Every great celebrity couple has a nickname, from Kimye, to Bennifer to Branjelina. But for our own favorite super couple – Samantha and Phil Piggins – they’re more known for their strength, great sense of humor and that adorable, sweet 4-month old son Ethan. But we still lobby for a nickname, like Shil? Pham? Sam-n-Phil or even SalmonPhil?
By day she’s a stay at home mom with a background in physical therapy and he works at his family business, C&C Sports, running the used equipment department. They’ve been married for nearly two years and have been together since 2010. But how do they manage to make their health and fitness goals a priority in the midst of such an intense life transition? And what’s Jeff Magnell got to do with it? Read on…
What got you interested in CrossFit in the first place?
Sam: I became interested in CrossFit in college when I worked at a physical therapy clinic that used modified CrossFit moves with their patients. When I graduated college and moved back to Brighton I looked into CrossFit gyms and came in for an intro at CrossFit Brighton.
Phil: I became interested in Crossfit when I signed up during the bring a friend WOD. I didn’t know anyone at CFB at the time, but I emailed Chris if I could come for the WOD and here I am 4 years later! At the time I had a membership at Planet Fitness and realized that regular gyms were not working for me, especially since I only went when they had free pizza.
What did you think about CrossFit when you first started? What’s keeps you coming back?
Sam: We both thought it was tough in the beginning because we had never moved like that before. I keep coming back because I like that the workout is put together and I don’t have to put much thought into it. I also like working out in a group atmosphere and there’s usually good music choices to keep everyone motivated!
Phil: At first I thought it was frustrating and overwhelming because I was unfamiliar with the movements and how to move my body. I keep coming back to challenge myself to do better than the day before and to beat Jeff Magnell and Coach John! I like the competitive atmosphere that CrossFit Brighton has.
How do you make time for it given your busy schedule and now having Ethan in your lives?
Sam: We make time for CFB because we value how it can benefit our health and overall well being. There are always times when we would rather stay in bed, or stay out late, but planning a workout keeps us motivated to fit it into our schedule. I made time for CrossFit while I was pregnant and it helped with my energy level and ability to move well while carrying a baby. We love talking about the workouts together and how we can improve on movements, or what we want to work on. It has become a hobby for us to do together, even if we can’t make it to a class together.
We knew before we had our son that it was important to continue CrossFit after his arrival. It was challenging in the beginning while I took some time off adjusting as a new mom and recovering. Phil has been a great support system to make it work that we both get to the gym several days a week as well as the members of this community that push us to get there. It is important to us to now show our son that having a healthy lifestyle is important and moving well is a big part of that.
We’re in the midst of the CrossFit Open. What’s been your experience with it in the past?
Sam: This will be our 4th Open that we are competing in and enjoy signing up each year!
Phil: My first experience was a bit intimidating since I’d never had a judge critiquing me and counting all of my reps. I was worried I might get no-repped a lot! After I got over that I found that the open pushes me to do a little more than I normally would and its fun competing against other gyms and members.
Tell us the truth, do you ever “compete” with each other in a WOD?
Sam: When we first started and could make the gym together we would sometimes compete with each other but would much rather work together in a grueling LT partner WOD! I have been known to call Phil out on not counting all of his burpees correctly and holding him accountable on good form for his movements. All in all we have fun working out together!
What else would be helpful for someone to know who is new to CrossFit and anxious about getting started?
Phil: It doesn’t matter what fitness level you are currently at because there is always a way to modify a movement. The workouts do not get easier, but recovering from them becomes better and it becomes a bit addicting. Keep in mind the movements you learn at CrossFit can be adapted to your everyday life.