A couple of years ago, long before I had ever stepped inside a CrossFit box, I came across the "Fittest on Earth" documentaries on Netflix. I remember being completely taken aback at the extreme yet weirdly appealing nature of the sport. Incredible amazonian women who were equally strong and beautiful. Fun, enthusiastic guys joking about and then competing against each other in events that could kill an average guy.
And then, I heard Sam being interviewed. A single English voice amongst the crowds of many, quietly and calmly showing the world what she could do. In a sporting world heavily dominated by American and Scandinavian warriors, here was Sam Briggs leading the pack. And from that point I was hooked. Totally in awe of this incredible woman.
Her physique is impressive yet, despite her fabulous biceps, she is actually quite petite. No more than 5'7 and 60kg, her statistics are not dissimilar to Kate Moss. But my goodness has she packed some power into her frame.
A few weeks ago, we were lucky enough to visit her in the CrossFit box where she trains and co-owns, TRAIN, CrossFit Manchester.
We managed to catch Sam on her return from a training session with Steven Fawcett's Team JST. She had been asked to join them ( at short notice) in their quest to win the Reykjavik CrossFit Championship, so she had spent a couple of days with them working on synchro bar muscle ups and team worm thrusters. She explained that it was quite tricky to synchro with Steve as they had very different physical builds, laughing that it was much easier with Emma McQuaid.
It seems as though we were lucky to catch Sam in Manchester. A few days later and she was competing in Reykjavik adding another win to her 2019 accolades. So far this year she has:
- WON the Dubai CrossFit Championship
- WON the Australia CrossFit Championship
- WON the team competition at the Reykjavik CrossFit Championship with Team JST
- 1st Place UK National Champion in the 2019 CrossFit Games Open
- 20th Place worldwide 2019 CrossFit Games Open
Sam is the only athlete to qualify for the 2019 CrossFit Games by every possible way. And we are not even half way through the year yet!
Considering her huge Crossfit success and very busy competition schedule, it was lovely to see how calm and demure Sam Briggs is. Often training with her close friends at the T1 TRAIN venue in central Manchester (@isla07 , @sammyrob92 , @emma_lauren_1 ). This is a woman who is focused on her plan, carrying around a small notebook of her training schedule, tracking and monitoring performance the way it was done before i-phones and apps.
Luckily for us, Sam was also very happy to share some of her training top tips with us. Such as how to stay focused whilst rowing long distances.... "use the various performance measures to keep your brain active" and to "use your effort pulling away from the rower and relax on the way in, as the wheel is already spinning on the way in. Don't waste your effort."
Sometimes meeting your hero can be the worst experience as they can't live up to your over-hyped impression of them. Not in this case. We found Sam to be delightful, humble, patient, down to earth and incredibly beautiful. Girl Crush now added to Hero status.
photography credits @neilshearerphotography @morningchalkup.com