Puori works with some of the greatest athletes in the world, and we’re proud to welcome 2015’s Fittest Man in the World, Ben Smith, to our team! Smith has become one of the most recognizable names in the sport, and for a good reason. Always ranking toward the top of the leaderboard, year after year, he’s proven there’s not much he can’t handle. We sat down to talk with him a bit more.
Puori: How did you find your way into CrossFit®?
Ben Smith: I always had an interest in exercise and fitness growing up. My two brothers and I played many sports year round and always were practicing or training for something. We learned at a young age the discipline it takes to be good at your sport.
I found Crossfit in 2006 online at Crossfit.com and followed along there and did as many workouts as I could at home and in weight rooms at school. These workouts were some of the most challenging workouts I had ever done, but I knew that if I wanted to be better than everyone on the field, I needed to work harder than everyone.
There was a local regional competition in 2009 right down the street from our house at the time, so I signed up and ended up winning the competition and going to my first CF Games. I have been back every year since and enjoyed every minute of it!
P: What does a typical training week look like for you?
BS: My typical training week is 5-6 days of training and 1-2 days of rest. I rest every Sunday and sometimes take an extra day on Thursday if I really need it. I normally break my day up into AM and PM sessions. The morning session is typically from 9:00 a.m. or 10:00 a.m. until around 12:00 p.m., and then I’ll take a lunch break and come back around 2:00 or 3:00 and train and coach a class at Krypton in the evening.
I typically leave the gym sometime around 5:00 or 6:00, but I’m not training that whole time. I also coach, manage online programming, and help out with things around the gym as needed.
P: Do you have a coach and who organizes your programming?
BS: I have never had a coach. I really enjoy programming and experimenting with different methodologies and workouts. For me, I am the one who will know my body the best and what I need to work on and when I need to rest. I don’t think that anyone else can be a better judge of that than you.
I do understand that I may miss some things if I am always doing my own programming, so I am always looking around for good info and workouts online, and I also have a good group of training partners that come up with some good stuff! If you are going to coach yourself, you have to be very honest with yourself and choose workouts that will challenge you!
I offer my programming now for anyone who wants to follow the blueprint that I use each year to prepare for the Games. It’s on www.bensmithblueprint.com and we have individual programs, strength programs, and affiliate programs. I just want to share with others what I have learned over the years as to what is most effective for me and how I program.
I hope that this gives others some good/new ideas and helps them grow as athletes as they adapt to find the best training plan for themselves.
P: How do you manage to keep your mind calm and focused during competitions?
BS: This is one thing I think is very important during a competition, and the only way you can do this is to practice during your workouts at the gym. I really like doing EMOMs to practice this skill. These help me find a sustained pace, work on my breathing, and work on staying calm and composed during a high-volume, high-intensity workout.
Experiment with these EMOMs and work on finding your thresholds and sustained paces. If you get good enough, you will know exactly how fast you are capable of going while staying composed because you have tested this in the gym.
Start by picking three movements (including at least one movement you need to work on) and alternate between them, doing one movement each minute for anywhere from 20-30 minutes (7-10 rounds).
You should be working for about 30-40 seconds out of each minute. Keep track of your movements, weights, and reps, and over time, you can increase the loading and intensity and see a distinct improvement.
P: What do you feel are your biggest weaknesses and strengths in CrossFit®?
BS: I would like to say that I have worked all of my weaknesses out by year 10 of my CF career, but I haven’t quite yet. I still am working to improve my overall conditioning (running, rowing, biking) and my bodyweight and gymnastics movements. I will always be working on these things and have found that the more I practice them, the more I start to enjoy them.
I would say my strength, if I have one, is workouts that combine something heavier (maybe an odd object) and a gymnastics or conditioning skill. I have always worked on my strength and especially enjoyed things like Strongman implements and sleds in the middle of a heavy workout.
P: What achievement are you most proud of in your life?
BS: I feel obligated to say winning the CrossFit Games in 2015 because that was the culmination of over seven years of constant dedication and commitment to one thing. For me, it just goes to show that you have potential to do incredible things if you put your mind to them, work hard consistently (every single day), and truly believe you are capable of them.
We as people are capable of so much, and the biggest obstacle to overcoming your struggles and reaching your potential is yourself, your attitude/ego, your work ethic, and your attention to detail.
P: How did you first come across Puori?
BS: I have actually used Puori products for years! I was introduced to them maybe back in 2011 or 2012. I was looking for a quality fish oil product and ended up stumbling upon Puori’s O3, M3, and D3, and I have been a buyer and consumer of their products ever since!
I am super excited for the opportunity to be a part of the Puori team. I know for a fact that the quality, purity, and effectiveness of their products cannot be beaten.
P: Why did you decide to become a Puori ambassador?
BS: I have a couple of rules when it comes to representing a brand or company. First, I wouldn’t endorse a product that I don’t completely believe in and use on a daily basis.
Secondly, I want that product or brand or company to represent some of the same values that I hold as important — values that carry over to their products and make them something that I would want to share with my family and friends. In Puori’s case, their products are some of the cleanest and purest products on the market. Their brand stands for not only improving the performance of athletes but also improving health and wellness across the board, from the elite athlete to the everyday citizen.
Health, wellness, obesity, and disease are huge obstacles in today’s society, and I know we are both passionate about helping others overcome these hurdles and improve their quality of life inside and outside of the gym. I am excited to be a part of the team!
P: What is your favorite Puori product and why?
BS: If I had to pick one product that is my absolute favorite, I would choose D3 or M3. I take these every evening, and it’s a couple of their products that I would recommend to everyone. Vitamin D is important for many vital functions in the body, including proper hormone function. M3 improves my quality of sleep and recovery, without a doubt.
P: What role does supplementation play in your daily life?
BS: I have never been too big into supplementation through my CF career. I do believe you can get just about everything you need from a healthy diet and proper sleep. But since I train so often, it therefore becomes a necessary aid to my recovery.
I use a Puori whey protein shake after tough workouts to get something good into my body fast before I have a chance to sit down and eat a meal. I also use it occasionally on the go if I need something in the morning or evening as I am heading out somewhere.
P: How do maintain balance in life?
BS: My personality is one of an unbalanced nature, so balance is something I am always working on. If I had it my way, I would spend too much energy or attention on one thing I am specifically working on or interested in. Balance is an art. I try to split my balance between training, spending quality time with my wife/family/friends, and reading/learning something new.
P: What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
BS: I love to spend my free time reading history, philosophy, science, religion, other non-fiction, and the occasional Jack Reacher book.
P: If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
BS: Stubborn/resolute (but in a good way… I think), hungry (pretty much all the time), and inquisitive.
P: What book would you recommend that everyone should read?
BS: That’s tough — there are so many. One that I really liked a lot was 7 Men by Eric Metaxas. He also has 7 Women. It’s about influential people throughout history and what factors in their life made them into the people they were! Definitely inspiring.