Wits & Weights | Nutrition, Lifting, Muscle, Metabolism, & Fat Loss

Ep 65: Programming in Kettlebells for Strength, Powerlifting, and the Big 3 Lifts with Wil Del Pizzo

April 28, 2023 Wil Del Pizzo Episode 65
Wits & Weights | Nutrition, Lifting, Muscle, Metabolism, & Fat Loss
Ep 65: Programming in Kettlebells for Strength, Powerlifting, and the Big 3 Lifts with Wil Del Pizzo
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Show Notes Transcript

Today, we have a special guest joining us - Wil Del Pizzo! Wil shares his insights on kettlebell training, the Big 3 lifts, programming lifts in a group setting and youth sports, and advice for trainers and coaches.

Wil is a fitness expert with a passion for kettlebell and strength training. He's a StrongFirst Certified and TRX Certified trainer with over 13 years of experience in the fitness industry. He was a former Strength Coach for the Chatsworth High School Baseball Team, where he helped produce several high-level athletes and professionals. He is also the owner of Built Strong Strength Club, where you can download some awesome programs for kettlebells, strength and power, and the Big 3.
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Book a FREE 30-minute call with Philip here.
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Today you’ll learn all about:

[1:30] How Wil got into the fitness industry
[3:00] Why kettlebells for strength training
[6:37] Quick snapshots of kettlebell workouts
[9:25] Barbells and the big 3 lifts
[11:59] Squats, workout, and progressive overload
[16:29] The overhead press as the fourth lift
[18:32] TRX suspension training
[22:05] Programming powerlifts and progression in a group setting
[22:16] Tony shares what he likes about Philip and the Wits & Weights community
[26:20] Coaching the individual
[28:07] Balancing skill development with strength training, conditioning, periodization, and recovery in training for youth sports
[35:06] Choosing the right coaching client
[43:04] Staying mentally tough despite the struggles in the fitness industry
[45:55] How to connect with Wil
[47:00] Outro

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Wil Del Pizzo:

get one or two kettlebells with you and really get you going and get you a great workout and consistently over and over and over the volume of training that you can do with kettlebells I have found can surpass traditional barbell training. And once again, that's depending on programming.

Philip Pape:

Welcome to the Wits& Weights podcast. I'm your host, Philip pape, and this twice a week podcast is dedicated to helping you achieve physical self mastery by getting stronger. Optimizing your nutrition and upgrading your body composition will uncover science backed strategies for movement, metabolism, muscle and mindset with a skeptical eye on the fitness industry, so you can look and feel your absolute best. Let's dive right in. Welcome to another episode of Wits & Weights. Will de PISA joins me on today's show to talk about kettlebell training, the three big lifts programming in a group setting and for youth sports and advice for trainers and coaches. Will has been in the fitness industry for over 13 years, specializing in kettlebell and strength training. He's a former strength coach for the Chatsworth high school baseball team, which has produced several high level athletes and professionals. Will's the owner of built strong strength club where you can also find downloadable programs and other free resources for kettlebells strength and power and the big three at build strong strength.com. Well, it's a pleasure to have you on the show, man. Thank you very much for having me, sir. Appreciate it. Thank you. So let's start with your story. Just briefly, tell us how you got interested in fitness and lifting that got you to where you are today.

Wil Del Pizzo:

So I was in another industry before I even got into the fitness world. But I was that typical gym rat. So I was a high school athlete and we lifted poorly at your high school. Sure, variety, you know, football and track and stuff like that. It's about volume and moving as much weight as you can and not necessarily the safest. That's evolved a lot in high schools as evolved a lot in high schools. But, you know, went to college and I got into broadcasting, but I always just kind of a gym rat got back to the gym in my early 20s. And just kind of stayed there. And like any young buck, I was all about upper body. Very little legs, guys. Yeah. Yeah. Right. You know, because that's what's the most impressive part is those big cannons, but did that stuff and then over the years, I've just kind of evolved and kind of always kind of kept coming back into the industry until I went well. I'm not happy doing what I'm doing. So what do I do? And what do I know how to do? One was play rock and roll. And the other one was to lift weights. So I said, Well, let's see. Let's do both. Hey, why don't I go and have a good time? Right? That's awesome. That's funny, because I used to be a musician, myself. And I could see, I could see similar some similarities between those things and how you think but uh, so you've been in the fitness industry now? Solid for about 13 years, right? Yeah, coming up on 14. Yeah, but 14 years. Yeah. And you specialize. So this is one thing I want to kind of clue in on a little bit, you specialize in kettlebell training. And I want to talk about that, because I don't think we've talked about that on the show. My experience with kettlebells was was to CrossFit. They did CrossFit for eight years.

