I would like to introduce Adam Campbell to the APA writing team. We first became acquainted while serving in the United States Navy, and have stayed friends since. His fitness is on point, and his understanding of both the micro and macro components of human performance make him an invaluable resource to our community.
I’ve always been active my entire life; like most kids I was a multi sport athlete growing up (soccer, baseball, basketball, martial arts). When I got into high school, I stuck with soccer for a bit longer but focused more on seasonal sports (snowboarding and wake boarding); this is also the time when I (like most other pubescent boys noticing that girls are good for more than just cooties) first found the weight room and started lifting. Since I knew less than nothing about lifting, I figured I would follow the advice of my more experienced peers…which resulted in lots of bench press, curls, tricep extensions, and shoulder presses. Junior year we had a new football coach show up and revamp our weightlifting class; he actually cared about form and made us do crazy things like squats and deadlifts (what a jerk), which was my first exposure to any sort of structured weightlifting program and coaching.
When I got into college, I decided I really wanted to buckle down and focus on health, so I revamped my diet and really took to lifting. Since bodybuilding was really the only thing on the market at that time that was in the mainstream, I followed typical bodybuilding splits interspersed with long slow distance cardio, and a few sprint days now and again. I also started playing ultimate Frisbee in our rec leagues in the spring, so I maintained some semblance of athleticism. Right around junior year of college I knew I wanted to join the military so I started looking around for training programs. Consequently this was also the time “300” came out so, of course, I also wanted to look like those guys. A few quick google searches for both “military conditioning” and “300 workout” turned up a little known thing called CrossFit. Since this as back in 2006/2007, CrossFit was still very underground. I can recall only three of us at my college (Oregon State University) who were doing anything like that style of training. We got weird looks as we did kipping pull ups, thrusters, ring and handstand work, and conditioning circuits. Like most new people to CrossFit (and most military guys), we adopted the “more is better” approach (example, if a workout that called for 100 pull ups, 100 push ups, 100 sit ups, and 100 squats was good…I bet if you threw in a mile run in between each session that would be better!…yes, I did that).
These relentless beat downs continued until 2009, when I found CrossFit Football premiered by former NFL star John Welbourne. The program emphasized speed, strength, power, and athleticism, all things I really liked in a training program. Since I found it, I never really strayed too far from its tenets…trying to keep things, short, sweet, and (most of all) useful and practical. Since 2009 I’ve dabbled with a variety of programs (CF Football, CF Endurance, Basic Barbell, Texas Method, various Olympic Lifting cycles, and even a few months of a Westside based approach). I’ve attended the CF Level 1 certification, CF football certification, and read both Starting Strength versions 3 and 4 by Mark Rippetoe, Fit by Lon Kilgore, The Science and Practice of Strength Training by Vladimir Zatsiorsky, and Practical Programming for Strength Training, also by Mark Rippetoe. Recently I ‘ve started a training program put forward by the guys from CF Football called Field Strong; so far 6 weeks into in and seeing some great results. I intend to ride this one out for awhile.
My job right now is Operations Support for Navy Special Warfare; this doesn’t mean I’m a SEAL, rather that I work alongside them. My job isn’t as physically intense as theirs, though the potential for demanding physical activity at any time is always there so I choose to remain ready. Here’s a quick snapshot of some of my numbers:
Height – 5’9”
Bodyweight – 160
Pull ups – 25
Push ups (2 minutes) – 100
Sit ups (2 minutes) – 100
1.5 mile run – 9:05
2 Mile run – 12:30
Bench press (all time best) – 285
Deadlift (all time best) – 450
Squat (all time best) – 365
Clean and Jerk (not that great) – 250
Beyond this, I have my own physical issues I’m dealing with. I have a bad right knee and right shoulder from all my years of sports and beat downs; my right leg has a tendency to sit more externally rotated; this translates to my right foot pointing out more in the squat, which means my right knee tends to go valgus. For my right shoulder, it seems to want to sit more internally rotated; really acts up when I start benching heavy.
Hope this gives you a good idea of who I am, where I’ve been, and what I’m doing now.