Ep 68: Becoming a Top 1% Athlete with Spencer Hendel
On the show today, I have a good buddy of mine, Spencer Hendel, joining me. Fortunate enough to play at the highest stages of fitness, Spencer is an 8x CrossFit Games competitor, finishing 5th in the individual races and 5th in the team races. During his time competing in the Games, he developed a love for teaching CrossFit, leading him to start his own affiliate gym, which he managed for a brief period. Shortly after, Spencer managed a friend’s CrossFit gym before it was unfortunately forced to shut down due to COVID-19. Since then, Spencer worked as a part-time coach. Today, Spencer works at CrossFit HQ and travels frequently both within the U.S. and abroad to teach the Level 1 and Level 2 Certificate Courses. With a heart of wanting to make a difference and help others, in the summer of 2020, Spencer received his EMT Certification and immediately went into a paramedic program which he is currently undergoing.
Spencer and I discuss the variables and attributes that helped him develop his love for health and fitness. He shares what lead him to become the athlete he is today and how his move to Boston was the first big step and peak into his professional career in CrossFit. We then dive into programming approaches and how targeting weaknesses in training can help gain capacity in specific regions. Spencer also shares his programming approach of sticking to broad, general and inclusive programming in order to specialize in more than one area.
We then move to the importance in understanding the difference between doing CrossFit as an everyday training methodology versus training CrossFit as a sport to compete and become a top 1% athlete. For those who want to compete in CrossFit, Spencer gives a lesson on how critical it is to surround yourself with others who are better than you to push yourself to be the best. We transition away from the fitness realm and dive into the community-building side of CrossFit and how it creates culture and environment through competition. Spencer also shares a powerful message around what his plans are moving forward in helping and changing lives through emergency medicine.
What You’ll Learn in This Episode:
[03:19] An introduction to Spencer
[07:49] Why Spencer had so much success as a CrossFit competitor
[15:25] Spencer’s approach to programming
[20:30] CrossFit as a sport (for athletes) versus CrossFit as a training methodology (for the average person)
[26:40] Spencer’s advice to those who want to become a CrossFit competitor
[28:20] How CrossFit nailed community-building
[34:23] What Spencer plans to do in the future to change lives and help others