Philip Pape:

Russian kettlebell swings, and you know my wads and I do have a kettlebell handle for my dumbbells at home, where I pull it out after deadlifts or something for some posterior work. But why kettlebells for strength training,

Wil Del Pizzo:

bang for the buck, mostly, it's bang for the buck. It's really kind of all encompassing, I can build strength, I can build muscle, I can build power, and I can get a cardio aerobic workout, kind of all in there. And you can kind of mess with parameters, like any program, you can kind of mess with parameters and do that type of stuff. So it's really kind of bang for the buck for me, as athletes and athletes that I train, posterior chain is big, you know, you really need get strong glutes, strong hamstring, lower back, strong stuff like that. So it's really kind of helps with that explosiveness and all that conditioning and stuff like that. So I know as a tool, as a tool, I can use a kettlebell and get a whole lot of work done. As opposed to like barbells, dumbbells, you know, cables, bands, all that other stuff. And there's nothing wrong with all that other stuff. I'm a deadlift, or by kind of heart is so there's nothing wrong with that stuff. But just with kettlebells I know I can get one or two kettlebells with you and really get you going and get you a great workout and consistently over and over and over the volume of training that you can do with kettlebells I have found can surpass traditional barbell training. And once again, that's depending on programming you can get,

Philip Pape:

you know, I guess Yeah. So that's interesting, because what you just said there's, you know, the mode, the mode of your training and what your goals are and what you're trying to accomplish is the one of the most important considerations. So you said speed, work power and also conditioning? And that makes a lot of sense. Would you say somebody who just has purely a strength goal that isn't an athlete and looking for explosiveness or speed or conditioning? is better off with barbells? Or is there still a place for the kettlebells? In that context,

Wil Del Pizzo:

I'm biased. I'm biased. Here's the thing with bells, though, like there's a learning curve, you got to put time into them, there's little nuances with them that you kind of have to figure out and do. We don't call it Training, we call it practice, we practice with the bells, okay? You have to work with them and get comfortable with them, it was one of those things you just kind of randomly pick up every once in a while, you're gonna get beat up a little bit, as opposed to and I'm not knocking any of these, but like a benchpress, you can kind of think there's nuances to the benchpress. But you can kind of get underneath the barbell and kind of muscle around a little bit, the kettlebell, if you try to fight it, it just chews you up so badly that you kind of have to put it down and reassess what you're doing what's going on. So in terms of like strength, the way that loads are in the way we can adjust those things, you can build a lot of strength in a short amount of time with the kettlebell.

Philip Pape:

Cool. Yeah, you know, I was my next question was going to just segue into barbells, because I'm biased on that side. And I'm actually getting more intrigued by the kettlebells. Because the a good good friend of mine, he's also coach here in Enfield, his name is wrong, Andrew Romeo, he's got he came from across the background. So now it's more strength conditioning, there's a ton of different kettlebells. And I'm like, what else? What else could we do with those? So what if you just give us a quick snapshot of what either an individual workout would look like? Like, let's say you're working? Lower body? what that might look like using kettlebells.

Wil Del Pizzo:

So I like to do Turkish get ups as a warm up.

Philip Pape:

Oh, get ups got

Wil Del Pizzo:

right. Yeah, it's so if you want to take skill, yeah, I mean, so you but you can break that even if you break it down into segments, you can still get a lot out of the Turkish get up. So like a Turkish get up would be a warm up. Three by one,

Philip Pape:

hold on, just explain the Turkish get up for people.

Wil Del Pizzo:

So Turkish get a basically you're lying on the ground with a kettlebell over your chest. And you continue to hold it overhead and over your chest as you try to stand up as you stand up. Right. So there's various movements in there, it promotes hip mobility, shoulder mobility, hip stability, shoulder stability, spine, core legs, it gets everything. So as a warm up, it's great as kind of a warm up, because you're just kind of priming the gears a little bit to get ready to go. So I would start with some Turkish get ups three by ones, three sets of one on each side. With a moderate weight, if you want to go heavy, heavy is a relative term, but with a moderate weight, just to kind of get everything going. I would throw some goblet squats in there, verse session for a second. So that would be my warm up a strength session would be goblet squats, any form of goblet squats. That's where you hold the bell kind of in front of your chest and you do squats. single rack squats with one battle Bell over the side double rack squats. You can do various squats like that. You can even do lunges, or everybody's favorite, but Bulgarian split

Philip Pape:

Oh, yes. Yeah. I haven't found somebody who actually loves those maybe better than I know. But yeah, well, that's a

Wil Del Pizzo:

sick individual, sick, sick person. So we can do stuff along that lines, maybe even some cleans to work on that posterior change chain to get that pull in there to get some lats kinds of shoulders in there. And if you want to go like bare bones, then I would end with some kettlebell swings, like 10 by 10s 10, every minute on the minute for 10 minutes. So get your 100 swings in. So that way you kind of get the whole lower body workout and get a good kind of cardio workout in there also. And that would be really, really, really, really basic bare bones.

Philip Pape:

No, that's great. Just so people get an idea of of the versatility of the kettlebell and how you could load it right. Again, I haven't learned much about it. Other than like, maybe Dan John, I know he's big into kettlebells Oh, yeah. Yeah. Guys like that. I can respect it. You know, when you hear a guy talking about it like that, and he's big, strong Dude, that's trained a lot of athletes and Olympic lifters. You know, there's respect for that. So let's move over to barbells now, okay, and we'll start with the big three but then I want to add another one to that in a bit. And I incorporate personally these these, the barbell movements multiple times every week, you know, in some capacity and the listeners hear me talk about them a lot. But I just love to hear your perspective as an experience trainer and strength coach, like talk about barbells

Wil Del Pizzo:

Yeah, barbells is kind of a staple. I'm not a big power clean guy. I'm a big jerk guy. I'm not a big like barbell snatch guy. I'd rather do a kettlebell snatch, hey, but I'm not a big like barbell snatch guy like, I can teach it and I have taught it is The nuances of it once again, you really got to break down the last like six weeks of this, six weeks of that six weeks of that. So we've kind of stripped those away. And we just kind of did the big drum here, a big three here at our facility. So that'd be the deadlift, the bench and the squat, because you can get the most out of those lifts the the most compound, you can make arguments for the bench about the functionality of it. There's not a lot of times you're going to be on your back, like pushing a truck off your chest. But hey, you know, don't kill the sacred cow. But you can, you know,

Philip Pape:

well, you know, I've heard I've heard that argument. But then the counter argument is the leverage you get with that allows you to push a lot more load than say the overhead press right. So it gives you a little extra stimulus. Yeah, continue?

