Ep 59 – Annie Sakamoto on the evolution of CrossFit and setting an example for future generations

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“There was a group of us…and we often would workout together. But it was such trial and error back then. They would give us some workouts, see how it went. And we were always kind of racing each other. But it was still so new. We knew it was a great workout and that’s it. We didn’t have any idea what revolution we would be a part of.” – Annie Sakamoto

Annie Sakamoto is a mother of two children, four-time CrossFit Games athlete, owner of CrossFit Santa Cruz Central and one of members of the original CrossFit gym in Santa Cruz, CA. She began her CrossFit journey in 2004 when she was introduced to Greg Glassman and since then has trained, competed, and coached, bringing a veteran perspective to the ever-changing Sport of Fitness. She has competed in the team, individual, and masters divisions of the CrossFit Games and was awarded the “Sprit of the Games” in 2011. She is known as one of the original Nasty Girls alongside Nicole Carroll and Eva T., who paved the way for future generations of CrossFit women by performing muscle ups in the named workout. She’s also one of the few women to have a workout named after her with the classic couplet of double unders and sit-ups known as “Annie.” In her spare time, Annie enjoys surfing and spending time with her family in Santa Cruz.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Teaching cardio kickboxing, and her intro into CrossFit by Eva Twardokens
  • Annie’s first CrossFit workout and the early days in Santa Cruz
  • How the workout “Annie” came to be named after her
  • Her transition training to coaching
  • Her experience as part of the early CrossFit Level 1 Seminar Staff
  • What led her to transition to owning and running her own affiliate
  • How competing in the 2011 CrossFit Games changed her perspective on competition
  • Being a role model for her children and what drives her to compete
  • How her approach to training for competition has changed over the years
  • A day in the life of Annie
  • Three things Annie does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on her health
  • One thing she struggles to implement that could have a big impact on Annie’s health
  • What a healthy life looks like to her


You can follow Annie on Instagram and Facebook.


Related Episodes:

Ep 03 – Lindsey Smith on Competitive Drive and Finding Balance

Ep 25 – Christy Adkins on Overcoming Injury, Training for the 2016 CrossFit Games and the Future

Ep 29 – Dave Castro on Applying Lessons Learned as a SEAL, His Daily Routine and Directing the CrossFit Games

Ep 35 – Coach Greg Glassman on CrossFit, Chronic Disease, and the “5 Buckets of Death”

Ep 58 – Nicole Carroll on the early days and preserving the culture of CrossFit

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.

Question: In this episode, Annie tells us that the “girl” workouts were named after people because they included movements that were considered their weaknesses. If there were to be a workout named after you, what movements would it include?

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