Take a look at the best CrossFit athletes of the past twelve years, and it’s hard not to notice that every single podium of the CrossFit Games has been won by white men (see: Rich Froning, Mat Fraser). Chandler Smith, an Army veteran and black athlete, wants to turn things around. He finished sixth at the 2020 CrossFit Games (an effort that included a 615-pound deadlift) and is now working with sought-after trainer Ben Bergeron to take his already intense training to the next level.
“Being a competitive athlete in this space is very important to me,” he said. “I recognize that if you don’t, then there may not be a voice to promote diversity, equity and inclusion within CrossFit. I’m uniquely qualified to speak to a large group of people, and that’s what keeps me going every day. “
GQ recently caught up with the Puma sponsored athlete to find out more about what he eats on a typical day (or maybe more it does not do it eat), what it takes to perform at such a high level, and his sneakers for almost any workout.
GQ: How do your mornings start?
Chandler Smith: Most days I am awake at 7:30 am. The exceptions are Tuesdays and Thursdays. I wake up at 6:45 am because in those days I go swimming in the morning. I’ll do those fasting swimming sessions, but on the other days the first thing I do is work to start breakfast. Or, I say work, but it’s a gross exaggeration: I make a bagel and eggs. So the next thing I’ll eat will be a carbohydrate source during the middle of my first training session.
How long does the first workout last?
The first training session is normally from 9:00 to 11:00 or 11:30. So during this I’ll have carbohydrate powder (I used one from Karbolyn) or applesauce, just in an attempt to keep my energy levels high and get fueled for the afternoon session. After that, I’ll either shake up some protein powder or eat some dried meat depending on what I try.
Will you eat lunch between the two, or is that enough?
Lunch is definitely one thing. Rotate between ground beef, rice, and Brussels sprouts, or something like chicken and potatoes with mixed frozen vegetables. There isn’t much variety, but it’s enough to keep me interested.
Once I get home from the second training session, I’ll be looking for more carbohydrates, really whatever is in the house. Last week it was the mango sorbet. I know this makes me sound boring, but then dinner is all I haven’t eaten for lunch. I do a lot of salmon and rice. I also have a turkey burger recipe that’s awesome.
I usually take yogurt before bed.
It barely counts! You seem to be quite diligent with what you put into your body, which is not surprising considering your physique.
The funny part is that I didn’t focus on my diet before moving to Boston. I came here to visit it in the summer of 2020 and trained with a group of athletes. During that time, I was like, Dude, this is the healthiest I’ve eaten in a long time. And everyone around me was quite surprised that I was a professional athlete but didn’t really focus on my diet. Before, I ate a lot of fast food, which I was able to justify from a caloric point of view. I remember there was a time when I bought seven pints of Ben and Jerry’s because they were half price at the grocery store, and my roommate was like “he just won’t fly anymore”.