Inside The Mind w/ Ben Smith

Ben Smith is one of a select few athletes who has competed in the Reebok CrossFit Games every year since 2009 (8 consecutive appearances). He has finished on the Games podium four times and won it all in 2015 to become the Fittest Man On Earth. Consistency and hard work is the secret sauce — but we get to dig a little deeper in this conversation.

In this episode, we dive into:

  • How Ben mentally handles ruts in training
  • What’s going through his head in a workout — both competition and training environments
  • Relatable characteristics the everyday athlete and coach can take away from Ben’s journey


Also available here:

Amazon Music    Podcast Addict    Spotify

Show Notes:

  • (2:30) – Over 8 years of competing, what has evolved the most in terms of how you prepare for the Games?
  • (4:25) – “Mistakes” made early on that you’ve learned from
  • (5:55) – What was your biggest weakness? And what did you do to make it a strength?
  • (7:45) – What is going through your head when you sit down to write your own programming?
  • (9:35) – How do you measure and track your progress?
  • (11:25) – How do you handle yourself mentally in competition vs day to day training?
  • (12:45) – Do you experience mental ruts in training? How do you handle that?
  • (14:20) – Being a gym owner and an athlete
  • (15:05) – What’s the environment like at CF Krypton?
  • (16:30) – If someone had an extra 15 minutes to improve their movement or performance, how could they best spend those 15 minutes?
  • (18:00) – When you’re doing a workout, what is going through your head?
  • (20:30) – What are some tools that everyday CrossFitter can start using in their own training?
  • (21:30) – What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not training?
  • (22:40) – What does the first 60-90 minutes of your day look like?
  • (23:10) – What’s your nutrition look like?
  • (24:05) – If I opened your fridge, what are some staples I would find?
  • (26:18) – Biggest influences
  • (26:45) – What’re you excited about right now?
  • (28:35) – If you had one year to live, and everything you’ve done was wiped out, what would you do to get back to where you are?
  • (27:40) – What should a coach or athlete takeaway from this podcast? How can they make themselves better today from listening to this?
  • (29:52) – How can we support your journey?

Podcast Transcript:

Ben  00:00

Hey guys, Ben Smith here and you’re listening to the airborne mind show

Misbah Haque  00:27

Hey guys, Misbah Haque here. Thank you for joining me and welcome back to the show. Today we are going to be talking with Ben Smith. He is one of a select few athletes who has competed in the CrossFit Games every year since 2009. So that makes it eight consecutive appearances. And he has finished on the games podium four times, and he won it all in 2015 to become the fittest man on earth. Obviously, consistency and hard work is the secret sauce. But we get to dig a little bit deeper in this conversation. I think it’s very cool to dig into the mind of an athlete like Ben. And so in this episode, we’re going to talk about how he kind of mentally handles ruts. What’s going through his mind when he’s writing programming for himself, what’s going through his head in a workout, both in competition and training environments. And it’s not so much the tactics, and the quick fix type of tips that we’re looking for in this episode. I think it’s more so the overlap and the relatable characteristics that the everyday athlete and the coach can take away from his journey. Before we get started, if you love the show, if you love what we’ve been doing and putting out, head over to the airborne mind calm and grab your movement Audit Checklist. This is something I put together, which is designed to help you in five steps or five questions, help you reflect and figure out what am I not getting enough of my training? How is it holding me back? Maybe it’s performance wise, maybe it’s aches and pains? And if I had an extra 15 minutes or so where would I spend that precious time. I’ve also pulled the assessments that Zack Greenwald, Dr. Shawn, Jeremy, Travis mash, and so forth, have given us on the show. So you can objectively figure out where the weaknesses are, and where you can put in the work, I think it is a very useful resource for any athlete. So once again, head over to grab your free movement Audit Checklist, and I guarantee you’ll walk away with something useful. And with that being said, Please enjoy the show. Hey, Ben, welcome to the show, man! 

Ben  02:27

Hey, thanks for having me. 

Misbah Haque  02:28

I’m really pumped to have you here, you have made multiple trips to the CrossFit Games, and you have had multiple podium finishes, you were the fittest man on earth in 2015. And so you’ve been in the game for a while, and you’ve kind of watched, you know, CrossFit evolve this whole time. So I’m curious from when you first started to now, what stands out to you the most when it comes to the events, and really how you have to go about preparing for it? 

