Clydesdale Media Podcast

We catch up with our old friend Spencer Panchik to see what is up with this 2X CrossFit Games Athlete.  What has he done to make a big jump at this year's CrossFit Games.

What is Clydesdale Media Podcast?

We cover the sport of CrossFit from all angles. We talk with athletes, coaches and celebrities that compete and surround in the sport of CrossFit at all levels. We also bring you Breaking News, Human Interest Stories and report on the Methodology of CrossFit. We also use the methodology to make ourselves the fittest we can be.

I was born to kill it.

I was meant to win.

I am down the wheel as the

wheel find a way.

It took a minute,

now it didn't have to ride away.

When they get hot in the kitchen,

you decide to stay.

That's how it winters me.

Stick a fork in the heater

on my dinner plate.

What is going on, everybody?

Welcome to the Clydesdale Media Podcast,

where we're featuring the

athletes of the 2024

CrossFit Games semifinals.

And I have with me Spencer Pancheck.

What's going on, man?

Hey, how are you?

I'm good, man.

Like, it's funny.

I had Saxon on earlier this week.

I see you guys like all the

time back in the day, right?

And then it's been like a

minute since I've had

either of you on the show.

The last time I had you on,

you were yet to be married.


it's been I just got married last year.

So coming up on coming up on

our first year.

So it's good stuff.

So there it is, man.

You she let you wear a cowboy hat.

Oh, yeah, that was... I was like, come on,

please let me wear... Well,

it started with boots,

and then she's like, no.

And I was like,

just let me show you a picture.

And then I was like, all right,

if I wore jeans,

what do you think about that?

And then I was like, all right,

what about a hat?

She's like, all right.


you got a good one to let you do all


Oh, she's a keeper.

So, you know, is she...

with you into all this fitness thing,

is she into all that with you?

Uh, yeah.

So she's probably the most

selfless person that I've ever met.


So we actually met in the gym,

but what's really amazing

is she's there for every

session that she can be.

So she works during the day,

but something we always do

is she has the weekends off.

So Saturday she comes in and

she does everything that I do.

And it's pretty darn cold

because I feel like she's able to just –

really be a part of it and

and understand of just have

a good understanding of

what a day is like not

saying that she doesn't but

I think being able to like

step in and and have the

feeling of pain through

workouts and it's like oh

man like that was so hard

like we're getting some

pizza tonight yeah what's

what's cool is like if

people don't know and don't

see the pancheck clan at an event

Like, everybody knows of you,

Scott and Saxon.

Your sister,

she competed at semis on a team.

Scott's wife is competing in

the age groups right now.

Like, it's a whole family thing.

And mom and dad are at the center of that.

And nobody cheers louder

than they do at an event.

No, not at all.

You'll find my mom anywhere.


Two years ago,

I got to sit with them in the stands at,

uh, Waterpalooza.

Um, and it was just a, it was a treat.

It was funny cause they were

like right to the right of me.

And then, um,

Matt Frazier's parents were

right to the left of me.

That's amazing.

So like parent royalty right

there at Waterpalooza.

That's awesome.

That's awesome.

It's always cool being able

to see like the, um,

the other side of it.

And I think, um,

Watching is way worse than

actually competing,

especially just growing up

with Saxon Scott.

I felt like I was always a

little bit delayed with

really finding myself in the CrossFit,

the competitive side of it,

and being there and

supporting them through the early years,

especially Scott through CrossFit.

I think Saxon qualified in like 2015,

but there was like a

stretch where it was just

Scott competing.

It was like 2012, 2013, 2014,

and then 2015.

And it was like insane just watching.

And the stress,

like everyone would be like, oh,

it's a vacation.

I'm like,

it does not feel like a vacation

going to the games.


So what's funny is I ran

into your dad in Orlando

last year after semis.

Can you guess what he said to me?

That means a wild card.

I had no idea.

He said,

why does that kid always have to

make it so close?

Just keeping it exciting.

My wife said the same thing.

