Ep 79 – Sam Briggs on Going Back to Basics and Training for Longevity

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“I think… because I didn’t start CrossFit until I was 27, I’ve already done quite a lot before CrossFit, and I love training.  I just love pushing myself, I love being in that environment, and while I’m still enjoying it, I don’t see myself doing anything else at the moment.  And if it comes to the point where I’m really not enjoying going to the gym and doing it, I don’t feel I need to do it anymore.  I’ve already been at the top, I’ve been through injuries and come back, and still been able to be among the top… So it all comes down to, if I’m still enjoying it, then, why would I [stop].” -Sam Briggs

Samantha Briggs is a six-time CrossFit Games athlete. She earned the title of Fittest Woman on Earth in 2013 and has had five top ten finishes from 2011-2017.  At 35, she is setting the standard for Masters Athletes and implementing smart training strategies to ensure her longevity in the sport.

Sam comes from an athletic background, having played football (soccer) in England’s Northern Premier League, and competed in triathlons.  A firefighter for 10 years, today Sam is a professional CrossFit Games athlete, known as “The Engine” for her indomitable work capacity.  She has overcome multiple injuries, including a debilitating knee injury that forced her to take a year off from competition in 2012, time she used to focus on refining skills and improving her movement quality and weaknesses.

I sat down with Sam at the 2018 Reebok Athlete Summit to chat about how she got started in CrossFit, how she turned an injury into a growth experience, and what’s in store for her in the coming years.

In this episode we discuss:

  • What Sam was interested in prior to CrossFit, and what she thinks she’d be doing if she hadn’t gotten involved with CrossFit
  • What drove Sam’s decision to become a firefighter
  • How while Sam has been an athlete most her life, but also went through a period of a less-healthful lifestyle, and how she brought herself back to fitness
  • Sam’s CrossFit journey, and how taking a step back to recover and improve movement patterns and weaknesses led to great success
  • Sam’s secret to maintaining a large training volume year after year
  • The approach she takes when training through injury
  • What keeps Sam motivated to continue to train at such a high level
  • The importance of finding a coach that supports her desire to train hard but programs in a way that keeps her body safe and fit for training
  • Sam’s favorite competition moment
  • Her impression of Madison and how it differed from previous CrossFit Games experiences
  • Sam’s current training goals and expectations
  • What it’s like to compete against younger athletes, and the importance of focusing on recovery
  • What a typical day looks like for Sam
  • Three things Sam 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 her health
  • What a healthy life looks like to Sam

You can follow Sam on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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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.

This episode is brought to you by MobilityWOD. Do you struggle to get into good positions in your training and workouts? Are your movement compensations causing you undue pain and grief?  M|Wod’s belief is that every human being should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves. Join hundreds of Olympic and World Class athletes, College and Professional Teams in the NFL, MLB, Basketball, Hockey, Rugby and Soccer by using MobilityWOD to train and compete at your best.  Visit www.mobilitywod.com to receive 20% off your annual membership with code JULIEFOUCHER.

This episode is also brought to you by Butcher Box. Butcher Box delivers 100% grass-fed and finished beef, free-range organic chicken, and heritage-breed pork directly to your doorstep, on your schedule. You can order curated or custom boxes of meat, and they always come with recipe ideas for you to explore. Visit www.butcherbox.com and use code JULIE20 at checkout to recieve an exclusive offer for being a listener of Pursuing Health: $20 off your order + a free order of bacon!

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.


Ep 78 – Lifestyle and Brain Health with Dr. David Perlmutter

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“And I became, as a neurologist those first few years, very disenchanted with the notion of pretty much, ‘Diagnose and Adios.’  Meaning, we make these wonderful diagnoses, but we had such little to offer our patients, and I was very frustrated because I’m a do-er, I’m a fixer.  I wanted to be doing things.  So, I began looking at alternatives, and more importantly, I think, began to look at the notion of preventative medicine as it relates to brain health.  Which, I will say, even in those days, was very underrepresented, and even today as we have this conversation, is still very much underrepresented.  The notion that our lifestyle choices have a role to play in the destiny of our brain in terms of its health and functionality still doesn’t gain huge traction amongst professionals, more so perhaps amongst the general population, as they are learning that, matter of fact, our day to day choices are, in fact, important.” – Dr. David Perlmutter

