Muscle Sport Magazine

It’s Still ‘Physical Culture’ to William Neco, 49

This is part of a continuing series provided exclusively by MuscleSport Mag entitled, “This is Your Magazine,” where we profile the everyday athlete. If you would like to see yourself profiled here, please send us your story and photo to

It isn’t very common for someone as young as 11 to become interested in weight training. As a matter of fact, most kids that age are still getting their feet wet with team sports such as baseball and football. But for William Neco, he wouldn’t have it any other way.

In the old days, the sport of bodybuilding was known as ‘physical culture’ and was represented by strong men such as The Mighty Atom. Now at 49, Neco marvels at the long list of champions he has had the pleasure of meeting, and that of course includes the aforementioned, whose given name was Joseph Greenstein. The 5’4″, 140-pound Atom was able to perform feats of strength that men twice his size could only imagine doing. This was the type of role model that Neco has used to enjoy what has become a lifelong dedication to fitness.


“I started out with a 110-pound weight set,” the Brooklyn native said, “and by the age of 13, I won my first competition – going against grown men.”

Neco weighed a mere 145 pounds “soaking wet” when he took home the first place trophy at an open powerlifting event held in Bensonhurst. He competed in powerlifting for four more years before an injured knee put him on the shelf. The year was 1981 and Neco found himself rehabbing the injury at the famous Ritchie’s Gym in Sunset Park.

“Bodybuilding became my new passion but because I had little knowledge of the sport, I grew discouraged after about two years,” said Neco, who eventually gave up the long hours at the gym. By 1998, he gained weight and suffered a herniated disc through an unfortunate accident when a 30-pound piece of a roof fell 13 floors onto him.

Where lesser men would stayed on the sideline, Neco decided to return to the site of his previous accomplishments and was once again a member at Ritchie’s. He needed to deal with the pain and discomfort in his back and find exercises that would not aggravate the injury any further, while also strengthening his core.

That was 13 years ago and Neco can still be found at his favorite gym. “Ritchie’s has always been my inspiration” he said with a smile, but said that he also trains at Spartan Gym. He has had success on the stage, winning Muscle Mania on three separate occasions and Mr. New York, but is still hoping to earn his pro card. “It’s my ultimate goal,” Neco concluded.

After persevering through so much, who would doubt him?

This is Your Magazine’ is merely one of the reasons why MuscleSport Mag is far and wide better than any other publication out there. What other media outlet features the up and coming athlete, the same as if he or she was a professional in their industry? This is the place to get your face and story out there, and who knows what opportunities may arise from that type of exposure?


  1. Pingback: It's Still 'Physical Culture' to William Neco, 49 | Muscle Sport Magazine | yvubonetidic

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