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wodmagazin x Josef Hesse: at the age of 12 for weightlifting

wodmagazin x Josef Hesse: mit 12 Jahren zum Gewichtheben

Hannes Beyer |

The wodmagazin is back! The wodstore is reporting full steam ahead from the winter break in the media. A one rep max is ignited for your ears, a factual AMRAP is fired and an EMOM of quotable sentences enters your ears. Too much praise? We don't believe in it, because we're starting "the new season" with Josef Hesse. New addition to the wodstore team, old hand at the barbell. This is noticeable when the podcast episode was recorded, namely after a full day of training at Crossfit Zolhafen, ending with a glass of wine in the truest sense of the word. However, don't let the calm mood of the podcast itself unsettle you. Still waters run deep, and that's true now too.

But who is Josef Hesse?

Josef is 27 years old, comes from Dresden, but is now from Heidelberg. He started weightlifting at the age of 12, initially as a classic get-together among children, sport was just one of the driving forces in the club, but the social factor was also a driving force. At the age of 14, Hesse was considered for the state selection for Saxony, and the request to attend a sports school followed promptly. This clearly indicates that at the age of 14 there was already a lot of power in Josef.


The further way of life:

The sports school was in Chemnitz, Josef was at boarding school within the week. Away from the parents, sometimes away from the children's catchment area. In addition to school, there were two units and/or workouts per day. The episode of the sports school lasted four years, but after graduation it had to continue. The drive for the new came through. Heidelberg was already a household name for Josef Hesse through weightlifting, so the goal had already been set indirectly. After a few setbacks, a Heidelberg club approached Josef and even gave him an apprenticeship. The path was paved for him through determination. In return for the association's help, Josef promised to spend three years lifting in the Heidelberg association. He is still active in the company in which he completed his training, a real estate management company. What can you take with you here? Even if not every decision should be made head over heels: Some things feel right simply because they are right. Having a plan for the future is all well and good, but if the future is already in front of you, you don't need to plan too much. In such moments, it is more important to look ahead than to look at the appointment calendar.

The start of CrossFit

2017 was the end of weightlifting. Josef's ancestral box has been Crossfit Zollhafen in Mainz for about 2.5 years. Barbell cycling is popular at the weekend, moving loads once is in the background here. In 2019 at the German Throwdown, after two years of functional fitness, Josef received a decent slap. However, since four weeks later a replacement was sought after the Open, Hesse came together with Felix Rehder, Flixi, to step in as a backup. The connection with the customs port was born and has always been preserved.


Halfway There 2018

Max was the videographer at Throwdown, Josef ran in front of Max's lens. Symbolically enough, the event where the two literally bumped into each other was a snatch event. Hesse came, saw and tore. Max was flabbergasted by the accident. Accordingly, his performance is to blame for Kelm and Hesse playing on the same team years later (literally)!


Sporting goals and pressure in competitive sports:

Mental strength, as this episode of wodmagazin makes clear, is just as important as physical strength. Scoreboards and missed lifts matter a lot more when an athlete's life is geared towards more success than banging on the gas in the pits twice a week. In between, there is a hint that Josef had to balance very hard at a few moments; be it between job and training or social life and "success-oriented work away". He doesn't regret anything, but it's clear: a day that only has 24 hours leaves little freedom when after work the dumbbell knocks on the door.


Josef himself will focus on team competitions in the future and will increase the pressure on fitness Germany with the competition team around Crossfit Zollhafen. The final of the fitness federal league, the German throwdown and the Crossfit Open in team formation are in prospect. What becomes clear with Hesse: he is an athlete in order to compete. He's not clamoring for the games and a podium place there, but he says very clearly: "If a competition gets in my way and I can qualify, then of course I'll do it!"

Let's talk about money:

Let's face it, lifting weights doesn't make for a carefree life away from competition. You can't afford a gold-lined basement. However, depending on the club and the performance of the athlete, the whole thing can definitely bear fruit.

At the same time, Max also talks to Josef about sponsorships, after all he is one of the newest athletes in the wodstore. Why do companies and athletes want to work together? Authenticity. Even if that word is burned; the way an athlete walks the world appeals to companies. Speaking for the wodstore, we try to find down-to-earthness, stamina and an emotionally consistent line. So it's far from just about reach, it's also about the message conveyed by the team to sponsored athletes.

You can hear the whole episode in the audio podcast

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