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First Instructor Spotlight: Bill Ogden

First Instructor Spotlight: Bill Ogden



Contact Bill for personal training at 412-719-6281

Bill's Facebook:

Bill's Wounded Warriors Project 1776 Push-up Fundraiser:


Wright’s Gym is continuing to recognize those who have contributed so much to building the community here. In doing so, we at Wright’s Gym and especially owner Dave Wright would like to highlight an instructor who acts as a personal trainer, mentor and friend to many at our gym. It is hard to find someone with as much experience, accomplishment and individual character as the person we have chosen to recognize first. Wright’s Gym is honored to recognize Bill Ogden as the first instructor we spotlight, to share his story, accomplishments and life as a personal trainer. We also want to highlight his participation and twist to the 1776 push up challenge fundraiser supporting the Wounded Warriors Project. It involves completing 1,776 push-ups in recognition to our veterans and Bill plans to do this all in one day on a Facebook live stream tomorrow, March 30, which is also his 62nd birthday.


Bill founded his passion in fitness and weightlifting during his grade school years. When Bill spoke of his younger days, he reminisced on combing through the magazine stands near mom-and-pop shops by his home. There he would buy comic books and in them were advertisements for a type of exercise called dynamic tension workouts. At his young age, he paid $5 a week to buy this program where he would receive bodyweight exercises to perform at home. This was where Bill began his fitness journey, however he didn’t begin in weight training until he was faced with a severe situation at his school. His story is that of someone who turned a situation of victimhood into victory through training. I have previously written a blog on this story which I will link here A Negative turned Positive ( if you are interested in the details behind the bullying that guided Bill into using weight training as a path of resolution and what ultimately inspired his career in training.


In 1977, a film called Pumping Iron was released documenting famous bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno and Franco Columbo during the 1975 Mr. Olympia contest. During that year, a 16-year-old Bill Ogden would decide after watching this movie to train for a bodybuilding event. At his first show due to inexperience, Bill placed dead last. Many would think that is a sign to look into other interests, but despite the result, he was not deterred and noted all the mistakes he made. His next competition was held at Sto-Rox high school in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania and was a much larger event where people from all the nearby areas were competing. Bill placed first in the teens division and second in the men's. His dedication, discipline and devotion had paid off.



From that point forward, Bill participated in 12 more physique contests. He placed first in three of those competitions and never placed beneath the top three in the rest. Bill did not transition into powerlifting until he was 50 years old. At his debut competition at a national powerlifting meet in 2011, he placed first in his age bracket as well as in the overall division. From there, Bill was invited to represent the United States in an international powerlifting meet held in Las Vegas where again, he took first place. Since then, he has entered six more powerlifting contests and has placed first in each. With all these accolades, Bill also held the world record in the strict curl lifting 162 lbs. while weighing 260 lbs. before it was recently broken.


Three of those competitions were world championship contests. Without question, Bill is an example of what hard work and dedication will get you. His accomplishments in bodybuilding and powerlifting are a result of his devotion to learning, understanding and implementing the knowledge he’s gained over his career. It is also very important to mention that Bill gives all credit to God and Jesus Christ for everything he’s achieved. This is what is most important to him and what gave him the strength to accomplish great things.



Bill has taken all of this knowledge and applied it to his career in personal training. Unlike some who put the weight of their credentials in certifications and titles, Bill’s career speaks for itself and exemplifies a real understanding of training. He did not just learn about all the different forms and styles of training but applied them to himself to become one of the best athletes in the world. He has a wealth of knowledge on things like exercise variation, diet, training intensity, the primary and secondary functions of muscles, compound and isolation exercises, the list goes on and on. For example, Bill is known for accomplishing in a 30-minute workout what some spend an hour and a half completing. As the saying goes, train smarter not longer. Bill knows what it takes to achieve your fitness goals whether you are a beginner or advanced in your training. When working with you, he wants to understand your goals, who you are as a person and not only encourage you but give you the guidance you need to achieve them. 


