Ben Smith is known as The Fittest Man on the Earth. He earned this title in 2015, after winning CrossFit Games – one of many awards he’s earned during his accomplished career in CrossFit.
Growing up, Ben wanted to become a professional baseball player. While at first, this seemed like a high possibility, an odd turn of events during college prevented Ben from realizing his dreams. However, this didn’t matter for Ben, as he soon found a new competitive outlet – CrossFit Games.
Across his career in CrossFit Games, Ben has appeared on the stage four times, placing third in 2011 and 2013, second in 2016, and first in 2015. With the exception of his first CrossFit Games, he’s never placed outside of top 10.
This is his story:
Full Name: Ben Smith Weight Height Age Date of Birth 185 - 195lbs (83.9 - 88.5kg) 5'11" (180cm) 32 May 16, 1990 Nationality Profession Era American CrossFit Athlete 2010 Weight 185 - 195lbs (83.9 - 88.5kg) Height 5'11" (180cm) Age 32 Date of Birth May 16, 1990 Nationality American Profession CrossFit Athlete Era 2010
- Squat – 480 lbs
- Clean and Jerk – 335 lbs
- Snatch – 300 lbs
- Deadlift – 530 lbs
- Fight Gone Bad – 520
- Max Pull-ups – 76
- Fran – 2:25
- Grace – 1:51
- Helen – 7:19
- Filthy 50 – 16:17
- Sprint 400m – 0:58
- Run 5k – 20:20
|YEAR||DIVISION||OVERALL RANK (WORLDWIDE)||RANK (BY REGION)||OVERALL RANK (BY STATE)||OVERALL RANK (BY COUNTRY)|
|2018||Men||40th||2nd Mid Atlantic||1st Virginia||22nd|
|2017||Men||42nd||1st Mid Atlantic||1st Virginia||23rd United States|
|2016||Individual Men||65th||2nd Mid Atlantic||1st Virginia||39th United States|
|2015||Individual Men||3rd||1st Mid Atlantic||1st Virginia||3rd United States|
|2014||Individual Men||3rd||1st Mid Atlantic||—||—|
|2013||Individual Men||11th||1st Mid Atlantic||—||—|
|2012||Individual Men||24th||3rd Mid Atlantic||—||—|
|YEAR||OVERALL RANK||DIVISION||REGIONAL NAME|
|2016||1st||Individual Men||Atlantic Regional|
|2015||4th||Individual Men||Atlantic Regional|
|2014||1st||Individual Men||Mid Atlantic|
|2013||1st||Individual Men||Mid Atlantic|
|2012||1st||Individual Men||Mid Atlantic|
|YEAR||OVERALL RANK||TEAM NAME||MEMBERS|
|2016||1st||Team Reebok Reunited||Stacie Tovar, Emily Bridgers, Scott Panchik|
|2015||1st||Team Reebok Classics||Paul Tremblay, Emily Bridgers, Stacie Tovar|
|2014||1st||Team Reebok East||Emily Bridgers, Stacie Tovar, Scott Panchik|
|YEAR||OVERALL RANK||SNATCH||CLEAN + JERK||WORKOUT|
|2015||4th||38th (300 lb)||36th (370 lb)||8th (441 reps)|
Ben’s Introduction to CrossFit
During his childhood, Ben Smith was an avid baseball player. He was introduced to CrossFit by his father, who believed that Ben could improve his performances in baseball through CrossFit training.
“I played baseball growing up, and my dream was to be a Major League Baseball player. CrossFit fit the training I needed to be strong, fast, and have endurance on the field. My dad was in the military and introduced me to it.”
One night, Ben did a ‘Cindy’ CrossFit workout in his room. After 20 minutes, he was lying completely exhausted on the floor. From that moment on, his fascination with CrossFit began to grow.
“At the end of the 20 minutes, I was lying on the floor, breathing really heavily and I thought, ‘This is awesome!’ After that I read and read, following the website and researched whatever I could online about the sport.”
Transitioning From Baseball to CrossFit
After a few years of training in CrossFit, Ben’s physique improved significantly. He became stronger, leaner, and more explosive.
He then joined LaFayette College, hoping to enter a professional baseball team and begin his career there. Unfortunately, his plans didn’t come to fruition.
After just one semester, Ben had to transfer schools, preventing him from entering the baseball team he wanted. It was at this point, he decided to pursue CrossFit instead.
“I transferred schools after one semester to Old Dominion University in Virginia, right near home. Turns out by that time I couldn’t try out for the baseball team, so I started getting into CrossFit.”
Ben first thought of competing in CrossFit back in 2007, when he read about the Games. Two years later, his thoughts became reality.
He took part in his first CrossFit contest at the 2009 Mid-Atlantic Regional in Virginia Beach, which was held right next to the street where Ben lived.
“I figured why not go for it, give it a shot and try to compete with these guys at the Games. Going into the last Regional event, I was in 9th place.”
Ben ended up taking 1st place, which qualified him for the Games. He said; “It was 21-15-9 squat snatch at 95lbs and chest-to-bar pull-ups. That was hard for a lot of people in 2009.”
Becoming the Fittest Man on the Earth
Ben made his CrossFit Games debut in 2009. He entered the contest as the youngest competitor, at only 19 years of age. Ben said; “The first year, I competed just for fun.”
Since 2009, Ben has competed in CrossFit Games every year. He took third place in 2011 and 2013, second in 2016, and first in 2015 – becoming the ‘Fittest Man on the Earth.’
To this day, Ben’s records in CrossFit have been matched by only a small number of people. He’s the only person to make nine consecutive appearances at the CrossFit Games Individual category – a feat matched only by Rebecca Voigt.
Ben Smith has between 3-5 workouts per day. These include strength training, conditioning, mobility work, high-intensity cardio, and other forms of exercises which help Ben stay in top condition for CrossFit Games.
Ben’s typical day of training looks like this; He wakes up early to coach the CrossFit classes. Depending on how he feels, he’ll do some endurance work to get him going. After coaching, he’ll train with his friends, doing MetCon and some strength work.
After lunch and a quick mid-day nap, Ben heads back to the gym to coach another CrossFit class. He’ll train in between classes, doing lifting and MetCon.
In the evening, he’ll have his last workout of the day. Which is usually something quick and intense, such as sprints or burpees.
Ben’s Daily Meal Plan
Ben eats mostly clean foods, but his evening meal is usually less restrictive. As he says; “I eat clean during the day, but come dinner after a long day, anything goes…even pizza.”
He typically has bananas, eggs, and bacon for breakfast, along with a whey protein shake.
This is an ideal pre-workout meal in Ben’s eyes, as it gives him the energy and nutrients for his intense workouts. His lunch meal consists of chicken, guacamole, and sweet potatoes.
Supplements Ben Smith Takes
- Recovery supplement
- Whey Protein
- Fish Oil
Idols and Influences
Early in his life, Ben was influenced by his father who encouraged him to try CrossFit to improve his performances in baseball.
Other influences in Ben’s life are his friends, training partners, and other members of his family who all support him on his journey in CrossFit.
What we can learn from Ben Smith
Ben Smith is an accomplished CrossFit athlete. Ever since he started competing in 2009, he’s become one of the household names in the sport.
Like all successful athletes, he’s taught us that hard work is an integral part of achieving greatness. With the same discipline and work ethic as Ben, you too can realize your any goal you set for yourself.