And what's funny is once you

get past semis,

like you do really well at the games,

your two appearances are both top 20.

You've made it through all the cuts.

You make it to Sunday.

Are you a better games

athlete than you are a semifinal athlete?

I think they're different stages.

At the CrossFit Games, you have two,

sometimes maybe three times

as many events as you do at semifinals.

So you're able to really –

it's just a – I don't want

to say it's a more complete test, but –

you were able to have highs and lows.

And if I've learned anything at the games,

it's you have to let a bad

event just roll off your

shoulder and you have to keep moving on.

I've had like a few

unfortunate things that

happened at semis.

And I think training with Saxon and Scott,

I've always set my expectations very,

very high.

And anytime I get in and start competing,


it's like I'm going for it.

And rather than it's, it's,

I need to run my own race.

And I think that's something

that really this last year I've,

I've really,

I really dove into trying to

find that and just be as

relaxed as I possibly can.

And I truly believe by me

going out on the floor with

a game plan and just

sticking to that game plan,

it's going to allow me to

have the most successful season yet.


Well, and you and Saxon look alike,

but you are not alike in

the way you think about working out,


When I got to sit beside you

when I was judging Saxon for Rogue, like,

your idea is all gas,

let's see how long we can hold on.

And Saxon's very methodical

and pacing and that kind of thing.



Have you, have you curbed the, the all gas,

no break approach to working out now?

That's old school CrossFit.

That's definitely how it used to be.

It's who could go out the

fastest and hold on.

And I look at our sport and

it's evolved significantly.

I mean,

I've been doing CrossFit since 2008.

So it's been quite some time.

And I feel like I had a

chance to really go through

different stages.

I've had a chance to work

with different coaches.

And again,

I've learned something from

every single person that I worked with.

And I think that

There's so many different

ways to obviously train for CrossFit,

but everybody's completely different.

I look at Saxon, Scott, and myself.

We're all different athletes,

and we each have different

needs for what's going to

make each one of us

independently successful.

Corey Leonard says,

that clock looks like Spencer has a halo.

It's a big clock.

My wife picked it out.

You just need to show that

picture to your wife to

show her that you do have a halo.


There you go.

So you're drastically different.

I saw you at the games last

year as you were packing up to go,

loading up the pickup truck,

just kind of sitting on the

back tailgate.

When it's all over and

you're sitting there doing that,

what's the thought process?

Are you reliving the weekend?

Are you like,

I just need to get home and rest?


you're always going to relive the


It's going to be if I did

that or I would have changed this.

I mean,

every athlete's going to go through that.

You really,

you look at how much work goes

into competing at the

CrossFit Games and it's

summed up in five days and

all those hours.

And not many people really

understand the amount of

time that we put in and the sacrifices.

It's the hours we're spending in the gym.

not really steering from my

diet not having as much

time with friends traveling

all that all that stuff and

you look at it and all

those sacrifices come down

to five days and um but you

you obviously want to go

and put on the the best

performance that you

possibly can at the

crossfit games but again

it's so unpredictable and

Once it's over,

it's just all those

thoughts just roll into your head.

It's like, did I do everything?

Did I do everything in my

power to show up?

And sometimes you do, sometimes you don't.

And I mean,

I would say a majority of the

time and a majority of the

athletes would say, man,

like there's something that

they would have changed.

And again,

that's what's so beautiful about

our sport though is

you refine and you go back

and you change it for next year.

And then maybe something else comes up.

And again, that's, that's just,

that is what's going to

make you become a better athlete.

And again, it just takes time.

So like in that moment, are you,

are you beating yourself up

for what could have been,

or are you praising

yourself for making it this

far and enjoying the weekend?

That's something that's so

that's a really good question.

And again,

I look at my older brother, Scott.


he went through the sport and

he's felt all these different emotions.

And he'll say, like,

you have to go and really

be proud of your performance.

But at the time and coming

off the floor and really

thinking about it, when you're there,

it's so hard to put

yourself in that position

and really think about the good.