Ben  02:57

I can’t say that, that I feel like too much has changed. In like a very short amount of time. I’ve been competing for eight years, the game has been around for 10 years. I’ve watched and paid close attention to the first two years and kind of saw how the sport was evolving and saw where the events were going. And I was able to adapt my training, they kind of plan accordingly for each year. So I would always be working on my weaknesses working on things I would do events previously in the past. And I would compare my scores and compare my times and that kind of stuff. And I was able to, to figure out if I was going to be able to be competitive in certain events. And if I wasn’t going to be competitive in certain events, I would work as hard as I could that year to make myself competitive. And I think I just did a really good job of staying, staying a little bit ahead of the curve and trying to get a little bit better at things that you see pop up. Like in 2009 for example, it was that workout, or 2010 it was that workout Amanda muscle ups and squat snatches, and you’d be so surprised at how difficult 135 pound squat snatches combined with muscle ups were for people back then. Right. And that was something that I always enjoyed. And I saw, you know, I saw those movements were important. And I worked on a lot of skill related stuff with Snatch and muscle up and I was able to do that event relatively well compared to the rest of the field. So that’s just an example of things like that. Just trying to stay ahead of the curve each year. 

Misbah Haque  04:29

 And I’m sure, you’ve learned like you’ve probably made you know mistakes early on that you’ve kind of learned from so what are some that kind of stand out to you that you found to be really useful? 

Ben  04:40

So I think you know, my mistakes, what I call a mistake, would just be kind of like not doing well. I’m gonna benefit games are at the regionals. And or even in training, you know, you do it a workout, you do an event and and you find yourself resting for a majority of the workout like okay, there’s something there that I need. work on. But I’d say just kind of making sure that my training is consistently varied. And it’s not focused too much on strength or focus too much on skill related things, stuff like that, just trying to make sure I’m covering all my bases. Because I find that, you know, competitions, the thing for me has always been like, stuff like handstand push ups or stuff where it’s just like, just carry an object from point A to point B as fast as possible, you know, stuff like that. There’s some skill stuff. And then there’s some, like just grunt engine work stuff that I always need to work on. So just finding, you know, that’s where you learn when you fail. When you don’t do well, you can either take that as a learning experience, or you can let that bug you and, and get in your head. And I’ve always taken it as a learning experience. And I think that’s why I’ve been able to bounce back. 

Misbah Haque  05:52

Definitely. So this is a question from a listener, and they wanted to know, what was your biggest weakness? And what did you kind of do to make it a strength or at least kind of make it stronger? 

Ben  06:07

I think a big weakness of mine in the past has been a lot of gymnastics, like, strict handstand push ups, handstand walking, I didn’t have a gymnastics background at all, I actually played baseball. So I had a pretty weak upper body, not gonna lie. So upper body pressing strength like that. I’ve always been good at pull ups, but not like the pressing. Running has not been great, sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it’s good. But it’s when it’s combined with other things that I normally have a little bit of trouble with things, things like those three things gymnastics and running, I’ve really been working on a lot. I just set time aside each week to focus on that. So I run, I run twice a week, at least all year. I have somebody like a coach for running that kind of helps me out with what he does with my programming. And we run together, we work on that stuff. And I’ve seen a big huge improvement over the last couple years just by working with him and running twice a week. And then my gymnastic stuff, I just tried to implement it into my workouts two to three days a week. And you’d be surprised that just the dedication to it and the time that you spend practicing, you know, something that you may not like, in the beginning, if you do it enough, you kind of get at it, and you find that, hey, I kind of enjoy doing these movements, because I see the progress that I’m making. And I see that I’m getting better. When you know that you’re getting better, it just motivates you to do a little bit more. 

Misbah Haque  07:35

With so many different things to practice. And you’ve mentioned before that you know, you write your own programming, and you have quite a crew following you now, like the krypton satellite programming, I think it’s on beyond the whiteboard, right? Yeah, so what What’s that process look like? Like when you sit down to write your programming for the day for the week? What are some things you’re kind of taking into account like walk us through that?