Dr. Perlmutter is a Board-Certified Neurologist and Fellow of the American College of Nutrition.  He received his M.D. degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine where he was awarded the Leonard G. Rowntree Research Award.  He has published in peer-reviewed scientific journals and is a frequent lecturer at symposia sponsored by such medical institutions as Columbia University, Scripps Institute, New York University, and Harvard University.  He also serves as an Associate Professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Dr. Perlmutter is the author of four New York Times bestselling books showing the connection between gut health and brain health, including Grain Brain, Brain Maker, The Grain Brain Cookbook, and his most recent book, The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan.  Dr. Perlmutter has also been interviewed on many nationally syndicated television programs including 20/20, Larry King Live, CNN, Fox News, Fox and Friends, The Today Show, Oprah, The Dr. Oz Show, and The CBS Early Show.

He is also the recipient of numerous awards, including: the Linus Pauling Award for his innovative approaches to neurological disorders; the National Nutritional Foods Association Clinician of the Year award; the Humanitarian of the Year award from the American College of Nutrition; the Media Award from the American College of Nutrition; and the Healthy Living Award from The Invisible Disabilities Association.

Dr. Perlmutter and I sat down at his Naples, Florida home to discuss his background, the link between lifestyle choices, gut health and the brain, and what we can do to protect and improve our brain health.

Dr. Perlmutter’s bio was adapted from drperlmutter.com

In this episode we discuss:

  • The progression of Dr. Perlmutter’s medical career: when he first decided to pursue medicine, then specialize in neurology, and how that morphed into preventative medicine as it relates to brain health
  • The notion that our lifestyle choices are relevant to brain health, and that gut health ties into this equation
  • How the ultimate mechanism for brain degeneration is inflammation, and the need to focus on what causes the inflammation
  • How aerobic exercise may dramatically reduce dementia and other degenerative disorders
  • How changing gut bacteria can affect other body systems
  • The compelling phenomena that our lifestyle choices can impact our inherited genome and change gene expression
  • The importance of challenging prevailing beliefs and providing individuals with knowledge to make informed choices
  • The impact of gluten on the brain, and how individuals might not experience intestinal symptoms, while they still experience neurological symptoms
  • The relationship between damaging the gut bacteria and body weight
  • The danger of genetically modified organisms (GMO) and the impact of glyphosate on gut bacteria and inflammation, and how that relates to the skyrocketing number of Alzheimer patients.
  • The importance of focusing on prevention rather than a cure
  • The dichotomy of nature vs. nurture and how both play a role in health
  • How watching his father die from Alzheimer’s motivates Dr. Perlmutter to take measures to ensure that is not his destiny
  • The need for a doctor’s help and support for blood testing, and which tests should be monitored for optimal brain health
  • What simple strategies we can implement ourselves for optimal brain health, including exercise, a high fat, low carb diet and restorative sleep
  • Which supplements can improve brain health
  • Additional measures and supplements individuals can take to protect their brain health such as a ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting
  • Three things Dr. Perlmutter does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on his health
  • One thing he struggles to implement that could have a big impact on his health
  • What a healthy life looks like to Dr. Perlmutter

You can follow Dr. Perlmutter on his websiteFacebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

Links:

Related Episodes:

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.

This episode is brought to you by MobilityWOD. Do you struggle to get into good positions in your training and workouts? Are your movement compensations causing you undue pain and grief?  M|Wod’s belief is that every human being should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves. Join hundreds of Olympic and World Class athletes, College and Professional Teams in the NFL, MLB, Basketball, Hockey, Rugby and Soccer by using MobilityWOD to train and compete at your best.  Visit www.mobilitywod.com to receive receive 20% off your annual membership with code JULIEFOUCHER.

This episode is also brought to you by Butcher Box. Butcher Box delivers 100% grass-fed and finished beef, free-range organic chicken, and heritage-breed pork directly to your doorstep, on your schedule. You can order curated or custom boxes of meat, and they always come with recipe ideas for you to explore. Visit www.butcherbox.com and use code JULIE20 at checkout to recieve an exclusive offer for being a listener of Pursuing Health: $20 off your order + a free order of bacon!

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.