Wil Del Pizzo:

Well, yeah. And with the bench, like, it's really sports specific, like a football player like alignment, I'd be like, yeah, you need a bench press, because that's all you're doing is just that forward pushing motion. So yeah, that makes sense to me. But with the big three, you just kind of hit everything. You know, the deadlift, you kind of hit everything, the bench, you kind of hit everything in the squat, you kind of get everything, you know, you get that lat active let you get that lat activation, you know, you're grinding yourself into the ground, you got to brace your core, you kind of have to incorporate everything into them. So in terms of functionality, I think we all understand what a squat is, like how purposeful that is. We do that every day. And the deadlift, the hip hinge. Oh, yeah, we all we all. Yeah, all the time. We all pick up stuff poorly, all the time. So just the hip hinge and the squat alone. Like if the workout gods came down and said, No more exercises, you only get one, choose the squat.

Philip Pape:

Love it. Right with you 100% 100% All day,

Wil Del Pizzo:

you can just squat all day. So we incorporate a lot of that. In our training. Here. We base a lot of our training here at the facility on those big three lifts.

Philip Pape:

Yeah. And you covered, you touched on a few other things. I mean, first that you said if that's the only thing you can do, why the squat, it's the squat. And it touched on the fact that you activate some of these other muscle groups, right? There's a lot of stabilization and isometrics going on. And people listening. You know, you mentioned the core, you mentioned the lats, there's so many things. Are you frozen? Or no, no, I'm here. You're just like, we're still okay. That's some mindfulness. They're listening that says something, I gotta keep getting better. So yeah, just like when somebody says, How do I get a six pack? It's like, Well, do you squat? Like start there, you know, get get. But then of course, once you're super strong, and you want to go develop your physique further, you can throw other things in. So I love that on the squat, do you do the low bar or high bar you mix it up, mix it up.

Wil Del Pizzo:

So myself, I do a high bar squat, I just find that's the most comfortable for me. In terms of our classes, we do every type of squat. So it's not like you'd come in like so Fridays are squat day, Mondays are our deadlift day. Wednesdays are bench day. And then Fridays are squat. They just talk programming. So we do every type of squat. Right, so I'm doing back squats. I'm doing box squats. I'm doing bandit squats. I'm doing front squats and doing Zurcher squats. Which No Yes. Yeah. You know? Yeah, split squats, you know. So I don't think we've ever repeated a workout. So if you come in and do if we come in and just do a normal everyday squat, squat, we'll do threes, right? Do it reps of three. It might be three months, maybe four before you just come back to a regular squat.

Philip Pape:

So in that context is are your clients trying to this is a group group context, right?

Wil Del Pizzo:

Yeah, let's go into the group context. Yes. Okay. No, actually, you know, I do all my clients.

Philip Pape:

So how do you how do they progress? Like how do you know they're getting stronger? If they're varying the squats? Are they are they testing one RMS on different variants regularly or what's the progression scheme?

Wil Del Pizzo:

So that depends on the person okay, you know, I have I have some people who 5060 year olds no reason to one rep max I'm sure you know, you know what I mean? There's no reason to tense a skill of itself. Yeah, I mean, come on, we're just trying to be healthy and that stuff like that I keep immaculate records. So I will keep the same weight go more reps go more weight, less reps. So we just have those kind of parameters. Depth is a big thing. Your mobility and stuff like that. In terms of so that's the one on once every it like all my clients and all our classes, I base it off the big three, and I forced kettlebells onto people. Work man because I'm such an advocate of them. But so yeah, the in terms of stuff like that you kind of have to Go with the individual with classes. We keep once again, kind of Immaculate records, we see what's going on. And people know what's what's happening. When they're lifted more, they're there, five rep PR and a three rep PR, when they come back to it, they know where they're at. Got it. And so we do have strength contests here, where we've logged everything. So we can kind of see, like, you know, six months ago, you were doing 100 pounds, and now you're doing 150 pounds, and as necessary is increased. So we kind of keep those records just to kind of let them know where they're at.

Philip Pape:

Cool. Yeah, I was just curious, because that's super important. We talked about all the time, as well as progressive overload and making sure you're actually training harder each time. And it's funny because I just recently finished a bulk and in December, and I was doing a conjugate or Westside style program. And every Monday and Tuesday, I'm doing a different variant of a lift, usually rotate through like six or seven, and don't come back to the same lift to like eight weeks later. You know, but but that involves testing one, two rooms, it's a whole different thing. Yeah.