Ben  08:00

I’ve it’s it’s always been a little bit different each year. So I find that certain things work in certain formats of workouts. I try to stick with keeping things as simple as possible. So couplets triplets, there’s an occasional chipper in there. I stay at moderate loads, so that you can continually move during a workout. And then occasionally I go heavy. And then other times I work on running or gymnastics, you know, stuff like this kind of stuff. But I’m always focusing on having that cardiovascular-like, breathing hard type of feel to every workout, even though it may be a strength portion of a workout, it’s still, you know, you can make that a cardiovascular workout. I guess if you do it the correct way. But just kind of implementing it. My training, I kind of have a structure where Monday through Saturday, I like to do certain lifts on certain days or focus on certain things on certain days, like we have running days, we have days that we like to do squats more. And then on those days, I might do things like not just a back squat or front squat or an overhead squat. But I’ll implement a workout, let’s say wall balls, or I’ll do something with a barbell or I’m doing multiple squats. And I try to keep it like nuts that I’m not doing the squatting motion, like every single day because they kind of beat up. So things like that kind of structure my week, around certain movements on certain days and then filling in as I need to. Now what’s your process look like for tracking your progress to kind of make sure that you’re continually improving like, do you have certain benchmarks that are your favorites? You like to test or you know, what’s that process look like? Yeah, so I think I’m a little bit different. I mean, I used to focus on my times and I used to focus on how fast I was going in the workout. And what I started to realize as I do this, do this longer and longer. It’s more about your quality of your movement, and how consistent you can stay throughout your workout. Like I’ll say, always take running, for example, I always give an example of a run on a 5k, you’re not going to go out as hard as you can on your 5k. And you’re going to hold on for dear life, and then, you know, barely make it across the finish line and fall over, you know, you’re gonna, you’re gonna, you’re going to start off fast, but you’re gonna put yourself at a pace that you can handle, and that you can challenge yourself and you can challenge your if you’re going to be competitive, you’re either going to be competitive, or you’re not. And, you know, there’s no, there’s no reason why CrossFit can’t, can’t be structured the same exact way as a race, you know, that’s what it is, right? So, you know, I used to go out too hard and burn myself out in the beginning. And I’ve just tried to learn how to pace myself and kind of go by feel and go by go by how I feel during the workout rather than my time or whatever. And that’s how I know I’m making progress, I’m able to mentally stay through workout and push through a workout or push through like a set of whatever I’m doing whatever movement I’m doing, and be able to consistently move for that entire workout, right. And then you also see that your scores improve, and you see that you perform well on the open or you perform in the regionals or at the games. And those are good tests as well. So you know, that’s, that’s the main test is those open regionals and games competitions. 

Misbah Haque  11:20

Do you have a favorite workout like a favorite benchmark workout that you’d like to hit every so often? 

Ben  11:29

I tried to just mix it up. I can’t say that I have a favorite. They’re all really hard. 

Misbah Haque  11:38

So how do you mentally handle yourself during competition versus just day to day training? Do you know what’s different about those two environments for you? 

Ben  11:47

Competition environments are really stressful, it’s stressful, if you let it be stressful. So you know, you can put a lot of stress on yourself and pressure on yourself. Or you can fall back on your training and fall back on what you practice every single day. And I think that’s huge. I think that you need to be able to do that in your training, and you need to be able to put that type of stress on yourself in training, so that when you when it comes to competition, you’re fairly comfortable, and you understand that, you know, you’re out there competing, and you, you can just go out there and you can do your best like you do every single day in the gym, and it won’t affect you too much. Or you can go out there and compete, and you can let it be really stressful, and you can kind of let the nerves take over and you won’t perform your best. So I think training is huge. You know, you have to train Well, you have to practice your training well. Trained, like you’re gonna compete out there, and you’re comfortable while you’re competing. 

Misbah Haque  12:42

So we’ve had a lot of listeners be interested in the, you know, mental side of things, the, you know, mindset aspect. So, you know, the next question is directly from them. Now, do you ever experience dips in training? Where you’re kind of mentally in a rut? Or do you never experience that? And if you do, you know, what’s your approach to kind of handling that? 

