Q&A with CrossFit Games Athlete Ben Smith

Q&A with Ben Smith

You submitted your questions for CrossFitter Ben Smith and he answered! Read what he has to say about training, chips and guacamole, and more.


  1. How do you find time to get out and apply your fitness? -@wbrooks8I guess you have to remember that throughout the year, my goal is not to get out and apply my fitness but to compete at the Games and train my body to be ready at a certain point.  This requires me to sacrifice some things (on occasion) that I may WANT to go out and do for the end goal in mind.  But outside of that, anytime I play any other sport or get out to do something fun with friends, I’m using my fitness! Lately, I’ve been into golfing just because I think it is the polar opposite of CrossFit and that’s why it’s working for me right now!
  2. What does a typical training day worth of meals look like for you? What do you like as snacks? -@dmdwerlkotte1I’ve tried a lot of different ways of eating, measuring my macros (protein, carb, fat) was the latest one. I usually do 3-4 eggs and an avocado in the morning.  Alternate days of that with a bowl of oatmeal with peanut butter and frozen fruit mixed together.  Then for lunch, it is usually leftovers of whatever was for dinner the night before, usually some sort of chicken, steak, or fish and rice and veggies or potatoes.  Then dinner will be the same as those lunches!  Often times if I’m hungry in the evening I’ll do oatmeal again before bed for some good carbs. I don’t snack often, but I like the Progenex bars for a snack a lot of the times, or just a handful of whatever is there, macadamia nuts, fruit, or a Progenex shake.  But my favorite snack ever is chips and salsa or chips and guacamole… always!
  3. What’s the best exercise to increase pulling strength? -@mrvinny000I’ve always thought that the strict pull up was without a doubt the best movement for pulling strength.  You can always scale that, up or down too.  And even make it harder into a muscle up too!  Pull ups are one movement I’ve always done since I was young and really helped build that pulling type of strength for me.
  4. What’s your favorite video game? – Bobby F.To be honest, I don’t play video games. Ever since that one video that was put out where my brothers and I played Mario Kart, I haven’t played a video game since and hadn’t played one for a while before that.  It’s just funny how that worked out that day, hah. My favorite was way back in the day on the nintendo64 when we played Mario Cart and James Bond and those types of games!
  5. I feel like our coach is not as focused on the gym right now and just on his own training. We have a few other coaches but he tries to do it all himself. Is it something I should bring up with him or just let it go and see if it corrects itself? -@pinchy07I think that a good coach recognizes his role and position and needs to have their priorities straight.  If you are a coach, your job is to coach and help others, THEN to yourself as an athlete IF you have time and nobody needs any help.  It’s a hard subject for some who don’t understand that when they’re at the gym they are at work, not at the gym.  That was a piece I heard from Jason Khalipa that resonated with me.
  6. When you started CrossFit, how did you improve your endurance and strength? -@florianmacartyI really enjoyed the weightlifting/oly weightlifting part of CrossFit and I wasn’t as strong as I wanted to be, so I tried to work on at least one lift a day or both lifts every other day and I also squatted at least 2x per week!  This really helped with my strength a ton. Just practicing them at 70-85% and adding in some heavy squatting for doubles and triples will get you a lot better pretty quickly.  For the endurance side, I always mixed it up between hard intervals and longer runs/rows.  I mixed it up, trying to get a bit of both each week!  My go-to workout when I was crunched for time at the gym used to be 4 x 500m Row with 1 min rest (as hard as you can!). Or my running workout used to be 4-8 x 400m (Run a new 400 every 2:00).
  7. What advice do you give a CrossFit rookie to help them reach the Regional level? -@florianmacartyFollow @thebensmithblueprint!  Haha, But really, just find someone you trust to help you recognize your strengths and weaknesses and then set up a plan to work on your weaknesses. i.e.. I will do hspu/pressing 2-3x per week consistently.  You have to be honest with yourself and enjoy the training part of it or else it won’t be sustainable.  Making Regionals as a CrossFit rookie is very very difficult.  Today it is a lot harder than just a few years ago and will only continue to get tougher.  You have to be very dedicated and motivated to get better and practice a lot!  I do offer my exact programming online so that people can see what it takes to make it to the Regional and Games level.
  8. Have you ever considered combat sports? – Alan F.Honestly, no I haven’t.  I feel called to what I’m doing and I do enjoy it a lot and see the benefit it has for those around me and those in my community!  Wrestling when I was younger was probably the closest I’ll get to combat sports.
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