Wil Del Pizzo:

And they're 10 by ones and they're maxing on every day, I read a lot of the West Side barbell stuff, love their stuff. I mean, you just got to concede the fact that they know what they're talking about. So we take a little bit of what they do, I take a little bit of what they do. And then we kind of kind of follow on the back end of it with doing little left behind to enhance the deadlift enhance the bench to

Philip Pape:

accessories. Yeah, yeah. So one of my favorite lifts is the fourth lift. If we haven't talked about the overhead press, right, often quite often called the forklift. So I like that fact that it's hard. And it's you know, you cannot you have to be careful how you progress and it requires seems to require more volume to actually progress. But where does that fit into to all this from your perspective?

Wil Del Pizzo:

So, you know, we all do an overhead lifts. We have a specific arm class, I'll do overhead lifts. I bench that I benched. I pair that with the bench. Okay, yeah. Right. So I pair that with the bench. So we will do that overhead lifts. We don't have a specific like, okay, like the fourth day is the overhead, right? Overhead Press day. I don't know the need for it. You know, it's kind of one of those activities is like I get it everybody says like, it's really satisfactory to like, pick heavyweight up and push it over your head. I would say it's more fun to pick up heavyweight off the Florida deadlift.

Philip Pape:

It doesn't have to be a competition. Yeah, right.

Wil Del Pizzo:

Do what you want. So I we do a lot of I do a lot of overhead pressing, a lot of singular overhead pressing, that barbell overhead pressing, you'll get a lot of that hyperextending in that back with a lot of people. And so they want to sit way into it. Yeah, and now it's kind of a risk reward type thing for me. So we'll work in some overhead, or I'll work in some overhead press with a lot of clients. But we'll stay kind of below the shoulder a little bit and work a little bit more and more mobility and stuff like that as well. Just raw power overhead.

Philip Pape:

Right? Yeah. It's interesting, because it used to be it used to be an Olympic lift right? years ago. And then they got rid of it like the 60s, because of some controversy between Russia and the US. There's a whole story behind this.

Wil Del Pizzo:

There's been some controversy between Russia the US. Yeah, so it's definitely

Philip Pape:

been one or two. Anyway, so I want to talk about group classes. But before that, I see that you're TRX certified. I wanted to ask about TRX suspension training, because I personally haven't done it. I've heard it talked about the guys on like mind pump and other great podcasts I listened to talk about all the time. And I've even recommended it to some clients because of their equipment situation. So can you explain what you can do with that kind of suspension training, everything.

Wil Del Pizzo:

So it's great, I found a great for progressions. Some people can't do, they can't push up, they can't do a push up off the floor, they just lacked the coordination, they might lack the core strength, they might just lack pure strength in order to get a proper push up. And, you know, we start from the plank, okay, let's get a strong plank, and we kind of build up from there. But it allows me to adjust the difficulty very quickly and instantaneously. So we can still get a push up motion going and learn how to activate that core, learn how to move everything in the same area. You know, it's great for pulling exercises. You know, we're really smashing those rhomboids together really, really working on that scapular control, which a lot of people need a lot of work with, you know that for their shoulder stability, squats all day long. People need that neck cushioning, but they need the handles in order to make sure they can sit down and stay upright. Upper, you know, keep their proper posture because they just don't have the mobility and they so it gives them that little extra sense of cushioning and, and, and okay, I can do this and I'm right there. And we can work on single leg stuff with the TRX. A lot of core exercises because you're suspended, you know, think of, think of a stability ball, like a big stability ball, ISO ball, like, you can do a lot of stuff with that with the course. So it's a version of the stability ball without having this big rubber ball sitting on the corner, I can hang it around and do a bunch of things with it. So you can kind of, you know, your little pretty sets of curls and stuff like there too.

Philip Pape:

So in your, in your gym is that that's primarily the, the mode you use it in is getting people from, you know, mobility or physical limitations to full depth or full scapular retraction, or whatever it is, before they go to the main lift.

Wil Del Pizzo:

Yeah, I'll use it as auxiliary lift, people are rehabbing and they're cleared for physical therapist, I'll get a lot of those people and knees and shoulders and stuff like that. So they have a functional range of motion in their joint, they just need to get a little bit more out of it. So for like your knees, your hips, and like that, we need to get a little more depth out of that squat. You know, they're functional, but we can get a little more depth out of it. And that just provides that safety that they're looking for. So in terms of like putting it in groups, use it all the time for rows use all the time. For inverted rows, we do a lot of core off of that stuff. Because we just kind of, once again, what I like to smash posterior training, sir. Two to one ratio is usually what I do. So for our exercise, we do two back exercises.

Philip Pape:

I love them. And because that's that strong back is a good back. I mean, basically, I'd rather I'd rather have a stride like this I'd rather have a strong bad back and weak bad back. You know, I mean, if you're gonna put it that way, too.

Wil Del Pizzo:

Yeah, I mean, what is it don't don't wish for lighter weights wish for a stronger back? Yes.

Philip Pape:

So I'm asking you, I'm asking you these questions, because it's my show and I get to ask things and Elena learn about but I know a lot of people listening also don't know about some of these things. So it's good to have options and people wondering, oh, you know, that's that's what I could do. If I can't quite do this movement is potentially look at, you know, TRX system or whatever.

