Sam Briggs or The Engine as she is nicknamed, is the UK’s answer to CrossFit royalty. Sam is respected amongst the elite athletes of CrossFit and we can understand why. Following her second games in 2011, where she finished 4th she was hit by a devastating knee injury. After surgery and good rehab, Sam returned to the Games in 2013 and with no one expecting her to finish on the podium, Sam silenced the critics and took first place, claiming the title ‘Fittest Woman on Earth’.
With Sam never finishing outside the Top Five since her Games debut, she is a favourite to take the women’s title at this year’s Games in Madison, Wisconsin. We caught up with Sam during her run up to the Games, here’s what she had to say!
FA4S: So Sam, with the CrossFit games a just a few weeks away how do you prepare yourself mentally?
Sam: I think mentally Regionals is harder as the chance of not qualifying is very real!!! I’ve now qualified it’s just fine tuning the training and then time to have fun!
FA4S: What is normal day to day training like for you in the lead up to the Games?
Sam: Typically the day kicks off with 40-60 min conditioning e.g. 40 min alternating EMOM*
- 15 cal row
- 13 calorie Air Assault bike
- 13 calorie Ski erg
- 15 burpees.
Session 2 would be a strength session e.g. snatches and back squats followed by a Metcon* of 21-15-9 thrusters, 5-3-1 pegboards climbs
Session 3 would be gymnastic skill session e.g. strict MU’s, ring HSPUs or weighted rope climbs
Session 4 would be finishing off with a Metcon* or two.
FA4S: How do you taper for competitions? Does it change from regionals to Games?
Sam: Regionals tends to be a mini taper and pre-peak in preparation for a full peak at the Games. The volume and intensity will just be reduced so I’m fully recovered and ready for the Games.
FA4S: What products do you use to protect yourself during training?
Sam: I wear gymnastic grips when doing bar and ring work. I tape my thumbs for lifting and my wrists for strict gymnastic work.
FA4S: How was your recovery from surgery, did you use any products or recovery methods?
Sam: I was determined to make the fastest recovery I could. I did 2+ hours of rehab a day. I cut out all stressants so zero caffeine!!! No alcohol, no processed foods, went very Paleo with my diet. Supplement wise I increased my uptake of Omega3s and Glucosamine, took extra amino acids and supplemented the food with 2 More Muscle Protein shakes a day.
FA4S: Do you have any rituals of superstitions that you carry out before competitions?
Sam: Not really, I just try to have fun and enjoy the moment!
FA4S: We’ve heard rumours that there could be triathlon event at the Games this year? With you being a triathlete would you look forward to an event like this?
Sam: I always enjoy any of the longer events, so I’d definitely enjoy a triathlon.
FA4S: Have you got a stand out favourite event from your appearances at the Regionals or the Games?
Sam: There’s so many events I’ve enjoyed. Being back at the Ranch last year was really cool!
FA4S: What would you say is the best thing about CrossFit?
Sam: That anyone really can do it! My mum started after the Games in 2015 and it’s great that when I go visit her I can join her at her box and we can work out together!
FA4S: And lastly, do you have any advice for someone entering their first competition?
Sam: Enjoy it!!! They can be very stressful, so don’t put any added pressure onto yourself just go have fun and you’ll surprise yourself just what you’re capable of.
*Metcon – Metabolic Conditioning. Another description for Cardiovascular conditioning (Cardio).
*EMOM – Every minute on the minute.
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