Ep 79 – Sam Briggs on Going Back to Basics and Training for Longevity

Ep 79 – Sam Briggs on Going Back to Basics and Training for Longevity

“I think… because I didn’t start CrossFit until I was 27, I’ve already done quite a lot before CrossFit, and I love training.  I just love pushing myself, I love being in that environment, and while I’m still enjoying it, I don’t see myself doing anything else at the moment.  And if it comes to the point where I’m really not enjoying going to the gym and doing it, I don’t feel I need to do it anymore.  I’ve already been at the top, I’ve been through injuries and come back, and still been able to be among the top… So it all comes down to, if I’m still enjoying it, then, why would I [stop].” -Sam Briggs

Samantha Briggs is a six-time CrossFit Games athlete. She earned the title of Fittest Woman on Earth in 2013 and has had five top ten finishes from 2011-2017.  At 35, she is setting the standard for Masters Athletes and implementing smart training strategies to ensure her longevity in the sport.

Sam comes from an athletic background, having played football (soccer) in England’s Northern Premier League, and competed in triathlons.  A firefighter for 10 years, today Sam is a professional CrossFit Games athlete, known as “The Engine” for her indomitable work capacity.  She has overcome multiple injuries, including a debilitating knee injury that forced her to take a year off from competition in 2012, time she used to focus on refining skills and improving her movement quality and weaknesses.

I sat down with Sam at the 2018 Reebok Athlete Summit to chat about how she got started in CrossFit, how she turned an injury into a growth experience, and what’s in store for her in the coming years.

In this episode we discuss:

  • What Sam was interested in prior to CrossFit, and what she thinks she’d be doing if she hadn’t gotten involved with CrossFit
  • What drove Sam’s decision to become a firefighter
  • How while Sam has been an athlete most her life, but also went through a period of a less-healthful lifestyle, and how she brought herself back to fitness
  • Sam’s CrossFit journey, and how taking a step back to recover and improve movement patterns and weaknesses led to great success
  • Sam’s secret to maintaining a large training volume year after year
  • The approach she takes when training through injury
  • What keeps Sam motivated to continue to train at such a high level
  • The importance of finding a coach that supports her desire to train hard but programs in a way that keeps her body safe and fit for training
  • Sam’s favorite competition moment
  • Her impression of Madison and how it differed from previous CrossFit Games experiences
  • Sam’s current training goals and expectations
  • What it’s like to compete against younger athletes, and the importance of focusing on recovery
  • What a typical day looks like for Sam
  • Three things Sam does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on her health
  • One thing she struggles to implement that could have a big impact on her health
  • What a healthy life looks like to Sam

You can follow Sam on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


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This episode is brought to you by MobilityWOD. Do you struggle to get into good positions in your training and workouts? Are your movement compensations causing you undue pain and grief?  M|Wod’s belief is that every human being should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves. Join hundreds of Olympic and World Class athletes, College and Professional Teams in the NFL, MLB, Basketball, Hockey, Rugby and Soccer by using MobilityWOD to train and compete at your best.  Visit www.mobilitywod.com to receive 20% off your annual membership with code JULIEFOUCHER.

This episode is also brought to you by Butcher Box. Butcher Box delivers 100% grass-fed and finished beef, free-range organic chicken, and heritage-breed pork directly to your doorstep, on your schedule. You can order curated or custom boxes of meat, and they always come with recipe ideas for you to explore. Visit www.butcherbox.com and use code JULIE20 at checkout to recieve an exclusive offer for being a listener of Pursuing Health: $20 off your order + a free order of bacon!

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.

This post was originally published on February 20, 2018.

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