Unknown:

My name is Tony from a strength lifter in my 40s Thank you to Phil in his Wits, & Weights community for helping me learn more about nutrition, and how to implement better ideas into my strength training. Phil has a very, very good understanding of macros, and chemical compounds and hormones and all that. And he's continuously learning. That's what I like about Phil, he's got a great sense of humor, he's very relaxed, very easy to talk to. One of the greatest things about Phil, in my view is that he practices what he preaches, he also works out with barbells, he trains heavy, not as heavy as me, but he trains heavy. So if you talk with him about getting in better shape, eating better, he's probably going to give you some good advice. And I would strongly recommend you talk with him. And we'll help you out. Thanks.

Philip Pape:

So group classes, I did group classes for years and CrossFit. I've seen I've seen the benefits of it in terms of the camaraderie and the community and the efficiency and all these other things. What are the challenges that you as a coach have to split your time between people? So how do you do that with the power lifts and make sure people are using good form?

Wil Del Pizzo:

So we kind of cap our classes, we don't I don't like to get 40 or 50 people in a class? You know, it's just I can do it. It's not that I haven't done it is just, you know, it can get sloppy. As you can see in some of these some of these gyms. So I'll pair I have you have to make a quick assessment of the class and who's in the class, you know, your strong ones are you know who your ones are, you know, your spectrum. Yeah. So I can kind of see what's going on. And it depends on how many people in the class, sometimes I'll just throw all my strong people over on one side. Okay, you know, you're all working on these barbells over here, because I don't have to, I can see him from across the room and yell something they can click in, you know, so I can focus more of my time over on the people who need a little bit more attention, and then I can progress them up. Right? It's not always like we start with PVC pipes a lot of the time. Sure, you know, and then we just kind of build up from there. If it's a bigger if I can just focus on those two or three, leave everybody else alone quote unquote, alone, then I'll do that. Sometimes you have to like okay, who am I really, really strong people. Okay, I'm gonna start pairing them in groups with people who need a little bit more attention because there's a lot of people who need a lot of attention. So then I trust them enough and we're kind of in the same mindset that they can help coach me up a little bit. You know what I mean, Buddy System Yeah, so that way and it helps pull. I hate the term weaker, but it helps pull the weaker ya know the future. Oh, yes, it helps bring them up and gets everybody incorporated and kind of helping each other out. So you have to make a quick assessment of who's in your class and what's going on. There's a lot of times you got heavy hitters in all your classes. Everybody, you know, everybody's a heavy hitter, you're like, This is what we're doing. Don't kill yourself. Let's go pretty independent. Yeah, so independent study. But, you know, you kind of pair what's going on. And then you kind of see the new people and you make a quick assessment on the fly, how they move if they move correctly, or if they move if they move in a safe manner. That's the goal and all group classes, not everybody's going to want to get into the nuance of mastering that deadlift, but they want to deadlift. So you want to make sure we have everybody moving safely. Yep. Right, moving safely. That's it, I'm gonna go if we can move safely. And I can push up and keep on pushing. Yeah, I'm gonna keep on pushing up. But you kind of make that assessment, the individuals like, oh, okay, we've hit where you want to be. Right? And that's fine. That's where you want to be. Hopefully, you'll see what's going on, and come on through. But we want to move everybody safely. Got it. And that's all we want to do is just move everybody safely move everybody as efficiently as we possibly can.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, so that sounds like an important thing, that somebody who's looking for guidance, maybe, you know, they're not looking for the attention, or even the price point of personal training, they also don't want to go on their own and figure it out. Knowing that there's that safety is probably the number one thing I mean, I know what form talking to people, it's, yeah, you want to be efficient, you want to have vertical bar of path and all that so that you can lift the most weight. But at the end of the day, it comes down to avoiding injury and actually be able to do this for a long time. Right? Yeah, it's a good sounds like a good balance between that as long as it's a well run gym, like sounds like yours is that, you know, manages the, the size and properly, you know, pays attention to people that need it, and so on. So that's, that's cool.

Wil Del Pizzo:

Right? You got you always got to coach the individual, you know, in the group atmosphere. And I wish I learned when I was doing youth sports, the high school, the baseball team that you mentioned earlier, you kind of have to coach the individuals and then get people in a position to succeed, right, and get them in places where they can kind of be because if you've worked, if you worked in a commercial gym, or ran commercial gyms or something like that, there's just people who just want to come in and just kind of move some weights, feel good, break a little bit of sweat and go home. Nothing wrong with that. And then there's the ones who want to come in, like, I am trying to get as big as a house and strong as a bear. Let's go. Yeah, you know, okay, let's go be that guy for a while. We try to, because we believe in or I certainly believe in those big three lifts, like the purpose of them. So we coach within those within that class, what we got going on, and then just kind of start putting people where they need to be, so they can get the most out of the class. I mean, it's a gym, people come to work out.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, for sure. Yeah, they come to work out and maybe train, like you said, the serious ones are there to train and you get all kinds. So what about you mentioned the youth sports, I want to talk about that for a second. This is a high level baseball team, high school baseball team that you coached. And these are athletes, right? And they're also young, and there's a whole bunch of things that make them different from the general population. skill development, right? With the strength training, with the conditioning with recovery with periodization. So how do you make all that work?

Wil Del Pizzo:

So once again, you got to assess what you got yourself into. So you know, usually freshmen come in, we'll kind of go a little bit like freshmen that come in, you'll get two types of people, ones who have been in the gym before, and ones who have no idea what you're talking about. Right, you know, they have no idea and that's fine. That's not their fault. That's just the way it is.

