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TRANSFORMATION – Sara Sigmundsdottir Before CrossFit (and 14 Workouts For You to Try)

See what Sara was like before she started CrossFit and learn how to train and compete as hard as she does.

Sara Sigmundsdottir is an incredibly well-rounded athlete; known for her toughness, strength, and technical skill with a barbell.


2020Women1st1st Iceland
2019Women1st1st Iceland
2018Women21st2nd Iceland
2017Women1st1st United States
2016Individual Women4th1st Iceland
2015Individual Women3rd2nd Iceland
2014Individual Women75th
2013Individual Women427th
2012Individual Women

Sara Sigmundsdottir: Day In The Life

Here she is before she started the sport of fitness…

Sara on Stage

Use the following lessons, tips and workouts from her to forge yourself into a fitter, happier, healthier and more competitive athlete.

Sara is living proof that you don’t need any kind of specific sporting background to content at the highest levels in the Sport of Fitness. But firstly, don’t forget your pre-workout. Sara style…                      

Workouts From Sara Sigmundsdottir

Try these workouts all by Sara Sigmundsdottir on your next training day.


Here is one of the workouts I created – give it a go:⁣

4x 2 minutes on and 1 minute off

Buy in: ⁣

  • 20 Russian twist v-ups⁣
  • 16 lunge jumps⁣

and then max rep burpees over a 10 cm gap until you reach a total of 75 burpees.      


I guess working on position pays off. Did this piece from @thetrainingplan

  • 1 hang snatch – 3 snatches
  • every 2 minutes x10
  • 65%+ of 1 RM


3 min AMPRAP:
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9..OHS 65/45 kg
1 rope climb
How far can you go?                      



  • 100 Double Unders⁣
  • 50 Wall Balls 30/20lbs⁣
  • 100 Double Unders⁣
  • 50m Handstand Walk⁣
  • 100 Double Unders⁣
  • 50 GHD Sit Ups⁣
  • 100 Double Unders⁣                    


Love this finisher for shoulder health.⁣

3 rounds: ⁣

  • 15 reps lat pull down ⁣
  • 15 reps high pull⁣
  • 15 reps bent over row⁣

You can control how hard it is by adjusting the resistance of the band.                


  • 20min bike
  • 200 step ups 20”
  • 12min bike
  • 150 step ups 20”
  • 8min
  • 100 lstep ups 20”
  • 4min
  • 50 step ups 20”
  • 18min bike             


5 rounds:

  • 15-25 sec l sit hold on peg board
  • Chinese plank 1 min

Life hack… close your eyes and time will go by faster?


I received a few questions about the banded finisher that I posted on my story the other day. So here it goes, enjoy… ⁣


  • 50 bent over row
  • 15+15 cross arm raise⁣
  • 20+20 Russian twist⁣                     


One of the many workouts I did in my pre-Games camp that included the Fat Gripz Only two more weeks and then I can get back to doing stuff like this??


When you have backward sled drag for 20 minutes and you live in Iceland…. you need to put ? underneath your shoes!⁣

I will admit I was not excited for this, but the feeling afterwards when you finish the workout after being uncomfortable and cold is the BEST. ⁣

Weather 0 – Sara 1                     

11 Leg Workout from Sara Sigmundsdottir

8 rounds of:

  • 20 KB Squats
  • 30 Air squats
  • 400m run -rest 1 min


For time:

  • 30m overhead walking lunges 24kg KB
  • 30 Ring dips
  • 30m overhead walking lunges 24kg KB
  • 20 Ring dips
  • 30m overhead walking lunges 24kg KB
  • 10 Ring dips
  • 30m overhead walking lunges 24kg KB
  • 10 d-ball throw over RIG.                   

Lessons From Sara Sigmundsdottir

Use these lessons from Sara to become more dedicated and successful.

Sara Sigmundsdottir: “My focus was always to out work everybody, I knew the other girls had the background and had the talent which made me want it even more, I wanted to prove what I was capable of with hard work and inner desire.”