And that's something that, again,

I think –

I'm changing my perspective

on that a lot more and

really being able to enjoy

that and take moments

through the weekend.

Because again,

I remember watching Scott

compete and it was like that.

And that's the last thing I

want to happen in my career

is to just become so

consumed with it that it's

just gone in the blink of an eye.

And again, I think it's,

When I think about Scott

asked me this yesterday,

it was actually a really good question.

And it was, when you think about the,

like the glory days of, of doing CrossFit,

what is that?

And I think of Saxon,

Scott and I training in the gym,

like it wasn't really any competition,

but it was the hours that we,

that we went into the gym.


took GHDs and we took a

punching bag to the beach

and did like sandbags with

the punching bag and the

punching bag busted open

and stuff flying all over the place.

And I look back and I'm like, man,

like those are like,

those are the days that I

remember and the days that

not everybody gets the

chance to see and experience.

And to me, like those,

those are the days that I

really remember is just

grinding in the gym with those two guys.

Speaking of Scott,

last year at Waterpalooza,

something unique happened

where your third teammate

got hurt and the two of you

got to take the floor,

just the two of you,

to compete in a

three-person team as two people.

And you beat most of the field.

Yeah, that was really cool.

We were begging to go out on the floor and

I was supposed to be with

Nick Matthew and then Luke

Parker were my teammates.

And then I'm trying to think

there was somebody else.

I can't even remember

because we filtered through

so many teammates that weekend.

Somebody kept getting hurt.

But we got through one event

and that was something I

really wanted to be able to

do was go out and

experience individual and

the team in the same weekend.

I was like, man,

that'd be a cool thing to

just add on my bucket list.

And that didn't happen.

But I remember we were just

begging to go out on the

floor and all we wanted was

one workout together to

really be able to go out there.

And it was a pretty good workout for us.

And it was it was really, really fun.


what was cool about it is it had like

three levels of barbell.

And the two of you took the two heavy ones,

so neither of you got the

rest of the light barbell

like other teams could rotate through,

and yet you still did that.

Will that be a memory with

your brother that is one of

those things that you can

think about later in life and go, man,

it was really cool when

they let us take the floor and do that?

Yeah, absolutely.

I remember, I mean, we were on the,

there was like double unders,

there was like 300 double

unders and we're just like

smiling at each other.

And we get off and Scott's like, all right,

you're on the heavy bar.

he's retired he hasn't been

training as as much and

he's just like pushing me

forward um and anytime we

drop like he would just

like he was behind he was

just like pick up the bar

um and then obviously saxon

came over and was cheering

us on and I was laughing

because saxon's like I was

gonna hop on that third bar

because they ended up they

were one of the the few

teams that beat us but I'm

like man that would have

been really cool if you

jumped on the the 135 pound bar

but yeah that was I mean

that's that's one of my

highlight moments for sure

yeah it's just it's because

of the situation and it

just being the two of you

it's something nobody else

is probably going to

experience as brothers like

on the floor like that so

it was just really cool

yeah anytime I get a chance

to compete with those guys

and wadapalooza has always

done a really good job at it

It's just, it's so fun.

I remember it was two years

ago at Water Palooza,

but like we were all in

like the three lanes next

to each other and we all

did pretty well in the event.

But to like be able to be

under the lights and just

look and it's like, man,

there's not that many,

like there's a very small

percent of people that

compete at the highest

level in the sport and to

be able to do it with your two brothers,

like that was always like,

that's pretty darn cool to be able to do.

So I also saw on your Instagram that,

that you have made an

attempt at tactical games.


Is that something new that

you've dove into and really enjoy?


I had a chance to go out and

train with Hefner and,

once I went out with him, I was like, Oh,

man, this is like, really, really fun.

But I have a fitness and I

was always passionate about

police and first responders.

And anytime I get a chance

to really surround myself with those guys,

I want to be able to do that.

And going out and training with them.