Philip Pape:

That includes very talented, natural athletes that don't know anything I imagine, right? Right on

Wil Del Pizzo:

the field, you get them in the gym, and they can kind of muscle their way through some things. You know, which is an

Philip Pape:

opportunity for you as a coach right there.

Wil Del Pizzo:

Yes, you go, Okay, here we go. Generally speaking, like they're athletes, so they kind of understand how their hips move. And it's very interesting through high school as they mature. And as they get bigger, how all of a sudden they're so uncoordinated because, you know, they're five, five, and then next year, they're six feet.

Philip Pape:

Center, gravity moves and everything. Everything's moved

Wil Del Pizzo:

on, everything's moved on it. So we go back to we want them to move efficiently. We want them to move safely. That's the most important thing. We want to teach the movement patterns. weight comes and load comes with time. We want to teach the movement patterns. So certainly with that new group that's coming in and like okay, what do we got what's going on? So we do a little bit more basic. Okay, let's work on these squats. Let's work on our push ups. Let's get some pull ups in there. Yeah, we will lift some weights, because there wants to lift some weight, we want to move them safely and as best as we can, and work them through the programming goals and what we're trying to do, because we want them to peak. Obviously, at the right time, we want injury free and all that other stuff. Our main goal in the strength room is to make sure they stay on the field and produce on the field. It doesn't matter what we're doing in the gym, if it doesn't, if it affects their play on the field, what we're doing is wrong. Because that's where they that's where that's where the magic happens on the field, in any sport, right? Doesn't matter is like, Oh, he's out there crushing squats, but his legs are so blast that he can't move on the footprint feels like the what was the point? You know, that's what offseasons for?

Philip Pape:

Yeah, periodization you got it? Hey, right. So

Wil Del Pizzo:

you know, we've worked through different parameters, we'll do kind of a stability phase. You know, making sure if there's a lot of single legged stuff, a lot of balance stuff, getting everything kind of back into the line. And then we'll go through a kind of a strength power phase, right, lifting, lifting weights, just to kind of put some masks on and we're talking about high schoolers. You just got to do what you can to get some mass on him because their metabolism is just hot. And yeah, so anything you do always under eating? Yeah, always under, always under always under drinking, too. It's pretty amazing

Philip Pape:

gallon of milk a day, you give them that diet?

Wil Del Pizzo:

Wow. No work. Yeah, it would work. It would work. So well. We certainly give nutritional advice just to kind of like, eat, you got to eat it, I'll be just happy just to get calories into you. Right. But you know, we coach them up that way. But we try to translate, try to get some weight on and try to get some strength and get some power. So that way it translates into feet on the field. And it doesn't mess him up too much. And it's a give and take. Because you get you get some kids who know everything. And that's fine. And they want to do some wrist curls like Well, why do you want to do wrist curls? Mark McGwire has huge forearms, amazing hit bombs and like well, maybe, you know, so, you know, let's get to the program first. And then let's get then you could do your wrist curls. I'm gonna get through all the program, maybe

Philip Pape:

maybe do the deadlift first and see if that develops your forums. Right.

Wil Del Pizzo:

Right. Well, that and that and that. And that is where you start to see like, where the rubber meets the road. You see where the animals are, you see the guys who are like, I just got by in town. And that's what I'm just gonna do. You see the guys who put the work the guys who put the work in the gym are usually the ones who started go have a long career, right? Athletically be it going to college or into the pros. I'm like that you can see it. The guys who put the work in, they get that extra set. Yep. You know, I mean, like, yeah, they're like, Oh, everybody else got three. You got four? Yeah, yeah, they go hard. They go hard. So we want everybody to move safely. When we get new kids in there, we want to kind of quick assessment. How does everybody move? Okay. And then once again, start piecing people together to kind of see what's going on. And that way I can focus on more tension here. Well, I can go over somewhere else and kind of yell a couple things. And they go, Yeah, I got it. And then keep on going back over to here. It levels out. It'll level out.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, cool. I love learning about this, because I was never into athletics myself, you know, I'm just a spectator sport viewer. And it's good to hit here behind the curtain of the on the training side, because I know a lot of laymen are fans watching, like, you know, want to criticize the strength and conditioning programs. And like you said, there maybe it was a time that that was the case and things have gotten better. Have you? Do you still coach any youth sports or youth groups, maybe as part of your gym?

Wil Del Pizzo:

I do get high school athletes in here, I do have more of a one on one thing. So I will get some high school athletes in here. So I get more than one on one. As opposed to the group. Our group classes are mostly just regular gym goers. And I joke, I joke. We have a lot of food today. It's pulled polar opposites, so we get all the CrossFitters who don't want to CrossFit anymore, but like, who like to lift? Yeah, so they'll come in here because we do a lot of the lifting. Yeah. And we get a lot of people who who went to the big box gyms and just get lost and they want to lift but it's scary. Because it's scary. If you have no idea what's going on, you just see all these the men and women over there lifting weights looking good and all this other stuff. So they just did a lot of people we get just end up like oh, I just end up on the treadmill because that's the only thing I know how to do or like little machines because I can look at the picture and I don't even know if I'm getting anything done. You know, so we get the heavy hitters and we get the people we like to coach up from the ground up. So it's a lot of fun in terms of asked Looks like that we want to make people move safely. That's all we're trying to do.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, I hear you on that. And I mean, I'm a nutrition coach. So but I have all my clients during training, that's like almost a requirement now of working with me. And a lot of them, you know, are women. So I hear that as well. It's definitely a balance between, like, Do you have a home gym? And if not, what gym, you're going to? Do they have the equipment? Are you worried about the culture there? Is that a problem? There's all these factors, you have to, you know, play into it. So, all right. So from one coach to another, I'm always curious about how we best serve and impact our clients. Right. I think that starts by being clear on who you serve, and choosing the right client. And I think that's one area you wanted to kind of touch on is how do you as the coach choose the right client?

