A. J. Russell, the three-time Minor League Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year, just completed his 10th year in the strength and conditioning field all in professional baseball, and all with the Padres. A. J. earned his first MiLB Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year Award in 2010 while working with Padres’ Advanced A affiliate, Lake Elsinore Storm in the California League (Lake Elsinore, CA), his second in 2013 with the Padres’ AAA Tucson Padres in the Pacific Coast League (Tucson, AZ) and his third in 2017 with the Padres’ AAA Pacific Coast League El Paso Chihuahuas in El Paso, TX.
His career in professional baseball started with the Angels as a minor league strength and conditioning coach for the Orem Owlz, Rookie affiliate in the Pioneer league of Orem Utah. In 2009 was promoted to Salt Lake Bees, AAA affiliate of the Pacific Coast league in Salt Lake City, UT. In 2010, the Padres hired him to work with the Lake Elsinore Storm Advanced A affiliate. He was promoted to the AAA Tucson Padres in 2011, and to the AAA affiliate El Paso Chihuahuas in 2013.
A native of Toronto, Canada, AJ graduated from San Marcos Baptist Academy High School, in San Marcos, TX where he earned letters in football, baseball, powerlifting, and track & field. After high school, AJ attended Austin Community college where he played centerfield and catcher. After Community College, AJ enrolled in the Exercise Science Program at Texas Stage University in San Marcos, TX where he earned a BS degree in 2007. He worked for Unique Physique as a personal trainer from 2005-2006, and Lifetime Fitness in 2007
Russell is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach (RSCC) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). He also holds PES, USAW, FMS and First Aid certifications.
He resides in El Paso, TX during the off-season with his girlfriend, Paola, and has a 1 ½ year old daughter, Emilia. His hobbies include snowboarding, traveling, hiking and spending time with family.
A. J. believes that strength and conditioning coaches should strive to use a movement-based approach that integrates multi-joint, tri-planer movements, progressions through testing, performance enhancement and injury reduction in an enjoyable training atmosphere.