Ben  13:04

Definitely, without a doubt. So I mean, anybody that says they don’t experience ruts in their training, blind view, with hands down, it happens, it’s up and down. And you know, like, like everything else, it goes in a cycle there’s the ups and there’s the downs, you got to be able to understand when you’re at that up, and then hold on to that as long as you can, and let it kind of take you through that down and, and right back up to the top again, you can just kind of hit, you just got to understand that there’s going to be those ups and downs, and you’re going to have those injuries, you’re going to have a tweak strain, you’re gonna have bad days, you’re gonna have off days, and all you can do is you can do what you do on that do as much as you can on that day, you know, and then and then understand that that’s not a great day and move on and have a good day, later on in the week, you know, or later on in the month, whatever it is. But going through that I’ve gone through that countless times throughout the season and throughout the offseason, even with injuries and things like that. And just knowing that having faith knowing that things are going to work out, things are going to come back, you’re going to have your chance to get work back into it is huge. 

Misbah Haque  14:10

So that awareness kind of, and I guess just the experience to like when you go through it enough times, you’re kind of like alright, you kind of know you know what to expect at that point. Yeah, definitely. Now you’re also a gym owner now. You’ll get prostate Krypton. How has it been kind of balancing the two?

Ben  14:28

It’s been great. I think. Since I opened the gym, it’s I have loved the gym. I love everybody there at the gym. It’s been an awesome community. It’s something that’s very special, very special to me, very special, my family. Everybody there is amazing and they’re always supporting you and every and each other and everything that they do. It’s really cool. You know, not only every single day in every workout, but there’s a competition that comes up like a local competition where you got a couple people from the gym competing. There’s a whole crowd of people going in there to cheer them on and help them through it. It’s pretty cool. 

Misbah Haque  15:04

What would you say? Is the environment like Krypton? Like, do you have a lot of competitors? And do a lot of these people kind of work out with you all day long? Or are there mostly athletes just there for fitness and there to get like their daily water in for the day? 

Ben  15:18

I’d say, I’d say the environment, it’s really just kind of it’s positive, uplifting and motivating. To be honest, I haven’t, there hasn’t been a time where I walked in there and finished coaching or finished hanging out there and not wanting to work out more, just because everybody there is so driven, and they just love what they love being in there, they love hanging out with people, they love pushing themselves to be better. And they understand that it’s going to hurt a little bit, but they’re going to receive that benefit from it in the end. And, just being there to push each other is really cool. But we have a lot of different levels, I wouldn’t say that we are super competitive like we don’t have a competitors class. We don’t have like, we don’t separate that everybody does the same workouts. We just like CrossFit, it’s scalable to every single level. So there’s no reason why you need to have a competitors class and a regular class, in my opinion, you’re just separating two things that don’t even need to be separated. It’s just one big, you know, one big gym where we can all do the same workouts, it’s just you have to have the coaches to be able to understand how to scale it. And you have to have the athletes that are willing to scale it down and not think that scaling is a negative thing, which it is. 

Misbah Haque  16:28

Do you have a middle ground kind of where, you know, people want a little bit more than the class workouts, but they don’t want to be a competitor or, you know, they don’t want to commit to a hefty strength cycle. So like if somebody, let’s say had 15 extra minutes to kind of, you know, improve their movement, improve their performance how could they best spend those 15 minutes? 

Ben  16:50

We definitely have that. And we have, we do, we have a lot of open gym hours during the day. So we have classes all day, but then in between those times, we always open your mouths. So that’s time for anybody. I leave all my programming like stuff that I do, I leave it all on the whiteboard on the right hand side of the whiteboard. So if anybody’s in there, and they want to work out and they want to do something extra after class, there’s always something written on the way hand, right? Whiteboard. They’ve learned not to ask me for workouts, because they’re normally pretty terrible. But say it 15 minutes at the end of class. 15 minutes isn’t a ton of time. But you know, hitting some quick, you know, varying it up, getting a quick workout in maybe pushing the intensity again, a little bit like twice in a day rather than once in a day. Maybe working on a skill that you need practice on like, you know, muscle up or a barbell lift something like that, like picking every minute on the minute go for 10 minutes. Jason Khalipa has got a bunch of good every minute on the minute workouts. He’s like the mom guy, pick one from him, you can do one of those things like always focusing on your quality of movement, rather than rather than, like working on you’re trying to improve your time, like books or quality of movement, that kind of thing. 