His advice to those seeking a personal trainer is before moving forward with hiring, interview them, determine their level of commitment to you and if their intentions lean more towards financial gain or your success. Ask people who train with them and even watch them work with others if you have the opportunity. Bill will be the first to tell you that a good personal trainer isn’t just a trainer. He stated that if your personal trainer is constantly giving a sales pitch or can’t stop talking about themselves, they probably aren’t the best choice. A good trainer doesn’t just seek motivated individuals but acts as a source of motivation for them. You shouldn’t be getting injured working with a personal trainer, and they should be incorporating preventative measures throughout your training. A good trainer can train anyone no matter how advanced they are and will create the conditions for improvement. He listed these standards as ways to measure whether a trainer is right for you.


If you are an advanced lifter looking for a personal trainer, Bill will schedule an appointment with you to discuss the methods and protocols of your training. At advanced levels he primarily trains individuals in powerlifting, however, is capable of assisting anyone in their goals regardless of age, training level or goals. Overall, if you are looking for someone who has the experience, knowledge and accolades as an expert trainer, Bill Ogden is Pittsburgh’s finest. 


This leads us to the fundraiser Bill will be participating in tomorrow, March 30, known as the 1776 push up challenge in support of the Wounded Warriors Project. Several weeks ago, Bill received a notification from the Wounded Warriors Project to complete this challenge as Bill is also a veteran. He served in the United States Army as a Military Policeman from 1980-83 and in the inactive reserves from 1983-87. After witnessing the donations come in after accepting this challenge, Bill decided to bump up the difficulty to show his support for the movement. Instead of completing this challenge over a couple months or a couple weeks like it has been commonly done, he decided to complete the 1,776 push-ups in one day.


Since he has accepted this challenge, Bill has trained specifically to accomplish this goal all in recognition for our veterans. During the process, an interesting event occurred where Bill was challenged by a 28-year-old gym member to complete just 600 push-ups in one hour to see how difficult it actually was. While his competitor opened up with a set of 100 push-ups, Bill opened with eight push-ups and continued to chip away minute by minute. After 58 minutes, Bill had completed the 600 pushups. It took the younger athlete, even with his youth to his advantage, 62 minutes to complete the challenge showing how difficult Bill has made this challenge, all for the sake of motivating people to support this cause.


(An image of Bill Ogden and his wife, Debra Ogden)


Bill believes that he could potentially complete this challenge in roughly four hours if he is able to maintain the pace he has been training for. He will be performing this challenge at Wright’s Gym live on a Facebook livestream tomorrow and hopes everyone tunes in to support him. His wife and biggest support will be there with him during the process to help him accomplish this goal. Above I have linked both links to his Facebook page and the fundraiser on Facebook where you can make donations. We hope to see as many people as possible be present to support him during this challenge on the livestream and encourage donations to this important cause in support of our veterans. 


I hope we have given everyone a bit of insight into one of Wright’s Gym’s most appreciated individuals. Bill Ogden is known amongst our community as someone you can always approach with more than just questions about training. He has been a guide to many at Wright’s Gym and we’re truly grateful for the impact he’s had. In fact, at a young age when Owner Dave Wright went to get his first gym membership, it was given to him by Bill Ogden.



Bill gives a special thanks to Dave Wright for everything he has done for this community and creating such a special place in Wright’s Gym. 


Don’t forget to check out Bill’s live stream tomorrow, March 30, to support his fundraiser for the 1776 push up challenge and the Wounded Warriors Project. Also wish him a happy birthday as although it's a day where he is supposed to be receiving gifts, he chose to give. If you wish to seek personal training from Bill, reach out to his phone number 412-719-6281 which I also listed above.


Contact Bill at 412-719-6281

Bill's Facebook:

Bill's Wounded Warriors Project 1776 Push-up Fundraiser:



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