At the age of 66, Bill Leonello, a Syosset fitness trainer, says, “I’m in the best shape of my whole life.”
And the judges agreed. In June, Leonello won first place in his age category in the National Physique Committee (NPC) Atlantic States competitive bodybuilding championship in New Jersey. Now, he’s training to enter a national competition in Pittsburgh in July.
Leonello trains at the Bev Francis Powerhouse Gym on Robbins Lane in Syosset,where competitive bodybuilders and weightlifters train. The gym is widely regarded as one of the leading gyms in the country for champion bodybuilding training.
Although Leonello has a full schedule of personal training for clients from Greenvale to Northport, he manages to train at Powerhouse Gym seven days a week.
“I’ve been doing bodybuilding training since I was nineteen,” he says. “It’s more than just a hobby. It’s a true passion and commitment.” He hasn’t let health issues stop him from training. “I was in the hospital once, recovering from a surgery, and I was doing crunches while I was lying in bed. The nurse came in and saw wires out of equipment. She said, ‘What are you doing!” I told her “I’m doing crunches.” She said, ‘’I know what you’re doing. But what are you doing!’ She put the wires back in place and told me to stop working out until I was discharged.”
Over the years, he says, “I’ve made real sacrifices in various aspects of my life to pursue bodybuilding titles.” And it’s paid off. Since 1975, he has won thirteen first or second place titles in local, regional and national championship competitions.