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William Dinnwiddie

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A bodybuilder opens Epic Fitness Solutions

Appeared in print: Thursday, May 3, 2012, page L1


Strength is Will Dinwiddie’s passion.

“Ever since I was 5 years old, I can remember wanting to always be big and strong,” Dinwiddie said. “It’s just my gift.”

Now he’s sharing that passion with his clients as a personal trainer and as the owner of Epic Fitness Solutions.

He officially launched his business in January, but the idea for Epic Fitness Solutions had been brewing in his head for much longer.

A friend thought of the name and was planning to establish his own business, but ultimately abandoned the idea, which is when Dinwiddie asked if he could have the name. His friend said yes.

That was in 2006, and Dinwiddie was writing training programs with the Epic name, while also competing in bodybuilding and Strongman tournaments. In 2011, he received his certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and it was time to make the idea a reality.

Dinwiddie competed in his first bodybuilding show in 2004, but his real interest is in Strongman competitions.

Such competitions typically consist of five to seven events that involve carrying a load of weight, sometimes moving with it. For example, one event might be lifting and moving sandbags to a platform, or flipping a 700- to 800-pound tire as fast as one can for a certain distance.

Dinwiddie, 31, is currently Oregon’s Strongest Man in the lightweight division, a title he won last year in a competition sponsored by the North American Strongman Association.

“I specialize in strength and conditioning, but I’m a personal trainer and the vision behind my company is to help people achieve their personal goal, whatever that may be,” he said.

Clients have ranged from a 15-year-old high school athlete to a 66-year-old woman, he said.

“Everybody’s individual needs and goals and wants are different,” Dinwiddie said. “I reassure everybody that we’re going to start you off at your level and we’re going to work you up from there.”

He usually trains individual clients out of Midtown Mixed Martial Arts & Family Fitness on Main Street, but he also travels to clients’ homes and sometimes holds boot camps at parks.

Dinwiddie knows from experience what it means to start at a basic level. As a 15-year-old youth, he says he weighed just 88 pounds and was the target of bullying.

“I went to Springfield High School; I was a nobody,” Dinwiddie said. “I got thrown in the trash cans and locked in the wall lockers there. I even got hung in a tree by my backpack because I was so small.

“And here I am today, one of the most well-respected strength athletes in the country.”

As a small teen, he was motivated to hit the gym and build his strength. He didn’t have a teacher or coach, but sought out people who were stronger for advice and techniques.

He graduated early from high school to join the military and start a new life, he said.

He was an Airborne Ranger, and the only private one year to compete in the grueling Ranger Games, he says, because he was in such good shape.

“All I really wanted to do at that time was to find a way to get paid to work out,” Dinwiddie said.

He had planned to embark on a military career, but discovered that being deployed and the requirements of Ranger school didn’t leave him enough time to strength-train. Instead, he was losing weight, and “that didn’t make me happy.”

After being honorably discharged, Dinwiddie returned to Springfield. He got a membership to Oz Fitness, where his name is still on the record board for the squat and deadlift.

He weighs about 225 pounds now, and is well-known in the strength community. But he’s been making efforts to reach out to others who might be interested in weight loss or fitness, rather than strength training.

“I train amateurs to professionals to regular, everyday people. It doesn’t matter,” Dinwiddie said. “Whatever your physical goal is, I can help you achieve it.”

Each client starts with an assessment to find his or her starting point and what they are capable of, and builds from there, Dinwiddie said.

For some, the financial commitment to personal training can be a hurdle. Another hurdle for some can be fear of the workout itself.

“In a lot of people’s heads they see it as like, you’re going to kill them,” Dinwiddie said. “Because they haven’t given me a chance to walk them through an actual series of workouts, in their mind they create the worst possible scenario of what’s going to happen.”

Dinwiddie says he sees a lot of out-of-shape people in this country and wants to help as many as he can.

“I love strength and I love fitness and I love teaching it to people,” he said.

One aspect of strength and fitness that Dinwiddie makes very clear is that it needs to happen without the use of steroids.

“I’ve never done steroids in my life,” he said.

When he first started, he was in the gym seven days a week. Sometimes, he would wait for the doors to open and be the last to leave. Now that he’s reached his current level of strength, he works out three to four times a week.

In addition to being a personal trainer, Dinwiddie finds that often he also acts as a counselor.

“Through the training, you’re helping people work out issues in their life,” he said. “Everybody has to deal with regular life and everybody has issues and problems, and it doesn’t matter who you are. And weightlifting and working out is just a great way for people to come together and work out their issues in life — and then get in shape and do something positive.”


EPIC FITNESS SOLUTIONS

Who: Will Dinwiddie, owner

What: Personal trainer

Contact: 541-914-6832 or willy.the.muscleman@hotmail.com

Website: www.epicfitnesssolutions.com

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