Wil Del Pizzo:

Number, why are they looking for something that I provide? You know, I think when we all kind of started in this industry, we tried to be everything to everybody. I could do that. I could do that. I could do that. I could do that, you know, because you're just trying to just try the case. Yeah, just trying to pay some bills. Yeah, you know, take anybody, right? I'll take anybody you throw at me, you know, and he just ended up just getting so burnt out, because you're like, hell, I got everything. I'm all over the board. And some people can do that. That's not me. That's not me. I'm very singular. In my focus. I've gotten a very, very narrow scope. Maybe even to my detriment, but the like I said, I do care. I only do kettlebells. For myself. I actually gave up the barbell, October last year, and I said, You know what, I'm just going to do kettlebells. At least for a year, I'm not going to touch a barbell and they're not touch a dumbbell, I'm just going to do kettlebells. So, it so when you get a new client who comes in you go okay, well, am I going to be the best person? We have multiple trainers here? But are we going to be the best people for this person, because we want to set them up for success. We just don't want to come up here and just take their money and have them leave? You know, that's just not who we are. So am I going to get can I help this person? Right? Is they are they looking for something that I'm providing? Or do they want to I just blew my knee out and I knee rehab, and you're like, Well, I deadlift all day, you know, it's like, you know, I don't do really I don't do rehab. Yeah, you know, it's just you gotta go to a physical therapist for that. So you kind of have to be like, who am I as a trainer? And what do I provide? And will this person benefit from that it's all about the person who's coming in is not about you. So that person benefit from this. And if any of your everybody has red flags, if a couple of your red flags pop up, you need to walk away from that one, whatever your red flags are, everybody has them, whatever your red flags are, you need to go. Okay, like mine's crashed it. I have six weeks to lose 40 pounds, I'm going to a wedding. I'm like, I'm not your person. No. I'm not your person. I'm not going to do it. You can can we do it? Yes. You don't want to do that. And I don't want to be the person to be like, you tell everybody I failed because my trainer didn't XYZ for me and say, yeah,

Philip Pape:

yeah, yeah. And if you think you're gonna convince them, otherwise, after you get started, you're, I think you're wrong on that count, because they're just gonna keep hammering that desire, after they start with you. And like you said, it's gonna be,

Wil Del Pizzo:

it's gonna be a problem. So you got to figure out what your red flags are on what you don't want. Because if you want to, if you wake up in the morning, we've all had those days where you've had two or three clients back to back to back, we're like, Oh, my God, I am going to lose my mind. You know what I mean? Where they just suck the life, the life out of you. And that is not their fault. I learned that's your fault for choosing my fault for choosing them. There is a person out there for you can walk away it is okay. In the long run is much more beneficial for you and for them to turn somebody down. And only take the people that are your ideal clients. It makes you want to work harder, it makes it fun for them to come in. It just checks or checks all the boxes. You know, I will say there's been some times where I've had a couple red flags go up, but the person ended up being fantastic. You know, that's a rarity. But find out what your red flags are. Find out who you are, as a trainer, this is what I do. I'm gonna stay in this lane. Don't deviate, stay in your lane, a just find the people who want specifically that. And then after that, you can widen that lane a little bit, but this is who you are, this is what I do. This is who I am. I'm going to stay there. And I'm not doing anything else. And I will find those people who want it.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, and I totally grew. And I would say it doesn't take long to figure that out. If you're working with clients because I went through the same thing as a nutrition coach was day one had no idea right? So you work with five people and all of a sudden you're already realizing the things that you do. don't want to deal with and it teaches you a lot in the moment. And the key, though, like you said, is to actually say no, because that's not going to just help you, it's gonna help the client, because you're not gonna give them what they want. So why would you? Why would you sign up with them? Great advice just for business in general, right? For anybody trying to find a client? Yeah,

Wil Del Pizzo:

it's just in that's kind of the burden of the industry that we're in, especially if you're in the personal training business, if you're not, you know, if you're doing a lot of one on one stuff, that's, that's your bread and butter, that's tough, because, you know, you're there, you're working your clients, or you're spending all your time trying to get the clients that left to try to fill those spots. It's that feast or famine, you know what I mean? So when you're in a famine, you're just like, I'll take anything that I can get, you know, I just, I need to pay some bills, I gotta put gas in the car and all that other stuff. And that's kind of the cycle that a lot of people get into, on mobile train, who was go to the park? Let's I'll do whatever I have to do, you know? So it's kind of wonder like, who are you? What do you do and stay in that lane and then build from that, it might be a slower process, and it might hurt a little bit. But in the long run, it's going to be so much better? I'd rather have somebody be like, Yo, this person didn't take me he's a jerk as opposed. Like, he took 1000s of dollars from me and didn't get any results.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, but I take all the time. Exactly. That's a

Wil Del Pizzo:

pick one, I'll pick being a jerk for not taking you.

