Who is Julie Hougård Nielsen?

danish crossfit athlete

Julie Hougård Nielsen is the current Danish CrossFit National Champion and joined The Progrm in 2018.


Age: 31
Nationality: Danish
Where are you living: Odense, Denmark
Height: 173 cm
Weight: 71 kg
Profession: M.D.
CrossFit Affiliate: Unaffiliated
Instagram: julie.hn

danish crossfit girl

Career Highlights

2x Danish National Champion
2x CrossFit Games Athlete
Qualified for Games 2020 & 2023
1st Europe, 4th Worldwide Team Quaterfinals 2023
13th Lowlands Throwdown 2022
11th Lowlands Throwdown 2021
8th Dubai CrossFit Championship 2019


Quarterfinals and Semifinals

Julie placed 42nd in Europe as an individual and 4th Worldwide as a team athlete.

She went on to compete as team member of No Shortcuts CrossFit. They earned 1st place at the Europe Semifinal in Berlin.

CrossFit Games

Given the performance at the Europe Semifinal, Julie went with her team No Shortcuts CrossFit, to compete at the 2023 NoBull CrossFit Games in Madison, WI. The team had a false start in the first event, but from then on stayed consistently near the top of the leaderboard. They had four top 5 event finishes and ended the weekend as the 5th Fittest Team on Earth.


CrossFit Lowlands Throwdown 2022

Nielsen took 13th place at this CrossFit Semifinals event.


CrossFit Lowlands Throwdown 2021

Nielsen took 11th place at the CrossFit Lowlands Throwdown.


The Open

Nielsen ranked 73rd Worldwide after the Open. She put up a solid fight and finished impressively having completed 20.5 the 16th best score Worldwide. This was also her second year as Female National Champion / Fittest in Denmark.


The Open

Julie finished the Open ranking 34th. She finished 19.1 16th worldwide and earned the title Fittest Woman in Denmark.

CrossFit Games

This was Julie's rookie debut as an individual athlete at the CrossFit Games. Unfortunately she was forced to withdraw

Personal Life and Beginnings into CrossFit

Julie was a competitive swimmer until she was 19. She won a few national championships and competed at the Europeans twice, once as a junior and once as a senior. She tried her first CrossFit class in 2012/2013

Julie loves to be surrounded by her family and specially with her mother and her younger brother.


Hardest workout you have ever done?

French Throwdown Event 6 2018
6 rounds
15 kb thrusters
15 kb facing burpees

3 rounds of:
10 snatches
12 bar-facing burpees
Then, rest 3 minutes before continuing with:
3 rounds of:
10 bar muscle-ups
12 bar-facing burpees

Choose/Design 1 workout to beat anyone in the World:

4 rounds
400m swim
20m heavy sled pull

Who do you wish was watching you perform at every competition?

Small Hill aka. Le Toré aka. Stand-in coach

julie hougard crossfit

Who is your favourite sports hero?

Michael Phelps

How does being an athlete make you a better person?

“Better person” is a bit much maybe but doing sports all my life has definitely helped me develop qualities I would not be without.
Being an athlete has taught me discipline, compassion, patience and mental strength. All things I still work on improving every day.
It has also taught me to be openminded and how to meet new people, and that it’s never to late to learn something new or change something you are unhappy with. Never settling. Being an athlete will always have you striving to become a better version of yourself, I guess.

Favorite song or playlist:

I don’t really have a favorite song, I love all kinds of music and anything with The Killers.
Go-to playlist for workouts is often “Hello darkness, my old friend”.

Top Movie:

Any Marvel movie (almost), especially Guardians of the Galaxy (1), or Lord of the Rings, all of them.

Best moment in your CrossFit career:

When I qualified for the CrossFit Games for the first time. After five rough weeks in the Open and studying for my final exam it was an incredible feeling that my hard work payed off, since I never made it to Regionals, which was my ultimate goal before the changes.

How do you celebrate after a competition:

Drinks, dancing, and burgers.

Tips for someone who wants to become a professional CrossFit Athlete:

I am not a professional athlete, so I’m not sure I am qualified for answering this question.
If you want to succeed as an athlete I would say; identify your weaknesses and work on them, even if it’s not the “fun” part of training. Pay attention to the mental aspect of your training as well, since it is one of the most important elements. Learn how you respond to pressure, keep cool and learn what to tell yourself in order to keep pushing.
Be resilient, never give up and remember to have fun.

danish girl crossfit

What do you tell yourself on days when you feel unmotivated/tired?

I remind myself of the goals ahead, and how much better I know I will fell once the session is done. Days where motivation is low, and you make it through training can sometimes be the days you improve the most. Essentially, skipping training will often make me even more unmotivated and restless.

What goes through your head before entering the competition floor?

I try to “zone in”, and soak in the atmosphere a bit. I will repeat to myself “you can do this”, and then my mind usually goes completely blank just before we start.
I try to remind myself to have fun, but sometimes I also fail and panic too much, but I think it’s a good thing that you can always improve in these things, even though I have been practicing entering competition floors for most of my life.

What are your goals in the close future (6 months – 1 year)?

I was hoping to go back to the Games 2020 and improve my performance, and along the way have gained experience from more sanctionals.
Right now, I am not sure what the nearest future holds for me.

And distant future (5+ years)?

Hopefully I will be closer to figuring out what kind of doctor I want to be when I grow up, and I will have a family of my own. I will keep staying fit and healthy whatever it takes. I think CrossFit and I are friends for life now, and the dream is also having a home gym someday.