“I think that’s super important, to have just great people around you to train with, especially brothers. You can say whatever you need to say to each other, and no feelings will be hurt. But not just that but, you know, those two years, junior and senior year, again we were still… I think I weighed 150 pounds and I wasn’t ready to lift heavy loads. So, what Scott had us do, we modified everything back. I don’t think I even had muscle-ups down at the time, and we just cut everything back. He said, ‘I don’t care how light you need to go, but I want you to kick my butt in every workout.’” – Saxon Panchik
Growing up, all the Panchik kids were exceptionally active, playing football, basketball, wrestling and more, until a near-deadly childhood hiking accident landed both Saxon and Spencer in the hospital with multiple injuries. Unable to return to the contact sports they loved, Saxon and Spencer shifted their focus towards a new sport: CrossFit.
As they got older, Saxon and Spencer watched closely as Scott worked with their dad to open CrossFit Mentality, learning the ins and outs of running a business and gaining first-hand coaching experience that would pave the way for them to open their own affiliate, CrossFit Cliffside. They also trained alongside Scott as he prepared for the CrossFit Games, scaling workouts to maximize intensity and pushing each other to improve every session.
These days, Saxon and Spencer are elite competitive athletes in their own right: in 2018 both finished in the top 20 at the highly competitive Central Regional, and Saxon went on to compete at the 2018 CrossFit Games, finishing 19th.
I recently caught up with Saxon and Spencer to learn what it’s like to compete against and alongside family, what they’re doing to prepare for the 2019 Games season, and what it’s like to make the leap from athlete to affiliate owner.
In this episode we discuss:
- What is was like growing up in Panchik household
- The sports Spencer and Saxon gravitated to as they were growing up
- How a childhood hiking accident shifted their athletic focus to CrossFit
- Making the move to Cleveland and learning how to open an affiliate from their family
- The importance of intensity
- Coaching strategies Spencer and Saxon use to help their athletes scale
- Coaching tips they’ve picked up from watching their dad and their brother Scott
- How Spencer and Saxon made the decision to open their own affiliate, CrossFit CliffSide
- The best advice Scott gave them about opening an affiliate
- Some of their favorite memories from competing in team events as a family
- What it was like to have three Panchik brothers competing at the 2018 Central Regional
- How the Panchik brothers feed off each other and share tips during training and competition
- Spencer and Saxon’s thoughts and approach to the 2019 season with the new Games qualification format
- Their current training regimen
- The advice Spencer and Saxon would give to others opening an affiliate
- Long term goals they have for their gym
- Three things Spencer and Saxon do on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on their health
- One thing they struggle to implement that could have a big impact on their health
- What a healthy life looks like to Spencer and Saxon
You can follow Saxon via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can follow Spencer via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can follow their affiliate, CrossFit Cliffside, via their website, Facebook, and Instagram.
- Inside the Leaderboard: Panchiks vs. Smiths
- Two Brothers: Saxon and Spencer Panchik
- UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
- CrossFit Pittsburgh
- CrossFit CLE
- Overcoming Adversity: Scott Panchik
- Mentor High School
- 2018 Central Regional Highlights
- Saxon Panchik Beats brother Scott in Regional Event 5
- 2018 Central Regional Event 6
- Tommy Schadl
- Getting Into the Vortex Guided Meditations
- Ep 01 – Rich Froning on Competition, Shifting Priorities and Discovering His Purpose
- Ep 11 – Dan Bailey on Training for the 2016 CrossFit Games
- Ep 18 – Scott Panchik and His Father on Running and Affiliate, Competition and Recovery from Injury
- Ep 41 – Graham and Savanna Holmberg: From Fittest Man, to Faith and Family
- Ep 98 – Fittest Teen to Thriving Post Liver Transplant: Sydney Sullivan
If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.
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Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.