I was like, this is this is fun.

This is I have half of it.

I went in and I did a little

bit of the police academy.

So I had a little bit exposure to

shooting and, and, uh, that kind of,

that kind of stuff.

And I think, uh,

I think being able to blend

the two together, it's, it's even, it's,

I'm trying to think of the

best way to describe it.

It's humbling.

It's very humbling.

Um, cause you have,

you have people that can shoot,

you have people that have

fitness and you have people

that obviously do both of them.

And, um,

Again, it's just like CrossFit.

The person that's the most

well-rounded is going to be

the most successful in that sport.

Well, I've had Margo on,

and I've had E. Shershon,

both former CrossFitters

who have dove into tactical.

E., she's dominating the tactical games.

She was a prison guard who

was a CrossFitter.

The blend of the two just

fit her perfectly.



I hope we start to see more

CrossFitters kind of switch over to that.

And again,

I think that's kind of a – I

think that's a cool

transition through – I

don't want to say out of CrossFit, but –

it gives you more events to

be able to train for.

And again, as you get older in the space,

like you want to like,

like everybody's competitive.

Everybody wants,

like some people go run marathons.

Some people do five Ks.

Some people do Spartan races.

And I look at this,

this sport is something similar to that.

And it's all right.

This is like,

it's cool because it's

bringing awareness to

fitness and heart rate.

And you have to really be

able to manage all of those

things together.

Yeah, and there's a lot of CrossFit.

You mentioned Jacob, Jared Stevens.

There's a lot of

CrossFitters switching over

to this and really having a good time.


I think Cody Anderson is another one

in there.

He was at the Games.


So, yeah,

I'm doing two later after the

Games this year.

I set them later at the end

of the season so I can

really dive and have a

couple months to really

train hard for it.

But I'm excited about it for sure.


I'd love to have you back on

to talk about it.

It's something that just

really fascinates me in that space.

Cause it's,

it's the same type of community

with just like some different goals.

Yeah, absolutely.

And everybody's, I mean, from what Jacob,

what's Jacob has told me in,

in a few of the

interactions that I've had

with a lot of those people is it's,

it's such a tight knit

community and everybody's

willing to help and, and,

if you're going to compete,

there's people it's like, Hey, like,

what do you need?

What can you, what can I lend you that,

that you can use to just

get your feet in it.

And again, it's, it's,

it's a sport that I look at it.

And again, I,

I have a very high level of

fitness and I'm okay at shooting.

But to be able to have a lot

of the people that are like

really good at shooting that it's, hey,

like I recommend this.

If you need to borrow this,

I can send it to you.

I can help you get your guns dialed in.

And there's so many people

that are just willing to

help you get set up in that space.

Corey Leonard says only

sickos run marathons.

I know I've run two, finished one.

So let's get to semifinals a little bit.

You're going back again.

This has been, what,

like your sixth or seventh semifinal now?

Yeah, something like that.

Counting regionals and all of that.

We're in Knoxville.

The workouts have been released.

I talked to Saxon,

like you guys are classic CrossFitters,


You grew up with the sport.

If you take these workouts

and drop them in to 2015,

they still work.

Yeah, absolutely.

Is that an advantage for

someone like a paycheck?

I would say so.

I think, I mean, a lot of it is just,

it's so hard because we have them in,

We got them like four or five weeks early.

So everybody's going to get

a chance to be able to get

comfortable with them.

And us being the last semi-final, I mean,

people run through them.

I mean,

some people run through them

probably four or five times.

I wouldn't be surprised.

So I think each week you're

going to be able to see

people and scores really progress.

I think – I mean,

obviously CrossFit left out, like,

some of the different standards of, like,

how are you going to hold the dumbbells.

They just released that

we're going to be running outside.

But, yeah,

I look at it as it's – we always

talk about it as, like, your CrossFit IQ.

And it's how comfortable are

you with these workouts?

Do you know your paces?


And every workout is just a

fine blend of everything.

