advisory committee of Trans community members who are leading the development of purpose and offerings. Phoenix Fitness will initially be offered to members of the Trans community with the expressed understanding that ongoing community support, with the assistance of the advisory committee, may lead to adjustments.

Phoenix Fitness, as one of Persad’s service offerings to the community, is based, in part, on research emerging nationally that addresses the unique needs of Trans and Gender non-conforming individuals. For members of the Trans community, physical fitness can be life changing. For over 52 years, Persad has provided critical mental health services to all members of the LGBTQ+ community and we’re pleased to now offer a space that will specifically address the physical health of our Trans community and aid in developing a balanced, sustainable lifestyle.


Phoenix Fitness Gym


We are located in Lawrenceville and have a diverse selection of fitness equipment for members of all needs. At Phoenix Fitness you will find strength and cardio equipment along with the latest functional wellness accessories. Whether you are just starting your fitness journey or maintaining what you have built, we have the space for you.

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Monday – Friday: 8am – 7pm
​​Saturday & Sunday: closed

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