Misbah Haque  18:03

I’m sure at this point, like this is probably super automatic for you. But you know, when you look at a workout, what’s kind of going through your head? Are you strategizing a little bit? Are you just kind of checking out and kind of going balls to the wall? Like what’s the process look like there? 

Ben  18:19

That’s not me, dad. That’s my youngest brother, Dane. He likes to just go balls to the wall. Try to hang on for dear life, if you can get away with it. Yeah, right. Right. I used to be like that, too. So I’m not like that anymore. Yeah, I mean, every workout, I try to relate it to something else that I’ve done. So there’s always a workout in the past that I can relate to that I can be like, Oh, hey, I did this that was very similar. Here’s how I know how it felt. I’ll compare it and then I’ll try to find that point in the workout where it’s going to either make or break the workout for you. So really try to push through that hard. No, that’s when everybody else is going to start slowing down if I was competing against it, and try to try to maintain my pace through that point. 

Misbah Haque  19:01

Do you kind of bring, you know, this like a little bit of this strategy, or this kind of gaming idea, I feel like is what makes CrossFit so fun is like you can directly measure you can see what time you got, how many reps and rounds he got. You’re competing with yourself, you’re competing with people around you. So do you kind of bring that strategy to your daily classes at Krypton? 

Ben  19:24

Definitely. So that means that there’s, there’s a difference. There’s a big group of people that know some of them just want to get in there and they want to just put their head down, they want to do a workout and get out and that’s totally fine. And there’s other ones that really want to try to improve there. Like they understand that if they improve on their quality of movement, and they can, they’re a little bit more efficient, they can get a better workout in that kind of thing. Yeah. So I always try to relate it back to you know, I put myself in their shoes. So that’s the best thing I think a coach can do is to really be able to put yourself in the in the shoes of the other person or the person you’re coaching and like understand where they’re at and understand how you’re just going to push them a little bit that day, like you can’t crush them every single day and expect them to come back every day, you know, you got to push them just a little bit, make them uncomfortable. And then they come to that realization that, hey, maybe that’s maybe that’s what I need to do every, every day, just push myself just a little bit harder, and I’m gonna get I’m gonna see the progress in the end. Yes, that’s probably the best thing that coach can do is, is put themselves in the shoes of another athlete and, and try to push them just a little bit. 

Misbah Haque  20:28

What are some things that if we distilled the eight, nine workouts a day that you’re doing and scaled that down to the everyday crossfitter? You know, what are some tools you feel like they can start using in their own training?

Ben  20:44

I can’t say that anything I do is like, out of the ordinary or crazy, it’s just that I do enough of it, I practice the right things, I think maybe a combination of movements, I think that’s the key. Key is like combining movements in the right way to maximize your work capacity, right? Is what CrossFit is work capacity. And then you can put movements together that complement each other, or you can put movements together that challenge each other. But they’re gonna maximize your work capacity in that specific domain. And I think there’s an art to that, and being able to combine movements in the correct way. You see what, like, follow for a year or two, you’ll figure out what movements go well together, what movements don’t go well together. 

Misbah Haque  21:29

Used to follow a lot in the early days, right? 

Ben  21:32

Yeah, still do. You know, it’s always good to follow them and you see a good workout that pops up. Something that you like to do, thank you can go hard on definitely now. 

Misbah Haque  21:40

So what would you say is your favorite thing to do when you’re not training or coaching?

Ben  21:46

So I’m really interested in I got my degree in mechanical engineering. So I do enjoy reading. I enjoyed science, I enjoy learning anything I can. In college, I was always studying all the time. So CrossFit was what I really loved and known. I was interested in Olympic weightlifting. Like, I love watching Olympic weightlifting and learning how to not only do Olympic weightlifting, but how to coach it and how to teach it. You know, and now that CrossFit, it’s all I do, you know, it’s kind of like, when I was coaching, I enjoyed learning how to coach better. And now that I like training and not coaching as much, I really just enjoy trying to learn, especially things like engineering and science is something that I’m pretty interested in. 

Misbah Haque  22:29

So very cool. How about your favorite workout music?

Ben  22:34

It’s what it’s all it’s constantly varied. 

Misbah Haque  22:39

Tell us walk us through what the first 60 to 90 minutes of your day looks like.