Sara-SigmundsdottirSource: CrossFit Inc

Sara does not come from any kind of specific sports background. She did not do gymnastics or Olympic Weightlifting from a young age, but has instead worked hard to cultivate and develop these skills.

She believed in herself and put in the work. This goes for you, too. Train hard, trust yourself and build confidence through the hard work that you put in day in, day out. Whatever your ability level, there is simply no substitute for simply doing the work.

Draw Energy From the Community And Your Training Partners

Sara trains and competes against many of the best athletes in the world. This helps her to constantly push her skills and perception of her own limitations. Use the energy of those around you to help drive you forwards towards success.

Make sure that you constantly compete against athletes that you know are better than you, as this will push you to become better yourself. If you are already the best athlete in the room, then its time to change rooms.                      

Focus On Your Goals

At the Reykjavik Games Olympic weightlifting competition Sara became Iceland’s first ever female to pass the 200 kg mark in total. She lifted a total of 201 kg / 443 lbs. She had focused on this goal for a long time, knew she was capable of achieving it, then worked systematically in order to make it happen.

Sara-SigmundsdottirSource: CrossFit Inc

However large or small your goals my be, remember that hard work will beat talent every time if talent doesn’t work hard.

Make a plan, accept that there will always be setbacks, then keep working until you reach your goal.                    

Build Mental Strength in Your WODS That Take You Out of Your Comfort Zone

1000 Burpees for time sound good to anyone? I thought not. But that is just one of Sara Sigmundsdottir’s workouts that she does to build an iron mind. There is absolutely no skill involved whatsoever, no equipment needed and it is just you against you.

It isn’t pretty and won’t make a flashy Instagram post, but IF you complete it, you will become a stronger person mentally.

These types of WODs also will shift your perspective, and make other WODs seem smaller and more manageable in comparison. Sara is now an athlete that knows it takes her 83:40 to do 1000 Burpees, and she understands what that feels like.

So when they crop up in another form in her next WOD, they won’t look at daunting as before, and mentally she can readjust herself to complete them.

“Ernest Hemingway once wrote that certain things in life ‘burn the fat off our souls.’ Doing 1000 Burpees for time is one of those things…”

On the next page is another workout from Sara that you can use to improve your mental fortitude…

13 Workout from Sara Sigmundsdottir called KETTLEBELL HELL!

Sara: ‘If you want to work on your mental side I recommend this workout called Kettlebell Hell.’

4 Rounds for increasing load:

  • 10 Double KB Clean
  • 10m Double KB FR Carry
  • 10 Double KB STOH
  • 10m Double KB FR Carry
  • 10 Double KB FR Lunges
  • 10m Double KB FR Carry
  • 10 Double KB FR Squat
  • REST 3 minutes b/t rounds

Recommended starting weights 16/12kg (35/26lbs) or more if you dare.. Take it with someone who pushes you! Thanks BK Gudmundsson for the competition’


Train With A Coach You Respect

According to Sara, a good coach should:

“should understand the mind of their athlete, never be controlling, and be willing to learn and hear your opinion.”

Sara feels that this two way relationship between a coach and an athlete is important to stimulate growth and keep training exciting, effective and fulfilling. For example she will often design workouts herself. For example this one below was her answer when I asked her to describe her perfect workout.


  • 10-1
  • Strict muscle up
  • Paralette HSPU
  • Squat snatches that get heavier in each set
CrossFit Games 2019 Sara SigmundsdóttirSource: BOXROX
What goes through your mind right before a workout?

Enjoy Yourself

Sara Sigmundsdottir competes with her almost unrivaled determination and desire to win. She is switched on, focused and serious before each WOD begins. But watch her afterwards and you see a beaming smile light up her face, and an Icelandic girl that loves to compete and to better herself.

sara sigmundsdottir pistol squat strong crossfit mentalitySource: RX'd Photography

She strikes an excellent balance between being serious and dedicated about the process and her goals, but also does not forget to stop and savour the moment.

Read More: TRANSFORMATION – Lauren Fisher before CrossFit (and 10 of her workouts)

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