'I was bullied as a kid': Body builder wants to change your life

March 31, 2014 

Name: Bill Haskins

Job: Founder, owner, Complete Supplements @ 111 South Jackson in Belleville (618-977-5071)

Outlook: "I like helping people and seeing people change their lives."

Although Bill Haskins studied criminal justice in college, his passion remained in body building and personal fitness training. The McKendree University and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville alum started living his dream by creating a fitness center in his basement before opening Complete Supplements in downtown Belleville. He is now expanding his business with new locations in Smithton, Highland and across the river in University City, Mo. He recently invited business writer Will Buss to his fitness center to share his vision:

Q: Why did you go into the fitness business?

A: "I was bullied as a kid, and parents got me my first weight set when I was 11 years old. I was like a fish in water when I was exposed to body building. It gave me self-esteem. I ended up getting my masters degree in '97 from SIUE, and one year later after working for one year at Liv Rite, I had the experience, and I always knew that I wanted to be my own boss and open my own business and run it the way I wanted to."

Q: How long have you been in business?

A: "I have been in business for 15 years and in this building (in Belleville) since 2005.

Q: What does your business and personal fitness training offer clients?

A: "We have a gym with 19 pieces of equipment, we have a wellness center, we do body fat analysis, eating plans and have a complete nutrition store with over 2,000 different products and a smoothie bar."

Q: What are some of the success stories that you can share?

A: "We have one gentleman who has gone from 361 to 192 pounds. One lady has lost 40 pounds and is doing very well and following her diet. It really rough for her to eat bad food because she is so conditioned to eating well."

Q: What advice can you give to those wanting to get fit?

A: "I definitely recommend at least a personal trainer to help you learn how to properly train, use good form and to help motivate you. If we help them establish some basic good form and teach them drills, they can have more success in the long term. The only mistake you can make is to quit. The only factor that limits us is us."

Q: What do you enjoy most about your business?

A: "I like helping people and seeing people change their lives. I like to see them come out their shell and help them be active and live better. If they can just stick to it, they can see how much better their life will be by leading a healthier and better quality of life."

Contact reporter Will Buss at wbuss@bnd.com or 239-2526.

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