Ben  22:44

So normally, I’m up between 7 and 8:30. Normally, take the dog out, cook breakfast, spend, have a couple cups of coffee, normally one or two cups of coffee, sit down and kind of plan out what I want to do for that training day. This is if I’m not coaching in the morning. And kind of get ready for that, get mentally ready for my first training session. Yeah, very cool. Now, how about your nutrition? What’s that kind of look like? That’s something that’s changed recently. It’s not something I ever focused on. I’ve tried the Paleo diet. I’ve tried the seafood diet, meaning whatever you see you eat. I’ve tried. I haven’t tried the Zone diet or like weighing and measuring. Yeah, so something I’m working on right now is like the following the macros or whatever, protein carb fat trying to get, like a, an even breakdown of all three and just kind of understanding what I’m, what I’m eating more and being more conscious and aware of the different foods and what I’m eating through the day. So for the last like, two and a half months, I think I’ve been doing that and trying to just get an even like, you know, 40 carb, 30 Fat 30 protein, trying to get as even to that as I can each day and it’s just made me more aware. That’s all I can’t say that it’s that it’s helped me tremendously, or that I’ve noticed any real significant difference, but just kind of trying something out. You know, it’s about just kind of experimenting with something that works and finding what works and sticking with it. 

Misbah Haque  24:16

So if I opened your fridge right now, what are some staples that I would find?

Ben  24:20

There’s not a lot of food in my fridge right now. Chicken and rice?  That’s something that I’ve been eating a lot lately. I drink milk there. And then that’s on eggs, bacon. Other than that, not a lot else. 

Misbah Haque  24:41

Do you feel like there’s something that you know you don’t get asked enough about like something you wish people would ask you more? 

Ben  24:47

I’m not that I not that I can think of. I wouldn’t like I’m always here for anybody that has questions or wants to ask questions. You know, like I I love having a conversation like this and being able to talk about things and getting the word out there and kind of my experience with everything. And what I’ve gone through over the last seven to 10 years doing CrossFit, I think it’s a cool, cool story. And it’s something that is relatable to everybody. In a certain way I’m not, I can’t say that I’m amazing at anything, any one thing, but my, you know, my thing, I’ve always I feel like, I’ve been blessed with the ability to work really hard. I’m really stubborn. And I stick with things and I don’t let things go. And I and I have a normally positive attitude towards things, you know, obviously, there’s days where you don’t but for the most part, I’m very positive about things. And I think those are, those are the couple really important factors of just living your life every day that a lot of people can take away from it. So whether it be you know, me doing CrossFit or me doing, you know, having a job in engineering, or going to school and trying to get my degree, or having a regular job, whatever it is, people can relate to that. And I think it’s just something that’s out there, and I’m always here to talk about it. So I always say to anybody, anybody who wants to ask questions [email protected] to send us an email, and that’s what I’m here for. 

Misbah Haque  26:16

So who would you say your biggest influences are?

Ben  26:21

To this day, I think my parents were the biggest influence on me, they told me everything I needed to know, you know, and they’ve raised me, they’ve raised me very, very well. And I just hope that I can do the same for my children someday. And just very, very blessed and thankful to have them, have them part of my life. And learning from them has been really cool. Lead by example. 

Misbah Haque  26:43

So now, if we took all the stories from your entire life, at least the ones that you can talk about, and they were swimming in a giant pool, what is one story that gave you a holy shit moment?

Ben  26:59

That’s a good question. 

Misbah Haque  27:01

There’s got to be a couple. 

Ben  27:03

But nothing that I can just pop into my head, I have a terrible memory. Can’t say that. I remember all my stuff, anything. That’s too interesting. But you know, every you know, every experience, every experience, I try to spend it on, then take it as a positive learning experience. So, you know, whatever, whatever it is, even though it’s one, even if it’s, uh, oh, crap, that was kind of crazy. It ends up turning into something positive. And it impacts me in a positive way. So I can’t say that I remember it as something negative, because it always turns out to be something positive. 

Misbah Haque  27:36

Is there anything that you’re super excited about right now that you’re working on? Or, you know, it’s coming up in the next couple months? Couple of years?

