We are delighted to be joined by Competitor Shannon Campbell today. I met Shannon while she was competing with the NGA and I was super impressed with what a driven athlete she is. I’m so happy to be able to feature her, here, at StrengthAddicts.com The goal of the interview is to introduce her to you and you give you some insights into this hard working athlete’s journey.
StrengthAddicts: Welcome to StrengthAddicts, Shannon! Could you please tell us your full name, age, what federation(s) you compete in and in what divisions. Also, where are you from and where do you currently live?
Shannon Campbell: My name is Shannon Campbell and I’m turning 43 in February. During the Fall of 2023 I competed in the Bikini division of my first ever NGA Federation show and then proceeded to compete in the Figure division of my next NGA show. My third and final stage performance of the 2023 season was in Figure division of an OCB Federation show. I live close to Cincinnati, Ohio where I’m originally from and where I own and operate an Independent Insurance Agency.
SA: When did you start training and at what point did you discover physique based sports? Did someone get you into competing or did something spark your interest?
SC: I joined my first gym at 26 years old with the encouragement and inspiration of my Father who was a competitive bodybuilder well into his 60’s. I trained for a number of years by myself and really did not get involved in physique based sports until the past two years when I hired a Coach for personal training and nutrition. That’s when I really saw noticeable positive changes in my physique and become serious about working towards a first competition.
SA: When it comes to training, what’s your approach to working out? What does a typical week’s split look like for you?
SC: My workout split for two years leading up to competition prep in 2023 was exclusively resistance training based without cardio during that two-year build phase. The typical week split was Saturday Shoulders, Sunday Chest & Arms, Monday Hamstrings & Glutes, Tuesday Rest Day. Wednesday Back, Thursday Quads, Friday Rest Day. Then during my 16 week prep I added in cardio and reduced the number of rest days per week to one instead of two. I’m currently 10 weeks post competition from my final show of 2023 and am back on my build phase split above with reduced cardio and increased calories; still holding onto leanness too.
SA: This may be a tough question, but what would you say you’d like to work on most as a competitive athlete? And what are you doing to improve?
SC: I am a small framed petite person and need to continue to work on improving my muscularity. In this sport we never want to lose the desire for making improvements to the physique and building upon what we’ve already accomplished. My Coach has me reversing on 2000 calories per day plus a once per week push to 3000. I’m working on hitting some PR’s and dialing in on my form and connection during lifts.
SA: Piggybacking off the last question, what would you say are some of your strong suits when it comes to being a competitive athlete? Are there things about yourself you discovered during this journey?
SC: One of my strong suits as an athlete is my genuine desire to never give up and my dedication to follow though with my training and nutrition. I do not skip workouts, effort, or meals. These are habits that I learned through my time spent in college/grad school and also my years building my career business. The consistency is one of my strengths in life endeavors.
SA: When it comes to being on stage, what goes through your mind from pumping up, to getting in line, to getting in front of the judges and the audience? Is it a huge adrenaline rush or a calming process?
SC: I remember the moments before stepping on stage as a child performing in group dance recitals the rush of excitement, nerves, and then deep concentration to go out and do the best I could do. I slipped in my tap shoes one time on stage and completely fell down, only to stand right back up and follow through with my routine. I was incredibly embarrassed. Fast forward to 2023 in the moments before I went on stage for the physique competitions and I thought to myself, nothing can be as bad as that one time when I fell on stage in my tap shoes during a dance recital. At least for me that made me laugh and bring on a sense of calm to the excitement/rush I felt backstage and I really just tried to enjoy the stage experience.
SA: With regards to everyday life, do your friends, loved ones, and coworkers get what you’re doing? What’s it like explaining this lifestyle to them?
SC: People outside of this lifestyle may not fully understand or care to attempt to understand why we do what we do but I think for the most part my family and employees like seeing me happy and doing well in life. I try to be a positive influence on my friends and those around me who I think could highly benefit from learning about proper nutrition and training but ultimately it’s up to that person to take steps towards their health and develop habits necessary to get them there.
SA: With regards to 2024, what do you have planned? More shows? More growth?
SC: I’m in a build/improvement phase since November but am still holding onto some leanness so could possibly jump into a Spring prep but am also not wanting to rush anything. The stage will always be there and I need to make sure I’m bringing a better package to it so time will tell me when I’m ready for my next appearance.
SA: If someone reading this may want to compete but perhaps has cold feet, what would you say to them?
SC: Each competitor had their first-time unique stage experience at some point in their competition journey and having cold feet is just part of the experience at first. You really have to believe in yourself and want to do something new and exciting for yourself – just go for it. Having a prep coach and posing coach will help tremendously with preparation and therefore calming nerves – having more confidence. I’m still learning and working on improving my stage presence and find it’s a fun process and one that should truly be enjoyed.
SA: Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. Please take this opportunity to thank all those that helped you along the way. Also, please let us know how we can stay up to date with you on social media.
SC: I would like to thank my Coach Jim Collins of Gymbo’s Personal Training And Fitness Center in Cincinnati, Ohio for taking charge of my training/nutrition/competition prep for the past two years. Learning to track macros and train under his direction has been a game changer for me and I’m very appreciative of his help. I would love to connect with and support other competitors or fitness enthusiasts on social media. I am most active on Facebook and can be found under https://www.facebook.com/CampbellandAssociatesInsurance/ but also try to stay up to date on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/shannoncampbellinsuranceagency/