20-minute AMRAP motor from CrossFit legend Sam Briggs


Athletes who participate in the CrossFit Games have recently become significantly younger. A parcel younger. In the 2021 competition, teens like Mal O’Brien and Emma Cary were in the spotlight, having started the sport at a young age. The Brazilian wonder and winner of several events, Gui Malheiros, is a tall 21-year-old. The world’s most fit new man, Justin Medeiros, is 22. Even Tia-Clair Toomey, the most dominant CrossFitter of all time and the five-time back-to-back champion, who was second twice before his winning run, is still, sort of, just 28.

In 2013, Manchester-born Sam Briggs won the CrossFit Games. She was 30 years old and the oldest woman to win gold. Sam has competed in the Games a total of 10 times, eight of which were over 30 years old. She won the CrossFit Open twice in the elite category and three times in the 35-39 division. Oh, and she’s been the UK national champion since 2016.

Age is of course only a number. But for Sam, it’s a number to beat. Now 39, the athlete nicknamed “The Engine” is in better shape than ever. She builds strength PRs and beats her times on benchmark and repetitive workouts. Going quietly at night is not something that makes sense to her.

Renowned for its ability to endure discomfort; to gladly go into the cave of pain, pull up a chair and ask for what there is for tea, Sam has scheduled a session exclusively for you and your Men’s Heath SQUAD teammates, one that will put you in a hole and will increase your mental and physical strength while you are in there.

On a 20 minute AMRAP, your task is to perform the movements over and over for the allotted time, performing as many laps and reps as possible. Before you jump in, consider some great advice from The Engine, then find the full workout description below.


    This workout does not have high level strength or complex gymnastics, so ideally you should not fail any movement at any time. This means determining your “maximum lasting intensity” and being disciplined with your pace. 20 minutes is a relatively long time domain, so you definitely shouldn’t be running.

    I would advise starting off with a really brisk pace and trying to build up your intensity as you go – it’s usually better to start easy and finish strong rather than blowing up the first 30 years and fighting the rest. – if you have something to compare for the line like a 2k beat, you understand the beat around, for example:

    1-5 minutes Slightly slower than the pace of 2k

    5-10 minutes rhythm 2k

    10-15 minutes Slightly faster than 2k pace

    15-20 minutes Aggressive pace


    Try to be quick in your transitions! Timing your transitions or having a fixed protocol in mind will save you time. Something like five deep breaths when you get off the rower, or a strict eight second rest before you start squats will hold you accountable when you start to tire.


    Thoughts become words which become actions. If you can make the voice in your head your own, you can frame the effort you’re putting into a positive context. Try not to let yourself get negative connotations in training. “It’s so hard it sucks! Can be turned into “I can really feel how hard I am working and it brings me closer to my goal”

      The best athletes in the world are those who can do it every day by all situations. Framing any experience in a positive light means that you will try harder and enjoy it more. Who doesn’t want that?


      During the last five minutes, you always have more in the tank than you might think. Don’t sail here – finish strong!

      20-minute AMRAP of:

      Row x 20 calories (50 x double-unders or 100 x single jumps if you can’t use a rower)

      Strap on to a rower and grasp the handles with an upright torso. Keep your head and neck neutral (A). Drive hard with your legs, keeping your arms straight until your legs are fully locked. Then lean back slightly and finish the movement by pulling hard with the arms towards the chest (B). Reverse the movement and repeat.

      Air squat x 15

      Stand up straight (A), keep your chest up and push your hips back, before bending your knees to drop your thighs until they are at least parallel to the floor (B). No half-shows here, please. Then go up.

      Arm, muscle, abdomen, leg, physical fitness, human body, trunk, stretch, chest, exercise,

      Sitting x 10

      With your legs bent and the soles of your feet together, lie down with your hands behind your head (A). Contract your abs as you sit down and touch your hands to your feet (B). Reverse the movement to return to the pose and repeat.

      Press up, arm, abdomen, joint, fitness, chest, muscles, trunk, shoulder, human body,

      Pumps x 5

      Adopt a plank position with long arms, tight core, and hands below the shoulders (A), bend your elbows to bring your chest to the floor (B). Keep your elbows close to your body as you explosively ascend.

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