Philip Pape:

You know, that's integrity, some technique at a certain point,

Wil Del Pizzo:

yeah, you know, and once again, I've been wrong, I've been like, I don't know, if this is gonna work out, you go have my bed. More times in Ireland, I know, I shouldn't have done this, you know, I don't do it very much anymore. But in the beginning, you just take what you can get. And so find who you are, stay in your lane, and then find the people to fill in into those little places that you're looking.

Philip Pape:

Right. And I can think of a two is there's non negotiables, like, identify the things you absolutely will never, ever, ever want to deal with. And right there. That's an easy filter. And then, and then maybe you have the list of things that are like lukewarm. You know, like if there's one or two of these lukewarm things that pop up, but everything else is green. That's fine, right? Yes, you can kind of make that list for yourself. Yeah,

Wil Del Pizzo:

it depends on the individual. I hope people have a high tolerance and who would just take the people that nobody wants, and they just see like, I'll take them all, like you are just patients have a saint, you're asking, yeah, they're happy and you're happy, fine, that's fine. But you want to set people up for success, because they're coming to you for results. We're in the result business, this is the result that outcomes, we are in the result business, this is not a lot of those results are scalable results, as if Oh, I weigh less, you know. So if that's you want to be a weight loss person, then be that weight loss person, you know, so you just got to find who you are, and then find the people who want to be in that spot?

Philip Pape:

For sure. That's great advice. Well, I do I want to ask one more question that I like to ask of all guests. And that is what one question Did you wish I had asked? And what's your answer? Can you get

Wil Del Pizzo:

some kettlebells? Ah, no,

Philip Pape:

you sell them right now.

Wil Del Pizzo:

To set myself up. You know, what's the biggest struggle that sometimes we have as trainers, you know, or owning a business? What's the biggest struggle sometimes of owning the business? And how do you navigate those waters? It's it's social media as a big a big thing now until you know, because you get lost you get lost out there you because there's so many, if I have to see another glute shot, I swear, I'm gonna lose my mind the outro

Philip Pape:

the algorithm as soon as you say you like anything fitness related, that's all you see.

Wil Del Pizzo:

Seriously, you like one professional bodybuilding woman, then all of a sudden you see one video and then all of a sudden, like, Why do I have this trophy? This is driving me crazy.

Philip Pape:

My wife's like, what are you looking at over there? I'm like, Look, I just want to show you what I'm like, I'm going to be totally honest. Like, you know, we communicate as this is what happens when I look at just one like guy talking about his strength training program, they show a bunch of women with Bucha

Wil Del Pizzo:

deck algorithm if I have to see another one of those, I'm gonna lose my Cotton Pickin mind. It's ridiculous. But you know, it's, um, you know, only a business's is out here in California has been bit of a challenge over the last couple of years, especially the gym. In Los Angeles, it's combative. To say the least, with with some of the rules and the regulations that we got going on over here.

Philip Pape:

But oh, you mean the government getting up in your stuff? Right. So you're saying

Wil Del Pizzo:

I'm not saying anything, sir. I live in Connecticut.

Philip Pape:

Say things that you wouldn't know I lived here so yeah. My shoulder

Wil Del Pizzo:

this this day in between the screws on that one. But yeah, it's, it's a, it's a challenge out here you kind of kind of have to navigate those waters and and, and you got to be in it, you got to you got to enjoy it, you got to enjoy the business, you gotta join all the little craziness of it. Because it's it can be, you know, like I said earlier, it's it can be feast or famine, it really can be feast or famine, it can be really, really scary time sometimes really, really scary times. And so how do you you know, how do you say mentally tough through it? And how do you stay focused on it? And how do you organize yourself? And how do you get your own training in because I'm in this industry? Because I like to lift heavy weights,

Philip Pape:

right? You know, I helped other people do it, which is great.

Wil Del Pizzo:

I enjoy making people lift heavy weights.

Philip Pape:

Yes, that's more people need to do that everyone listening, you know, hopefully they're inspired to do that. And if they're in your area, they need to look you up. So speaking of that, where can listeners learn more about you and your work?

Wil Del Pizzo:

So you can go to our website at built strong strength.com. All one word has all our information there. It's got all our contact information. We do have downloadable programs. So we do have a kettlebell, specifically a kettlebell program, a big three program. We're just bases around the big three. And we have a mass strength and power program, which is a four month programming of Let's get after it. And let's bend some iron and let's get crazy. So we do have those programs available for you. And then if you're in the Los Angeles, specifically Chatsworth area, you can come by and say hi to us, and we offer a week free and all the other stuff newsletters, so you can sign up for all that stuff on our website, build strong strength.com

Philip Pape:

There you go build strong strength.com. I'll put that in the show notes. People go and find ton of great resources, reach out to you. And I know they learned a ton from watching this. So again, I want to appreciate you for coming on the show. Well,

Wil Del Pizzo:

thanks for having me. I had a great time. Thanks for Thanks for having me on your show. It's a good time. Yeah,

Philip Pape:

awesome. If you've been inspired by today's interview, and are ready to take action and build momentum on your health and fitness journey, just schedule a free 30 minute nutrition momentum call with me using the link in my show notes. I promise not to sell or pitch you on anything, but I will help you gain some perspective and guidance so we can get you on the right track toward looking and feeling your best

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