I can't find one workout in

there that's like,

this is for just an

endurance person or this is

for just a strong person.

The strength, for instance,

it's like you have to be

able to have the capacity

to be able to move a barbell for 30 reps.

Just like in quarterfinals

where most people got to

the last bar and they were

top level athletes were

between 20 and 30 reps some

people just a little bit

above that but it wasn't

necessarily like your top

tier strong athletes that

went and won that workout

like you had to be able to

have the capacity to get

through all of those light

bars relatively fast and

still be able to move that

heavy bar same thing with

the endurance event it's

185 like a 185 clean and

jerk like I mean you're not

gonna you're not gonna really

Your light guys aren't going

to be able to cycle that

barbell as fast as a strong person,

but they're going to be

able to make up time on that run.

So you're going to see a lot

of back and forth on that.

And I really think that's

how all the events are.

Yeah, I completely agree.

Boz did reveal that the

dumbbells are farmer's carry.

Oh, did he?

I didn't even see that.

Yeah, it was on Barbell Spin a week ago.

Got it.

Wow, man, I'm out of it.

I didn't even see that.

I remember picking those up.

I was like, dang, man, this is crazy.

And then every time I played with it,

I was like, oh, all right.

This feels a lot more comfortable.

And again, I think something like that,

you look at it as these events,

if you look at them as games events,

and it's like, all right,

this is your next event.

Hour ago, warm up.

And it's all right.

how well am I going to be

able to adapt and be able

to really come up with a

solid game plan without

being able to run through those workouts?

And kind of like what we

talked about earlier, how,

how the semifinals quarterfinals,

the open are completely

different than the games.


So you can stop trading the

overhead walking Lodge with that.

I actually did.

And I was,

I figured they'd be on the side

and then I was like, ah,

I looked at it.

I'm like, that's pretty heavy.

I mean, that's a pretty heavy weight.

70 is pretty heavy for the girls.

Um, I mean, I saw some girls doing it,

which is insane, but I mean,

even for the guys, it's pretty heavy.

And I just, yeah,

I figured they'd probably be on the side,

but you never know.

I figured they'd maybe say, get them,

get them down any way you can.

The only thing they haven't

really talked about is what

the handstand walk is going to be.


So what we'll find out what

it less than a day.


I think for, for that event, I mean,

whether you go fast or you do obstacles,

I still think, I mean, you'll,

I feel like you'll still get a,

a relatively similar result.

That's just my opinion with your,

with your top love.

Obviously if you have like

handstand ramps with like

parallettes in between or

something like that.


but I think if you're doing like

pirouettes and stuff like that,

So you were at West Coast Classic in 21,


With the snatch ladder.


I blew up in that one.

Are you excited to take it

on a second time?

I'm very excited.

I think it's actually one of

my favorite tests that

CrossFit has put out.

I think with it being,

I think it's event five.

I think it's going to be a lot different.

I think...

think you'll you'll really

be able to see different

athletes shine in it yeah

the past two times they've

done it it's been event one

yeah and I still think I i

still think you'll have

people put up like top

scores that would would

have been a top score then

um but I don't think it'll

be as many yeah there's a

lot of squatting before

that this weekend yeah

Yeah, so they're squat snatches, right?

They have to be squat

snatches in that ladder.


So that's a lot, man.

Yeah, for sure.

For sure.

That'll be a fun event.

I think Sunday will be a

very exciting day to watch at the semis.

Oh, I agree.

I think really they've done

an awesome job programming this year.


Way more balanced.


if, if you haven't seen it,

I think barbell spin did an

analysis of like,

they always do this thing.

Like what workout impacted

the weekend the most.

And like during quarterfinals, it was a,

it was an even split.


nothing would above anything else.

And looking at these workouts,

the prediction is it'll be the same.

I agree with that.

I think, um,

Yeah, like I said,

I look at all the events and I'm like,

man, I don't see one event that it's like,

all right,

this favors a certain body type

or a certain type of athlete.

