Ben Smith is the fitness trainer and former Army Ranger competing for love on this season of The Bachelorette. Stop reading now if you do not want to know any SPOILERS about season 16 of The Bachelorette.
Clare Crawley and the 31 men vying for her heart had to pause filming due to the coronavirus pandemic, which also meant fans had to wait several more months to find out whether this season would be the lucky one for Crawley. (This will be her fifth appearance on the popular franchise).
Smith was expected to make an impact early on. According to Hollywood Life, he kissed Crawley on night one. There is a picture of the two of them having their intimate moment on the set. But that moment did not make it into the premiere episode.
Bachelor fans have known for several months that Crawley quit the show early and that Tayshia Adams took her place. According to Reality Steve, Smith will have just as strong of an impact on Adams. The Bachelor expert wrote that he was “almost positive” Smith would be at least one of the final four men standing as Adams makes her picks.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Ben Smith Operates a Bodybuilding Program
Smith is a professional fitness trainer in southern California. According to his ABC bio, Smith currently lives in Venice Beach, California, where he also runs his business.
Smith sells a fitness program called Bodybuilding Club. According to the website, members pay $49 per month for access to workouts that can be completed in any gym location. The app includes video tutorials, access to the coaches and fresh workouts each week.
Smith and Homer Parkes are listed as the two Bodybuilding Club coaches on the site. Smith described himself on the site: “Loves smiling and talking to everyone, would love to send you his most recent playlist, and hopes to get you into shorter shorts. Might just date a girl on tv.”
Smith works out as often as he trains other people and that requires recovery time. He told ABC that ice baths are among his favorite indulgences and he shared this photo of himself submerged in icy water.
2. Smith Said His Experience as an Army Ranger Made Him a Stronger Person
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This picture (and even more, the experience of this single morning in 2015) means more to me, than many things. I share it (again) bc 1) I miss @quacksauce dearly and I wish I made a better effort to stay in touch with my best friends and 2) I am beyond blessed and honored to have spent time in foreign lands, doing foreign things with my brothers. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In a former life, living and working in austere, less than favorable conditions, for unknown and often extended periods of time was the norm. I am lucky to have had those experiences and I am proud of how it has shaped my response to other times of hardship – mental, emotional, and even physical. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Eerily similar to the situation in which we are all living, together, in this moment. Despite lack of resources, time, training, and the like, that group of young beautifully resourceful men was ultimately successful. The most successful. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It’s in times like these, times of great despair and uncertainty, the leaders step-up to the plate and make big things happen. Those that can, innovate and those that can’t, fall away. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ Although my uniform has changed, and my hair is a bit longer, I am once again surrounded by a team of problem solvers. Innovators. Leaders. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I’m honored to stand next to them all, proud of the work we are doing here @deuce_gym @deucebacklot @deuce_athletics and more excited than I’ve been in years, for the release of our newest training experience – the most inclusive effort of its kind. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I know it can be rough, but when things get froggy, lean on what you know. If you don’t have the answer, seek one out. And when it comes to community, look no further. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I hope you’ll join us, bc we’d love to have you. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It’s time to be a part of something. We’re in this together y’all.
Smith had another career before he entered the fitness training industry. He used to be in the military. According to his ABC bio, Smith attended the United States Military Academy at West Point and became an Army Ranger.
Smith looked back on his military service and reflected on how it had molded his personality in an Instagram post on April 4. He shared a picture of himself and a fellow veteran holding an American flag and wrote in part:
This picture (and even more, the experience of this single morning in 2015) means more to me, than many things. I share it (again) bc 1) I miss @quacksauce dearly and I wish I made a better effort to stay in touch with my best friends and 2) I am beyond blessed and honored to have spent time in foreign lands, doing foreign things with my brothers.
In a former life, living and working in austere, less than favorable conditions, for unknown and often extended periods of time was the norm. I am lucky to have had those experiences and I am proud of how it has shaped my response to other times of hardship – mental, emotional, and even physical.
Smith’s sister, Madalyn, shared a picture in June 2015 from the day he returned home from that deployment. Smith’s parents were there to greet him at the airport. Madalyn wrote in the caption, “Thankful for my brother to be back in the United States! I cannot explain how proud I am of you. Love you Ben! 🇺🇸”
Smith’s military career was cut short due to a back injury. His ABC bio noted that Smith’s injury “shifted his priorities in life and ultimately led to his decision not to return to active duty.” Bachelorette fans may learn more about this injury during the season.
3. Smith Is Close With His Younger Sister, Madalyn Marie
Smith has a close friendship with younger sister Madalyn, based on their respective Instagram accounts. In 2015, Madalyn shared a picture of Smith from his deployment and described him as the “most incredible role model in life.” In 2017, Madalyn called Smith “the best big brother you could ask for.” Her Instagram account includes multiple posts like that dating back several years. She cheered him on as he completed his West Point education and through his Ranger program.
In December 2016, Smith wished his sister a happy birthday and joked in the caption, “Love you as much as you love fries.” Smith referred to him and Madalyn as “two peas in a pod” in this 2017 post. He shared a throwback photo from their baby days in 2017 before Madalyn visited him in Nashville; both expressed how excited they were to hang out together.
Madalyn was on the dance team at Purdue University and earned a bachelor’s degree in public health in 2014. She went on to Marian University in 2015 to become a registered nurse, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Madalyn previously worked at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago before moving to Los Angeles in August 2019. Smith announced his sister’s move with a celebratory post on Instagram. He posted a picture of the two of them at the beach looking at the sunset with the caption, “Got the band back together.”
4. Smith Grew Up in Indiana & His Parents Worked in Dentistry
Smith now lives and works in southern California but he is a Midwestern native. According to his Facebook page, Smith grew up in Noblesville, a city located about 30 miles north of Indianapolis. Smith does not appear to have updated his Facebook page in at least two years; the page lists that he was in a relationship as of 2018.
His parents, David and Julie, have since moved to the neighboring city of Carmel, property records show. According to Indiana license records, David Smith has been a dentist since at least 1984. He operates his own practice called Really Smile Dental.
Julie and David Smith met soon after he graduated from dental school, according to her bio on the Really Smile Dental website. Julie previously worked as a nurse but became the dental office’s coordinator after Ben and Madalyn left for college.
In August 2019, Smith visited his parents in Carmel to celebrate his mother’s birthday. He posted a series of pictures of the two of them together that hint at their shared sense of humor. Smith was messing up his mother’s hair over the course of 8 pictures he shared to Instagram.
5. Host Chris Harrison Described Smith as a ‘Gentle Giant’ Who Was Well-Liked Within the House
Smith may be Mr. Popular during season 16 of The Bachelorette, according to host Chris Harrison. When Harrison introduced the men on September 29, he introduced Smith as someone who was “well-liked” among the other suitors. Harrison hinted that Smith may have been a big brother figure, describing Smith as “kind of a natural leader in the house” and that the “guys really look up to him.”
Fans can expect to hear Smith chatting away. Harrison called Smith a “big talker and a long talker. When you get Ben going, it’s hard to get him to stop.”
Harrison further described Smith as the “gentle giant of the season” who has an “incredible story.” Harrison wrapped up the intro by stating that “it was really a pleasure and an honor to get to know this gentleman.”