Apr 7, 2020
From Hospital Admin to Speed Coach: Phil Campbell’s sprint science journey

{Sponsored} After a quarter century as a hospital administrator and part-time speed coach, Phil Campbell jumped into full-time coaching. Campbell has now trained thousands of athletes, including well-known clients Super Bowl MVP Ray Lewis and three-time Super Bowl winner Jerry Rice.

Campbell’s athletic career as a decorated USA Track & Field Masters sprinter and javelin thrower evidences his understanding of how to perform as a high-level athlete. An athlete through and through, he competed in the 40-yard dash in his late forties, getting a 4.69s time and winning the race. His experience lends well to training coaches in protocols to maximize speed potential of athletes at all levels.

Campbell holds several master’s degrees and his certifications include ACSM-CPT and FACHE from the American College of Sports Medicine CPT. Exercise physiologist by education and speed trainer by vocation, Campbell has shared his techniques with beginner athletes and professionals alike. During his time as a Phil Campbell, Coachpart-time speed coach, his weekend speed trainings became so popular that he was asked about them while doing personal workouts at the gym. It was then that Campbell decided to make coaching his full-time focus.

His two-day speed camps are primarily held in California, and athletes fly from all over North America to attend them. His goal is to train athletes to reach their desired sprint speed by conditioning their brains. He starts with the body’s innate abilities gained in childhood.

“The first question I ask is, ‘Do you remember the first day you learned how to run?’ No one remembers because we were so small. We learned to run upright with slow twitch muscle because we weren’t strong enough for fast twitch,” Campbell said. “Your brain isn’t wired to use fast twitch. It wants to conserve. Your inner ear puts on the brakes.” To train an athlete in speed, Campbell’s technique works to combat this innate response by forcing the body out of balance and teaching the inner ear to accept that forward motion.

Speed camps with Campbell include Sprint 8, the 20-minute interval training Campbell developed from his research on the natural release of human growth hormone. Sprint 8 protocols increase muscle mass and energy by helping the body tap into exercise-induced human growth hormones. Studies show that following the Sprint 8 protocols three times a week for eight weeks can result in a 27% reduction in body fat.1 He conceptualized this protocol via personal testing in the gym, backed it up with scientific research and partnered with Matrix Fitness to include the Sprint 8 program on their cardio machines.

Campbell’s book, Sprint 8 Cardio Protocol, details his research and the methodology of the sprint-intensity cardio program. He’s also recently released a new book, How to Coach Speed Technique, as a valuable resource for coaches to utilize when incorporating speed technique into their regular trainings.

In an upcoming report from Matrix Fitness and Training & Conditioning, Campbell’s training protocols will be outlined to give coaches the basics they need to get started teaching the protocols to their athletes. Look for the report in June 2020.


1. Burt, D. (2012). “Targeting exercise-induced growth hormone release: A novel approach to fighting obesity by substantially increasing endogenous GH serum levels naturally.” KDMC, Brookhaven, MS, http://www.readysetgofitness.com/obesity_research2.shtml

© 2020 Matrix Fitness


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