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8 Great UK CrossFit Athletes to Follow and Learn From

Sam Briggs

The Stats:

  • Age: 38
  • Weight: 135lb
  • Height: 170cm

The UK Master’s Fittest Woman needs little introduction. Known as ‘The Engine,’ the 6x CrossFit Games competitor and 2013 Fittest Woman on Earth is regarded internationally as one of the heavyweights of the sport. She was the first UK-born athlete to make it to the Games — let alone win it.

A firefighter for a decade with the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Samantha “Sam” Briggs started her sporting career as duathlon and triathlon competitor, but in 2009 the Leeds native took up CrossFit and never looked back. 


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A post shared by Samantha Briggs (@bicepslikebriggs)

She joined a box just as CrossFit was starting to gain some steam in the UK, and shortly after qualified for the 2010 Games, coming in 19th overall and feeding her hunger for greater success. That was until a serious knee injury took her out of action in 2012. The injury was devastating, but also a huge learning experience:

“I had to sit back and focus on some of my weaknesses. There was a long time where I couldn’t do anything with my legs, so I had to focus on gymnastics. Then coming back from the injury, I had to work on my mechanics and make sure that my movement patterns were more efficient and that my technique was better.”

After spending a year out to focus on rehab, Sam qualified for the Games once again. This time nothing was going to stop her achieving her dream, as she beat out Lindsey Valenzuela to become the 2013 Fittest Woman on Earth.


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A post shared by Samantha Briggs (@bicepslikebriggs)

Despite having “aged out” of the Individual Women’s Division in 2016, Sam has continued to compete in the both Masters and Individual Divisions.  For the last four years she has held the title of the UK’s Fittest Woman over 35 — and isn’t close to stopping yet.

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