Camille Brown is a CrossFit competitor and former collegiate softball player who plans to compete internationally for Olympic Weightlifting and compete at Regional events for CrossFit.
Why did you decide to start working out?
CB: I have been an athlete my whole life. I started playing sports ever since I was 4 years old and always loved to compete. Although I was extremely competitive, I was always the scrawny kid on my team. I couldn’t fit into the smallest sizes at Abercrombie, and had to wear spandex under my jeans to make them fit. I was looked upon by all my teammates and coaches as weak. I wasn’t valued for being the fastest or the strongest. I had dreams of playing NCAA Division 1 softball, but no one believed in me because of my stature and size, and I was sick of it. So, I started strength and conditioning at Velocity Sports Performance in eighth grade to put on muscle mass and improve myself as an athlete. I learned how to do the Olympic lifts and power lifts on top of fixing my running technique and conditioning, while seeing batting coaches and going to multiple practices. Nothing and no one was going to stand in my way. As I started to fill out those Abercrombie size 00 jeans, I saw all my hard working paying off. I fell in love with pushing myself every week to see how much better I could be. As you see the results, it fuels you even more. I had build up speed and strength to dominate as a top recruit for D1 schools. I earned my way to a scholarship at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where I played all four years of D1 NCAA softball and loved it. Throughout college, being in the weight room at 5:30 in the morning every day was the best part of my day. I fell in love with all the lifts, calluses, and PRs that came with working out. Everyday at practice, I loved running as hard as I could for every rep because I wanted to feel like I was spent. There is no greater feeling than knowing you gave it your all. Endorphins became my drug, and I loved every dose that collegiate softball gave me. After I graduated, I knew I had to compete in something. So I decided to compete in CrossFit and weightlifting. The love how I have to constantly force myself to be better as an athlete past college. I now coach athletes and train people to give them the same experience I had growing up; to set a goal and crush it with hard work.
What is your preferred workout routine?
CB: I honestly love any workout. There is no bad workout. If you have the ability to challenge your body in any realm, I believe that you should. But personally, I love intensity. So I gravitate towards CrossFit since it encompasses so many components. There is always something to get better at and improve on. I also have fallen in love with Olympic Weightlifting. There is something about the satisfaction of getting a barbell with more than your body weight overhead in one or two motions. I think that in it of itself is amazing.
What is your preferred diet?
CB: My preferred diet is a hybrid between Paleo and Flexible Dieting. I eat Paleo for the majority of the time and then enjoy some treats here and there because we all deserve to live a little. I believe in having a great diet plan that works for you and keeps you healthy. There are many diets that work for different people. What works for me is staying Paleo for the majority of the time to maintain my weight class for my weightlifting competitions and treating myself to pizza and Ben and Jerry’s when I feel like I deserved it!
If you could pick only 3 exercises to do, what would they be and why?
CB: As a strength and conditioning coach and because these are truly my favorite exercises to do, I would say the back squat, the snatch, and pull ups. The back squat is a necessary lift for everyone; it is a functional movement and happens to build those legs. The snatch because Olympic lifts help develop overall body awareness and builds explosiveness in athletes. There also is no greater sense of accomplishment than getting a barbell from the ground over your head in one swift movement. If you really think about that, it is amazing. The snatch also builds discipline, not to mention a yolked back. I believe everyone should have pull up strength. If the zombie apocalypse were to happen tomorrow, how on earth are you going to pull yourself over a fence to survive? Pull up strength is a functional and a survival skill everyone should have! And of course, pull ups build those wings nicely as well.
What types of supplements do you take and recommend? What are the benefits of each?
CB: I take whey protein after my workouts to build and maintain lean muscle mass. Coffee is my pre-workout because everyone could use a little boost. I take the occasional serving of watermelon BCAAs to help me stay in an anabolic state and it makes it easier to drink a gallon of water a day. Then I take casein protein at night if I had a really hard training day so I stay in an anabolic state and I keep all my gains. Honestly, I try to keep it simple. I take protein and that is about it! I eat real foods and supplement when necessary.
What is your favorite motivational quote?
CB: “Sky above me, earth below me, fire within me.” I have this burning passion for strength and conditioning and overall health. I got fired up just answering these questions, and it makes me want to go lift so I can get closer to my dreams! I got fired up when I was just an eighth grader. Looking back at that girl, I decided to prove everyone wrong, I train and compete for her.
What is your proudest fitness accomplishment to date?
CB: The very thing that got me started. Just because I was viewed as the weakest kid on my team, didn’t mean I actually was. If you put in the work, you will see the results. You get what you put in, and I always remind myself of that. It is never crowded at the extra mile. I was always the first kid at practice and the last to leave. If you want something bad enough, you have to do the work to get you there. This mentality has only carried over to my training for CrossFit and weightlifting. After only training for Olympic Weightlifting for 9 months, I have qualified to compete in all the National events for 2015, and that gets me pumped to keep going.
What advice would you give for a fitness beginner?
CB: My advice is not to be afraid of failure. Failure is going to happen; it is part of the process. If you aren’t failing, you aren’t pushing the envelope enough, and testing to see how far you can go. I fail when I do reps and I fail preparing for my diet sometimes but I learn and improve from those things. It is part of the process and you shouldn’t believe that one bad rep and one bad day means you should quit all together.
Besides fitness, what are your other interests?
CB: I love to read! Knowledge is power! I will read my Strength and Conditioning books, old Kinesiology books and journals. I read as many mental training and mobility books as I can to apply all of it to my training and my coaching as well, and partially because I am applying to grad school to get my Masters in Sports Performance. I also am a serious nerd and love to read the Lord of the Rings series. I am also very interested in food. I love finding the top donut and pizza places across the nation and trying as many as I can.
What are your future goals both personally and professionally?
CB: I want to compete internationally for Olympic Weightlifting and compete at a Regional event for CrossFit. I want to get my Masters Degree in Kinesiology. I definitely want to write a book one day about everything that I have learned! I love putting people on workout programs and routines so I can help them live a healthy lifestyle. Once I have been coaching for a while and I am done competing, I want to be a strength and conditioning coach for a PAC 12 school, and be one of the very few females to oversee football and basketball. My daily goals are to push myself as hard as I can, and to give it my all. That way I can go to bed knowing I did everything I could to get better.