So what is the realistic

goal for semifinals?

To cut it close again?

To make your family like...

It's never going to cut it close.

For me,

I think it's to be able to just

show up the best athlete that I can and

I know exactly what I'm capable of.

And if I can go out and just execute,

I'll be extremely happy with my outcome.


Corey says, wait,

you can't power the last two at 265?

That's BS.

I know somebody would if they could.



All I remember from that

West coast classic was Tola

trying to go touch a go over that last.



And missing it.


I mean, that's, I mean, he, he,

he put himself in a

position to be able to do

it would have been really cool.

I think that's what I love

about the sport is a lot of

times the athletes take

advantage of that shot to

do something really cool.


And that's what I think.

I think that's what's

awesome about the CrossFit

Games is you have so many

events that you're able to

do that a lot more.

I look back at my history

competing and I've tried to

take those shots at points

that I should not have and it backfired.

And I think it's really

being able to be smart and

understand there's a time

and place to be able to do that and

You could end your season.

You really could end your

season if you miss fire.

You told me when we were

hanging out at your gym for Rogue that...

always got to do it for the

people so now as you've

gotten older you're saying

you don't always do it for

the people you wait for

your moment to do it for

the people yeah you you

know your capabilities and

then you do it for the

people there we go because

young spencer it was just

you always do it for the

people yeah and that was I

mean my year at west coast

that was I mean I went in and I and

my goal was to go and put

try and put up a top score

in every event and I mean I

won one of I won an event

there but I also really

ruined my weekend and

another event there by

trying to do the same thing

and again there was one

event that I knew exactly

what I was capable of and

that was something that I

could really throttle down

and it paid um and there

was an event that I'm like

I'm gonna do it like this

is like I trained for this and

I was not completely aware

of my capabilities and it

was actually the run, but like,

I just wasn't smart about

how I approached it.

And again, that, I mean,

that ruined my weekend.

And I mean, I truly believe it.

It knocked me out from going

to the games that year.



you had some ups and downs that weekend.

Like you set a world record

in the one event.

And it was an event that

Matt Fraser had done

previous and you beat his

time by like a minute.



And I think, again,

I think it's being able to

know your capabilities.

And that's something that

I've really explored

through training this last

year is being able to find

that line in training.

And that's the time.

That is the time to be able to do it,

not on the competition

floor and to be able to

become more aware of your

capabilities through

training so that you can go

out on the floor and have

moments like that.

that are good,

not bad moments where it's like, ah,

like I'm not sure,

but I'm going to push it

and not be smart.

And you end up taking a

bottom of the pack finish.

So I'm going to finish with this,

that West coast classic.

So old Spence,

you had a workout that you

knew was a home run.

You knew that you could give

it all you got.

Are you an athlete today

that if you were going back

to West Coast Classic with

the same workouts,

would you go as hard in that workout?

Or are you a different

athlete now where you kind

of pull back on that a

little bit and just win by a little?

No, I think a workout like that –

I'm very very comfortable

and and understand my

capabilities and those

specific movements that yes

I can push something like

that and I can ride that

red line and if I cross

that red line I'm able to

dial it back just a little

bit and still be able to

finish um so yeah like that

event I i wouldn't change

and I'd maybe even push it

a little bit more today um

But yeah, I think an event like that,

like I would,

I would really push and I

think other events I would

dial it back and I'd be like, all right,

like this is what I'm

capable of in this and do

not cross that threshold.

So that beast is still in

there wanting to get out.

Oh, it's there.

It's there.

You can't, you can't lose that.

Well, Spence, this has been a blast.

I want to thank you so much

for doing this.

Thank everybody in the chat

for being here.

Good luck in Knoxville.

I'm still trying to get down there.

So that's the one I probably can get to.

So hopefully we'll see you down there.

Heck yeah, I appreciate it.

Thanks for having me on.

Yeah, thank you everybody in the chat.

We'll see you next time on

the Clydesdale Media Podcast.

Bye, guys.