Bill Neylon competing in 2009 (left) and working out at his boutique West Palm Beach gym, The Fitness Edge.

Michael Jordan is fond saying that getting cut from his high school basketball team provided him the motivation to become the Hall of Fame hoopster he’d eventually become. 

While Bill Neylon of West Palm Beach would never compare himself to the living legend that is Air Jordan, it can be argued that it was a similar athletic snub — Neylon’s being cut from his New Jersey area high school football team, when the coach told the 5-foot-4, 125-pound teen he “was too small to play football” — that set him on the personal and professional path that he’d follow for the next 50-plus years. 

So how did Neylon — who’s now 68 and in better shape than most men half his age — respond to his coach’s assessment? 

“I got in the weight room and built up my body.”

By the time he graduated high school, Neylon was a 5-foot-6, 145-pound varsity hockey player.

And, far more importantly, Neylon had become enamored of weight-training, bodybuilding and personal fitness training. 

The next five decades saw him gather so much fitness knowledge and develop so many relationships through bodybuilding that he recently published his memoir — “My Journey with the Iron” — which is available on

Bill Neylon at a book signing for his new memoir, "My Journey with the Iron."

Humble beginnings 

In 1974, after Neylon had graduated from Georgia State and was living in Atlanta, he recalls he fell in with a group of “fellow gym rats” who were all considering becoming competitive bodybuilders. 

Just one problem — at least in Neylon’s mind: To really reach the heights of the sport, bodybuilders needed to take anabolic steroids. 

Back then, steroids weren’t illegal in the U.S. and their negative long-term effects weren’t as well-known as they are today. 


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