Drew Graham, 52, is all about finding ways to keep exercise alive and exciting without injury. In a career-breaking collaboration with Campbell Clinic, Drew developed Accel Performance and Wellness, which aims to equip the everyday person with athlete-level sports performance and recovery services.

Drew always enjoyed being active. He played football, basketball, and baseball year-round in high school sports, sustaining the occasional injury that landed him in the offices of physical therapists and athletic trainers.

“The times I got hurt, it was interesting to see how my body worked and understand how anatomy can heal and what it takes,” Drew says of his initial piqued interest.

Drew received his Bachelor of Science in Secondary Health Education with an emphasis in Athletic Training at Ohio State University, where he learned more about how the body heals and the processes it goes through.

“I was always around high-level athletes and training and working with them,” Drew explains. “It’s always been part of my world.” He even met his wife of 24 years, Susan, an Ohio State soccer athlete, through his work training the school’s hockey, football, and baseball teams.

After completing his Master of Science in Human Movement, Drew spent 17 seasons working with the National Basketball Association and other national league teams, including the Cincinnati Bengals, Memphis Grizzlies, New Jersey Nets, and others, in various positions related to athletic training, offseason workouts and conditioning, and rehabilitation and nutritional needs.
That’s when Campbell Clinic approached him. “They were building a performance training facility and wanted to see if it was worth developing.”

After a few months of consulting with Drew, the Campbell Clinic hired him to make it happen.

“I always wanted to have an environment where people could get better. I like the healing process of seeing people who are hurt get back and be fit as ever or more.”

Accel Performance and Wellness provides all amenities under one roof —training and recovery. “We’re not training for an event; we’re training for life,” Drew emphasizes.

ACCEL’s core tenets of flexibility, mobility, and stability equip all patients with the skills and ability to prevent injury while moving toward their goals.
“Our bodies get tighter as we age; typically, that’s the breakdown of injury. If we consistently work on those factors, we will prevent injuries over time.”

ACCEL differs from other fitness centers because it observes movement patterns to build corrective exercises that help with impairments. Its small group classes provide a high level of coaching similar to personal training.

“Most people, especially men, tend to train in isolated exercises as opposed to compound movements, and it can certainly contribute to movement restrictions. That routine rut will lead to overcompensation of certain muscles or joints,” meaning limited mobility and greater inclination towards injury.

ACCEL focuses on technique and creates intelligently formulated workouts that push you. This is combined with smart recovery techniques like cryotherapy, compression boots, hot and cold water exposure, and more.

True to his passion, Drew follows ACCEL’s training program and movement-based exercises four to five days a week, mixing strength-based workouts with a few cardio-focused, high-intensity models. His sons Nicholas (16) and Andrew (17) are active in school sports and join their dad at ACCEL for workouts or opt for ACCEL’s small group training classes.

For the Graham’s, fitness is a lifestyle, and the family often takes active summer vacations at National parks including Yellowstone, Cascade Mountains, and Grand Canyon. Next year, they have their eyes set on the Grand Tetons.

“Be creative, change your routines, get uncomfortable sometimes, and embrace change to develop better movement patterns. It will ultimately make you feel better.”

To learn more or to join ACCEL, visit Accelperformance.com.

By Shlomit Ovadia
Photo by Tindall Stephens