Jolaine Undershute is no stranger to CrossFit. She is one of the world’s fittest and has been a master athlete at the CrossFit Games since 2013. Jolaine is the owner of Endeavor Fitness, a single mom to a precious 9yr old boy, and a lover of the water. Her strength is not only seen in her box, but also in her daily life.
We are honored to have her join us for this interview. Let’s get to know her a little better, shall we?!
Tell us a little bit about where you are from and what led you into Crossfit?
I moved from Vancouver to Invermere just over 12 years ago and I have recently celebrated my 10-year anniversary of owing my own business, Endeavor Fitness.
My ex-husband found the CrossFit workouts online while searching for something to challenge one of his clients. We did our first one in December 2018 and picked Cindy because we thought it looked easy. Boy, was I mistaken!
What is it about CrossFit that stuck?
Results! In only a few months! Previously I had 18 years of body building and several other ports under my belt. I started comparing my scores online and thought, “Hey, I could actually beat the other girls.” From there, I never turned back.
What does an average week of training look like for you and how does it change when training for the CrossFit Games?
You might be surprised to know I only train about 2-3 hours a session, 5 days per week. Occasionally, I add a 6th day to finish off things I may not have had time for. I always take Sunday off as my mandatory rest day. I may add in more active rest closer to the CrossFit Games prep.
If I’m feeling particularly drained or I’m nursing an injury, I take more rest days and modify my program.
I prioritize my training and focus more Olympic lifting in my off season. For 2018 and 2019 I have kept myself conditioned all year. I enjoy the cardio too much and I also like occasionally competing in local competitions.
How do you balance coaching and being a competitive, ridiculously good athlete?
It’s very challenging. I coach from 6am-12pm, train from 12-2:30pm, pick up my son from school after that, and then come back three evenings to coach from 4-6:30pm.
After the age group qualifier, the Games prep begins and my volume increases.
Do you have any specific routines when you compete, lift and train?
Yes, I train from 11am to 2pm and always start with foam rolling and Myofascial release. Then it’s a thorough dynamic warm up and primer.
When I’m competing I religiously go to the medic tent to have A.R.T. (active release technique) to prep me for the events and take my time to complete my warm up.
I follow the Comptrain Masters programming for Games athletes.
When things get really tough in WODs, do you have any mental tricks that you use to stay focused and keep going?
I sure do! I always break down sets into smaller numbers in my head so I never feel like I’m doing as many reps. For example, if there are 20 wall ball in a row, I’ll count in sets of 5 and still do the 20 unbroken. Sets of 5 are easier to wrap your head around.
Experience has helped me out big time. I enjoy the opportunity to be able to compete at the event, which everyone should because it’s all going to be over sooner than you think. If you can enjoy the experience it helps you think positively and keep the doubt demons away. We are our own worst critics and often obsess about all our areas of opportunity, comparing ourselves to our fellow competitors.
I also focus on one event at a time like it’s the only event I’m competing in. If you look ahead too far, you can become overwhelmed.
Are you proactive in your joint health? If so, how do you protect your joints from cartilage damage? (Exercise, supplements, diet, can discuss your seminar here, etc.)
Yes, I take a medical grade Omega-3 supplement and as stated above have a long methodical warm up including Myofascial release. I also take care of problem areas that I cannot release by going to see an A.R.T. practitioner or having Heller work done.
Nutritionally, I know what foods flare up inflammation and I avoid processed foods and sugar for the most part. I do eat a far amount of really good quality organic dark chocolate and I will admit, I have a Goldfish addiction, lol!
What do you feel are your biggest weaknesses and strengths in CrossFit?
Mentally, my biggest strengths are experience and determination when it comes to working on my weaknesses. Physically, my upper body strength is one of my strengths.
My biggest weakness used to be my mental game. But 2018 changed everything for me. Now it’s just certain movements that I continue to train to improve. Everyone has a few so I do my best not to obsess but just to continue to go after it. The more you work on those areas of opportunity, the more well-rounded you become.
What would you say your greatest accomplishments are and why?
My greatest accomplishment is taking 3rd place in the 2018 CrossFit Games. I sprained my AC joint 10 days before the competition. I had to fight every mental and physical demon to stay on track and to fight every single event. I had to overcome pain that was so bad it reminded me of labor. It’s a miracle I could compete. I couldn’t get dressed or tie my shoelaces! I needed to know that I wouldn’t make it any worse. I dug down deep to complete the Games and to finish in the top 3 of my division.
I would also say consistency. I have qualified for every year for the CrossFit games as a master from 2013-2019, except for 2017. I took this year off to focus on my weaknesses.
When it comes to competing, is there a shift in mind-set that occurs as opposed to when you’re training?
Yes, the shift was most apparent this year. I’ve doubted my abilities in the past and it’s held me back. This year, after I knew my sprained AC joint would be ok, I just went for it. I’ll train all out several times in a month, so I know what it feels like. When I compete, I seem to have another gear I can kick into.
We were thrilled to cheer Jolaine on this year at the CrossFit Games as she took 3rd place in her age division. Way to go, Jolaine!