Ben Smith: Ask Me Anything

CrossFitter Ben Smith with arms raised in celebration

We sent your questions to CrossFit Games Champ Ben Smith and he answered! Read about his training, journey and community below.

 1. Was there anything you did differently to prepare for the 2015 Games vs previous years? – Naomi Wueste

Hey Naomi, I wouldn’t say that my preparation was much different than in the years past other than the volume of my training which has increased as I have progressed through the years of doing CrossFit.  But what was different was my mental state during the Games and the fact that I was injury free.  If I wouldn’t have finished near last on the second event (sandbag event) last year I would not have won.  That day flipped a switch in my head.  The difference between just being “good” and being “great” is all between the ears.  

2. What are you preferred warm up and cool down protocols? – David Smith

David, my warm ups are getting pretty consistent recently.  I start with something just to get my heart rate up (rowing, biking, running, etc.) for 2-5 minutes.  Then I will do some active stretching for the specific movement (i.e..snatch) I would warm up the shoulders with some shoulder rolls, then the ankles, then finish with squats and hip stretches to get my back and hips feeling good.  Then I will start with the empty bar and do the lifts.  The best way to warm up is just to do the movements, but much lighter and work on your form and mobility.  This is the time when you really get better, and this is the time most people neglect in the gym.

3. How much mobility work do you do daily? – Lawrence Jacobs

Lawrence, most of my mobility work is done as I’m warming up for the movements in the workouts or doing the workouts themselves. If you move well you shouldn’t need too much mobility work!  The best time to work on your mobility is when you are warming up for movements with a light weight or just an empty barbell.  I rarely stretch other than some stretches for my hips and shoulders only when I have something that is hurting or tight.  But if there is an area that I need to work on increasing mobility in, I will usually obsess over it and spend too much time stretching until it is fixed. 

4. What is your #1 piece of advice for longevity in the sport of CrossFit? – Jesse Jackson

Jesse, I would have to have fun and spent your time training with others that want to reach their goals as bad as you do.  And secondly, remember your progress will be made over a long period of time not a couple of weeks or months.  It’s more important to be consistently training well every day than it is to do 8 workouts in one day and none the next.  You want to leave the gym wanting to come back the next day!   

5. How has winning the Games changed your training regiments? – Steven Wayne Scandalito

Steven, I wouldn’t say that it has changed anything at all.  Just the intensity at which I get after every workout.  It has only motivated me to want and be better!  

6. What’s your ratio of training to skill work? – Ben Tyler

Hey Ben, there are different parts to my training and I have strictly skill work thrown in the mix but it is normally always with a high heart rate.  I would say besides just lifting, we do skill work 2-3 times a week incorporated into warm ups or cash outs. But if there is something I can’t do or something I struggle with you better believe thats all I’m doing until it is my best movement!  

7. When you started CrossFit, did you have the vision to become a Games champion or did that come later after you became more involved in the sport? – Colby Blomstrom

Colby, I’ve always wanted to be a professional athlete (baseball player) ever since I could remember.  But I started CrossFit (in 2006) as a means to become that someday, and it has turned into the sport that I love.  It wasn’t until 2009 when I made it my goal to win the CrossFit Games.  

8. What have you changed about your training compared from when you started to now? – eli_joy2

When I started CrossFit I already was working out hard and really loved challenging myself.  So I would do these workouts (CF workouts) with a goal time in mind and I would go at them so hard I remember I couldn’t do two days in a row for a long time.  I was so sore that I would just rest the next day or even two, until I was ready to go again.  Now a days, workouts that used to crush me are no problem so I have build up a tolerance to the volume and intensity over the years.  

9. How does it feel to see the progression of people in your gym over the years getting more fit, stronger, healthier? – dougwcf

Hey Doug!  CrossFit Krypton has become more motivating and inspiring to me than I could have ever dreamed possible.  It truly feels like a family and I care about everyone that walks in that door like they are related to me and their goals are my own.  When I see others at the gym getting fitter, stronger, and healthier and know that I might have helped in that in any way, it may even be a better feeling than me achieving my own goals.  The only thing that matters in this life is what you can do to make an impact on the lives of others.

10. What is your favorite album to workout to? – Chrissy Miller

We have a LOT of different music that we listen to at the gym, but mostly we just have Spotify going on whatever station someone turns the music on.  Typically it is “country” or “todays hits radio” or something like that.  

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