Meet Sam Papanikas certified Spartan SGX Coach!


Meet Sam Papanikas certified Spartan SGX Coach!

Sam Papanikas, born in July 1974 in South Jersey to immigrant parents, is a chef, athlete and most recently a coach. He is the executive chef and partner of Bleu Olive in Durham, NC. Growing up in Clearwater, FL, he was always involved with athletics playing football, baseball & amateur beach volleyball. He strayed away from athletics in his early twenties focusing on his career in the kitchen which also led to late night partying, heavy drinking as well as other experimental endeavors.

After settling down and starting a family, he was not content with being unhealthy and out of shape so a visit to the gym a couple days out of the week became routine. One day a gym member asked him if he had ever done a mud run/obstacle race and mentioned a local event that would be happening in the area. His curiosity quickly turned into a determined focus which got him into distance running. After completing his first race at the age of 40, which was The Ninja Challenge in Fuquay Varina in 2014, he knew he was on to something. In the parking lot after that same race, he had asked another competitor how he enjoyed the race and their response was, “it was fun but nothing compared to a Spartan Race”. That evening, he looked up Spartan Race to see what the hype was all about and registered for a race, and let’s just say, that race sealed the deal on his new addiction. The sport of, now known as OCR (obstacle course racing), changed his whole outlook on his training, nutrition and pushed him to improve on other aspects of his everyday life.

After a few years of being involved with the OCR community and running numerous races, including a couple first place finishes in small local races, a handful of top five finishes and running at OCR World Championships, he became a Spartan SGX Coach in hopes that he could pass on the same excitement for life that he had found in OCR training and races himself. He is now coaching obstacle based workouts at Southpoint CrossFit which is a combination of running, spear throws, ring rigs (which is a variation of monkey bars and rings), rope climbs, bear crawls, heavy bucket carries, atlas stone carries and countless burpees. The workouts usually take place monthly before upcoming races but he has plans to have them available more frequently.


Don’t forget to come out to his next Spartan SGX Workout at Southpoint CrossFit

Saturday September 9th from 9-11!

He will take you through a tough session of cardio, strength & endurance as well as some technique work with the dreaded spear throw, atlas carry, bucket carry, rig & rope climb. All fitness levels are welcome!!!

Price is $10 for non-members & free to members of Southpoint CrossFit, Bull City CrossFit, CrossFit Durham & CrossFit Brave.

Please arrive 15 minutes early to sign in & sign a required waiver.

Please message any questions to Sam Papanikas @

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