LITTLE ROCK, Ark — It's in a converted gym in the backyard that Bill Fantegrossi is teaching lifts along with life lessons.
"You know, you're not good at everything," said Fantegrossi. "But you can fail and then 30 minutes you can do something better than you've ever done before."
That's his philosophy for life. It also applies to his hobby - Strongman competitions.
Fantegrossi and his son, Robbie, compete together, and will be participating in the Arkansas Strongman competition at the Fairgrounds this weekend. He's been training around his children since they were kids.
"I kind of liked the idea that they grew up seeing that," he said. "That they kind of hopefully internalized this idea that it's okay to get sweaty and dirty and try really hard, and sometimes you can't do it. But over time you get better."
At 15-years-old, Robbie is still new to Strongman competitions. And never was his father's message more apparent than when they were at a competition last year in Louisiana.
"The first event was something I couldn't give him any experience with," Fantegrassi said. "It was a log press. My log is 100 pounds empty, and that's too heavy for him. And when he got there, he had never done it before. And he struggled and he never got it and he was bummed."
But Robbie didn't quit. And thirty minutes later, he was doing something better than he'd ever done.
"The next event was a deadlift and he did a 20 pound personal record," remembered Fantegrassi. "Dudes that weighed 400 pounds were coming up and fistpumping him and telling him that was amazing."
The mentality to keep trying is something that Fantegrossi believes Strongman competitors know more than almost anyone.
"Your best effort is YOUR best effort. It's not necessarily the best in the world," he said. "You're competing against yourself. Don't worry about what the other people are doing."
Together, Bill and Robbie always find a way to celebrate even the smallest of victories.
"Win or lose, we still go out and eat hamburgers afterward," said Fantegrassi. "This is what Robbie and I have. And it's just a cool way to go out and spend time with your kid."