Ben  27:44

I’ve been struggling with my having some back problems for the last couple months, really, since last year. It’s been on and off. I’m really excited to just get back to my regular training routine and, you know, get into things again without any pain. Oh, yeah. I have. I’m supposed to have the Invitational coming up here. November 20. So I’m really hoping that, hoping that I’ll be able to do that, and you know, everything will get back to normal and I’ll be able to have some fun there and compete with Team USA. I don’t think I’m gonna be able to do the lift off, which I was really looking forward to this year. I got to do it last year. I remember I PRN my SNATCH and CLEAN JERK. Yeah. haven’t been able to hit those numbers since then, since last year. So hopefully, hopefully, I can get better and do next year maybe. But other than that, no, nothing, nothing too crazy. The opens coming up, you know, always comes up way too soon. So just looking forward to next year.

Misbah Haque  28:37

Obviously, you’ve put in years and years worth of work. So this question is really more to like, kind of dial in on that one thing if you had to choose one thing. But let’s say that, you know, everything you’ve accomplished to this point was taken away, and you had to start over and you only had one year to live, you want to get back to where you are now. What are the one or two things that you would really dial in and focus on?

Ben  29:02

That sounds like a terrible series of events, right? Fortunate events right there. It’s hard to say what I would do differently because I feel like I’ve been just this consistently the same over the last 10 years. And it’s more of what I where I’m at today is a combination of so many different things that are so hard to describe. All the blessings from everybody around me, like the support from everybody around me, like different people in my life have popped up to help me out in certain areas and like where I’m at right now, if all that happened, I don’t think I changed much. I might coach a little bit more at the gym, spend some more time with my wife, and train really hard to win the games next year. 

Misbah Haque  29:51

And now what should a coach or athlete take away from this? Like, how do they make themselves better today from listening to this podcast?

Ben  30:01

That’s a good question. Like what I said earlier about, the most important part of being a coach, I think is, is being able to relate to every single person in your gym. So, you know, whether they’re, whether they’re older than you, they’re younger than you, they’re good at certain movements, they’re bad at certain movements, whatever that may be, you know, you got to be able to put yourself in their shoes, you have to relate to them, you have to speak to speak to them in a way that they kind of understand and can relate to, and, and just kind of push them a little bit every single day, you know, I always say it’s a, I got to do a shot to the gym and the coach, you know, will take care of the rest will push you through the workout will get you through it, and you’re gonna end up having a little bit better day after that. But just keeping that in mind every day when you’re coaching, you know, being a coach is a really cool thing, it’s a really cool opportunity to, to change people’s lives.

Misbah Haque  30:49

And how about as an athlete?

Ben  30:52

I like I like I’ve always done I’ve always, I’ve always experimented with certain things, and I’ve tried things that haven’t worked, I’ve tried things that work. And I worked to the point now or 10 years into CrossFit, my suggestion, if you’re just getting into it, is to find somebody that knows what they’re doing, and learn from them. Because they’ve made the mistakes, and they’ve made the mistakes, you don’t have to make, you know, and try to try to get a good coach, get a good mentor, a good training partner, follow a good program and learn, you’ll learn for yourself. And you won’t make those mistakes that you know, they’ve made. 

Misbah Haque  31:29

So where can we kind of follow you? How can we kind of support your journey?

Ben  31:35

So I’m on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, bsmit13. And then Twitter, I think it’s the same. And then I have a YouTube channel that I’m trying to, I was trying to post some more stuff, and having some back problems and haven’t been haven’t been posting as much content and stuff. But I’m trying to get some workouts out there and just kind of share with everybody. You know, what, what my training is like between now and the games and, and leading up to it and just pop in like a workout in here and there so people can kind of follow it and see what I do. 

Misbah Haque  32:05

That’s exciting, man I’ll be following it. So I’ll wait when you put that out. Well, thanks a lot, man. I really appreciate you taking the time to do this. 

Ben  32:12

No problem. Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

Misbah Haque  32:16

Thank you so much for listening, guys. I know you might be driving right now or doing something else at the moment. But don’t forget to head over to and grab your free movement Audit Checklist. If you really enjoyed this episode, head over to iTunes and leave a five star review or share it with a friend and share it with somebody who might enjoy it. If you ever have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out. I would love to hear from you. Until next time!

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top