2023 Games Rookie Jelle Hoste Continues Long-Term Partnership with Reebok
Finishing 10th this year at the Games, rookie Jelle Hoste made his debut in a loud way. After finishing 4th at the European Semifinal, spectators had a sense that this newcomer was going to make a splash, and many were anxious to see what he could do on a larger stage. In Madison, Hoste took home a test win on the 5k and had four additional placings inside the top 10. At the Rogue Invitational, his results were similar, finishing 11th with four placings within the top 10.
Some background: Hoste grew up in Belgium playing soccer, but further into adolescence, he desired more of an individual challenge. This led him to judo, which he pursued for 15 years. While finishing on the national podium for Belgium two times, Hoste felt that he had reached a plateau in the sport. He had been training for strength, with some bodybuilding and running thrown in, but only in order to improve in judo.
His CrossFit journey began by “accident,” as there was a box near his home, which he began attending for a new challenge. As he puts it, he shortly “became infected with the CrossFit virus.” Two months later, he competed in his first competition.
Hoste shares that he found many similarities and transferable skills between judo and CrossFit, which helped him excel quickly. The two involve high-intensity training, time domains, and bouts of extreme strength. He reflects that if he had found CrossFit sooner, he would have been a better judo competitor.
No Shortcuts: In recent years, Hoste has become an integral member of the No Shortcuts training camp. Working with Games veteran Andre Houdet’s crew has been “amazing,” Hoste says. Alongside fellow Games athletes like Manon Angonese and Rebecka Vitesson, Hoste credits much of his success to this training camp and its methodology.
- “[Houdet] is a coach with an athlete’s mindset. I can put my trust in his hands, and he has such valuable advice. He has done it all himself, which gives power to the words he says. He’s at my side at every competition,” Hoste said.
Additionally, Hoste has been working with specialists this season, isolating specific aspects of his training. Besides Houdet, he’s been working with multiple coaches, at least one session per week, fine-tuning his weaknesses.
Reebok: While Hoste’s partnership with Reebok isn’t new, it’s no less exciting for the athlete. This is his sixth year partnering with the brand, as they began backing him as he was emerging on the CrossFit scene.
- “They were my very first sponsor. They believed in me from the very beginning. I value the relationship so much, the trust they have in me. This relationship is long-term,” Hoste said.
Although Hoste and Reebok have worked together for a long time, he explains that the company has offered the largest amount of support this year. This allowed him to reduce his hours at work and have more time to improve his fitness, diet, sleep, and all the other components that help him thrive as a professional athlete.
- “[Reebok] has allowed me to reduce overhead. I can have time to breathe, meal prep, train, and prepare for competitions. Them backing me is such a blessing, and it confirms that I’m doing everything right,” Hoste said.
What’s next: In addition to competing at the Rogue Invitational in October, Hoste just took part in the UK’s FitFest. He had been looking forward to it as a fun, low-pressure way to end the year, and although he claimed ahead of time that he didn’t know what to expect from the event, it seemed that it lived up to his expectations.
His main goal for the season is to finish within the top 10 at the CrossFit Games again and perhaps edge his way up the leaderboard to 7th or 8th place. With the amount of work he’s putting in, backed by Reebok, and with what he has already proven about himself and his abilities, that goal doesn’t seem so far off.