Chandler Smith Chooses CompTrain, Ben Bergeron for 2021 Games Training

February 26, 2021 by
Photo Credit: Ben Bergeron
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The hottest free agent in the sport of CrossFit is off the market. Chandler Smith announced on his instagram page that he is joining the CompTrain team to train for the upcoming 2021 CrossFit Games season.

Remind me: Smith famously burst onto the Games scene at the 2016 Atlantic Regional as a 22-year old West Point Military Academy graduate, placing ninth but immediately became a fan favorite.

  • Smith qualified for the 2019 Games after earning his invite with an impressive performance at a stacked field at that year’s Rogue Invitational.
  • Smith finished 15th in his rookie campaign at the Games but was looked upon as an athlete to watch.
  • Smith had previously been a part of the Training Think Tank stable the past few seasons but continued to visit and train with other Games athletes in their camps. 
  • In early August he travelled to Massachusetts and spent time training with Katrin Davidsdottir prior to the online stage of the Games at CrossFit New England under the tutelage of her coach Ben Bergeron.
  • Smith: “I came by last summer and saw that the environment was super incredible here and knew I wanted to come back and experience it more fully.”
  • Smith, a Captain in the US Army and member of the Army Warrior Fitness Team based in Fort Knox, KY visited other athletes located near to him to help him train in the lead-up to the 2020 Games.
  • He spent time in Cookeville, TN training with Rich Froning and the CrossFit Mayhem team as well as time in Nashville training with Brooke Wells at CrossFit Trivium while she was with CompTrain.
  • He ended up finishing sixth in his second appearance at the CrossFit Games, missing out on qualifying for the live stage in Aromas, CA by two points.

As has been the case with other athletes who change training camps during their careers, Smith’s was just a part of the natural cycle where he felt like he needed something different to accomplish his goals. CompTrain is where he feels like that can happen.

  • Smith: “There is such a huge focus here on everything that happens outside of the gym. At a certain point everyone knows how to work hard and program effectively, so I was confident that I’d end up around folks who were capable of that.” 
  • “However, not everyone puts the focus on nutrition, sleep, mindset, recovery, and other external aspects that they do here and I know these areas are a weakness of mine so I was pretty excited to learn how to improve there.”
  • “Additionally, Ben has coached at a championship level for almost a decade and is dedicating more time to coaching this year. When combined with the prospect of everyday training with and learning from one of the sport’s greats in Kat (Katrin Davidsdottir) I was pretty convinced that this was where I needed to be.” 
  • “Sam (Kwant) and Amanda (Barnhart) moving out here has also made this one of the most competitive fitness spaces available, so being surrounded by athletes and people like them (including Cole Sager) was almost impossible to turn down.”
  • Smith is currently in the process of transitioning out of the military and will become a full-time civilian in May. 
  • Following that he will make the move to Massachusetts and join Davidsdottir, Kwant and Barnhart to train full-time for CompTrain at CrossFit New England.
  • Smith: “I’ll work primarily with Ben Bergeron and Dan Delomba while Sam and Amanda work with Harry Palley. It’s a really good mix of individual, group, and team interaction so far.”

With Smith now in the fold, CompTrain will have five athletes who finished in the top-20 at the Games last season including the two runner-ups in Kwant and Davidsdottir. Smith discussed what he can contribute to his new team and his goals.

  • Smith: “I think I bring the ability to suffer. Army Wrestling often cites that as the biggest lesson taught by the program, and since I know how a normal career can be, I think I am exceptionally willing to sacrifice to remain in this space. 
  • “Also, my time in the sport feels limited since I’m already 27 and just now moving into being a real professional athlete, so I hope to bring a sense of urgency. My mom has told me that I am funny so maybe I can share a laugh or two.”
  • Smith: “I think the main goal is not necessarily focused on the external results, but is found in being as present as possible for every training session. If we can maximize each day then we’ll be the best versions of ourselves to this point, and the results will likely reflect this too!”

With Smith being able to focus his time and energy on being a full-time athlete now that his military obligations are complete, expect a focused and even fitter athlete. In Smith, Bergeron has an athlete who is similar to Davidsdottir, in that they both thrive in situations that require suffering and mental strength. He can also refine some of the areas that Smith needs improvement on and harness the raw strength that he has as well. This is what makes Chandler excited about being a part of CompTrain and he wanted to let his fans and supporters know “That the best is yet to come.”

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