Systematic cheering for Maj at World Bench Press Championships
Both her family and workplace are supporting Maj Rames when she defends her title at the World Bench Press Championships in South Africa on the 24th and the 27th of May 2023. Her colleagues are hoping to still be able to boast of having a world champion on the team.
When Systematic’s Defence Project Manager Maj Rames boards a plane to South Africa on 21 May, it is not to instruct a customer in how to use Systematic’s software, but to defend her title as world bench press champion. And it’s not a title that falls into your lap – it requires hours of training. Therefore, having the support of her family and workplace is crucial for Maj’s participation at the championships.
In addition to being an athlete, mother to two-year-old Vida and an officer in the Danish Army Reserve, Maj Rames heads an eight-man team which is involved in developing Aspire – an advanced digital teaching and training platform for soldiers. In other words, Maj is a busy woman, and her goal of retaining her world champion title requires a degree of understanding from her family, friends and work colleagues.
“My family obviously has to pay a high price, as I often train both before and after work. My husband and I are good at allowing each other time to pursue our respective interests. We’ve both worked in the Danish Armed Forces, where we learned to structure and organise our time. It also means a lot to me that Systematic and my manager give me the flexibility and trust to plan my work and training,” she says.
A transparent and practical approach takes you far
Maj is very practical in how she organises her time – she can train at home, at Aarhus Athlete Club and in Systematic’s gym where she trains with her colleagues.
Her manager, Gauri Varma Heise, Director, is very sympathetic to the fact that the sport is important for Maj, and that it sometimes means she is away from the office.
“Maj is very good at planning. She is open and transparent with regard to her time and tasks, and she always thinks things through from start to finish. Planning doesn’t fall into place every time, but we try and make sure it does,” says Gauri.
Systematic employs the full package
For Maj, having an understanding workplace and colleagues means she can enter competitions with a clear conscience and focus on competing while she is in South Africa. Which is just the way it should be, says Gauri:
“We value the fact that our employees take an interest in and are knowledgeable and passionate about activities outside work. It helps to infuse the team with energy while adding to the sense of diversity. This is one of the reasons why we don’t just look at qualifications when we recruit new employees. We look at each person as they are, and employ the full package: interests, skills, personality, aspirations, family, experiences and challenges. Maj really wants to win this competition – and everyone who meets her immediately notices her inherent sense of drive and determination. It's all part of making her a valuable employee with us,” explains Gauri.
When Maj returned home as world champion last year after a 155 kg lift, she was celebrated with a ‘gold medal cake’ from the canteen.
“It had to be celebrated at the office, because we cheer her on obviously, and hope that we can continue to boast about having a world champion on our team,” says Gauri.
Maj herself says: “I definitely think I’m in with a chance of winning a medal, and I hope that I’m in good enough shape to win gold, but we’ll have to see – it’s always hard to know how it’s going to pan out.”
World Championships in South Africa
On 24th and the 27th of May, Maj Rames is entering two competitions at the World Bench Press Championships in South Africa. One competition in unequipped bench press, known as ‘classic’ bench press, and one competition in equipped bench press. Maj is the defending champion in the latter.
Senior world bench press champion 2022 in the under 63 kg weight class
Two bronze medals at the senior world championships in 2014 and 2016
Three junior bench press world championships in 2010, 2011 and 2012
10 Danish bench press championships
Several Danish bench press records
Two Danish Olympic powerlifting championships
Personal record: 167.5 kg
2021–present: Project Manager, Systematic
2018–present: Reserve officer, Danish Joint Operation Center
2019–2021: Project Manager, MHI Vestas
2018–2019: Manager, IKEA
2012–2018: Officer, Royal Danish Army
Line officer, Royal Danish Army, 2016
National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation of Denmark Diploma in Physical Training, 2009