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Ben Smith

Since debuting as the youngest competitor (19 years old) at the 2009 CrossFit Games, Rogue athlete Ben Smith was on a mission to become the Fittest Man on Earth. In 2015, his dream finally became a reality, as he improved upon a pair of third place finishes in 2011 and 2013 to win his first individual CrossFit Games title. He nearly repeated the feat in 2016, finishing runner-up to Mat Fraser. All told, Smith has competed in a record 11 consecutive Games, finishing in the Top 12 in nine of those appearances.

“It’s hard. It hurts every day,” Smith said when asked about this streak. “There’s not really words to describe how difficult it is every single year.”.

To reach the pinnacle of his sport, Smith has kept up a loose but demanding training regimen—usually working out two to three times a day while also coaching classes at his own gym, CrossFit Krypton in Chesapeake, Virginia. His training is not on a set schedule, which Smith believes is one of the reasons he’s continued to succeed in the sport—keeping everything constantly varied without a rigid plan. The one consistency: nothing comes easy.